Author Topic: AZ to VA  (Read 344 times)

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Offline katiemason767

AZ to VA
« on: June 05, 2014, 08:20:44 pm »
Does anyone have a good road bike route from AZ to VA?
Thanks!

Offline John Nelson

Re: AZ to VA
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 09:56:57 am »
More details would help. What time of year do you want to go? From where in AZ to where in VA? How long you you plan to take? How many miles a day do you plan? Are you planning to camp or motel? Do you want a fairly direct route, or are you okay with a bit of meandering? Do you prefer high-traffic roads with shoulders, or low-traffic roads without shoulders? How do you feel about hills?

Offline katiemason767

Re: AZ to VA
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 11:31:49 am »
We are going from Phoenix Arizona to Richmond Virginia next spring. 75 to 100 miles each day and we are going to be staying in hotels and a camper (our support vehicle). We are going back east for the Police Unity Tour. We are thinking it will take around 3 weeks. Direct route is best and low traffic is as well, but we are ok with traffic and shoulders. Hills are totally fine. We are all in good shape, but just don't know a route to take and have never done this.
Thanks!

Offline John Nelson

Re: AZ to VA
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 12:12:26 pm »
The shortest route is 2249 miles, so if you want to do this in 21 days, you don't have much wiggle room. The support vehicle, however, gives you some options if you're not too picky about riding every mile.

The shortest route, however, is mostly interstate, so I don't recommend it (and bicycles are prohibited on much of it anyway). If you ask Google maps for driving directions with the "avoid highways" option, you get a route that is only 113 miles farther than the shortest route, so that's not too bad. Still a difficult ride for three weeks.

A more pleasant route would have you take the ACA Southern Tier route to St Augustine and the ACA Atlantic Coast route up to Richmond. This would be 4183 miles, however. I would recommend it nevertheless. Perhaps you could ride in your support vehicle for part of the way, or perhaps you could find more a few more weeks time. If you're going in the spring, it is probably advisable to stay southerly to avoid possible late winter storms. The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are not reliably passable by bicycle in early and mid spring.

Offline jamawani

Re: AZ to VA
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 01:33:52 pm »
I'm not sure how much experience you have touring or how much planning you have done. I agree that three weeks is probably too little time - - remember that spring has some pretty big storms across the Southern Plains and the Southeast - - so you'll have a few days where you won't be doing much riding.

I do think you can plan a direct route that is closer to 2500 miles; however, it will require a chunk of map work on your part. Probably the first think you need to decide is where to cross the Mississippi. Sure you can shuttle across, but on a tour like this most folks would want to ride it.  The Memphis bridges are either dangerous or illegal. Helena is narrow. But the is an excellent new bridge on US 82 at Greenville with wide shoulders and expansive views.

Given that - - in the West you might want to head to NM via US 60 then to US 380 and work you way on low-traffic roads thru north Texas and southern Oklahoma. The you can ride across southern Arkansas to Mississippi River at Greenville.

Similarly, by riding northeast in the Great Valley in East Tennessee and into Virginia, you can avoid a significant number of mountain crossings - then pick up the Virginia Creeper Trail in western Virginia and a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I believe that you can have an excellent tour on relatively direct, fairly quiet roads - probably about 2500 miles - and you would need to give yourselves 4 weeks.

Offline katiemason767

Re: AZ to VA
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 01:42:07 pm »
oh wow this was all a great help thank you so much!