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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    239

    Southern Tier Question

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    So my DH is leaving at end of February to ride across the USA along the Adventure Cycling Southern Tier route (San Diego, CA to St Augustine, FL). He has been avidly reading all the blogs he can find of others who have ridden this.

    Do you have any links to good blogs about that area? Recomendations for places to stay/eat/explore? Places to definitely avoid? He retired in October so has no time limit, and is riding solo, so able to take any detours he wants.

    I have lots of projects to work on while he is away, and training for our bike tour in July www.tourbc.net - so I won't be bored :-)

    Any comments appreciated,
    Thanks,
    Edna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    I think I read someone stopped at Carlsbad Caverns on this route? I have not been but I have heard it is neat. Fort Davis is pretty cool but I think the people I read about may have detoured. I do not know.

    Do you know what route this takes across Texas? I live north of Austin and I always see touring cyclists. I might be able to give some food recommendations if I knew his exact Texas route, let me see if I can dig that up.

    ETA- I found this on Wiki:

    The ride along the Rio Grande River into El Paso, Texas, is a treat for bird lovers, especially during migration season, when the birds are flying north or south. Texas dominates this route, taking up an entire third of the mileage. Starting in El Paso, just across the Rio Grande River from Cd. Juárez, Mexico, the route follows the river southward before turning east and heading through the Davis Mountains, where some of the friendliest folks on the whole route reside. Riders pass the McDonald Observatory atop 6,800' (2070 meter) Mt. Locke. There's a visitor center with daily tours, and evening "Star Parties" three days per week. After the Davis Mountains, towns are few and the country desolate, full of sagebrush and tumbleweeds. As riders travel through central Texas, the terrain starts to feel like the Alps, but this is actually the famous "Texas Hill Country." This diverse area serves some great barbecue and was the training ground for Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France winner. Riders taking the spur into Austin, Texas should make sure to go hear some of the diverse music available in the nightclubs on Sixth Street.

    The observatory at Fort Davis is wicked cool, IMO. The Fort also is supposedly the best preservation but we ran out of time to see it. And if he is craving ice cream he could get some in the caboose but most of the food was just for fuel out there in my opinion. Also, is he camping or hoteling? The Davis Mountains State park is hands down my favorite campsite. Does he have his stops planned? If he is camping, we do that some and I might be able to help tell him if he picked somewhere that might be sketchy. Also tell him there is no exaggerating how desolate NM and West Texas will be. He cannot be overprepared to be alone out there, it is sparsely populated!

    I know zero about touring other than reading some of Adventure Cycling's magazine. If you want to PM me his route through our hill country and ways out of Texas and I might be able to give my biased opinion of just being a tourist of points aroudn Texas. I can't help with much else but Texas. Also when he gets closer to leaving I can ask DH about giving our number in case of a mechanical or a crazy hill country thunderstorm. My husband is weird about that though so I have to get his okay. Since you are on the board he will probably might okay, unless your husband is a creepy ax murderer then no.
    Last edited by Aggie_Ama; 01-16-2009 at 08:26 AM.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    21
    Tons of stories can be found here: www.crazyguyonabike.com


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    876
    Quote Originally Posted by mudgirl View Post
    Tons of stories can be found here: www.crazyguyonabike.com

    Hey Mudgirl! Good to see you on here. How's the riding in Ithaca been?
    Girl meets bike. Bike leads girl to a life of grime: http://mudandmanoloscycling.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Blessed to be all over the place!
    Posts
    3,434
    Can't help...but I'm jealous!
    If you don't grow where you're planted, you'll never BLOOM - Will Rogers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    511
    When I was out that way I regret not stopping at McDonald Observatory.
    http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/

    The ferry across the Mobile Bay at Dauphin Island is kinda fun.

    In the Florida panhandle there are some spring-fed streams that manatee occasionally wander up, although probably not the time of year your hubby will be there. Canoe rentals/shuttles are pretty easy to find. I canoed down there in February and it was a neat time even though the leaves were off the trees and it was kinda cold.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    239
    Quote Originally Posted by mudgirl View Post
    Tons of stories can be found here: www.crazyguyonabike.com

    Yup, the Crazy Guy site has been the source of lots of reading material lately :-) I think he will be setting up his own journal there sometime in the next couple weeks.

    So far, he's planning on following the Adventure Cycling route pretty closely, he's just not sure where his overnites will be yet - some will be obvious because of mileage and distances between towns. Others might depend on what to see and do in an area, or how strong headwinds or tailwinds are that day, that kind of stuff.

