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Author Topic: weather planning
Posts: 3
Post weather planning
on: January 12, 2014, 01:52

I have started planning for this ride, and am hoping for some weather wisdom. A driving force for making this trip is a desire to ride the Cascades in Washington. I was out that way a couple years ago in June, and local riders advised against going up there--the passes were either not open or had just opened, and the locals suggested staying away from a recently opened pass for a couple weeks.

My idea has been to start in Maine ( I'm near Buffalo, NY), ending in Washington the beginning or middle of August. As I look at this however, I worry about the heat in Texas in late July. I am, after all, a Yankee, and I fear I will melt down to a little Polish grease spot!

It occurs to me that it might help to reverse my course--do the Cascades first, head counter-clockwise for the event ride, although I consider that a second choice. I am totally free to choose the dates for this ride, but I want to keep the total time away from home to about 30 days.

Any thoughts?

Posts: 78
Post Re: weather planning
on: January 12, 2014, 17:26

You are absolutely correct about riding through the SW in July. It will be triple digits through Texas, Arizona, and Central California. Myself, I prefer a little cool weather vice triple digits, just my preference.


Posts: 92
Post Re: weather planning
on: January 12, 2014, 18:31

Be prepared!
I have had rain/sleet in ME. Dreadful heat/humidity in FL, AL, GA, MS, LA. Totally surrounded by tornadoes in NC.
As Elliot mentioned, 3 digit heat in TX, NM, AZ.
Check the weather every night, both in front of you and behind you. And remember it is called a "forecast" for a reason.
A good rain suit, hydration vest, and a sense of humor are a must.


Posts: 97
Post Re: weather planning
on: January 12, 2014, 18:46

Make your choice about clockwise or counter-clockwise in the last week. Also, consider your starting point and what leg will NOT have to do. For instance, those of us living in California can logically start in San Ysidro clockwise, San Ysidro counterclockwise, Blaine clockwise or Key West counterclockwise. Look at your own situation. If you are doing the true X, there are many options, including not deciding on your second corner until you've arrived in Lebanon. Doing a bit of research, forecasting and planning can give you considerable informed knowledge for making intelligent choices. You can leave it to chance too and let the weather chips fall as they may. Having all of that, expect 30 degree mornings, 110 degree afternoons, 30 MPH cross winds, fog, heavy rain, sandy corners, traffic jams on US 1 heading into Key West, unexpected detours, mechanical problems and other challenges. Come prepared with the correct gear, tools, phone numbers, a GPS, SPOT locator and an expectation of having at least one very bad day. Remain flexible and remember you are doing this for the fun of it. And you'll have a great time.

See you on the road

Blake P. Anderson
SCMA Chairman
(714) 801-3931

Posts: 3
Post Re: weather planning
on: January 16, 2014, 23:34

Thank you for the input. I see that my thinking needs to stay flexible. I likely will choose to suffer the cold rather than the hot, I am well equipped for cold weather.

Posts: 48
Post Re: weather planning
on: January 20, 2014, 01:58

It doesn't matter what order you tag the corners so consider another alternative.

I did my 4-Corners run in an "N" shape starting in San Ysidro, going north to Blaine and then heading directly across the heartland to Key West, finishing in Madawaska. I did it in that order because I wanted to finish in the north east so I could visit some while I was there (MI native here) and have a nice enjoyable tour on the way home.

You could do just the opposite; Madawaska, Key West, Blaine, and San Ysidro. Looking at the trip in terms of from-home-to-home miles (and not just the 4C legs) the "N" route is slightly longer but it opens up a lot of interesting locations; St Louis, the Black Hills, Colorado and numerous national parks. (For me it was also shorter than adding a long dead-headed leg to start in Blaine.) If you're not in a big hurry the mid-continent route, in addition to fairer temperatures, offers the opportunity to see some much more interesting countryside (and maybe tag a few more Top 15 Roads as well).

The heartland is still going to be warm at that time of year but it's guaranteed to be cooler than Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. Your finish would be in SoCal then and, if you're up for it, you could run Route 66 all the way back to Chicago. If you start thinking about that let me know, I have a bunch of R66 reference links to share. That's how I came back to Los Angeles from Chicago. Route 66 is very entertaining and you should be able to finish the whole tour in 30 days no problem.

Enjoy your run!

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