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Late Winter non-Tucson cycling trip?

Late Winter non-Tucson cycling trip?

Normally, about this time of year I'm starting to think about
my annual cycling trip to Tucson AZ. in late February/early March.
But this year, air fares are through the roof (almost $600 round
trip, Feb 28th to March 8th 2013!)  So, instead of flying to the
warm SW, I'm thinking of somewhere warm, but driveable.

Do any of you have any experience with a late Winter/early Spring
cycling jaunt to southern VA or NC?  I'm up for a 5 or 6 hour drive,
but I'm not sure that it'll be much more rideabe (by which I
mean warmer) than here.

Anyone got any ideas or suggestions??

Bill

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Re: Late Winter non-Tucson cycling trip?

Hey Bill,
I grew up in NC and even though there are 1 or 2 "weather lines" between here and there, it's only about two weeks different for most of it.  Charlotte and the west (MTNS) is pretty much like here.  Piedmont (central) is a little better but growing up we had our share of ice storms in late Feb, early March.  It is significantly less hilly around Raleigh and Chapel Hill than here (Piedmont).

I've ridden Hilton Head a few times.  Much warmer there near the ocean and east.  Their organized rides are shut down until spring, it is flat except for the new bridge they use and not all that interesting.

Most of Florida is flat and it is a very long drive.  You can drive in one painful shot to Orlando and west of Orlando is some pretty nice terrain.  I’ve only played golf out there, not cycling but the central/north area has some topagrapy.  I’ve ridden Boca Raton to Manalapan up A1A and it was a typical wind ride (easy one way, painful the other) and not very interesting.  I rode with an ex-co-worker out around the edge of the Everglades with his group (Coral Springs?) and it was pretty boring and flat.  That is a two day drive.

I’m going to Los Angeles over Xmas to New Years and we got decent airfare on Southwest.  Hotels are outrageous there (as are houses, my Step-Son just bought a 65 YO, 2/1 CA Bungalow for $450K) and the rides are limited but I’ve got some real torture and fun just North of Burbank/Glendale.  We usually stay at the Burbank Residence Inn but have to use points during the week, just too expensive.

The other option there is to go South of LA to the OC (Orange County) down near Laguna.  Great blend of awesome coastline rides with nice climbing in the hills just inland.  Tons of options, nice cycling but have to be careful with routes as I’ve sometimes ended up in crap city streets or in the Ghetto.

Finally, San Diego has the best overall cycling environment in the US.  Several cycling clubs that welcome you to join year round, beautiful topography (well, sometimes a mix of streets before you get out of town) and horse farms in the hills.  Every time I go there I come home actually thinking about moving/retiring there.  They have great cycling, golf, sailing and the most perfect weather in the world.

My two-cents,
Stuart

~too much of anything is just enough for me. Pete Townshend

Stuart Lamb
Stuart the Descender
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Re: Late Winter non-Tucson cycling trip?

Fly to Miami and bike down through the Keys.  Flights to Miami are usually $150rt from BWI.

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