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Looking for a warmish one week tour route in the southern US

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Looking for a warmish one week tour route in the southern US

Old 12-02-13, 10:12 AM
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Aunt Roady
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Looking for a warmish one week tour route in the southern US

I realize I'm probably being lazy, but I just learned that I'll have Christmas through New Year's free. I want to ride! My native Illinois is inhospitable to touring more than a day or two, so I want to Amtrak south somewhere. Does anyone have a suggestion for a route of 250-350 miles in relative warmth (nights at 35 F or above)? I have no particular sight-seeing expectations. Rural preferred over urban. Riding a Salsa Fargo so I can deal with some offroad. Prefer camping to credit card touring, but not brave enough for stealth yet. Your ideas are appreciated.
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Old 12-02-13, 01:30 PM
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Just from Knowing US Geography .. not experience of doing it, Gulf of Mexico coast.

being Lazy, as you say, feel good that It's pretty Flat.

Brownsville TX to Tampa, & Miami Fla.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-02-13 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 12-02-13, 02:02 PM
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I would check out Central Florida, the sandhills region away from both coasts. The sandhills region of Florida is very scenic, relatively undeveloped, rolling terrrain (as opposed to totally flat) and has some parks you could camp at. Keep in mind that it can get quite cold in late December in the Deep South, and this November was the coldest that I can remember in North Carolina. I have personally camped in Central Florida in mid-January when overnight temps dropped into the teens. Another option would be the Natchez Trace in Tenn-Ala-Miss, but that would be much colder than Florida and snow/sleet would not be out of the question.
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Old 12-02-13, 02:23 PM
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Thanks Tarwheel. I confess I was ignorant of how low the temps got in the South. As I'm doing more research I'm amazed, and you're confirming what I'm reading. My father lives in Plant City, FL and only taunts me about the temps when it's over 80 I guess!
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Old 12-02-13, 02:33 PM
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I'd vote for central Florida, south Florida is flat and has very boring scenery. I'd look to start somewhere around the Gainesville area and ride south towards Lakeland or Lake Wales. Central Florida has some hills and depending on whether or not a cold front is coming through you might or might not have some cold nights.
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Old 12-02-13, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Just from Knowing US Geography .. not experience of doing it, Gulf of Mexico coast.

being Lazy, as you say, feel good that It's pretty Flat.

Brownsville TX to Tampa, & Miami Fla.
I live near Brownsville (Harlingen, TX) and will confirm that you can ride all winter along the gulf coast. Yes it's flat but the winds can really be an issue. Probably best to go South to North/NE as fietsbob indicated above.

Of course there are lots of warmer areas to ride in the winter. Florida, California, Arizona, New Mexico, etc depends on what you want to see. I personnaly like TX but I'm a native...so my opinion is biased.

Just a FYI, I'm also a warmshowers host if you head down this way.

Richard
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Old 12-02-13, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Aunt Roady View Post
I realize I'm probably being lazy, but I just learned that I'll have Christmas through New Year's free. I want to ride! My native Illinois is inhospitable to touring more than a day or two, so I want to Amtrak south somewhere. Does anyone have a suggestion for a route of 250-350 miles in relative warmth (nights at 35 F or above)? I have no particular sight-seeing expectations. Rural preferred over urban. Riding a Salsa Fargo so I can deal with some offroad. Prefer camping to credit card touring, but not brave enough for stealth yet. Your ideas are appreciated.
I vote for the Florida Keys.

Brad
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Old 12-02-13, 02:54 PM
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I vote for the Florida Keys.
if you like riding on long bridges , the ones out here, US 101, scare people

because they are 2 lanes with a narrow shoulder.
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Old 12-02-13, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
if you like riding on long bridges , the ones out here, US 101, scare people

because they are 2 lanes with a narrow shoulder.
https://ferryservicestokeywest.com/?g...FSRk7Aodp3EAJw

Call about transporting a bicycle.

