Author Topic: southern tier in august  (Read 8985 times)

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Offline lmmaunz

southern tier in august
« on: May 15, 2008, 11:27:59 am »
I am planing a southern tier tour in august. Does anyone have any recommendations EtoW vs WtoE?
Also any advice/tips to riding in extreme heat?

Offline staehpj1

southern tier in august
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008, 01:55:11 pm »
I have no experience with the ST, but based on my experience with the TA...  I would take a more northern route (TA? NT?) W-E or go at a cooler time of year.

Offline billy50

southern tier in august
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 05:48:48 pm »
The Southern Tier is a great ride, but not in August due to excessive heat in the west and added humidity in the south east.  I agree with the other writer to consider a northern route for the August time frame.  

I recently completed the S.T. and found the winds generally favorable heading E to W until AZ and CA.  Riding early in the morning usually worked well to counter the afternoon gusts.  

Good luck.  

Offline Double_Leo

southern tier in august
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 11:55:12 pm »
We left in September, West to East. Crossing Glamis, our water was too hot to keep properly hydrated. There is only one store. They charge 5 bucks a gallon AND $1 to use the restroom. You have no other options. Check out our blog, though still incomplete. (It shows us still in Texas I believe.)

Offline Bryan

southern tier in august
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2008, 10:00:36 pm »
I live in New Orleans.  It's way too hot here now!  August is a killer. Morning lows in the 80s and near 100% humidity. And of course hurricane season peaks in August and September.

Offline chris_w_r

southern tier in august
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 04:16:38 pm »
Hi Everyone,

Not sounding too positive for a trip on the Southern Tier during

Has anyone actually ridden this route during these months?

I can take a maximum of 4 weeks off work from mid Aug. through to
mid Sept. and was really hoping to fit in a cross-country ride. I rekon
upon having about 34 rideable days in that period so would need
about 8 hours  saddle time per day. Will temperatures be sufficiently
low to achieve this, or is it not realisitc?

Offline staehpj1

southern tier in august
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 05:17:35 pm »
How about crossing N - S on the Pacific coast?  It would be a beautiful ride that time of year and fit well in the time frame you are anticipating.

Offline chris_w_r

southern tier in august
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2008, 07:01:41 am »
Thanks, its probably the sensible option. Did the Transam in 2004 and
wasn't a big fan of the logging trucks and motorhomes encountered on
the Pacific coast, whislt I really liked the open stretches and sparsely
populated areas presented once you left the coast and headed inland. Will
it be busy all the way down?

Offline staehpj1

southern tier in august
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2008, 09:59:21 am »
I have only ridden parts of it and driven others.  Yes there is traffic, but we didn't find it to be too bad.  I guess it depends on your tolerance for traffic.

Offline Westinghouse

southern tier in august
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2008, 10:06:32 am »
I started once in August and went from Florida to California. It was very hot, 93F to over 100F before considering such matters as direct sunlight hitting me, no shade at all, no cooling wind, cycling, and being over the heated roadway for hours at a time. It was more like 120 F. I was drinking between 2 1/2 to 3 gallons of liquids daily. I would drink a 46 ounce drink before sleeping, and would wake up dehydrated. Mosquitos were everywhere. Texas hill country was extremely rough going in that kind of heat. I was thoroughly soaked in my own sweat all day and night. I would walk into a store or post offce and someone would stare at me dripping in sweat. One person said she had never seen anyone sweating like that in her entire life.

It can be done. The heat is not all that terrible a thing to bear. I was in New Mexico in October when a cold front moved in. What a relief that was. The weather stayed cooler from that time on. My daily mileage went up after temperatures cooled.

I have also done it in winter. That is a good time too. When I say S-tier I do not necessarily mean every bit of ACA's mapped out route. I mean the southern tier of states whatever routes you choose to take.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 12-11-08 @ 7:08 AM

Offline chris_w_r

southern tier in august
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2008, 04:37:05 pm »
Right, well thanks for that account, sounds like a good effort. I'm
guessing the presence of mosquitos makes sleeping outside your tent (to
cool off) a little challenging, another issue to factor in. Did you get many
hours in the saddle during those days in the Texas hill country?

Offline lmmaunz

southern tier in august
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2008, 07:42:50 pm »
Hey Chris,
I did the southern tier last July, CA to FL.  I would agree with
Westinghouse.  The temp high was 119 degrees and I was going
through 200-400 oz/day, but with sweat and movement it is bearable.
I put in long days and was able to keep my average at about 125mi.
The whole trip took 26 days, 24 riding and 2 days off to recover my
knees after TX. Sleep is definitely tough, the heat and insects made for
many short frustrating nights and unfortunately there is just no getting
around it. I thought the western half was significantly harder so would
suggest starting there while your still fresh.  Be sure to carry plenty of
water, especially in west texas. I had four 20oz bottles on my bike, a
70oz camelback and usually an energy drink in my bag and still
managed to run out of fluids once. The camelbak is good, fill it up with
ice and add fluids as it melts. It will cool your back slightly and keep
your water colder, longer.  Good luck.

Offline Westinghouse

southern tier in august
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2008, 05:46:02 am »
I never did any mileage like Immaunz's on that trip, but it was a good time, and after the weather cooled my mileage went from 70 to 80 to 90 and such. In fact, I got in way too much saddle time sometimes in Texas hill country, the reason being that in many areas it was a matter of having sheer rock wall going up to my right, and sheer rock wall going down to my left, or vice versa, and unless I wanted to sleep in the emergency lane or on the other side of a guard rail I had to keep going until I could find a spot to camp. That meant sometimes cycling till 11:30 p.m. Some parts of hill country reminded me of the Alps. It was not too bad though. It was okay. It was kind of touristy in places. I went through Johnson City.

I slept out with three mosquito coils burning, and my exposed skin coated in Cutters spray. If I did not spray the bottoms of my feet the dastardly little critters would drain me from there.

It was about a 56 day trip overall. I think there were drought conditions. I had only 30 minutes of rain in Slidell, Louisiana, and a very slight bit of very light rain for a few minutes in hill country during the entire trip.

There is one piece of advice I can give you for making an August run across the S-tier a bit more comfortable. It has to do with headgear. I am very well aware of the great fashion in the USA for wearing caps, and they are just fine in their own places, but the top of your head while doing a summer tour across the S-tier is not necessarily one of those places. It allows the solar radiation to cook your face, neck, and shoulders. It also forms a mini sauna on you skull and scalp. Instead of a cap use a broad-brimmed straw hat with open spaces between the weaving on the upper part. It shields your face, neck, and part of your shoulders. It lets in a cross ventilation which carries heat away from your cranium. The difference in comfort between a cap and a straw hat is quite substantial, and one you will feel and notice. Of course, a straw hat offers no protection in a fall, and it does catch the wind, and you can feel it catching the winds and slowing you a bit, but the extra comfort was worth it to me. Definitely also wear sunglasses.

In winter, the cap is the way to go.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 12-25-08 @ 5:48 AM