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Messages - sjs

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General Discussion / Re: It Ain't The Prettiest, But . . .
« on: January 08, 2020, 07:27:58 am »
Thank you all so very much.  I find the planning of a route to be difficult and this is all very helpful.

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General Discussion / Re: It Ain't The Prettiest, But . . .
« on: January 07, 2020, 10:08:42 am »
Thanks Staehpj1.  Would you be willing to share one of those stretches with me?  Perhaps one in the southeastern US, light traffic being more important than big shoulders.  Even if it were not that long it  might be a good starting point.

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General Discussion / Re: It Ain't The Prettiest, But . . .
« on: January 06, 2020, 07:37:34 pm »
This is great!  I have never used AADT, or state Bike Maps or even knew of cycle.travel.  A quick look at these tells me you guys have some serious planning skills.  I also appreciate the specific route suggestions.  I live in the South Carolina low country and the idea of finding quiet back country roads in southern Ga and Al is very appealing.  Right now I am enjoying a look at Jamawani's blog.  This is very kind of you all to give this kind of help.

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General Discussion / Re: It Ain't The Prettiest, But . . .
« on: January 06, 2020, 12:11:16 pm »
Thanks John.

I am new to this and am planning my first short tour for this spring on the Silver Comet-Chief Taldega trail, out and back, for a little under 200 miles.  It is a bike trail with no traffic. 

I am building up my endurance and currently I am at 150 miles a week with my longest ride at 50 miles.  I am planning in advance because my grown son, who is much stronger than I,  will go with me but needs advance notice for scheduling.

But the Silver Comet is a practice run for the next tour and I want to start planning it now so my son has enough advance notice.

I am sort of wallowing in this website because of the vast amount of information so I thought that AC routes would be the simplest framework but no, I am not limiting myself to those.  Any safe route would be good.

I only want about 500 miles for my first road tour and really want to place road conditions as my first priority.  It is not just safety, it is that noisy, crowded, fast traffic with lots of fumes pretty much ruins my enjoyment of a ride and I have plenty of miles like that where I live.  I am comfortable in traffic and can accept the risks but I just do not enjoy it much.

As you explained, there are many factors and it could get very complicated but to keep it simple,
I am hoping I can find a route that is fairly quiet and traffic light for most of its length, with good shoulders where it is not light, and with dangerous sections that are short, rather than slightly less dangerous sections that are long.  If I can find 100 miles like that I will do 100, if 200 I will do that, etc.  I don't think I would do more than about 500 for this trip.

To keep it simple, is there any route anyone felt was pretty safe for the most part, despite some hairy sections?

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General Discussion / Re: It Ain't The Prettiest, But . . .
« on: January 06, 2020, 09:49:38 am »
Thanks John.

 Yes, I know its subjective but personal opinions still help.

No, I don't mean rails trails or bike paths, but roads and you have already given me a bunch of leads to research.  Thanks again.

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General Discussion / It Ain't The Prettiest, But . . .
« on: January 06, 2020, 09:25:14 am »
Its not the prettiest but its the safest.

Forget about all the many things that make a route great, such as scenery, culture, people, challenge, weather, etc., etc.  Which of the AC routes, or significant portions thereof (e.g., over 250 miles or even 100) are the safest.

Not safe from bears, or beer can throwing bike haters, or criminals, or severe weather.  Just the one factor of safe road conditions like light traffic, slow traffic and/or good shoulders.

Not the absolute safest, as there may not be many who have toured all AC routes.  The safest you have ridden.

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South Atlantic / Re: Parking Silver Comet Trail and FL Coast to Coast
« on: December 28, 2019, 10:38:10 pm »
Thanks BikePacker,  I will let you know.  I will also check out your posts on that forum

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South Atlantic / Re: Parking Silver Comet Trail and FL Coast to Coast
« on: December 28, 2019, 08:34:13 am »
Oh my goodness what a dummy I am.  I have been reading that site and when the question of parking came to mind I immediately came to this forum to ask and completely forgot about that trail specific site.  In fact, since you brought it to my attention I found some more parking info I had not noticed before.