Brad

PS Best and worse:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hbrgne9AVU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wOQTWVyYT0

Last edited by bradtx; 12-02-13 at 04:52 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 12-02-13, 04:43 PM
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$147.00 rt.
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Old 12-02-13, 06:14 PM
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I am in Chicago and had one speced for doing some year. Look at the Adventure Cycling maps. I would fly Southwest into Charleston, SC. There is a AC route to St Augastine, Fl, where I believe SW also has service. From there, there is another AC route possibly, the Southern Tier that goes to Pensecola and Panama City and SW has serviece to one of these two.
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Old 12-02-13, 07:58 PM
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In the past, I have done the following over the Christmas break:
1. The Christmas Ride in San Diego: https://sandiegohostels.org/christmas-bike-ride.php It doesn't quite match your "Amtrak south somewhere" description, but it is a fun ride...
2. One year I drove a car one way to Brownsville, TX and then cycled north to Dallas. Average temperatures should be fine, though occasionally will get a (relatively) cold front. Nothing severe by IL standards, but less than 50% chance to temperatures in the high 20s and some colder winds. However, the averages are good.
3. One year I went to Key West and cycled northwards along the Atlantic Coast to end up in Savannah. Busy, but probably best temperatures of the set.
4. I have also done rides in central Florida (FL Hell Week) and except for freak temperatures generally mild.

If I were going to emphasize the ease of getting there and having a reasonable ride, I would be tempted to go to central Florida, particularly with the Plant FL connection. There are a lot of people on both coasts, but in between a surprising amount of rural stuff in middle of Florida. My own personal favorite of those about would be San Diego riding...
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Old 12-02-13, 08:03 PM
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Some say as cold as 18 degrees in FLA. I have ridden in 22, but funny that later that day it was in the low 50s, and the next day the low was probably 40 for the low. It does get cold, but doesn't stay that way for long.
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Old 12-02-13, 08:20 PM
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Southwest Chief (does it still run?) to AZ and a southern AZ loop of some sort.
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Old 12-03-13, 06:55 AM
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Thanks for the help everyone! As always, I am amazed at the power of this resource.
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Old 12-03-13, 10:00 AM
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I'm doing the San Diego Xmas trip, if I can get out of work. That would be my top suggestion.
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Old 12-03-13, 11:33 AM
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My Navy Basic Training was at NTS, December '66 In San Diego...warm is a relative concept ,

the Pacific Ocean off the US west is cooler water than the Caribbean & Gulf of Mexico..

But, as a result, Hurricane free..
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Old 12-03-13, 12:03 PM
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Redneck Riviera
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Old 12-03-13, 09:37 PM
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Southern California coast as long as you stay within a few miles of the water and stay close to sea level.
Anything south of Orlando. Orlando itself can get cold snaps below freezing at night in winter.

Southern Texas should be okay but can get snow every few years or so.
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Old 12-05-13, 07:12 PM
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Florida Loop, St Augustine to Ft Meyers, ferry to Key West, A1A back to St Augustine.
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Old 12-05-13, 08:28 PM
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Brownsville/Harlingen, Tx to Beaumont, Tx
Baton Rouge, La to Pensacola, Fl
Old Texas Route 20 Austin to Houston RT, explore both cities and rural Texas in between ? Not sure how passable the whole enchilada is…
Contact Bike Texas. Ask for Mark Stine.
[h=2]Contact BikeTexas[/h]Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1121
Austin, Texas 78767-1121

Phone:

512-476-RIDE (7433)
512-476-7458 FAX

Physical/Shipping Address:
BikeTexas
1902 East 6th
Austin, Texas 78702

- See more at: https://www.biketexas.org/about/conta....lpNxmIIi.dpuf
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Old 12-05-13, 08:37 PM
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Natchez Trace and Parkway along the Mississippi


or
Underground Railroad Bicycle Route Passes Through Alabama




Southwest Alabama — A new, long-distance bicycle route following the historic path of the Underground Railroad has been completed and passes through western Alabama. Created after three years of research and planning byAdventure Cycling Association, the largest bicycling organization in North America, the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route travels 2,058 miles from Mobile, Alabama, to Owen Sound, Ontario. (map Copyright 1997-2007 Adventure Cycling Association)




More, here:
https://huntsville.about.com/b/2007/0...gh-alabama.htm



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Old 12-05-13, 08:40 PM
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Also, where is Joey Brooks on this thread ?
He has ridden out many directions from N.O., La and might have significant input...
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Old 12-05-13, 10:31 PM
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Underground Railway route is a very intriguing idea. I think I may have flip-flopped 180 degrees. As I looked into train access and airfare costs this last minute trip seemed less and less appealing. So I am now toying with heading north instead of south and trying camping with my Moonlander. I'm a little nervous about the idea of snow camping, but I'm also very interested.
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Old 12-05-13, 10:38 PM
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Snow camping... brrr.

I'm doing the san diego trip.
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