wanted: suggestions for a March 2008 tour
I haven't done a real bike tour in over 20 years, but in recent years I've been wanting to get back into it, and now I'm thinking my kids are going to be old enough to join me on this as early as next spring. Specifically: my daughter has a week of vacation in late March, so... why not then?
Well, one reason: the weather around here (NJ) tends to be unreliable in March. So I'm thinking: go south and/or west.
So: does anyone have a suggestion for a nice tour in late March? I'm thinking something like four days of cycling, 150-250 miles. I figure we'll have to take public transport (bus, train, maybe air) from NJ to starting point, ride for a few days, and take public transport back.
This would have to be somewhere that has decent weather in late March. Is there such a place? As for hills, camping, self-supported... doesn't really matter! I can borrow excellent camping equipment if that's indicated, or stay in motels. Those details are flexible. What's not flexible is: it has to be the last week of March.
All suggestions, no matter how general (such as: "try this website...") are welcome.
Southeastern Utah, around Moab, is in season at that time. Distances between towns are huge, it is quite hilly, sometimes windy, and you have to be aware of where your next water is available. I haven't toured there yet, but have spent a lot of time in the area rock climbing, and I think mid to late march is perfect - just starting to get hot. Canyonlands Nat'l Park, Arches Nat'l Park, Castle Valley, the Colorado River, south to Monticello via the La Sals, the Abajo's... scenery is unreal.
Logistics could be troublesome, Moab has a tiny airport, I don't know if you can actually get a commercial flight there. Salt Lake City is 5 hours drive. There is a shuttle bus from SLC to Moab, that might work.
Central/Southern California can also be nice that time of year, but you can still get a pacific storm, so you would want to be prepared for that. You could do a loop from Santa Barbara or San Diego (Julian, Hemet) or Palm Springs (Joshua Tree National Park).
Florida Keys; from Key Largo to Key West and back.
How about the Trace? I don't know what the weather is like there in March; but you could ask.
+1 for the Keys, as noted above.
Long Distance Cyclist
Vancouver Island was warm enough the first week of April this past April when I was there ... although there was quite a bit of rain.
Thanks for all these suggestions; I'll consider them all (and anything else, if there's other ideas). --R