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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 28 Jan 2013
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Route planning:- TAT seasonal weather conditions

Just ordered the TAT maps and am planning on doing the entire route starting in NY and finishing in LA leaving the beginning of July until the end of August this year.

I've been reading through other peoples post that have done the TAT and came across one from June / July 2011, the guy that posted it said it rained nearly every day of the trip with quite a few nasty looking thunder / lightning storms in the wide open areas with no shelter.

Obviously lightning is a concern if in the open so wondering when would be the best time of year to do this to avoid the bad weather ? I have read the Colorado part is best tackled in June / July to cross the normally snowed in passes but if it meant missing riding these to go at another time of year to avoide rain then my preferance would be avoid the rain if possible (been spoilt living here in sunny Spain so not a fan of the wet stuff)

On another note, I assume that June/July/August is going to mean the busiest time of year for tourists so getting a room might be difficult in some areas and the prices will all be higher ?

So if avoiding these months when is the best time to go ? Any help or advice much appriciated as my next step is to sort out flights.
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Old 31 Jan 2013
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK but on the road in Lombok now
Posts: 227
Hello Eddie,

we rode the whole TAT in August/Sept 2011.
All we had weather wise was hot sunny days all the way except one day in Colorado, that day was thunder-lightning and rain. We were very lucky as like you say, at that time of year afternoon storms are the norm. We met Sam who told us to stay on the road in Oklahoma if it rains due to the mud - but it didn't.
We did Colorado in sept and did get sleet on Engineer and Cinnamon pass but that was all.
It's such a long way though mate that you are bound to get a mix of weather, we found the heat in Oklahoma more of a pain that the chill in the mountains.
As for hotel space I wouldn't worry about it, most of the places you will go aren't on the tourist trail, it's the remote ones you need to call ahead and book, Denio junction being one. I can tell you that you will have a fantastic time that's for sure, I'd do it again. We got a good deal on flights and air freight with Air Canada into Montreal, we have the details if you need.
Did you know about the Trans west Virginia trail?
It runs from New York state down the Appallachain mts into Kentucky and almost to Jellico. I have GPS tracks if you want them.
Have a look at our web site, got loads of pics in the gallery of the trail and pm or email me if you need anything.
Don't forget to give Sam an email when you are local - he asked us to stay at his place for a night, he is a star.

Welcome to Two Bikes Running
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Old 9 Feb 2013
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Location: Sunny AZ
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Hey Eddie...I rode the TAT from Cleveland, TN to the middle of Arkansas (where I crashed !!) mid September of 2012. I had great weather until after the crash, when I had to back-track to Memphis BMW (can't say enough good things about them, by the way, great guys/service). I was delayed there for 4 days. Had to tent camp in rain for two of those days. I had no trouble at all getting a hotel anywhere along the route, it was after Labor Day and vacation season. Hope that helps.
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Old 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Eastern North Carolina
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I did TAT last summer. I decided to do TAT at very last minute with so little preparing going into the trail with no knowledge or whatso about what I was about to face. I took KLR650 with me and my budget for the trip was $1,000 and said to myself if I reach $1k I would call it a quit. I started TAT on July 8th and finished it July 29th.

It rained the first few days when I was doing Tenn, Miss, and Ark before I got through the rain. For the rest of the trail, it never rained again. When I hit Moab, UT I had reached $1k budget but decided to push on and finished the whole trip with $1,400 spent.

If I was to do it all over again, I would use 250-450cc bike, none more. KLR650 was heavy in some section but still doable. If you plan to sleep in motel every night then don't bother carrying too much load but hygiene stuff, 1-2 days of town clothes, and a riding gear beside laptop and TAT maps. But if you are traveling frugally, bring tent and sleeping bag but forget cookware as access to stores and restaurants are plenty. I didn't cook when I stealth camp. I slept in motel for 4 nights. I had a 3 days break in Moab and I slept in Hostel for $30 ($10 per night).

Weather- lightning come and go. No specific season for lightning. Colorado is impassable before mid June but is doable after mid June to end of Sept. Oregon is cold in the morning during July in some area (was freezing and frost on my tent when I woke up early in the morning). Rain comes and go too.

Good luck and feel free to ask any question!

Last edited by wkheathjr; 25 Feb 2013 at 01:32. Reason: grammar
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Old 15 Mar 2014
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I am also in the process of planning a tat trip but for summer 2014, and am looking into shipping and customs cost, I live on the south coast of the uk near Southampton so that will be easiest port, can anyone give me a idea of shipping cost and then what I should budget for customs and clearing fees.
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