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Brit hoping to cycle San Diego to Corpus Christi ('TransAm')

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Brit hoping to cycle San Diego to Corpus Christi ('TransAm')

Old 05-12-23, 06:17 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Or, put a USA trip on hold for a future year.
Yep, if you really want to ride across the US the Trans America is so much nicer of a route. The ST has two things going for it. The main one imo is that you can do it in winter. The other is that it is shorter and has the least climbing of the coast to coast routes.
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Old 05-12-23, 06:32 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Yep, if you really want to ride across the US the Trans America is so much nicer of a route. The ST has two things going for it. The main one imo is that you can do it in winter. The other is that it is shorter and has the least climbing of the coast to coast routes.
Although I have not done the ST, I have to agree 100%. I wasn't expecting it to be a pretty, fun or milk and cookies route. A lot of nothing with some not so great roads.

I researched it extensively and planned to do it "fast" in about 3 weeks on a recumbent W to E late in March of 2020 but that got cancelled. My route avoided Phoenix entirely, going thru the Indian Reservations down thru Tucson that way to El Paso. Why? (get it). Less sprawl, a bit shorter, less climbing, and no dangerous tunnel on a recumbent.

OP should consider the Seattle to San Diego suggestion someone above made.
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Old 05-12-23, 08:57 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Yep, if you really want to ride across the US the Trans America is so much nicer of a route. The ST has two things going for it. The main one imo is that you can do it in winter. The other is that it is shorter and has the least climbing of the coast to coast routes.
He has done some long day rides, so he knows what it is like to ride hour after hour on a bike. He wants to do an epic multi-week tour.

He owns a touring bike but none of the bike luggage you need. He wants to start his trip in a month. We do not know if the plan is camping or sleeping indoors, I am assuming camping. We have no idea if he has camping experience..

Some people have done a long multi-month tour as their first one, but they are the rare exception. My first tour was four days long. It was not until I retired that I had the ability to take more than a week off for a trip, I was so jealous of people that had jobs that allowed them to take multi-week trips, but the OP has explained that he has the time available.

When I did my Canadian Maritimes trip, I met a gal from Germany at the hostel in Halifax that planned to ride from Halifax, NS to Winnipeg, MB. Her route was uncertain, she was not sure if she would dip down into USA to ride on the southern side of Lake Superior or not. But she also had a bailout plan, she would rent a car and drive to Winnipeg if necessary to make her flight home. She had done several tours within continental Europe (close to home) first, so she had an idea on how many miles she could average per day, she knew what to leave home and what to bring, etc. Her only mistake was bringing a camp stove that used the Gaz Easy-Clic canisters, which you can't buy in North America, but I took her to the local MEC store where she got a Primus stove that used the threaded canisters. And MEC staff told her where in Canada she was most likely to find additional stove canisters later. I traveled with her for two days until our paths diverged I was confident that she would make it, she had her act together.

If it was me, I would do my first bike tour close to home, which is why I suggested LEJOG, that is an epic UK trip. Traveling like that is so much simpler if you do not have to make your deadline date at the end for your flight. And then you are familiar with the types of stores to buy what you need along the way. And he could probably do all the logistics with train travel, thus packing and unpacking a bike is not a concern.
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Old 05-12-23, 09:54 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Some people have done a long multi-month tour as their first one, but they are the rare exception.
Rare here yes, but not so rare among the folks I met on the Trans America. Quite a few folks decided they wanted to do that and did it as a first and sometimes only tour. For me it was the first. It was something I dreamed about for decades after missing out on Bikecentennial.
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Old 05-12-23, 10:52 AM
  #30  
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"Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun..." - Noel Coward


Casting aside all the excellent advice on this thread...

San Diego to Corpus Christi! Dip the rear wheel in salt water, ride, dip the front wheel in salt water. TransAmerica, pier-to-pier! (Well, more on this later.) I created these routes especially for coast-to-coast riders with limited time (although, admittedly, not to promote summer rides).

Peel off the ST @ La Grange: cue ZZ Top!


Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum, the famous Painted Churches, Shiner Brewery, Yokum Museum, Pharmacy and Medical Museum, Fannin Battleground, Golliad Mission, Texas State Aquarium - an Air Craft Carrier! Lots and lots of country lanes & quiet roads - generally smaller, quieter roads than Adventure Cycling routes. Downhill all the way!

