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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.

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Old 02-01-10, 12:51 PM   #1
walden
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Cold weather touring

I want to take a trip from FL to WY. My initial plan was to leave late March and arrive late May. I've been in WY in late May and it's certainly cold but I could tolerate it. However, plans have changed and I may need to get there as early as 23rd of April. I was already pushing it but I wanted to ask if any of you have toured in such conditions. Is it even a wise choice to camp outside in potentially 25F weather? What if I stayed in motels in the cold leg of the journey? Is riding in cold weather a potential deal breaker? Were you able to layer clothes and stay warm?

The average in Cheyenne is ~25F to 50 in April. I really don't want to give up this plan but at the same time I don't want to die just yet but maybe I'm just being a pansy Flordian.
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Old 02-01-10, 01:02 PM   #2
jamawani 
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Wyoming is a big state.

It depends if you are heading to Cheyenne or heading to Yellowstone.
If you are riding across Wyoming in April, you will almost certain encounter snow.
Also, remember that services and shelter can be 60 miles away.
It ain't Florida.
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Old 02-01-10, 01:25 PM   #3
walden
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Joy, a Wyomingite. Yes, into Yellowstone. That's why I'm feeling a bit apprehensive. Never toured in snow, much less seen snow in a few years. If you were to ride from Cheyenne into Ystone, what would be your game plan?
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Old 02-01-10, 02:04 PM   #4
Dave Nault
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Winter camping can be enjoyable provided you have a four season tent and a warm sleeping bag and pad. Limit your exposure to wind as much as possible and you'll be fine. The inside temp of your tent can be 20 degrees warmer than the outside temp and if you use a candle lantern maybe even more. It might not be your cup of tea but it can be done and it's surprisingly comfortable.
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Old 02-01-10, 02:09 PM   #5
jamawani 
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In addition to the snow that might come down, you also have to deal with all the winter's worth of snow on the ground. In Yellowstone, that is quite a bit, usually. I don't know if you are riding out for a summer job or what - but most of the entrances don't even open until May - and are often closed temporarily because of May snow.The only entrance that is open year round is the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana. The East Entrance is scheduled to open May 7, 2010 - the South Entrance on May 14, 2010 - weather permitting.

If you are going to be able to do it later - arriving in May, you could ride from Scottsbluff, Nebraska to Casper, Wyoming - then to Shoshoni, Thermopolis, Basin and Cody. This would keep you as low as possible in elevation. If you were any earlier, you would need to ride into Montana and then down into Yellowstone from Livingston to Gardiner.

Something tells me you are not in any way prepared for this. Spring blizzards can be deadly. It's 75 degrees one day and 15 degrees then next with a wind chill of negative 20. It can be done, but only with extreme care by someone who is experienced and well-informed. The fact that you are not even aware of the opening dates for Yellowstone roads suggests that you don't have the appropriate background.
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