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Southern Trans-Am. route in Spring

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Southern Trans-Am. route in Spring

Old 04-24-05, 05:05 AM
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Southern Trans-Am. route in Spring

What would be the pros and cons of following Adventure Cycling's Southern Trans-Am route in the late winter/early Spring in a westerly to easterly direction? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 04-24-05, 05:16 AM
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If you're thinking to do it this year, leave right now. It gets pretty hot down here.
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Old 04-24-05, 09:19 AM
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Howdy -
For argument's purpose - let's say a 60-day tour in March & April.
From West to East this is about as good of a time as any.
Temperatures will be mild throughout the trip - you might have a few chilly evenings in the West and a few hot, muggy days in the East.

As for precipitation - there are five climate zones you will pass thru:
Pacific Coast - Mid-winter peak, by March significantly lower in San Diego. Narrow region.
Sonoran - Mid-summer peak, March less than 1/2 inch in most locales. Wide region.
Great Plains - Late-spring peak, March still has fairly low precip. Narrow region.
Gulf Coast - High overall precip, April and October have significantly less in Lake Charles. Wide region.
Florida Penninsula - Mid-summer peak. April precip moderate in Gainesville. Narrow region.

The worst weather you might run into is thunderstorms. As moisture from the Gulf of Mexico begins its annual trip into Dixie, there are some very severe storms in spring. Stay aware - be prepared to sit them out - and for heaven's sake - don't ride in thunderstorms. Florida leads the nation in lightening deaths. Why? The moist air and heat breed big thunderstorms plus people are doing things outdoors.

Personally, I think that the Southern Tier Route is pretty poor. There are lots of stretches of Interstate riding - other busy highways - plus a number of cities to deal with - San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso, Pennsacola, and Tallahassee. Unfortunately, most places where land meets ocean with a road are wall-to-wall development - especially in the South. The Gulf beaches in Florida are called the Redneck-Riviera for good reason. Spring break, keggers, and fast cars.

If you are leaving this year - I think it is too late - take a more northerly route - maybe Route 66 to the Trans-Am. If you are planning for next year - consider a slightly northerly tack - from Oceanside to Joshua Tree to Parker - ride thru Ajo rather than Phoenix - consider looping into Chihuahua from Douglas to Presidio (yes, there are risks involved) - don't miss Big Bend for any reason. The mid-section of the ST route is pretty good - but stay a little more northerly along the AL/FL, GA/Fl border to end up at Cumberland Island.

Have a good trip - John
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