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31638527

Peel off @ Fredericksburg (the heart of German Texas). San Antonio Alamo & Missions & Riverwalk & paths & zoo, the heart of Polish Texas, Weesatche Dance Hall, join the above @ Goliad. Yep, downhill!


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35030116
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35064831
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35328134

Some of the feedback I've received on these routes on touring boards: "Are you trying to murder cyclists?" "Stopping at the Gulf instead of all the way to the Atlantic? Pathetic." "I hate TexMex, barbeque and fresh seafood."

Otay, Spanky: the wind blows from the Gult inland all most of the time. Headed eastward, there'll be a headwind. But perhaps worries over the heat are overblown: They've installed Texas sized fans to keep cyclists cool:





The new Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge will be the longest cable stay bridge in America, it will have a breathtaking cycle path aaaaaaand it's rescheduled to complete in 2026. Until then, the best bet is to load your bike on a bus rack and transit over the old bridge.


You can ride to the gulf and complete your journey from the San Diego Pier at the Pacific to the Bob Hall Pier in the Gulf:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42865859

eeeeeexcept the Bob Hall Pier was destroyed in Hurricane Hanna. It's due to be rebuilt by 2026. Crossing the John Kenedy Causeway: Best bet is to hitchhike over with someone in a pickup (which will be ~85% of the traffic).

Last edited by tcs; 05-12-23 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 05-12-23, 10:57 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Some people have done a long multi-month tour as their first one, but they are the rare exception.
Building up mileage and knowledge before tackling an epic tour is good advice...but don't imagine you'll get your book published.

I swear, every modern cycling travelog I read starts "I had never ridden more than 20 miles before and had no idea what I was doing..." It seems to be a marketable hook editors/publishers look for.

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Old 05-12-23, 11:25 AM
  #32  
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As I’ve mentioned before, I started my first unsupported tour (ACA’s group Northern Tier) with only one 62 mile ride fully loaded under my belt and zero camping experience. When we finished in Bar Harbor, I rode home to Philly and then on to Ocean City, NJ and back. I had a strong roadie background and a few week long supported trips under my belt, so that helped with the cycling part of things.

Our Northern Tier group was made up of noobs like me as well as people who had extensive experience. One member had done the TA route. Another had done the North Star organized trip to Alaska. I learned a lot from those people, including the fact that I don’t really like touring with strangers.
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Old 05-12-23, 03:08 PM
  #33  
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Of course the right pace and enthusiasm can take you round the world.

"When she resolved to cycle round the world, Mustoe was 54, somewhat overweight and unfit, and without any idea of how to mend a puncture. She had not ridden a bike for 30 years, wobbled when she tried again, and she hated camping, picnics and discomfort.

Her Condor bicycle, customised for her by a mechanic with a workshop in the Old Kent Road, was bought for her as a leaving present from the girls at her school, and she was still riding it 22 years and about 100,000 miles later on her last cycle trip this year."

https://alastairhumphreys.com/rememb...world-cyclist/
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Old 05-12-23, 05:04 PM
  #34  
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As a lifetime resident of the unforgiving deserts of the US southwest, I'll comment that the route is doable - IF you are fully acclimated to riding in intense heat and can carry at least a gallon / 4 liters of water on you or your bicycle. Once you get east of the coast mountains east of San Diego, in mid-June you can expect 27° C (80° F) at sunrise, 37° C (100° F) by mid-morning, and a probability of near 44°+ C (110°+ F) from noonish to well after sunset. Then repeat. This can be tolerable on gentle downhills, but I had heat stroke in June under these conditions climbing a 7-8% grade with a tailwind matching my speed (bathed in heat & couldn't get rid of any). In late June through the end of August, moist air starts coming up from the south, greatly raising dew points and increasing misery, but can also trigger drenching thunderstorms which can cool and kill you at the same time.

As noted, most Southern Tier / USBR 90 riders travel in the fall, winter, and spring, but a few do attempt it in summer.

Another comment - a map will note that for many connections between destinations, there is often only one road available, and that road can have no shoulders and a lot of 65+ mph traffic. Many western states allow bicyclists to use the shoulders of rural freeways (with the exception of I-10 between Phoenix & Tucson), so that can be an option (and in fact the only option in a few places). The current ACA Southern Tier alignment east of Phoenix is up grueling climbs with no services for many extra miles in order to avoid a problematic tunnel and no-shoulder segment along the more-direct US 60, while USBR 90 takes a mostly-flat route across the desert from the California ranges until the mountains of southeast Arizona.