    I'll take a look this weekend and write down the towns/cities along the route
    Thanks for the comments, keep them coming. :-)
    Edna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    I don't have any ideas, I just wanted to wish him the best of luck on his adventure. I want to one day do the cross-country thing, and think it's really great that he's making this dream come true. When he gets his journal started on crazyguy- please post it. I'm a CGOAB junkie and I'd love to follow along on his adventure.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    239

    Towns/Cities along the way

    This is the first time I really looked at the Adventure Cycling maps. There are 7 maps that cover the Southern Tier. I don't think I'll list all the towns along the way. Would be too long a post.
    1)San Diego, CA to Tempe, AZ 411.5 miles via Brawley, Quartzite, Wickenburg
    2)Tempe to El Paso, TX 540 miles via Geronimo, Silver City, Las Cruces
    3)El Paso to Del Rio, TX 451.5 miles via Fort Hancock, Fort Davis, Marathon, Langtry
    4)Del Rio to Navasota, TX 431.5 miles via Leakey, choice of Austin or Lockhart, LaGrange
    5)Navasota to St Francisville, LA 416.5 miles via Kirbyville, Oberlin, option for Baton Rouge
    6)St Francisville, to DeFuniak Springs, FL 435.5 miles via Bogalusa, Mobile, Pensacola
    7) DeFuniak Springs to St Augustine, FL 428.5 miles via Tallahassee, Wellborn, Gainsville

    We have talked about me flying out to meet him in New Orleans for a long weekend. It would be a side trip for him, but it sure would be fun. Neither of us have been there before. We have to work out the details. And yes, Texas is spread over 3 maps. I knew TX was big, but that surprised me.

    It would be fun to do this trip with him, but I can't take that much time off work and I've got almost 10 years before I retire. I wasn't going to make him wait. We figured it would be best for him to do this now, at 63, while we know he is healthy and strong enough for it. He might still be able in 10 years, but then again, he might not.

    Edna
    Last edited by evangundy; 01-18-2009 at 09:27 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pendleton, OR
    Posts
    782
    Edna! I'm soooo excited for Dave. Is he going alone? With a group? Did I miss that info somewhere?

    A group from Pendleton is going to do the northern tier this summer using Adv. Cycling Maps. They asked me to go. I'd rather do the southern tier, but I can't be gone that long anyway.

    Do keep us posted. Maybe you could start a thread with short accounts for those of us who just want to check in periodically.

    Susan
    Tis better to wear out than to rust out....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bristol, TN
    Posts
    360

    Southern Tier Journal

    I rode the Southern Tier from March to May, 2007 and my journal can be located at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/annesoutherntier2007 I did lots of little "side" trips and highly recommend the route through Florida and a swim in the Springs at Itchetucknee and Wakulla. Both were beautiful. We rented Kayaks on the Wakulla River outside the park and got some great up close and personal views of the wildlife. It was such a wonderful trip and I have tons of recommendations but many of them are in the journal. He will love the route. It is so great. We did go South of Austin in the Hill Country but it was a beautiful, if very hilly, ride! Have a positively awesome ride!

    I went with WomanTours and we did not stay exactly on the ACA route but did a few detours due to length of rides, etc. We stayed in motels every night. I am happy to answer any questions that Dave has. My email is anneandbenhike at gmail dot com. It is the most wonderful route and I highly recommend it for touring. We saw lots of people on the route and we had mostly good weather at that time of year. Good luck!!

    The route for the entire ride is posted, by segment on http://www.bikely.com This site has routes everywhere in the country and my husband is using it for routing on a tour he is doing in May.

    I am going to be away visiting family until the 28th, so I may not be able to respond to an email immediately but am pretty good about answering and would be glad to talk on the phone if there are questions...after the 28th of January.
    Last edited by AnnieBikes; 01-19-2009 at 05:44 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bristol, TN
    Posts
    360
    ...oh forgot to say, I see you are from Portland. I am starting a ride in Portland for 1500 miles on July 31st! It is also with WomanTours!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    239
    Quote Originally Posted by AnnieBikes View Post
    ...oh forgot to say, I see you are from Portland. I am starting a ride in Portland for 1500 miles on July 31st! It is also with WomanTours!
    So will you be coming to town early for this - any extra days to be able to see the sights around here and maybe meet some of the TE ladies from the area? If you need anything, let us know - we'll see if we can help :-)
    Edna

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    239
    So planning is winding down, and packing is ramping up. Airline ticket to San Diego purchased, hotel booked for that night. Some contacts made, phone numbers and email addresses exchanged. Found out that a new job of a friend of ours takes him to close to DH's route in Louisiana 1-2 weeks each month. They are hoping the timing works to see each other there. DH got his blog set up this past week. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Slug if anyone wants to follow along.

    We are planning a Bon Voyage open house for Feb 22, in the afternoon, after the Jack Frost Time Trial http://www.obra.org/flyers/2009/jack_frost_tt.html . I am hoping I'll have time to race before coming back home to host the open house. Recumbents are sent off first starting at 9:45am, so we should be done racing by 11:00am, I could be home by noon. Open house start at 1pm. Tell me I'm not nuts to try to do both

    Edna

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    I saw his journal when I was on CGOAB yesterday, but I guess I didn't make the connection that it was HIM. Cool! I'll be following along on his journey.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

 

 

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