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Cross Country Route

Old 04-25-17, 06:21 AM
  #1  
BicycleCrazy
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Cross Country Route

Here is the route I'll be taking this summer...Route 66 (blue) to Missouri to the TransAM route (Orange) to Yorktown, Va.
Starting June 12th and can't wait to get started!
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Old 04-25-17, 06:41 AM
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That's pretty cool,I'm still trying to figure out my route through the Rocky's.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:22 AM
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Not sure how dead set you are on the route but a few suggestions for the AZ portion. They route you along 40 pretty much all the way across the state, while in some places rt 66 will be off the interstate, most of the way it is right along or combined with I40. That sucks, big time. If you have the time and don't love riding hundreds of miles listening to big rigs wind blast you, here's a (slightly hillier but definitely more scenic) alternate:

At Ash Fork, go south on 89 until you hit 89A
take 89A north (east at this point but sign will be 89A N ) Enjoy the big hill up to Jerome and walk around a bit, really cool Old West Haunted Mining Artsy town. Ripping descent down the east side makes the climb worth it.
At Cottonwood take 260 east (now is the time for an out and back to Sedona if you've never been)
Continue 260 east all the way across the beautiful Mogollon Rim country and into the White Mountains to Springerville.
Take 60 east to Pie Town NM, then 117 north to rejoin the ACA route just east of Grants.

I'm only telling you this much because A: I lived in northern AZ for three years, and B, I like not riding on interstates. I also assume you will get bored with the kitsche tourist crap along "Route 66" after a few days.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:27 AM
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Summer? Enjoy the heat and humidity!


"This route is best ridden in the spring with a departure in mid-April. This will allow most cyclists to make it through the highest humidities of the midwest and high heats of the desert before June through August. If departing in autumn, mid-August to September should allow cyclists to clear the mountains before heavy snows fall as well as avoid the heat and humidity."
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Old 04-25-17, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Summer? Enjoy the heat and humidity!


"This route is best ridden in the spring with a departure in mid-April. This will allow most cyclists to make it through the highest humidities of the midwest and high heats of the desert before June through August. If departing in autumn, mid-August to September should allow cyclists to clear the mountains before heavy snows fall as well as avoid the heat and humidity."
Meh heat isn't as bad on a bike with constant air flow and the days will be long so if he starts early and clocks 4-5 hours before it really gets hot he can siesta til later in the afternoon and ride into the evening. The ACA's recommended timeframes are overly cautious IMO. We started west to east on the southern tier in mid January and got a little cold but didn't die...
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Old 04-25-17, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by john_mct View Post
Meh heat isn't as bad on a bike with constant air flow and the days will be long so if he starts early and clocks 4-5 hours before it really gets hot he can siesta til later in the afternoon and ride into the evening.
When I did the Northern Tier we had 90+ and high humidity through parts of MN and all of IA, IL and IN. One night in IN the low was 85 with no breeze and super high humidity. Topped out at 107 in Huntington, IN. The city actually started shutting down to avoid overloading the power grid. No thanks.
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Old 04-25-17, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by john_mct View Post
Meh heat isn't as bad on a bike with constant air flow and the days will be long so if he starts early and clocks 4-5 hours before it really gets hot he can siesta til later in the afternoon and ride into the evening. The ACA's recommended timeframes are overly cautious IMO. We started west to east on the southern tier in mid January and got a little cold but didn't die...


I think it was last June when I last rode in Phoenix. There for business, got out early, started on a 50 miles ride around 3:30. 30 minutes later, both water bottles were dry, not a convenience store or gas station in sight. That was after it had cooled off from 116 to 114F.


If you've got to go in the summer, ride early and hibernate in AC after noon.
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Old 04-25-17, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I think it was last June when I last rode in Phoenix. There for business, got out early, started on a 50 miles ride around 3:30. 30 minutes later, both water bottles were dry, not a convenience store or gas station in sight. That was after it had cooled off from 116 to 114F.


