Touring - Cross Country: Carlsbad , CA to Blythe, CA
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01-20-09, 08:41 AM
I am planning a cross country ride from Carlsbad, CA to Yorktown, VA beginning on July 1. I am looking for individuals who would be familiar with the ride from Carlsbad, CA to Blythe, CA. I would leave Carlsbad and go through Escondino, Brawley and then continue to Blythe, CA. I would like to feedback on crossing the Anza Borrego Desert State Park; road conditions; terrain; expected temperature; places to buy food and water; etc. I want to hit Quartzite, Arizona by the end of my second day and I am doing this entire trip with minimal weight (staying in motels). I am presently training 200 miles a week and will go up to 300 miles a week in April and will spend the entire month of June doing back to back long distance rides. I am confident that my conditioning will allow me to ride for 10-12 hour days. I am also not against riding early in the morning and later in the evening (sleeping during the day) if that would help with temperatures and would expect to use this approach when I cross through Arizona. This ride is a solo ride and I am an experienced rider/triathlete. Any advice with the route outlined above would be appreciated to help me prepare.
I came through Carlsbad, Oceanside, Pala, Julian, Brawley, Blythe. My notes are:
I'll have to look at them in a bit more detail and see if there is more I can tell you.
01-20-09, 02:25 PM
Mev, thanks for the link. You have some useful information on there. From Wickenberg, AZ, I am heading north toward Fkagstaff, so our routes split at Wickenberg.
01-20-09, 05:22 PM
There is, however, one big difference between Mev's tour and your plans.
Mev did Carlsbad to Blythe in March.
You are planning to do it in July ?!?!?
The average high for Brawley in July is 108 degrees.
The record high is 122 degrees.
That's rather hot - specially for somebody from Virginny.
Not to mention that you want to do it in two days.
01-20-09, 08:58 PM
Jamawani, that is a good point you make; however, an option I am considering is riding at night and resting during the day if the temperature become a problem. The temperature usually drops about about 30 degrees through the night in July.
an option I am considering is riding at night and resting during the day if the temperature become a problem.
Look up dates for the full moon. Many of those roads should have light enough traffic to do some night riding.
Riding in the extreme heat is definitely something to be careful about. In 2005, I did half of a supported ride named Las Vegas Hell Week: http://www.hellweek.com/vegas.html Most days were hot but tolerable but the day we rode from Mesquite back to Vegas, forecast temps were ~110F and slightly warmer near Lake Mead. We got on the road at first light and so didn't have much difficulty the first 70 miles until lunch. After that it started getting quite hot. Two of the six riders decided to SAG from lunch. I rode the next 20 miles after lunch and was quite grateful when our SAG made multiple loops to check on me and refill water. It was surprising how quick I went through water. I chose to SAG from the afternoon stop at 90 miles since I had nothing to prove and temperatures were ~108F.
After the afternoon stop, one of the other riders was cycling and noticed his body starting to give him some shivers. We were right there with him and quickly picked him up and got him cooled down. Despite drinking a lot, he'd gotten on the wrong side of the hydration curve and found his body couldn't cool itself down quick enough. The two remaining riders completed that ride in the heat.
From that experience, I learned:
- hydrate plenty, and useful to over-hydrate early since your body might not keep
up if it gets hot enough
- no matter what shape you are in (and that rider was in good shape), signs of
heat induced illness can come on surprisingly quick, so useful to be careful
- get your riding done early and have a "plan b" if you end up out there at wrong time
The US temperature map: http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/thematic-maps/usa-temprature-july.html suggests you are likely to have some hot temps in July before getting to Arizona.
01-21-09, 07:56 AM
Excellent advice. Quarter Moon will appear on June 29 followed by a Full Moon on July 7. I should have some good moon light from July 2nd and on. Night riding looks like a real possibility to stay away from the heat.
01-21-09, 08:39 AM
You know all those dune buggy people Mev was mentioning? They like to party. Make sure you have a headlamp and a flashing tail beacon. The headlamp or whatever can double as your camp flashlight all tour. The flasher is a smart thing to have on a cross-country tour - period.
01-21-09, 08:56 AM
Better reserve a hotel room.
Friday July 3rd is a Holiday, the 2-6 are going to be bad days to be on the road.
Drunk people going to the river pulling their boats.
You are taking Hwy 78?
The roads thru the Imperial and Palo Verde valleys are not the best, narrow with very little shoulder.
It is hotter on the roads at night than you think.
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