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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 4 Jun 2007
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North or South From LA?

I have been riding for 34 years (53 years old) not done toom much long distance stuff, rode to Portugal once - beeen a dispatach rider and ride each day, reasonable health... QUestion is, if I arrive in LA 20th June and have 2 months to get to New York... would you say I should go as fara as I can to Alaska and come over through Cananda and down or down to Mexico and up?

Mexico may be a problem because of the paperwork? I have no visa...

any thoughts, opinions? I really want to take it easy and 2 full months might take ne further....
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  #2  
Old 4 Jun 2007
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Thumbs up 2 months would be fine for Alaska.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtreg View Post
I have been riding for 34 years (53 years old) not done toom much long distance stuff, rode to Portugal once - beeen a dispatach rider and ride each day, reasonable health... QUestion is, if I arrive in LA 20th June and have 2 months to get to New York... would you say I should go as fara as I can to Alaska and come over through Cananda and down or down to Mexico and up?

Mexico may be a problem because of the paperwork? I have no visa...

any thoughts, opinions? I really want to take it easy and 2 full months might take ne further....
I think 2 months would easily allow you make it from LA to New York via Alaska. I rode from LA to Prudhoe Bay(via Dawson City), down to the Homer Pennisula, and back down to Billings, Montana, then back South to LA in 6 weeks. Didn't feel rushed. Of course Mexcio is mighty nice also! :=)
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Old 4 Jun 2007
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Hey Rick, thanks for the reply... you have pointed out my dilemma! Yes I think LA -> Alaska -> New York is possible in 9 weeks but....

I will bring some warm bike clothes b4 I leave UK if Alaska 'wins' - Still not sure!

I think LA-> Mex -> Texas and up is more fun...

BUT What paperwork do I need for UK passport holder using a US bike into Mexico? Can I get a visa in LA?

decisions decisions!
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  #4  
Old 4 Jun 2007
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Not too many warm clothes

I would hold off on taking too many warm clothes to Alaska in July and August. I think you will find the average temperature fairly warm.

Just a point.

Rick
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  #5  
Old 4 Jun 2007
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Mexico or Alaska

For Mexico you as a Brit do not need a visa. Just show up at the border with a valid passport and the ownership and registration for the bike in YOUR name , same as on the passport ,and all the paperwork will be arranged on the spot in a short while..Very easy.
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Old 5 Jun 2007
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Mexico or Alaska

Do some research on how incredably hot it will be thru california mexico and texas.
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Old 5 Jun 2007
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This is one of those: "How long is a piece of string?" kinda threads.
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Old 5 Jun 2007
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The warm clothes - point for going north is taken but I was thinking about being equipped with waterproofs etc - it does rain quite a bit up there as I checked the weather sites

.... er ... yes I know Mexico is hot!

...but ta for the advice on entry to Mexico. I think the other point against going south is the security aspects, being robbed, the northern route offers more solitude no?

Piece of string? well yes but my question was asking for experiences, views, advice and opinions and thanks to those who offered that to me. I am really open to comment so please keep em coming.
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Last edited by jtreg; 5 Jun 2007 at 08:11.
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  #9  
Old 5 Jun 2007
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Plus:
Alaska has a small window for riding and your timing is about perfect.
Mexico will be much less expensive than Alaska.
Mexico is much more diverse than Alaska.
Mexico has 1,000x more roads.
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  #10  
Old 5 Jun 2007
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North or south?

As a postscript, the question of security in Mexico is of no real concern if you mind your manners and don't get involved with silly stuff in slum areas after dark, this can get you into s*** in LA,NY or anywhere.The bigger problem for you would be getting into Mexico if you are bringing a bike which is not registered in your name , possible but involves more paper work .
.As for the heat in Mexico , don' t sweat it. "Hot" is a subjective experience. What some people consider unbearably warm may for others be just cozy. Besides the warm weather is highly regional, depending on altitude, presence of cold ocean currents , weather systems and the cloud cover of the season. Speaking from experience, over the years I've made many road trips through allcorners of Mexico in every calendar month of the year. This includes trips from San Diego to La Paz and back in July and along the east and west coast of the mainland also in july , at times when heat waves were in effect.
Baja can be very interesting in July with chill ocean breezes in BCN inducing goose bumps and on the same day east of SAn Ignacio you can find the temp shooting up to 45C as you hit the wall of hot air that comes from the east side of the peninsula.
For details on weather conditions there see Welcome to The Weather Underground : Weather Underground click on Mexico and see the colour map of temps, click on the map for a list of reporting stations with a ctual conditions. Donot believe the colours on the map as they are way too simplified.
North Central Mexico is very temperate in summer, thundershowers do happen often there .
If you start in LA it kind of makes sense to at least spend some time in Mexico as it is so nearby. But The season is also the ideal time for Alaska .... decisions, decisions ..... Maybe do both- youy have enough time with two months.
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Old 5 Jun 2007
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I understand your question, and it's a good one. With a couple months time, ideally, you'd be riding from Seattle to Alaska in the North American summer, or LA to Mexico in the N.A. winter- but, you're not. Comfort and fun wise, I'd head north along the CA coast. Mark Twain once wrote that "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" (or something similar). If you cross the Golden Gate Bridge and cruise up the 101, you'll wonder why anyone wastes time in Europe! Follow the coast north and have fun. British Columbia is green, cool and gorgeous. Heading east from BC, there is plenty to see, just check a map or hit up HU fo details. Good luck, H.
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Old 6 Jun 2007
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So perhaps doing the Northern route is best this time out?