If you've got to go in the summer, ride early and hibernate in AC after noon.
Phoenix is not on his route...Flagstaff is drastically cooler, like highs in the mid 70s normally in June, if he sticks to the route 66 route. Worrying about drastic heat (or any drastic weather) and trying to time a tour around it seems like a moot point to me given the ever changing short term weather patterns in the US. We hit a cold snap across the desert but if we had delayed our start in CA we would have been met with torrential rains and flooding in CA. The last three days of our tour hit highs in the mid 80s, two days later there was freezing rain in Jacksonville and the lows had dropped into the twenties overnight. There is just no way to plan around it on a long tour, something will always suck weather wise and you will have to persevere.
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Old 04-25-17, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
When I did the Northern Tier we had 90+ and high humidity through parts of MN and all of IA, IL and IN. One night in IN the low was 85 with no breeze and super high humidity. Topped out at 107 in Huntington, IN. The city actually started shutting down to avoid overloading the power grid. No thanks.
+ 1, excessive heat sucks and I plan trips accordingly.
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Old 04-25-17, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by john_mct View Post
Phoenix is not on his route...Flagstaff is drastically cooler, like highs in the mid 70s normally in June, if he sticks to the route 66 route. Worrying about drastic heat (or any drastic weather) and trying to time a tour around it seems like a moot point to me given the ever changing short term weather patterns in the US. We hit a cold snap across the desert but if we had delayed our start in CA we would have been met with torrential rains and flooding in CA. The last three days of our tour hit highs in the mid 80s, two days later there was freezing rain in Jacksonville and the lows had dropped into the twenties overnight. There is just no way to plan around it on a long tour, something will always suck weather wise and you will have to persevere.
I agree, there will never be the "perfect" time...there will always be a reason not to do it this time or that time but the only time that really matters is NOW!
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Old 04-25-17, 11:46 AM
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Adventure Cycling is based in Montana. To them, anything over 85 degrees is unthinkable.

In reality, the 80s are nice if you're dressed down and moving, the 90s are uncomfortable, and it's only starting at about 100 where you've gotta make plans around it. Get most of your riding done before noon and you're fine. I'll gladly take "You need to drink more water" over "You're gonna freeze your butt off every night."

Enjoy the lighter pack weight (not having to carry all that crap for cold weather), use sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and have fun out there!

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Old 04-27-17, 10:28 AM
  #12  
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It's funny, I never see US Route 50 mentioned as a x-country route. I took Rt.50 from the California/Nevada border across to Delaware. It's the old interstate that crosses the country and goes through many towns. It is a great route and pretty much goes through the center of the country.
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Old 04-27-17, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by fork crown View Post
It's funny, I never see US Route 50 mentioned as a x-country route. I took Rt.50 from the California/Nevada border across to Delaware. It's the old interstate that crosses the country and goes through many towns. It is a great route and pretty much goes through the center of the country.
You hardly ever see anything but the Adventure Cycling routes mentioned here. I know they're a great resource, but people seem to ignore other options.
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Old 04-27-17, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BlarneyHammer View Post
Adventure Cycling is based in Montana. To them, anything over 85 degrees is unthinkable.

In reality, the 80s are nice if you're dressed down and moving, the 90s are uncomfortable, and it's only starting at about 100 where you've gotta make plans around it. Get most of your riding done before noon and you're fine. I'll gladly take "You need to drink more water" over "You're gonna freeze your butt off every night."

Enjoy the lighter pack weight (not having to carry all that crap for cold weather), use sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and have fun out there!
I've been in Montana when the temperatures where in the mid to high 90 degrees. I've also been there when it was -20 degrees
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Old 04-27-17, 01:16 PM
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Route 66 across the Mohave desert is not going to be any bowl of cherries in summer! Sure, some people seem to be reptilian hybrids and love the dry heat, but there are others that it would literally kill. There is no water for stretches of many miles, and a business that you depended to provide water and food can be out of business. When you end up overheated and dehydrated, you will also not find any shade out of the glaring sun to recover, just rocks and sand that reflect the sun onto you and make it even worse. Riding in excessive temperatures is one thing in populated and vegetated areas--a whole 'nother thang in the desert.