If you survive, let us know how it goes!
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Old 05-12-23, 07:12 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
As a lifetime resident of the unforgiving deserts of the US Southwest, I'll comment that the route is doable - IF you are fully acclimated to riding in intense heat and can carry at least a gallon / 4 liters of water on you or your bicycle.
Ian Hibell crossing the Sahara in Algeria with 13½ liters of water (those blue containers):



Hmm. 1976~77?
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Old 05-12-23, 10:08 PM
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This plan sounds miserable.

I mean, bike touring is hard, but fun. Why make it hard and totally not fun?
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Old 05-12-23, 11:40 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by tcs
Ian Hibell crossing the Sahara in Algeria with 13½ liters of water (those blue containers):



Hmm. 1976~77?
My bike with 14 litres of fluids doing the 175 mile no services Tonopah to Ely NV.

Wonder why Hibbel didn't use front panniers. Perhaps keeping the minimum weight lower for places he carried the bike?


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Old 05-13-23, 03:10 AM
  #38  
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Each person's body will be different, but for me there is the sustained period of excessive heat at least as much as water. You need to have the water but also consume it before it is too hot.

Base this for myself on a few experiences:

1. When riding around Australia, I used a guideline of 1 liter per 20km plus 2 liters for a overnight. It wasn't extremely hot but this kept things safe. My longest gap was 286km between Overland Roadhouse and Sandy Roadhouse, so I started with 16 liters of water. I had two bladders in my Camelback (6L), three on the bike, a 4L water bladder and then stashed three additional liters on board. So I can carry the water when needed and not too hilly.

2. In Sudan, I got heat exhaustion. This was on a supported TDA ride so carrying water wasn't the largest issue. Instead, we had rough corrugated roads and I was slow so while the morning was cooler than 40C, I spent multiple hours in the afternoon at higher than 40C and my cycle computer maxed at 47C (116F over hot road). I had water, but couldn't drink enough to keep myself cool. Eventually got off and walked some kilometers since I couldn't ride. Support vehicle picked me up little bit later. Bumpy road had me throw up extra water part way when riding back in the van. Myself and five other riders on IV to rehydrate that evening. Felt weak and collapsed that evening. Took the entire next day as a rest day to recover.

The OP might adjust better to heat (though I suspect the posting was a troll), but for me at least, I know enough to avoid multiple hours at temperatures over 40C, even with a bunch of water.

There are some longer gaps such as by Glamis, the Tucson alternative or even parts of US 90 in West Texas where there isn't much margin for error. Getting flats riding in the dark, abnormal heat, extra headwinds and perhaps a combination and you can end up with a few hours of unexpected heat along the way.
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Old 05-16-23, 11:00 AM
  #39  
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Haha ok - some pretty unanimous feedback here.
If people are suggesting the idea is a 'troll' then it must really be idiotic.
The plan had always been to get a hotel rather than camp, and to cycle early in the morning, to avoid the worst of the heat. But agreed, if anything goes wrong and/or you can't make one of hte 90mile stretches, you get into trouble quickly...

SO

In order to try and avoid the pacific west coast route (which I've both driven and motorbiked, so holds less 'novelty' appeal for me) - i've come up with two other North South routes armed with Google Maps...

Both Toronto to New Orleans -- and for sure now we will have a big problem with humidity on the last bit, but perhaps we can set off early again...
Are both/either doable? Any thoughts??!
Preparing for another onslought of sensible comments!