Thank you very much BikePacker.  I should not have needed your help but I am sure glad you gave it.  By the way, although it is my first tour I am an old retired guy and can go anytime I feel ready so it is good to know that I should avoid the weekends.  I am thinking now of timing the trip for the spring bloom (if I can determine when that is at the time).  Thanks again.

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South Atlantic / Parking Silver Comet Trail and FL Coast to Coast
« on: December 27, 2019, 04:49:18 pm »
I am planning my first tour and I have decided to do either the Silver Comet Trail bike path from Smyrna, GA to Anniston, AL and back, or the Florida Coast to Coast Trail bike path starting from Titusville, Fl.  The former is about 190 miles out and back and the latter is 500 miles out and back, but I would probably limit it to about 200 miles total as well.


I like both routes but am having trouble figuring out where I could park my car for the 4-5 days I would be gone and have it be reasonably secure.

I have determined I can probably stay at a local hotel in either starting town the night before leaving and would be allowed to keep my vehicle there at my own risk.  I may have to do that but would prefer something a little more secure.

I would be grateful for any info on a possible place to park for either route. 

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General Discussion / Re: Others Like Great Divide
« on: November 10, 2019, 10:06:04 am »
Thank you both, Arkansas and South Dakota both look great.  It is wonderful to have so many choices.

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General Discussion / Re: Others Like Great Divide
« on: November 09, 2019, 10:42:14 am »
Thank you BikePacker.  Yes, Hilton Head has 60 miles of bike path and my wife and I ride there, especially Sea Pines which is beautiful and uncrowded.  Of course, those are day trips and I am seeking multiday trips, hoping to work up to multi week trips by late spring, but I do have many good miles of bike path here.

The other tips are wonderful.  I am excited about all the possible choices.  Skyline Drive is especially interesting now that you mention the speed limit and the shoulders.  I have driven it several times but was busy looking at foliage and did not notice how good it might be for a bike.  These days the first thing I look for when driving is the shoulders. :)

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General Discussion / Re: Others Like Great Divide
« on: November 09, 2019, 08:26:07 am »
Thank you danny dea, I had not heard of that.  I spent a few years in MO during my military service and liked that area a good deal.  It certainly is closer to me than the Great Divide.  I will check it out.

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General Discussion / Re: Others Like Great Divide
« on: November 08, 2019, 04:53:34 pm »
Wow, thank you so very much.  That is far more information than I had even hoped for.  I am eager to read up on all of these possibilities.

I have biked the rails to trails in my area and enjoy them but the longest is only 20 miles out and back.  I have also been looking for forest service roads but again nothing within 3 hours is more than a day ride.  These you guys have listed give me much better options.

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General Discussion / Others Like Great Divide
« on: November 08, 2019, 09:49:10 am »
I am new to the ACA and this forum.  I am 70 and recently returned to cycling after many years away.  I am retired and riding around 100 miles a week.

I began with a road bike, which I loved, but local traffic and road conditions led to so many close calls, despite my best efforts to ride defensively, that I traded it in for a Mountain Bike.  I do not do what young folks do, nothing technical or dangerous, just ride hard pack, dirt and gravel roads and trails, which I enjoy very much.

I have always been fascinated by touring but never tried it and my current attitude toward cycling on the roads makes it unlikely I ever will.  Still, I joined ACA so I could enjoy reading about touring.

Then I read about the Great Divide Trail.  I am just learning about it at this point but what I have read so far suggests that I could find sections where I could ride for an extended distance, away from traffic, and even do so on a credit card touring basis.  I have a great deal of hiking and backpacking experience, but at this age, bikepacking is not my interest.

I will continue to research the Great Divide with a view toward doing a portion of it next summer.  I would like, however, to get in some shorter dirt tour riding before then that may be closer to my home in South Carolina.  I am researching possible dirt/gravel/etc. roads long enough to allow a 2-3 day trip but I have found nothing yet.  It occurs to me that only the Rocky Mountain Range or the west coast ranges might have long stretches of low or no traffic trails/roads of any significant length.  Certainly, I have found nothing yet like that in the Appalachians.

But I thought you folks might know of something.  I do not actually dislike pavement in and of itself, just the heavy traffic that it attracts in the East.  Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks.

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