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Routes / Re: Connector Advice: WE to Northern Tier
« Last post by scottskaja on August 15, 2014, 01:11:55 pm »
Just finished my ride from Denver to Des Moines. Word of caution to anyone reading this for advice, US30 from Grand Island to Missouri Vally IA had some very dangerous sections. I was eventually blown into a ditch by 3 semis. 65mph 2-way road with shoulder that narrows to 24" in spots. No good.
Here is a report from over on with the current pass-ability of the Middle Fork Rd in bold:

"Hi all,
I just finished the route this morning, starting/finishing in Ketchum. The slide on 268 is still passable on foot, look for a trail marked in pink ribbon high above the washed out road.  I missed the start of it, but picked it up after some intense side hilling on the loose bank.  227 is still being worked on but is easily walked through with your bike..........some crew guys were just finishing up and were totally cool with bikers and knew about the route and that bikers would need to get past.  The Dollarhide Summit was totally rideable with only a small section on the Ketchum side being nearly finished for vehicles.  I hope this helps.  I would hate to see riders taking long detours for no reason.  I plan to do a little write up of my trip later...........celebrations commencing shortly!"
Routes / Re: Kentucky and Virginia trans am shortcuts
« Last post by Pat Lamb on August 15, 2014, 11:31:20 am »
We took over 20 days to go from Yorktown to Utica, but that included the beginning of our trip.  You're probably in better shape after 3,000 miles than we were starting out.

One of the options google maps shows for Utica, KY to Norfolk is basically U.S. 58.  Though I haven't driven the whole thing, I've heard this is a great road for retired motorists to take across southern Virginia when they're tired of interstates.  There are a couple of cautions, though. 

58 west of Damascus is mostly 4-lane divided highway, with occasional shoulders.  Traffic isn't too bad except "rush hours."  This stretch is probably like most of 460.  I'd suggest the Virginia Creeper rail-trail from Abingdon to Damascus, where the road hasn't grown as much as the traffic.

Martinsville would be a good place to find those back roads.  Danville, as I recall, is fairly decent downtown (except for some rough streets), with a suburban sprawl girdle.

And of course, the whole Norfolk/Chesapeake/VIrginia Beach is an urban area.

Damascus to Independence is a nice mountain road.  There's enough twists and turns to keep the traffic slow.  It's pretty rural from there on, with the exceptions noted above.
Routes / Re: Seeking Advice for a Cross Country Route
« Last post by Pat Lamb on August 15, 2014, 11:19:58 am »
I'd want to start the ST in January or maybe February, to try to beat the heat in the western deserts.

Late March might be a viable, if a bit early, time to start the TransAm.  It'd likely be chilly in the Appalachians, but the snow should be gone (unless there's a late storm).  Late March should put you in the Rockies in early May, which might be passable by then.  Yellowstone would probably be open but practically empty.  It'd be a gamble, true, but who knows what the snowpack and weather will be next winter?

Given the choice and a late winter start, I'd wait until mid-April and take the TransAm.
OK, so, lakes in the area.

I remember a lodge at Kentucky's Falls of the Rough state park; you might check to see if they have rental cabins there.  Sorry, that's about my limit of knowledge for Kentucky.

Otherwise, you'll have to search for rental houses at some of the lakes.  Tennessee has lots of lakes, thanks mostly to TVA.  Off the top of my head, near Nashville, you have Percy Priest Lake; further upstream on the Cumberland, Dale Hollow is in gorgeous terrain.  Land Between the Lakes is a popular destination for RVers and fishermen, check also on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes.  You'll at least find marinas, I don't know if they have short-term cabins.  Pickwick Landing and Watts Bar Lakes have a fair bit of touristy things around them, as does Guntersville in Alabama.  There may be something on Norris Lake and Douglas Lake in eastern Tennessee.  On most of the rest of the TVA lakes, you'll have to look for a state park that might have cabins or more isolated rentals.
Routes / Re: Seeking Advice for a Cross Country Route
« Last post by RussSeaton on August 15, 2014, 11:09:20 am »
Your departure dates are February 1 to March 31.  Too early to be riding anywhere in the northern two thirds of the country.  I'm in the middle of the Midwest, and we can easily get snow and freezing temperatures through March.  Sometimes into April too.  And if you try to start riding in the northeast in Feb. or Mar., you will get snow and freezing temps too.  As already mentioned, the Rocky mountains will have snow and freezing temps into June.  But trying to cycle from the Atlantic to the Rockies before May or June would be so miserable you would likely give up cycling for the rest of your life.  Starting in Feb. or Mar., your only viable option is to ride the Southern Tier.  And if you are finishing up the Northern Tier now, you don't have too much time to get out of the NE and down south to the Southern Tier starting point before the bad weather hits the NE.  You will have bad weather and cold in the NE starting in October and November.  So don't hang around the NE too long.  Get south fast before winter hits.
Not quite sure what I am looking for either, but it would be a rental of some kind.

Just wondering if anyone had knowledge or ideas for travelling that general direction and distance.

Not quite sure what you're asking for.  When you say lake house in Tennessee, I think of people living in a nice house on the lake near the city they work; a marina or state park with a lodge and perhaps cabins; or people who own a second (or third) house on a lake for weekend retreats and parties.  Are you thinking of concentrations of something like a time-share condo, except it's a house on a lake?
Routes / Re: Kentucky and Virginia trans am shortcuts
« Last post by John Nettles on August 15, 2014, 09:04:39 am »
I know how you feel as I have had several trip where I am time-crunched at the end.  It makes for a much less enjoyable trip.

I think you had the right idea, but the wrong route.  Perhaps if you cut the corner by going from Elkhorn City, KY to Christianburg, VA, you would cut about two days off by following the route.  Go to Google Maps and drag the "Yellow Man" over so you can see what roads are paved.  There are a lot of smaller state highways and county roads (not 460) which you can take.  By using streetview, you can spot check the road to see if you like it.

You could do the same from Christianburg to Richmond.  A quick glance makes VA-24 to Rustburg, VA (heck of a name for a town) a bit promising.  Again, just look for roads you like.  You can try the "bike route" mode but be sure to check the route via Streetview and/or satellite view as it likes to route onto busy roads then onto gravel roads.  Just spot check the route, make adjustments, and keep pedaling.

Best wishes on a successful (and quick) ending. 
Routes / Re: Kentucky and Virginia trans am shortcuts
« Last post by staehpj1 on August 15, 2014, 08:25:12 am »
Not sure where I would trim, but you probably have enough time to make it without short cuts.  We weren't against a deadline and did that section in 12 days, so it should be doable with a little time to spare.

Our 12 day time was to the Yorktown, not to the ocean, but if you skip Williamsburg and Yorktown I think you can make easily.   From my notes of a ride that went to the ocean from the TA:

"We started with a ferry ride on the free Jamestown Scotland Ferry, and rode the nice rural Virginia roads until we got to Portsmouth. Some of the ride through Portsmouth as kind of seedy, but OK.

We rode the Elizabeth River Ferry across to Norfolk and proceeded through downtown Norfolk toward Virginia Beach. It was getting dark by then. Traffic was heavy and the roads pretty bad. We wished we had more/brighter lights as the cars whizzed by fast and close. We were a bit "white knuckled" until we got back to Lauren's house where we had a great dinner.

In the morning we rode to Sandbridge."

You would likely pick a different end point than Sandbridge.
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