Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-29-09, 09:41 AM   #1
pasopia
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
pasopia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: soma double cross DC, giant reign
Posts: 617
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Alaska to Argentina, what month to start?

So I'm starting to plan for an Alaska to Argentina trip, in a year or so from now. What is the best month to start? Most journals I see have people taking off in the early summer.

Also if anyone has done this trip before and remembers how much they budgeted for the trip (equipment not included, I have pretty much everything I need) that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
pasopia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-09, 08:57 AM   #2
Creakyknees
ride lots be safe
 
Creakyknees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 5,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
haven't done that trip, just a vacation to lower AK a few summers back.

So.... I'd advise checking the usual weather / temps / rain / snow from your starting point, and asking yourself: what am I comfortable riding in all day then sleeping in at night? are the dirt/gravel roads going to be passable, or a muddy mess?

those would seem to be the critical constraints.
Creakyknees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-09, 08:59 PM   #3
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 46,679
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 566 Post(s)
nancy sv and family started in June, I believe.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-09, 09:20 PM   #4
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500
Posts: 1,156
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
nancy sv and family started in June, I believe.
I was waiting for her to reply. A definite reason for starting in summer is because of weather conditions. When I cycled the Dalton Highway in early July we had 35F and cold drizzle coming into Prudhoe Bay. I also cycled the Dempster Highway which goes across similar latitudes but in Canada. That July ride also had some cold and wet temperatures.

July will get you a few more mosquitoes, though on an overall scale of things, I've seen worse than Alaska and the Yukon regions.

I have kept up with some who cycled these northern routes through Canada and also Road of Bones in Canada. There are some who cycled those in March when it was still cold, but starting to have more daylight. So I wonder if in principle - if one were suitable prepared for cold (-20F?, -40F?) whether it would be possible to start in March...
mev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-09, 09:38 PM   #5
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 46,679
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 566 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mev View Post
I have kept up with some who cycled these northern routes through Canada and also Road of Bones in Canada. There are some who cycled those in March when it was still cold, but starting to have more daylight. So I wonder if in principle - if one were suitable prepared for cold (-20F?, -40F?) whether it would be possible to start in March...
Speaking as a Canadian who has cycled all months of the year, and in those temps ... I suppose, in theory, it would be possible ....... but I wouldn't want to. It's hard work riding in the cold, and March in Canada (Canadian mountains and prairies) isn't anything remotely like spring. Oh sure, March might give you a nice day or two, but then it will turn on you and dump a blizzard that rages for several days. Many mountain pass roads open and close and open and close through the month of March ... even "main" roads like the Icefield Parkway. Plus services like campgrounds and parks, where you might find toilets and water in more remote areas are likely to be shut down and locked.

I've done centuries in snowy and bitterly cold temps in Manitoba and Alberta, and I try to make a point of ensuring that I am always within walking distance of shelter ... although I did get caught out once on a ride in March. It was a lovely day with a predicted high of +8C. It didn't get anywhere near that, and with about 30 km to go it had dropped to -17C. Thankfully nothing bad happened. The trouble is, if you get a flat or anything like that, it's almost impossible to change the tire when it gets that cold because your hands freeze. And if your body temperature drops while you're messing around with the bicycle, you risk hypothermia.

If someone were going to do this, I'd suggest taking a great deal of time to research it and know exactly what he/she was getting into and what he/she might need to survive.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-09, 10:18 PM   #6
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500
Posts: 1,156
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Speaking as a Canadian who has cycled all months of the year, and in those temps ... I suppose, in theory, it would be possible .......

If someone were going to do this, I'd suggest taking a great deal of time to research it and know exactly what he/she was getting into and what he/she might need to survive.
I agree, this is definitely something to prepare for...
What surprises me is several accounts of cycling such routes through the winter, e.g.

