Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: wide_eyed on May 26, 2012, 02:52:12 pm

Title: Approaching Yorktown from the South
Post by: wide_eyed on May 26, 2012, 02:52:12 pm
I will be riding towards Yorktown from the North Carolina coast (through Currituck) next week in order to take the TA trail west.  For the approach to Yorktown, I see what looks like an easier but longer route and a less cycle-friendly "shortcut" (famous last words, right?).  I wonder if anyone is familiar with the area and has thoughts on these options.

It looks like the "advisable" route would be to go northwest, through Surry, VA, cross the James river via the Scotland-Jamestown ferry, then follow the TA backwards for a few miles on the Colonial Parkway.  Then I'd double back on the TA when I begin the TransAm route.

The "shortcut" avoids backtracking by crossing the James River at Carrollton and going through Newport News.  I'm confident I can navigate most of this route, but parts require using busy roads (especially in Newport News).  My main point of concern is going over the James River Bridge (Carrollton Blvd).  On Google street view, it looks like there's enough shoulder for me to be comfortable (looks better than parts of my local commute); however I don't know if being on a long bridge complicates things.

So if you're familiar with these roads and the traffic on them, I'd appreciate any words of reassurance that it is fine, words of admonishment that it could be unpleasant, pointers about any trouble spots I might have overlooked, or alternatives I should consider.

Title: Re: Approaching Yorktown from the South
Post by: wide_eyed on May 27, 2012, 11:47:41 am
I'll post a followup with the info I found...  I just realized the Atlantic Coast route passes along this way, so I can just join that.  Nice to have the extra info on resources along the route for that stretch.  As I would have suspected, it crosses the James River at the Jamestown ferry.

I was at first wary of deviating from my original plan, which was to travel to Yorktown by car; but now I'm glad for the improvement to the itinerary!
Title: Re: Approaching Yorktown from the South
Post by: staehpj1 on May 27, 2012, 04:31:04 pm
Not sure if all of the route is the same, but we rode approximately that route and used the Scotland ferry and enjoyed the ride.
Title: Re: Approaching Yorktown from the South
Post by: Hancock on May 30, 2012, 07:25:01 pm
I grew up in the area and I know the James River Bridge and the Scotland Wharf ferry very well. I would avoid the bridge at all costs. It's a drawbridge, and drivers simply won't expect cyclists on the bridge. Plus, the approach to the draw is a decent climb; the draw itself is metal grating that has little traction and always freaks me out when I'm in a car. On top of all that, you'll have to deal with Jefferson Avenue, Mercury Boulevard, and other high-traffic thoroughfares...the ride would be anything but pleasant.

The ferry, on the other hand, is a short but scenic ride and an uber tradition in that part of Virginia. That whole route is much more enjoyable than anything you'll see going through the major arteries in Hampton and Newport News.