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Is it best to go from Valentine to Norfolk? Is it too hot to consider going Aug 1-7th?

Judie from Leonard, MI on 6/29/2021 12:06:35 PM:
Planning to ride the Cowboy trail Aug 1- 7th. Is it best to start at Valentine and end in Norfolk? Is is going to be so hot I should reconsider?

 
Alex from Lincoln on 6/29/2021 1:10:33 PM:
Average temp seems to be about 87 degrees for the high in the beginning of August but anything is possible in NE. Could be 100 or it could be 60. Keep an eye on the extended forecast and if it looks like it'll be a hot week you can adjust your plans accordingly. Usually folks plan what works logistically better for them. Technically Valentine to Norfolk is downhill elevation wise and prevailing winds sometimes help that direction.

 
Dougt from Onawa, Ia on 6/29/2021 1:49:40 PM:
I go out and back each year, starting at Norfolk. Did it a couple of weeks later last year but this year will be on the ride the same time as you. If you're conditioned I wouldn't think the heat would be a problem, but be sure to carry lots of water on the west side because services are sparce. Last year there were two of us, each carrying a couple of 28oz water bottles and that wasn't enough on the west end. East of Valentine we came upon a windmill in a field pumping into a tank and we stopped and filled up on cool water, not really caring if it was pure or not. I'll carry 3 water bottles this year. Take precautions to avoid flats because 3 of the 4 years that I've done it I've had goat head thorn issues. If you're worried about the heat maybe wise to start at the east end where there are more services and towns and get acclimated as you head west.

 
Judie from Leonard,MI on 7/13/2021 2:01:18 PM:
Thanks for the information. I'm planning to get to Valentine Aug 13 or 14 and ride part of the trail.

 
Dave from Sacramento CA on 7/19/2021 8:55:11 PM:
I rode from Valentine to Bassett today, my first time on the trail, and I will say that the almost total lack of shade is a big factor. It wears on you and gets you hotter than you realize, even when the temperature is one you are used to riding in. Also, I only saw one other rider all day, in 65 miles on the trail, so make sure to prepare wisely so you don’t end up stranded in the sun. There are motorists and businesses in many areas, but others are isolated.