I’ve long been familiar with the rough contours of our bicycle trip across the United States. I’ve read the description of the Southern Tier Route on the Web site of the Adventure Cycling Association, and I’ve examined the ACA’s online maps of segments of the route, which are posted on the Route page of this blog.
Based on the description and the maps, I’ve made rough guesses about where we might be at certain times, usually in answer to friends and family who say they’d like to meet us at some point along the route.
But now we have from our guide a detailed itinerary for the journey — roughly 3,160 miles from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla., along the southern edge of the United States.
The 14 participants in our ride will gather for the first time on the evening of Sept. 18, a Friday, at the Point Loma Hostel in San Diego for an orientation session conducted by our guide. The next day, Saturday, we’ll do a fully loaded shakedown ride in the San Diego area to check the balance of our loads and determine whether we’ll really need on the ride everything that we brought to San Diego. Time to jettison that bulky inflatable mattress or the espresso machine.
The cross-country journey begins Sunday, Sept. 20, when we leave San Diego and climb 38 miles to Alpine, Calif., for our first overnight stay on the road. Eight riding days will bring us to Phoenix, our first layover/rest day, on Sept. 27.
The other layovers are in Silver City, N.M., Oct. 4-5; El Paso, Oct. 9-10; Fort Davis in West Texas, Oct. 13-14; Austin, Oct. 23-24; Merryville, La., Oct. 30-31; Bogalusa, La./New Orleans, Nov. 6-7; and DeFuniak Springs, Fla., on Nov. 12-13. We reach St. Augustine, Fla., on the 65th day of the trip, Nov. 21.
I plan to post the full schedule, probably on the Route page, once I figure how best to format it.