Touring - Touring to South Louisiana - yay or nay (hurricane season concerns)
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06-01-11, 04:55 PM
Wanting to know as my tour draws near, what reservations would you have about heading south to the bayou this time of year? I've got to make a decision quick, it is either South LA or head north to Missouri. I'd rather go south, but I was just wondering what your experienced thoughts maybe?
06-01-11, 05:47 PM
Pick a spot and go. There are no guarantees in this way of traveling. I'm In springfield mass. and we just got hit by a tornado
06-01-11, 06:57 PM
Kinda depends on the date of departure and the route.
Hurricane "season" is a group of scientists'/media types best guess at defining when hurricanes are likely to hit based upon past history. Season has already started and I'm currently unconcerned - and living in the New Orleans area.
Realistically, you're more likely to be affected by the Mississippi River flooding than hurricanes for the next two weeks. After that, listen to the radio weatherman each day and adjust as you go. If people around you begin boarding their windows - seriously consider getting off the road and/or ending the tour.
That advice is based on a lifetime of living in Louisiana/the Gulf South - been through no less than 50 seasons, 7 major hurricanes and only lost 2 houses (no joke). None of the above was written in sarcasm mode.
06-01-11, 07:17 PM
My first thought was heat, humidity and mosquitoes in S. La, especially if camping. I'd save that trip for late fall. And yeah, the flooding issue would be major I'd think relative to mossies. Missouri hasn't got a reputation for being a cycling paradise from TA folks, but would likely be cooler and less humid. If Oklahoma was a possibility, I'd recommend it for a mini tour. Done three tours there and really enjoyed them all. Lots of state parks, stuff to see and do, nice roads and nice folks in Oklahoma.
As we know, within reason, there is no really bad place to tour in the US in the summer if approached with the right attitude and preparation.
06-01-11, 08:47 PM
My first thought was heat, humidity and mosquitoes in S. La, especially if camping. I'd save that trip for late fall.Heat, humidity and mosqitos are a way of life in the Gulf South. We deal with it.
Late summer (mid-July/August) through Nov 1 is when my relatives and I usually begin to pay attention to tropical storm and hurricane warnings. If any appear near Florida or Cuba, then we pay more attention due to the length of time it will take to reach the Louisiana coast.
I certainly would not avoid Louisiana because of flooding or hurricanes or mosquitos - just be aware of local conditions like any reasonable person on vacation should be. (I mean, would you defer a vacation to Disneyland Orlando right now because of the two current Atlantic Ocean tropical depressions that might turn into hurricanes?)
06-01-11, 09:03 PM
Thanks for thoughts. I'm from South Arkansas, so I know what I'm getting into with mosquitos and humidity and such. Just wanting to ride to the marshlands in extreme southern LA and back. I thought about Oklahoma, too. Can only pick one this year though :P
06-02-11, 05:15 AM
I guess the only reservation I would have about riding in Southern Louisiana right now relates to the flooding as a result of opening the Morganza Spillway. Depending on how far south you are riding, that may or may not be a factor - if you aren't planning on riding south of the Baton Rouge - Lake Charles line, then you aren't likely to run into many difficulties.
Stay west of the Atchafalya Basin and in the SW portion of the State and you're probably not going to notice any "flooding effect" - that is, no difference from this time last year in terms of services, places open, road closures, etc.
A CGOAB article that might be of interest is http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=Rsxnt&doc_id=8183&v=3f
A relevant newpaper article on flooded areas is at
06-02-11, 07:13 AM
I'm in suburban of NOLA.
No problem with a "real hurricane" until maybe mid or late July- usually.
Right now we are having a drought- strange, but not too uncommon.
If you plan to be gone by late July you'll be fine.
Oh we do have horrendous rains during the summer.
Mosquitoes aren't really as bad as say the Florida Keys(long story).
Don't worry about the river flooding-no real problem there.
episodic, Within the next 30-45 days the major concern has to do with Mississippi River control. While a hurricane/tropical storm can occur anytime, it generally takes warmer water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico that at this time, late July onwards is when we start anticipating a major storm.
The Atchafalya Basin is absolutely a favorite place of mine to visit, hopefully you can ride that area.
I think your biggest chance of running into a hurricane, would be in September, rather than any other month. There's still a chance, but I think it would be very slim.
06-02-11, 08:43 AM
If you head down this way, look us up, lots of friendly folks and cyclists here. No reservations necessary!
06-03-11, 03:46 AM
I grew up along the Gulf Coast and in 20+ years of my time there we had maybe 3 hurricanes in our area and less than 5 tropical storms while I lived there. So, I'd say the odds are fairly low a storm would slam the area in the time you're there. Of course, now that's it been said and tempting fate. ;)
06-03-11, 09:19 AM
I don't know about hurricanes but certain parts may have flooding for a long time. It is flooding in SD right now. That water has to go down, down the Missouri and into the Mississippi River. It will take time.
06-03-11, 09:28 AM
I wouldn't worry about it, honestly. You'll have very advanced warning of any hurricane coming, and you can take shelter or reroute north with plenty of time to avoid the storm. There won't be a lack of people willing to throw you and your bike in the back of their truck either, if things get hectic.
Late July- Sept, keep an eye on the tropics. Other than that, come on down.
It's hot and humid, and our roads are not that smooth. So what else in new?
Hurricanes, you can see coming. Early in the "season", no problems.
Proud to live in NOLA!
P.S. Some pretty friendly folks and really good food down here as well.
06-03-11, 09:48 AM
You can damn near outrun a hurricane on a bike. I'm from La and the reason I wouldn't suggest it is how incredibly unbikefriendly the state is. NONE of the bridges have crossings for bikes or pedestrians and you are always crossing water. In my hometown there is simply 0 way to go east on a bike. the old highways often have no should what-so-ever. I don't think it's even legal to ride across the atchafalaya on a bike but even if it is I wouldn't recommend it. So that would be a giant swamp you have to cross somehow.
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