Touring - Best January warm weather touring destination???
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07-26-09, 11:15 AM
The only time some buddies and myself can take off 1-2 weeks is in January.
We are looking for some suggestions for a warm weather January destination for 7-12 days of bicycle touring/riding.
Either U.S. or International.
It can be either a place where we stay in one location and do day rides from the same location or where we go from point to point and stay in a different place every night.
It can be either road or off road, although we prefer lightly traveled and scenic paved roads.
Stays can be either at hotels or camping, but we don't want to do a self sufficient tour where we carry our own stuff (clothes, tents, sleeping bags, etc) with us. We prefer basic hotel accommodations with nice restaurants nearby. We won't be cooking if we camp.
We don't want to go on a super deluxe, very expensive, stays in high end accommodations tour, but ideally, we want to book through company that has everything (routes, accommodation) already planned out.
Distances can be 50-80 miles/day if on paved roads or less if the roads/trails are rougher.
Any suggestions? (we have already been riding in New Zealand)
The key here is sunny and warm weather in January.
southern california, eastern Australia, southern Israel and Egypt, Thailand and S.E asia... uh those are the places I've been in January that were fine :)
07-26-09, 03:31 PM
07-26-09, 04:37 PM
Northern Thailand has great weather in January. It's the dry season and has comfortable temperatures from Dec. thru Feb. (central & southern Thailand are hot year-round). The immediate vicinity of Chiang Mai has traffic, but the smaller cities in the north have much quieter nearby roads. Nice scenery in the north, inexpensive but excellent lodging & food, plus friendly people.
There are some interesting rides out of Luang Prabang, Laos, but you'd have to go out and back on the same roads for the most part. But it's a great town to visit, the roads which exist are good, have little traffic, and the climate in northern Laos is identical to northern Thailand.
The Big Island of Hawaii has sufficient roads for some decent day trips, though they're not traffic-free, by any means.
It sounds like Cuba has near-deserted roads. Maybe with any luck the US government rules about travel to Cuba will ease soon. Your post implied that you're a US citizen.
Tasmania was great for touring, but I can't think of a place where it would be easy to be based in and have a variety of day trips. Same for Chile. There just aren't a lot of paved roads, so your options there are limited. I haven't been to Mendoza, Argentina, or other northern Argentinian towns, but possibly somewhere there might work, though I think it gets pretty hot there in January. I have biked a bit in northern Patagonia, but I don't think it would work for your stated criteria, not that it's a bad place for riding.
Southern Arizona in the vicinity of Tucson, perhaps.
Possibly central Baja California, though I think there's just one road for the most part in most of Baja. I haven't biked there, but I've biked elsewhere in Mexico. People rave about Baja once you get away from the US border.
Some other tropical & southern hemisphere place I've toured in during the northern hemisphere winter were nice for touring, but I don't think would work well for your stated purposes.
Australia is apparently warm and lovely in January. I actually haven't been here in that month, so I'm looking forward to it.
But am I reading you right that you want to go with a supported, organized tour?
Mexico would be my choice.
07-26-09, 06:48 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions, everybody.
Axolotl, I am going to be in Luang Prabang, Laos in a couple of months for a non-biking visit and will check it out and maybe go back for a bike tour at a latter time. A couple years ago I was in Chang Mai on a non-cycling trip and ran into a small group who was getting ready to ride on backroads from Chang Mai to Pai. It was a 2-3 day unsupported ride that looked fun, but I knew had a lot of climbing. Are you familiar with this ride?
I had some friends who went to Italy in the summer and they did what was called a self-guided tour. They booked through a touring company and basically were just given a map in the morning to the evening's accommodations and all their luggage would be at their hotel when they arrived. They were on their own all day with no follow vehicle or tour guide bringing up the rear. This is the sort of basic support we are looking for, but for a trip in January.
07-26-09, 08:02 PM
I haven't done the loop going west from Chiang Mai through Pai, but it does indeed sound very hilly but pretty. I did a loop going north from CM along the border with Burma, through Tha Ton (a very pretty area), the Golden Triangle (also pretty riding), and along the border with Laos, and as far east as Nan (a nice town), before heading west through Phrae back to Chiang Mai. I took buses in and out of Chiang Mai to avoid bad traffic. The rest of the roads were mostly quiet. When things were busier, there was always a good paved shoulder. Except for a brief area just north of Tha Ton, the riding wasn't too difficult in that loop.
When I biked north from Vientiane through Luang Prabang and northward from there, I encountered a supported group going in the other direction from LP to Vientiane, so things can certainly be arranged. It's a great ride between LP & Vientiane, though it is mountainous and quite challenging. As you're probably aware, there is boat transport available along parts of the Mekong. When you're away from the larger towns in Laos, both accommodations and food can be pretty basic.
Australia is apparently warm and lovely in January
hihi... bit of an understatement there Machka :D
07-27-09, 03:44 PM
hihi... bit of an understatement there Machka :D
Heh, yeah. It's the perfect time for Tasmania, though. Southeastern Australia is fine, though there's the chance of really hot (40°C). More likely low thirties.
07-27-09, 05:32 PM
I did Arizona in February. Freezing cold at night, but lovely during the day. You can loop from Tuscon and bascially stay in hotels all the time. There are a couple of companies that do tours there. We went with Bike Escapades (which has since been sold, so may not do that tour any more).
There's also Texas Hill Country -- great roads and pretty country, although possibly still a little cold at that time.
Pat from CA
07-27-09, 07:22 PM
San Luis Obispo County, California. Here's a link to the rides locals like... Generally reasonably warm during the days..in the heart of California Wine Country... Grab a hotel and do day trips for a week or so in San Luis Obispo and then move to Monterey and do part of the Big Sur Coast and the inland Carmel Valley rides.
Great Food and Wine...Reasonably priced lodging available. PM me if you want any further info
07-28-09, 08:01 AM
I am checking out the suggestions.
01-27-11, 11:34 AM
Pat, I read your response regarding riding in warm weather. I was thinking of going to Florida but after seeing your post and checking out SLOBC's website, I'm inclined to go there instead. I'd like to put together a weeklong trip during the week of March 13th, 2011. Some days in SLO and some days in San Francisco. From the club's website, it appears that there are daily rides. It would seem that I could just stay in a hotel and just show up for the rides and then take the train to SF and ride there as well. Please let me know if this is OK (to just show up for rides) and please send me your recommendation as to a reasonably priced hotel there close to the ride meeting places.
Thanks again for posting that response and thank you in advance for anytime you allocate to my request.
New York City
01-27-11, 02:27 PM
In the USA: Southern Arizona is great for touring. Start from Tucson and explore the country south going to towns like Patagonia, Sonoita, Sierra Vista and Bisbee. As someone mentioned, it does very cold at night (freezing temperatures), so it's very difficult to camp. My experience in the area was exploring the area by going on some of the forest roads. Gorgeous! You'll need a mountain bike or a touring bike outfitted with all-terrain tires.
Outside of the U.S.: +1 on Mexico - My choices would be flying to San Diego then cross the border and start your Baja trip to Cabo San Lucas. Fly back from Cabo.
Another bike tour would be going from Mazatlan to Durango and on to Zacatecas. Then catch a shuttle to Aguascalientes and fly back to the U.S.
You can read about either one of those two Mexican tours here by following the blog of this couple touring to South America. They did both over the last month. I think either tour takes about 10 days to complete.
01-27-11, 03:25 PM
Pancho, this thread is 2 years old, don't be surprised if you don't get a response. It's ok to start your own thread. :)
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