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 04:56.
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  #13  
Old 6 Jun 2007
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go north

the temps in mainland mexico in lower elevations and anywhere off the pacific coast in baja are way to high for an enjoyable ride. I suffered from heat stroke during a baja ride last year and the recovery was slow. it is the perfect time for going up the coast when june gloome is gone. come back for mexico in the early spring.

paul
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  #14  
Old 6 Jun 2007
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North or south...?

Jtreg, how do you feel about warm weather? Do you tolerate warm and hot weather as well as all the Englishmen I saw cavorting with smiles on their faces all along the Costra Brava and CostaBlanca and at their retirement properties around Benidorm last July when it was 35C and warmer ? I can't imagine you would want to travel halfway around the world just to seek out cold climates in order to suffer chilblains
and to be forced to wear double turtleneck sweaters during summer under your raingear.
Different people have different ideas as to what is tolerable. Pat obviously has a high cold tolerance which served him well during his stint working in Antarctica and now living in the SAn Francisco area he has acclimatized to very modest summer temperature levels .Paul has had the unfortunate experience of heat stroke which gives him reason to worry about your plans. As for me , having lived many years in south Ontario which does not have the worst winters in Canada, I love warm weather because it is so scarce up here and consider it fun to go for a ride to theUS desert southwest, , south or Mexico in summer even if I hit areas where the temperatures reach into the 40 C to 50 C range.
What I am trying to convey is the idea that if people are living in those areas, and they are, then surely there must be ways of coping with the heat , other than becoming a recluse in an air conditioned cubicle. If you know that you are ill suited to warm to hot weather then stick to the northern areas and the mountains. If you like warmth then there is no reason to not take a test run in Baja and accross the southern USA. Just make sure to dress appropriately , loose fitting well ventilated light coloured clothing, drink enough water whenever you get thirsty and stay alert to the signs of overheating, and avoid all heavy exertion-- no digging ditches, running marathons or off road racing.
Keep things in perspective and learn the difference between , warm, hot and humidity. I'll never forget one incident when we were on a retun ride from Baja, late July while taking a break in the shade at a rest area in western flatlands of Kansas , temp around 35C, clear blue sky , steady southwest wind and a crystal clear view to the horizon maybe 30km away.Any perspiration we were emitting was evaporating instantly so it was obviously DRY, a desert .A transport truck hauling a reefer pulled up, the driver climbed down out of his airconditioned cab and said, something like 'man aint this humidity awfull' .
Can some one please explain why California Highway Patrol and cops all over the US dress in tight fitiing black or blue shirts while wearing a bodyhugging teeshirt underneath even in the middle of summer. Up north this may be fitting attire for the climate, but in Phoenix, Miami Atlanta, Dallas ?
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  #15  
Old 7 Jun 2007
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Hey this has developed into a brilliant thread - exactly the sort of information and opinions I was hoping for!

Thanks to all of you for offering up such carefully constructed and interesting contributions.

I am used to hot summers, as I used to stay over in Greece with my mum's family who live out in Athens... I am also used to very unpleasant cold winters working as a despatch rider. I really would prefer the hotter form of extreme temps - if you drink lots of water and do not exert yourself, etc.

I am getting a bike registered in the US when I get there so crossing Mexican border should not be a problem... Only I will need to sell it when I get to NY. Possibly easier to sell in LA yes but I want to keep it with me. I dont envisage shipping it back to the UK as this will cost $1400 from Kennedy... unless of course, I get a real bargain. If not, I have a mate in New Jersey who can go 50-50 in selling it for me...

I think the Baja explore idea is good, just to get my bearings - if I change my mind I wont beat myself up - then head north. I want to enjoy myself, its not a job.

Therefore the Dutch police rain jacket and overtrousers will be going in my bag plus I will stock up on Malaria pills and insect repellent
hehe

please keep the comments rolling, much love and peace...

hope to update my blog in all of this =

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