Author Topic: What route to take feb-may 2011?  (Read 4478 times)

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Offline Guncutter

What route to take feb-may 2011?
« on: August 29, 2010, 11:58:33 am »
Hi folks,

I'm an Irish guy, looking to do his first big tour of the USA.  However, this has to be over the period of Feb, March, April 2011, as that is the only 3 month block of holidays that work would grant me.

Basically, I'm looking for any suggestions or advice on the options available to me during this time period?

Ideally, I would have liked to have done the TransAm or the Northern Tier but I'm sure that it would be the wrong time of year for either of these, unfortunately. 

Is the Southern Tier the only viable option to cross the States from February-April?  And is West - East best?

I don't know why, but this route never really appealed to me like the TransAm or the Northern Tier. Or can anyone suggest a good alternative?  A south-north route perhaps?

I have previously cycled from San Francisco to LA, averaging about 80 miles a day.  That involved hotels/motels but this time I plan to get a touring bike and panniers and camp most of the trip... 

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated, thanks.

Offline Tourista829

Re: What route to take feb-may 2011?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 01:18:09 pm »
Sometimes, as you know, you have to play the hand you are dealt. Most American would love 3 months off, any time they could get it to ride.

Since the Southern Tier doesn't appeal to you? Have you ever considered Central and South America? The climate is more favorable than in the northern hemisphere. I know an English couple who likes to tour in S.A., especially in Chile. If you would like, I could put you in touch with them. If you are heading down there, an expedition bike, would give you more options.

Although it could be done, with the right equipment, the TransAmerica in parts would not be safe, due to snow and thus no shoulders. If you did the Southern Tier, here is a suggestion, start from Key West, ride to St. Augustine* then head west. Winds will be stronger, but by the time you get to the Rockies, the weather may be a little warmer. (emphasis on little) Good luck to you. Bob *In St. Augustine go to Osteen's Restaurant. The Shrimp is the best!!!!!!!

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: What route to take feb-may 2011?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 02:40:31 pm »
Interesting question.  If I were going to try crossing the USA in those three months, I'd go Southern Tier east to west; you've got a couple more months for the snow to melt in the passes from New Mexico west.

As an alternative, I'd suggest starting early March and heading west.  You might lose a couple of days' travel to snow and ice, but Virginia and Kentucky mountains are usually melting by March.  (It'd help if you could make sure you've got funds for a couple of nights in motels!)  I'd think you could make it into Colorado, and perhaps up to Wyoming, in two months, and there's a chance the passes would be clear (depending on the winter snowpack) by the end of April.

Getting out of Wyoming might be interesting.  Not much in the way of public transportation.


  • Guest
Re: What route to take feb-may 2011?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 04:47:20 pm »
Either the Atlantic or Pacific Coast routes might work, riding from south to north. No passes to contend with. Probably rainy on the northern Pacific Coast in April. On either route, not all campgrounds and motels will be open, requiring more telephone inquiries than in summer.


Offline rvklassen

Re: What route to take feb-may 2011?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 04:54:48 pm »
If north-south is an option, there's also the Underground Railroad.  It's quite pleasant in the northern portions by May.

And you get to see Niagara Falls.

Offline Guncutter

Re: What route to take feb-may 2011?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 11:03:28 am »

Thanks for the info.

All very helpful and gives me plenty to think about.

I suspect i'll go will the Southern Tier, East - West, possibly with a few northern diversions along the way, since I have plenty of time available.  Now to look into bikes, flights, maps and all the other prep!!   :)

Offline valygrl

Re: What route to take feb-may 2011?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 04:46:34 pm »
I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say you would probably be better off riding in the Southern hemisphere that time of year, and save the US for a route you actually want to do during a time of year that is appropriate for it.

New Zealand and Australia are perfect Feb-April, and I hear there's good stuff in Central/South America too.

Offline Wayne00001

Re: What route to take feb-may 2011?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 01:02:14 am »
Lap around Florida or two?