Author Topic: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13  (Read 1053 times)

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Offline ravencr

Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« on: August 22, 2013, 11:27:37 am »
I'm planning on riding from Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN starting the beginning of November. What I'm wondering is what maps I could use for parts of my route? I couldn't find an overall route map anywhere on the site to determine which ones would work for me. I figure there isn't a complete route from here, but my plan is to connect certain routes that are already pre-existing, if possible. Thanks in advance for your help,

Chris

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2013, 03:58:42 pm »
Do you know RAGBRAI was in Des Moines this year?  It went over to Knoxville, then Oskaloosa, Fairfield, Ft. Madison.  Seems like that would work pretty well for a route over to the Great Rivers South route that Adventure Cycling has.  It starts in Muscatine, but Ft. Madison is very close to Muscatine.  RAGBRAI route is below too.  Seems like you could use the maps below to get a pretty good route down to the middle of Tennessee.  The Adventure Cycling map goes to Tupelo Mississippi.  But first goes by Nashville.  I think Nashville is a bit west of Knoxville.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/great-rivers-south/

http://ragbrai.com/routemaps/2013-route-maps/

Offline John Nelson

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2013, 05:08:22 pm »
I couldn't find an overall route map anywhere on the site
My guess is that you were looking for this:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/overview-map-pdf/

You can use bits and pieces of that if you want, probably parts of the Great Rivers route as Russ mentioned, and maybe some of the TransAm.

Offline ravencr

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2013, 10:26:58 am »
Thanks for the quick replies guys. I'll check out those links and see which maps I need to get to piece a good route together hopefully.

Chris

Offline ravencr

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013, 11:40:58 am »
It looks like I can piece together the following routes perfectly:

1) Day 3 of Ragbrai
2) Day 4 of Ragbrai
3) Day 5 of Ragbrai
4) Day 6 of Ragbrai
5) Day 7 of Ragbrai
6) Fort Madison to Nauvoo, IA
7) Nauvoo, IA to Intersection of the TransAm Section 9 on the Great Rivers South Section 1
8) TransAm Sections 9-11
9) Blue Ridge Parkway to 441 over the Smokies
10) 441 to Little River Road to 321 on into Maryville, TN - End of Trip

It sure seems like I could cut a few days worth of riding in the Ragbrai routes from Adel, but I'm going to get a close estimate on mileage given the above routes, then determine if I can alter the routes a bit to reduce the mileage and number of days needed. Thanks again for everyone's help,

Chris

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2013, 01:19:53 pm »
You really are doubling back, going east to the Blue Ridge Parkway to come down to Cherokee and back on 441.  (Have they opened the BRP coming down from Mt. Mitchell towards Asheville yet?)  I'd suggest taking the TA, alternate route down to Mammoth Cave or straight in towards Buckhorn Lake, then working your way southeast.  There've been a couple of guys who've blogged on crazyguy about coming down U.S. 25 through the Cumberland Gap, and I think there was an bikeovernights.org post on a good way into Knoxville from near Norris Lake.  Those might fill in the details from this broad-brush approach.

Offline ravencr

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 01:43:23 pm »
I'll check it out...definitely burning some extra miles going to the parkway, but it's also a beautiful ride I'd like to do, as well. So, we'll see, but I'll check out what you mentioned, as well. Thanks for the heads up...when I get to that point, I might be ready to be home. :)

Chris

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 02:00:42 pm »
The map below is for Iowa bicyclists.  It shows all the county roads suitable for biking.  You can pick out a route from this map easily.  Just pick some county roads and ride them.  They will be fine.  Bit shorter than the RAGBRAI route over to the Mississippi River.  The RAGBRAI route is also on some busy roads at times.

http://www.iowadot.gov/iowabikes/bikemap.aspx

Offline ravencr

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 05:58:31 pm »
Thanks...I'll check that out.

Chris

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Des Moines, IA to Knoxville, TN Starting Nov. '13
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 03:16:37 pm »
I'll check it out...definitely burning some extra miles going to the parkway, but it's also a beautiful ride I'd like to do, as well.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is, indeed, a beautiful ride and well worth the time and effort. 

That said, November (possibly early December) has some challenges.  The leaves are down, so you can see out through the trees if the weather's clear.  But it's early winter, and you're planning to ride the highest parts of the Parkway, so there's a good chance of (in increasing order) snow, ice, and fog.  Parts of the road may be closed, since they don't plow most of the Parkway.  Almost all the on-route services will closed.  Bring your own water, toilet paper, and trowel.  You'll have some huge distances and climbs to cover from one motel to the next; I'm not sure if all the lodges at Little Switzerland will be closed, but you could be looking at Boone/Blowing Rock to Asheville, then Asheville to Maggie Valley/Cherokee.  And anything you need, from snacks or energy drinks, to a meal, to dry lodging, will be 2,000-4,000 feet off route in that stretch.

If you still want to try it, consider taking the Virginia Creeper trail out of Damascus to Whitetop, then over the state line and down past Sparta, NC to the BRP.  That'll cut out a couple hundred miles following the TransAm past Lexington, and then back southwest.