Author Topic: Southern Route in June  (Read 4112 times)

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Offline Tedstur

Southern Route in June
« on: August 12, 2011, 09:05:54 pm »
I am contemplating taking the southern route starting on June 11th or so, 2012. The dates are dictated a bit by my work schedule. I have done a few longer rides, but this would be my first cross-country. I am planning to start on the West Coast and ride east.

I would like some input from you experts - after watching the temps this summer I am wondering about this plan. I live and train in Florida, and am used to riding year round in the heat, but...

Anybody done the southern route over these dates?j
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 09:59:42 pm by Tedstur »

Offline whittierider

Re: Southern Route in June
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2011, 10:27:38 pm »
I haven't done it but it should be good to get through the Mojave desert early.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Southern Route in June
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2011, 10:31:25 pm »
Starting in June?!?

The heat bothered me in Kansas in June a couple years ago.  The combination of long days plus heat just about wore me out.  I've worked outside in the New Mexico desert for a few days, and it's even hotter there.  While training in Florida, do you normally ride 5-8 hours daily for weeks, with only an occasional day off?  That's what you're talking about doing.  I'd consider a month of southern California through Texas in the summer to be, quite literally, life-threatening.

Touring, and riding daily, means you have to be really careful about water and electrolytes.  If you decide to go there, then, be very careful about packing and drinking enough water, and pull a trailer to tote all the Endurolytes you'll need.

And with all due respect to the weather channel, I'm not convinced this summer has been all that unusual.  Any place I go, any time I go, the weather seems to be abnormally hot, cold, rainy, dry, etc.  The Southern Tier goes where it's usually hot in the summer.  If it's 108F in Arizona, I doubt most people could stay outside for four hours without a thermometer and swear it wasn't 112.

Sorry if I'm rambling.  This sounds like such a bad idea I don't know if I can be any more coherent.  I'd go north.  Either to the TransAm or Northern Tier.  It'll still be hot, but not quite as hot; it'll be cooler in the mornings; and you'll occasionally get a break in the heat.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Southern Route in June
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 01:04:16 pm »
My advice would be to either pick a more northern route or to pick a different time to go.  We had plenty of 100+ weather on the TA, the ST can only be much worse.

In June on the SC last year we saw 115 F in the desert in California.  That lovely temp was accompanied with lots of climbing.  There were lots of days on that trip that hit over 100.  It really is pretty tough to deal with and absolutely kicked my butt.

Florida may be hot and much more humid, but consider that you will be climbing a lot more than you ever would in Florida, that you will be carrying gear, and that you will be riding day in and day out.  What you are proposing could be done, but why suffer more than necessary?

Since the dates are apparently not flexible, I'd consider a more northern route if at all possible.  Do you have time to do a bit longer route like the TA or the NT?  Given your starting time W to E on one of those would make sense.  If not maybe skip the C to C this year and do something else.

Offline Tedstur

Re: Southern Route in June
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2011, 08:24:17 pm »
That's all very helpful advice. I think my best bet is to either go north as suggested (which might take more time than I probably should take) or change the plan completely and go straight down the east coast route, north to south.

The mojave sounds brutal.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Southern Route in June
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 08:16:24 am »
That's all very helpful advice. I think my best bet is to either go north as suggested (which might take more time than I probably should take) or change the plan completely and go straight down the east coast route, north to south.

The mojave sounds brutal.

Have a great trip whatever you choose.

The following is based solely on my personal preferences and experiences, so take it as such.

I really liked the Trans America a lot.  It does a great job of sampling what the rural US has to offer.  Starting in Florence OR saves a few days and you could trim miles a few other places if time is tight.  Also some folks do the TA in two installments in two different years.  If you do that I'd start in the west and ride to Pueblo of somewhere else in the middle of the country and do the rest the next year.  It can be done very cheaply because you can camp for free much of the time with no need for stealth.  I think we stayed for free more than half the time and averaged something like $6 per night or a bit less for campsites.  The hospitality we encountered was amazing.

Touring in the east never really appealed to me as much as the west so I'd much prefer the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic.  Maybe that is just because I have lived on the east coast my whole life though.  It seemed to me as if the people on the east coast are less friendly, the campsites more expensive (no hiker biker sites and $20-30 sites the norm), free camping without stealth non-existant, and the scenery not as good.  That said some people manage to have a great time touring there.

BTW I'll be heading off for the Pacific Coast in a couple weeks and am getting pretty excited.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Southern Route in June
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2011, 09:37:53 am »
As noted, you can split it up.  If you want to do the Northern Tier, Seattle as a starting point is a major air hub. A mid-june start date would mean the cascade crossing and Going to the Sun in Glacier N.P. will likely both be open by the time you reach them unless the winter is abnormally snowy like last winter. At a moderate pace and taking the long route in MN, you could make Minneapolis, another major air hub, in 2 months.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Southern Route in June
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2011, 01:11:20 pm »
As you may know, temperatures reached all-time record highs in the SE USA this past June. It was one of those freak Junes. Maybe it was global warming, but people all over said they had never seen anything like it, and records that had been kept since the 1800s said the same thing.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: Southern Route in June
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 07:58:22 pm »
I'm in Arizona now. It's the hottest month. Temperatures are hitting 117 at times, but it's definately manageable if you're fit, well prepared and sensible. Setting off early each day helps. Florida was much tougher IMO because of the high humidity and freak weather!

Everyone that warned me to cycle further north are people who never attempted it. I've met zero tourers out here, but bike with locals on most days who are making 70+ mile rides. If you don't mind the heat, go ahead and do it!! It's an amazing route and a lot of it is at altitude anyway, so a warmer month is better for most of the west.....