maps/dir/Toronto,+Ontario,+Canada/Harpers+Ferry,+WV,+USA/Raleigh,+NC,+USA/Charlotte,+NC,+USA/Charleston,+SC,+USA/Savannah,+GA,+USA/Atlanta,+GA,+USA/Birmingham,+AL,+USA/Hattiesburg,+MS,+USA/New+Orleans,+LA,+USA/@31.5876913,-95.4515947,5.08z/data=!4m62!4m61!1m5!1m1!1s0x89d4cb90d7c63ba5:0x323555502ab4c477!2m2!1d-79.3831843!2d43.653226!1m5!1m1!1s0x89b6030decf1954d:0xd65b9aa758b4cd1e!2m2!1d-77.7388818!2d39.3253786!1m5!1m1!1s0x89ac5a2f9f51e0f7:0x6790b6528a11f0ad!2m2!1d-78.6381787!2d35.7795897!1m5!1m1!1s0x88541fc4fc381a81:0x884650e6bf43d164!2m2!1d-80.8431267!2d35.2270869!1m5!1m1!1s0x88fe7a42dca82477:0x35faf7e0aee1ec6b!2m2!1d-79.9310512!2d32.7764749!1m5!1m1!1s0x88fb75fc78f20659:0x4e0c6751036020bc!2m2!1d-81.091203!2d32.0808989!1m5!1m1!1s0x88f5045d6993098d:0x66fede2f990b630b!2m2!1d-84.3876845!2d33.748752!1m5!1m1!1s0x888911df5885bfd3:0x25507409eaba54ce!2m2!1d-86.8103567!2d33.5185892!1m5!1m1!1s0x889cdc49d5a828df:0x74b1bf922d1cb5ca!2m2!1d-89.2903392!2d31.3271189!1m5!1m1!1s0x8620a454b2118265:0xdb065be85e22d3b4!2m2!1d-90.0715323!2d29.9510658!3e1!5m1!1e4

maps/dir/Toronto,+Ontario,+Canada/Columbus,+OH,+USA/Lexington,+KY,+USA/Louisville,+KY,+USA/Nashville,+TN,+USA/Chattanooga,+TN,+USA/Atlanta,+GA,+USA/Hattiesburg,+MS,+USA/New+Orleans,+LA,+USA/@31.8038572,-94.1579679,5.75z/data=!4m56!4m55!1m5!1m1!1s0x89d4cb90d7c63ba5:0x323555502ab4c477!2m2!1d-79.3831843!2d43.653226!1m5!1m1!1s0x883889c1b990de71:0xe43266f8cfb1b533!2m2!1d-82.9987942!2d39.9611755!1m5!1m1!1s0x88424429cc9ceb25:0x84f08341908c4fdd!2m2!1d-84.5037164!2d38.0405837!1m5!1m1!1s0x88690b1ab35bd511:0xd4d3b4282071fd32!2m2!1d-85.7584557!2d38.2526647!1m5!1m1!1s0x8864ec3213eb903d:0x7d3fb9d0a1e9daa0!2m2!1d-86.7816016!2d36.1626638!1m5!1m1!1s0x886060408a83e785:0x2471261f898728aa!2m2!1d-85.3093995!2d35.0457984!1m5!1m1!1s0x88f5045d6993098d:0x66fede2f990b630b!2m2!1d-84.3876845!2d33.748752!1m5!1m1!1s0x889cdc49d5a828df:0x74b1bf922d1cb5ca!2m2!1d-89.2903392!2d31.3271189!1m5!1m1!1s0x8620a454b2118265:0xdb065be85e22d3b4!2m2!1d-90.0715323!2d29.9510658!3e1!5m1!1e4
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Old 05-16-23, 11:30 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by sj8070
Toronto to New Orleans
Adventure Cycling has mapped, GPSed and Guide Booked routes similar: Underground Railroad, Great Rivers South.

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Old 05-16-23, 11:51 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by tcs
Adventure Cycling has mapped, GPSed and Guide Booked routes similar: Underground Railroad, Great Rivers South.
The UGRR/Great Rivers route would be my choice (not sure why you'd go from Nashville to Atlanta if you were trying to head southwest towards NOLA).

It may be worth explaining the "why not the deserts." It'll probably be hot and sticky going to New Orleans from northern Mississippi, but you'll be passing some vestige of civilization every 25 miles or so on the Natchez Trace, and 5 miles or less the rest of the way. By that I mean there'll either be a campground, picnic area, store, or even (gasp) an inhabited house where you can stop and beg for water. Yes, the heat and humidity will be bad, but there's a lot of miles across California to central Texas where there aren't any of those, and the picnic areas and campgrounds are more likely to assume you brought your own filled cooler for drinks out west. You may have some long stretches between motels in the east, but those long stretches will generally be 50 miles than 100. Finally, if you do run into trouble, you're far more likely to find shade in the east; and there'll probably be someone in a car or pickup every 5-10 minutes instead of 30-75 minutes; and a better chance of cell phone coverage.
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Old 05-16-23, 11:52 AM
  #42  
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We cannot see your links unless we copy and paste because you don’t have enough posts. Can’t remember if you need 5 or 10 for links to work.
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Old 05-16-23, 01:00 PM
  #43  
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Thanks again all
​​​The links are to tack on as a suffix to maps dot Google dot com as I can't post links !
the reason for the slightly round about routes are because I'm really interested in the cultures of those cities and maybe doing a rest day there getting to know them a bit