And don't count on finding an air conditioned motel room on the moribund 66 when you really need it, either. The summer heat in the desert is excessive soon after sunrise--you can't depend on having any cooler morning to ride. I've known a few people to ride across the desert at night with good lights, starting at midnight, but they had a set intinerary and knew where there would be motels.

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Old 04-27-17, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BicycleCrazy View Post
I agree, there will never be the "perfect" time...there will always be a reason not to do it this time or that time but the only time that really matters is NOW!
On tour you are faced with ever changing conditions, and plans. Thinking on your feet is a great asset.
I get the feeling you will do great !

-Snuts-
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Old 04-27-17, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Snuts View Post
On tour you are faced with ever changing conditions, and plans. Thinking on your feet is a great asset.
I get the feeling you will do great !

-Snuts-
Thanks for the kind words...as long as I'm moving forward, no matter how slow...one mile at a time
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Old 04-27-17, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BicycleCrazy View Post
Thanks for the kind words...as long as I'm moving forward, no matter how slow...one mile at a time
That's the spirit!

Touring across the Canadian Prairies last summer. One Sunday morning in near desperate need, I came across a fully serviced Construction John at the intersection of two hi-way's. Job complete.

Laugh, I did. Faith, and forward motion gets results.



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Old 04-29-17, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fork crown View Post
It's funny, I never see US Route 50 mentioned as a x-country route. I took Rt.50 from the California/Nevada border across to Delaware. It's the old interstate that crosses the country and goes through many towns. It is a great route and pretty much goes through the center of the country.
Believe I actually rode a little bit of 50 when passing through Missouri and picked up the Rail to Trail in Jefferson City.
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Old 04-29-17, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Turkey222 View Post
Believe I actually rode a little bit of 50 when passing through Missouri and picked up the Rail to Trail in Jefferson City.
I'd take 50 over trying to follow the remnants of 66...if I-40 didn't exist it would be a different story but by trying to follow 66 you are essentially going to be living off the interstate infrastructure which gets old quick.
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Old 04-30-17, 04:02 PM
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So--the average high in Needles in late June is in the range of 106 degrees F with overnight lows dropping to about 80 just before dawn. Interested in how acclimated you are to riding in that kind of weather, or if you have any emergency way to cope with it.

Before I did some mid-August tours that started in Redding, CA, which has similar summer temperatures to the Mohave, I would train by doing summer weekend overnighters in the San Diego mountains: climbing up to 4000-5000 ft elevation in the mid 90's temps would really get my body used to the heat. Heading out of Redding was actually a bit easier, even at well over 100 F, because there were plenty of places to go swimming and lots of trees for shade, which are sorely lacking in San Diego County.

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Old 04-30-17, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by stevepusser View Post
So--the average high in Needles in late June is in the range of 106 degrees F with overnight lows dropping to about 80 just before dawn. Interested in how acclimated you are to riding in that kind of weather, or if you have any emergency way to cope with it.

Before I did some mid-August tours that started in Redding, CA, which has similar summer temperatures to the Mohave, I would train by doing summer weekend overnighters in the San Diego mountains: climbing up to 4000-5000 ft elevation in the mid 90's temps would really get my body used to the heat. Heading out of Redding was actually a bit easier, even at well over 100 F, because there were plenty of places to go swimming and lots of trees for shade, which are sorely lacking in San Diego County.
Thanks for the feedback...yes, the heat is my biggest concern. I live in Boise which often gets above 100 during the summer but won't likely hit those temps before I leave. The front fork of my bike has several brazeons that I plan to utilize to carry additional water. Another concern is of course with the heat comes sunburn and I am very fair skinned and burn rather easily. 50 SPF sunscreen seems to be the suggested one along with sunglasses and lip balm. Trying to locate long sleeve shirts to help block the UV rays but are still cool enough...pants too but I'm not to sure I'll find any.
Recommendations???
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