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Cycle tours in USA in late fall

Old 03-02-20, 09:46 AM
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jlinnett
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Cycle tours in USA in late fall

Hi,

I have just finished cycling the length of New Zealand and loved it and am looking to do a trip in the states in mid-late fall for a month / maybe 2 at a push... (so October / November kind of time). Was thinking initially of the Western Express but not sure if this will be too late in the year? Does anyone have any other suggestions / know if I would find the western express route too cold?

Thanks,

John
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Old 03-02-20, 10:37 AM
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Two months is quite a bit of time, so if you have all that time I'd consider the Southern Tier from San Diego to St Augustine.

If you have less time or are going slower, a few general suggestions - perhaps linking a few together:
- October/November is a beautiful time for the Natchez Trace with fall foliage, etc.
- Temperatures have come down in Texas - so this is a nice time to visit Big Bend National park area. The Southern Tier goes north of Big Bend, but I would bicycle from El Paso and then turn south at Alpine/Marathon to do a loop further south and spend some time in Big Bend area. After that, one can go back to US 90 through to Del Rio - after that either through Texas Hill Country or follow the Rio Grande to Brownsville.
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Old 03-02-20, 11:32 AM
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Would the southern tier be doable at this time of year? When would snow / cold become a problem?
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Old 03-02-20, 11:42 AM
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You could start Colorado and head west which will keep you clear of getting super cold nights and the possibility of snow. You could also do the Pacific coast, especially if you started in Portland. You would just barely beat the rainy season if you left at the beginning of October.
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Old 03-02-20, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Lanesplitter View Post
You could start Colorado and head west which will keep you clear of getting super cold nights and the possibility of snow. You could also do the Pacific coast, especially if you started in Portland. You would just barely beat the rainy season if you left at the beginning of October.
The October rainy season in Oregon started in September last year. I was there and got plenty of rain. Not constant, but more than I liked.
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Old 03-02-20, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jlinnett View Post
Would the southern tier be doable at this time of year? When would snow / cold become a problem?
https://www.adventurecycling.org/blo...southern-tier/
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Old 03-02-20, 02:59 PM
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You could do the Southern TIer - but it is the least scenic of any of the ACA cross-country routes.
My first X-USA was from Astoria, Oregon to North Carolina - starting Sept. 1.

Fall trips are fantastic - but -
The days are getting shorter and shorter - esp. after Oct 15.
You can get caught by early snows in the Rockies.
Campgrounds and services in park areas close in the fall.

If you do a fall trip - I definitely suggest west-to-east.
Also, it makes sense to do a diagonal - since temperatures are dropping.
Sept 1 - Oregon start?
Sept 15 - SFO start?
Oct 1 - Ventura start?

If you did Sept 15, could catch Yosemite and parts of the Western Express -
then swing down and nop the southern tip of the Rockies at Taos.
This would put you safey out in the Great Plains in early Oct. - Indian summer.
Perhaps aiming for the Georgia coast - Savannah - or better yet, Sapelo Island.
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Old 03-02-20, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jlinnett View Post
Would the southern tier be doable at this time of year? When would snow / cold become a problem?
Silver City NM is my proxy for one of the higher elevation places on the Southern Tier. You can see the weather here - https://weatherspark.com/y/3086/Aver...-Precipitation Silver City gets an average total of 7 inches of snow per winter, so not much chance of extended snow any time of winter. By late November it reaches freezing overnight, but daytime high are still 55F. Last year over Christmas I cycled through Southern New Mexico (slightly further south than Southern Tier) and it was still reasonable - so I wouldn't hesitate to do Southern Tier most any time of winter.

The daylight hours are shorter but you are also at lower latitudes so ~10 hours between sunrise/sunset at the shortest
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Old 03-03-20, 07:26 AM
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If you've never been to the US before, the scenery out west is certainly more exciting than the east, but the east has its own charm, and by late fall the southeast weather is quite nice, so I'd suggest at least looking at the possibility of a north to south trip in the east. You could start as far north as maine and roughly follow the Appalachian mountains down to Georgia (essentially a bike version of the Appalachian Trail hike). If you like beaches, you could head east for the coast when you get to the Carolinas or keep going south to Florida and the Gulf. Depending on your mileage and starting point, you might be able to go all the way to the Florida Keys.
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Old 03-10-20, 11:15 AM
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AeroGut has good advice, plus, fall foliage is lovely in the northeast.
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