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Old 02-01-10, 05:34 PM   #1
kayakdiver
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Thinking about the Southern Tier later this month.... Thoughts please

Well I've been thinking about doing the Southern Tier and I'm considering starting from San Diego and heading East to Florida. Plan would be to start later this month.

Is this reasonable or would I be better off starting in FL and working my way West? I realize the days are shorter of course. I'm used to riding in the rain so I can endure if I have to. I'm more worried about snow/ice than anything.

Thought I might spend some extra time Touring around the warmer parts of AZ before continuing East. Figure it will let it warm up a little more and also I have never been in AZ other than the airport.

My idea is that when I arrive in FL I would then turn North and hope that the weather would be decent up the East Coast. If time and funds are holding out I'd like to connect with the Northern Tier and connecting my previous Northern Tier ride.... It would be early to mid April to start that portion I'm guessing. Plan on covering 70 miles a day. That just seems to be a decent pace and easy for me to do day after day.

Reason for the timing is that.... Well I'm just finishing up a contract and as soon as I pick up another one I will be busy for months... and then before I know it summer will be over... So.... I figure the time to go is now.

What do you think? Not worth leaving this early? Weather be so sucky as to make it not worth it? Just do Southern California and AZ? Ideas are welcome. Imagine it's your trip and what would you do.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

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Old 02-01-10, 06:47 PM   #2
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There's a chance eastern Arizona could be a bit of a challenge in March, but otherwise rain and a few cold snaps is all you'll likely encounter for inclement weather. I'd say your timing is excellent.
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Old 02-01-10, 07:44 PM   #3
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Oh I've been very curious to go touring down south during this time of the year too. I would love to hear more input on what the weather is like in the southern states. I've lived in Oregon my entire life so I don't know what to expect haha.
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Old 02-01-10, 07:52 PM   #4
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I will say, Do it.

I have rode it on a motorcycle in April.
On a bicycle in August.

NY to LA Jun 25 to LA Aug 22 2009

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Old 02-01-10, 08:03 PM   #5
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Oh I've been very curious to go touring down south during this time of the year too. I would love to hear more input on what the weather is like in the southern states.
A buddy and I do a January tour every year. We've covered parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Other than a few rainy days with temps in the 50's, the weather has been perfect for cycling. Highs usually in the 60s, lows in the upper 30s and 40s. Only one morning has it been below freezing. This is generally true across all the southern states from Florida to California, with the exception of some of the higher elevations in New Mexico and central Arizona.

So come on down and enjoy. Bring rain gear and enough clothing to cover the temp range from 25 to 80, depending on your luck and how far south you go.
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Old 02-01-10, 10:15 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input everyone. It's sounding better and better. I'm ok with the temps mentioned since that is about what I get now except that it doesn't get into the upper 50's and 60's this time of year in the Northwest. I would love to ride in those conditions about now. As for the rain.................................................... I'm more than familiar with that stuff.

Keep the feedback coming....
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Old 02-02-10, 08:26 AM   #7
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from louisiana to FL you won't have any problems with the temperature. I've done that route, and live in houston. West Texas will likely be cold, but i dont think there's precipitation to snow or anything. I don't know about anything west of texas.
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Old 02-02-10, 08:34 AM   #8
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Another question... If I take the train into San Diego... What station would I want to arrive at to connect with the Southern Tier? San Diego has a large amount of stops. I've never been to San Diego and getting out of any big city is my biggest worry when touring.
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Old 02-02-10, 08:37 AM   #9
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kyak.. do you have the southern tier maps? I know nothing abotu the san diego area, but you could use maps.google.com to figure out the stops. Also if you want to borrow the southern tier maps, I could mail them to you as long as you mail them back when you're done.
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Old 02-02-10, 09:33 AM   #10
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kyak.. do you have the southern tier maps? I know nothing abotu the san diego area, but you could use maps.google.com to figure out the stops. Also if you want to borrow the southern tier maps, I could mail them to you as long as you mail them back when you're done.
Wow.... Johnybutts!! If you're serious about the maps I would be more than interested. I could extend my Northern Tier set to you in the future if you ever plan on doing that route.
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Old 02-02-10, 09:49 AM   #11
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From My observation, only two areas of concern in March......in Eastern AZ, make a decision at Safford....if weather not an issue than continue on ST route......if an issue, then continue on 70 to Lordsburg, on to Deming and into Las Cruces, and back on ST......

I decided to go to Lordsburg, etc., because of locals telling me about a new mine operation and tons of heavy trucks on 2 lane, no shoulder roads, if I followed the ST.

2nd area would be at Van Horn, TX....if weather not an issue, then continue on ST to Ft Davis......if an issue, then take US90 to Marfa and join the ST at Alpine.

I did the ST in Sept/Oct, but researched about 10 years of weather stats along the route.....

Am envious, have a great trip!
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Old 02-02-10, 09:53 AM   #12
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From My observation, only two areas of concern in March......in Eastern AZ, make a decision at Safford....if weather not an issue than continue on ST route......if an issue, then continue on 70 to Lordsburg, on to Deming and into Las Cruces, and back on ST......

I decided to go to Lordsburg, etc., because of locals telling me about a new mine operation and tons of heavy trucks on 2 lane, no shoulder roads, if I followed the ST.

2nd area would be at Van Horn, TX....if weather not an issue, then continue on ST to Ft Davis......if an issue, then take US90 to Marfa and join the ST at Alpine.

I did the ST in Sept/Oct, but researched about 10 years of weather stats along the route.....

Am envious, have a great trip!
BillB58,

Thanks for the great information. This stuff really help!
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Old 02-02-10, 11:17 AM   #13
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Kyakdiver, I'm going to be going from New Orleans to San Diego starting later this month. I don't plan on sticking to the ST but I'll be nearby. Since I'll be flirting with higher elevations on my route, I'm prepared for lows in the single digits and some days in the 30's. Those kind of temps should be the exception, not the rule.

Will you be keeping a CGOAB journal? Perhaps we will cross paths in the desert!
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Old 02-02-10, 11:52 AM   #14
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Kyakdiver, I'm going to be going from New Orleans to San Diego starting later this month. I don't plan on sticking to the ST but I'll be nearby. Since I'll be flirting with higher elevations on my route, I'm prepared for lows in the single digits and some days in the 30's. Those kind of temps should be the exception, not the rule.

Will you be keeping a CGOAB journal? Perhaps we will cross paths in the desert!
Enthusiast,

I'll keep an eye out for your progress. I will also journal on CGOAB. I'm pretty sure I'll be ok with the weather. Can't be any worse than my beloved Northwest this time of year.
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Old 02-02-10, 12:51 PM   #15
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If you take the train with your bike as checked baggage (which you must unless you have a folder in a bag), you are limited to detraining at stations with checked baggage service.
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Old 02-10-10, 09:32 PM   #16
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Because of my recent accident and the destruction of my Jamis, nose and knee.. My trip is on hold until further notice. My next appointment with an ortho on the 23rd. Hope it checks out ok... it feels like crap at this moment. Pretty worried about what the old doc is going to say.

More information here if you haven't already heard about it in the stupid helmet debate

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-with-cars-bad
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