But again...I'm sure I will have gone wrong in obvious places...
There is a monster climb at the beginning of one of them... Not averse to sticking the bike in a taxi if it's getting too much !
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Old 05-16-23, 01:22 PM
  #44  
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I can't see your comments but a few general thoughts:

1. As far as heat/humidity goes, a useful idea is the "dew point". The following provides average dew points by month for the US - https://www.eldoradoweather.com/clim...html#location1
Generally above 65 dew point is muggy. There may be some uncomfortable parts but I don't have the same reaction to cycling deserts mid-summer for several reasons: (a) this area is more densely populated so ideas of cycling mornings and finding place to stay is more reasonable and (b) this comes towards end of your trip so you'll have better figured out what is comfortable and when to make slower days.

Without seeing the routes, hard to comment except (a) some existing routes mapped as others pointed out and (b) generally further east will have more Appalachian hills.
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Old 05-16-23, 01:49 PM
  #45  
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hi guys- thanks again for the comments
Sorry to view the routes you just need to add: maps dot google dot com then a '/' as the prefix
Yep I cant post links..

The idea behind some of the detours is to soak in as much culture as possible along the way, and I've tried to pick cities and towns ive heard great things about, or have a really unique feel
i'm sure i've made some more blunders...
Like maybe the climb at the beginning of 1) - Buffalo to Harpers Ferry - is just too big at 800m max but total elevation c.3000m over ~8days...

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Old 05-16-23, 05:37 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
not sure why you'd go from Nashville to Atlanta if you were trying to head southwest towards NOLA
There are destination cycletourists and journey cycletourists.
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Old 05-16-23, 07:45 PM
  #47  
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Just remember that you will very likely have a grinding headwind heading to the gulf of Mexico, as the low level winds blow north up the center of the USA in summer.

Maybe better to start in Orleans and go up.
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Old 05-17-23, 02:52 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by stevepusser
Just remember that you will very likely have a grinding headwind heading to the gulf of Mexico, as the low level winds blow north up the center of the USA in summer.

Maybe better to start in Orleans and go up.
This site shows wind roses for a map across the US: https://wind history.com/map.html

If he were crossing the US further west on the great plains, e.g. 98th meridian further west to the Rockies, I would agree with you.

However, I think there are two factors here that lessen the concern: (a) trees, these wetter more humid parts of the US also have additional trees helping things and (b) browsing wind roses on the map above, I don't see as strong an effect in eastern parts of the US. For example, here is Nashville: https://windhistory.com/station.html?KBNA - with somewhat more south winds in July (click on the month) but not overwhelming so. To give a contrasting station here is what we see in Austin in July - https://windhistory.com/station.html?KATT when a high pressure seems to park itself and almost entirely winds from the south.
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Old 05-17-23, 07:25 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by tcs
There are destination cycletourists and journey cycletourists.
So you're saying this is like an American who signs up for a 10 day guided bus tour knowing if they're lucky they'll get two hours in the Louvre, an hour in Versailles, drive by the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and come home saying they've seen Europe?

It seems like an overreaching plan: ride half a day or all day, hit a city, see a sight and enjoy the night life, and repeat the next day. Let me pick on a couple cities. If you're planning to Do Nashville, I'd think you'd want to spend an evening at the Loveless Cafe', and another evening bar-hopping Music Row, while spending the day touring the Ryman and maybe the Parthenon. Chattanooga you could tour the aquarium and eat in a dining car at the Choo-Choo, but if you also want to take in the railroad museum (and catch a ride on the steam engine-pulled train) and/or see the battlefields, that's going to take up another day. I suspect you could spend 3-4 days in Atlanta and not see everything there. (Hattiesburg, OTOH, might take an evening after supper.)

My vote, not that I get one, would be to cut the destinations by half or enjoy meeting the people in small-town America with perhaps two-three cities's tours.
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Old 05-17-23, 09:04 AM
  #50  
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More like the distinction between campers and thruhikers.

When I visit paris, it is not on a bike although I have done so several times, I want to be in a nice hotel for at least a week, nice clothing, and lots of good restaurant reservations. Mixing the two are completely incompatible for me. Touring is about the ride, not the rest. For me.
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