Road of Bones in December with temps down to -40C:
http://www.yakutiatoday.com/travel/r...msiberia.shtml

Dempster Highway including ice road to Tuktoyaktuk in December:
http://www.bikeforest.com/arctic/

This Japanese cyclist who did Murmansk to Magadan and then returned for more winter cycling:
http://www.tim.hi-ho.ne.jp/andow/far...ishreport.html

I've cycled the Dalton Highway, Dempster Highway and the gravel road from Chita to Khabarovsk in Russia. All of these during the summer months. I'm also aware that riding any of these three in winter cold at -40C or less is an entirely different experience requiring different gear and a different approach as well as adequate preparation. What I was pointing out is there do seem to be a few hardy souls who undertake these other roads through some rather extreme temperatures and hence in principle one might be able to start in March if one was suitably prepared.
mev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-09, 10:25 PM   #7
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 46,679
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 566 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mev View Post
I've cycled the Dalton Highway, Dempster Highway and the gravel road from Chita to Khabarovsk in Russia. All of these during the summer months. I'm also aware that riding any of these three in winter cold at -40C or less is an entirely different experience requiring different gear and a different approach as well as adequate preparation. What I was pointing out is there do seem to be a few hardy souls who undertake these other roads through some rather extreme temperatures and hence in principle one might be able to start in March if one was suitably prepared.
Oh yeah, it would be possible to start in March and tackle whatever nature sends your way. But I think you'd want to be very physically prepared ... and mentally prepared. Remember that mental preparation thread? are you mentally prepaired to tour. Riding in wild weather conditions would require even more mental preparation!

Now if you go into my website, to the Links page, and scroll down a bit, you'll see a category called: Northern Long Distance Events. http://www.machka.net/links.htm The first two of those run in mid-February in Alaska. If a person were going to start such a journey in March, I'd strongly recommend going to those sites and picking up tips.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-09, 12:23 AM   #8
AKRider435
Alaska Grown
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Anchorage, AK
Bikes: Novara Buzz V, Fuji Road bike
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's dangerous here in the winter. You can do it, for sure. But you'll be taking a lot of weight in gear to protect you from the elements. You'll end up mailing them home for your summer leg. Personally, I would time it that I was leaving Alaska in the start of June. Be prepared for rain and bugs, but those aren't that big of a deal. If you time it right, you'll hit winter in the equatorial countries. But that's just me.

People ride all year long up here. (I live in Anchorage.) I'm looking at commuting this winter. It'll be my first time commuting during the winter. We'll see how devoted I am (considering I have a 16.5 mile ride to work) when the sub-freezing temps roll in.

Anyway, good luck on your ride, take pictures and post a blog!
AKRider435 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-09, 11:47 AM   #9
sneekyjesus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think I'd do that ride before June. Less places are open along the highway probably.
sneekyjesus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-09, 06:14 PM   #10
nancy sv
family on bikes
 
nancy sv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: on my bike between North and South
Bikes: which one?
Posts: 2,376
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We left June 10 and it was perfect! they told us everything was still ice-packed two weeks earlier. We were also blessed with about a week of no mosquitoes - started before they hatched. The key is that you have to get down to Mexico before winter sets in, so figure you've got roughly 5000 miles to go. If you ride faster than we do (trust me, you do!) then you could get away with leaving in July.
nancy sv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-09, 07:14 AM   #11
andrewh
where2pedalto.com
 
andrewh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Australia
Bikes: LoGo Recumbent Trike
Posts: 96
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Starting in Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by pasopia View Post
So I'm starting to plan for an Alaska to Argentina trip, in a year or so from now. What is the best month to start? Most journals I see have people taking off in the early summer.

Also if anyone has done this trip before and remembers how much they budgeted for the trip (equipment not included, I have pretty much everything I need) that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
My wife and I started at Prudhoe Bay on 3rd June and the weather and conditions were okay. We did experience some storms, but on the whole it was fine.

Regards

Andrew
andrewh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-09, 07:19 PM   #12
pasopia
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
pasopia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: soma double cross DC, giant reign
Posts: 617
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the advice everyone! It sounds like June/July would be the best time to leave. I commute through the winter, but I don't really want to haul winter gear on tour until I have to.

I'll probably be postings some more questions about this trip soon. I think I am planning on leaving June 2011, since I'll need about two years to save money and prepare.
pasopia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-09, 07:45 PM   #13
pasopia
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
pasopia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: soma double cross DC, giant reign
Posts: 617
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also, thanks Nancy for all the information on your site. I've just started digging into it and it has been very helpful.
pasopia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-09, 02:48 PM   #14
nancy sv
family on bikes
 
nancy sv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: on my bike between North and South
Bikes: which one?
Posts: 2,376
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pasopia View Post
Also, thanks Nancy for all the information on your site. I've just started digging into it and it has been very helpful.
Great! Please tell if there is something that should be there, but we've overlooked. We've tried to make a good resource for people.
nancy sv is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:45 PM.