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Messages - HobbesOnTour

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106
Routes / Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: July 02, 2019, 04:40:00 pm »

Speaking of steep, here's a route from outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSM) to Nashville, with a couple of options on how to get over the state line from Robbinsville: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30047819

Leiper's Fork at the western end is a half a mile from the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is a good cycling road that'll lead you into western Nashville.  You could also take the road from Cherokee, NC into Gatlinburg, TN (except on a weekend or holiday -- stay away then!), come over the ridge and down to Townsend, down the road to the Foothills Parkway, and pick up the Nashville route on U.S. 129 to TN 72.

Let me know what you're interested in and I may be able to help with more specific recommendations.

I really appreciate the time and effort, Pat. I'll probably be taking the Natchez Trace south after Nashville.

I'm leaning towards following the Walter Ezell Route simply because it'll mean the least back-tracking and I can avoid Atlanta. I'm not a fan of cycling through, or indeed, around big cities. Having looked at the Silver Comet route though, I think I would have enjoyed that. Decisions decisions!

This is what my planner is suggesting for the route into Nashville after the Walter Ezell Route, starting from McKinney Mountain..ish.
Any comments gratefully received  :)
https://cycle.travel/map/journey/112516

You might be interested in either the Savanah River Route or the Walter Ezell route for riding from the Charleston area northwest across South Carolina if you are aiming for Nashville.

Thanks Dan. I remember coming across the Walter Ezell Route a couple of years ago when this was more of a notion. It appears to be the route that suits me best as I really want to visit Charleston and don't fancy doubling back to Savannah.


107
Routes / Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: June 29, 2019, 08:14:25 am »
Thanks, Pat.

I really appreciate your replies.

I'll have a look at some of your suggestions over the weekend in more detail.

Then, I'll probably come back with more questions!  ;D

108
Routes / Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:22:56 am »
Hi Pat,
Thanks for a great reply! I'm not sure on whether to approach Nashville from a southerly or northerly perspective. Most of what I have found is favouring a route in the Atlanta direction, but for some reason (I don't know why!) I'm personally more disposed to a northerly approach - but what the heck do I know?  :D

Have you cycled this route yourself (Atlanta/Chatanooga).

Pat, I'm relatively free in my route choices. It's a blank canvas. I'll be passing this way once so if you think there's a route that shows off that part of the world at its best, I'll be all ears.

Anyone else got any assistance maybe from Charleston to Atlanta?

Thanking you all.

109
General Discussion / Re: Bike rental for European tour
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:06:07 am »
Bordeaux is well south of what you've mentioned for a route, but there is great potential from there to head south to the Spanish border, along the Pyrenees into Switzerland, along the Danube, up North, back to the Dutch coast and then down the coast to Bordeaux!

That seems a very reasonable price so long as the bike is a good one. At 100, buying the panniers makes more sense.

Check out the Velodyssey route from Northern France to the south, mainly along the coast.

110
Routes / Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: June 24, 2019, 07:07:41 am »
Hi all,
Wondering if anybody has some local knowledge they'd care to share for this route?

I'll be travelling it most likely October on a loaded MTB. My preference is for quiet roads, no problem with with a bit of gentle off-road, daily distances 50-60 miles. I'll be camping as much as possible too.

Any routes, tips or must-see places would be appreciated.

For a bit of background, I'll be biking up from Florida, then after Nashville heading south again to New Orleans, then westwards until I drop into Mexico. I'll be using ACA maps for the Atlantic Coast/Southern Tier legs, it's the bit linking Charleston to Nashville that is blank.

It'll be my first time on a bike Stateside so all help gratefully accepted.

111
General Discussion / Re: Bike rental for European tour
« on: June 24, 2019, 01:39:01 am »
Hey Hobbes, thanks again for the great suggestions!   Some of these are thoughts I've had, which you summarized / organized in a way that's really helpful.  The idea of doing a short "shakedown" loop to see how bike feels is a good one I hadn't considered. 

The guy you mentioned in Amsterdam-- curious if it's this fellow: http://www.janhoedje-haarlem.nl/?page_id=27247. Saw one of his posts in a CraigsList type site, and it looks like he has a pretty great selection.  (And a chance to get a Rohloff- equipped bike for < $2k?  Awesome!). Of course this is Holland-- there may be a dozen businesses just like his.

Hmmm..... there's more in the quote than in the original text? Weird!

Yes, that's the guy. No nonsense, by appointment only but good bikes at great prices. (I ride an old MTB myself, but an old girlfriend got a bike there & I've recommended him to several people).
Yes, lots of Rohloff's. One thing with buying second hand is that most manufacturers of frames & Rohloff only give a guarantee to the original owner. Once you buy it, you're on your own if there are problems. And there's no tax back on the purchase when you export it.

No idea how much gear you plan on toting, but if you're sticking to the main bicycle routes then an expedition standard bike is overkill. Good surfaces and lots of bike shops if something goes wrong, plus lots of bike friendly public transport.

But then, there's always the next tour!  ;D

112
General Discussion / Re: Bike rental for European tour
« on: June 23, 2019, 04:59:04 am »
For a "proper" touring bike (whatever that is!  :D) I'd google specialist touring/expedition/adventure cycling shops and contact them directly. I know that some rent out bikes.

You'd also need to consider what gear you have, will bring with you and need locally. I'm thinking racks, panniers etc. Saddles and pedals too, perhaps.

Another option is to arrive on spec and buy a bike locally. If you're reasonably bike savvy you should be able to avoid a lemon and pick up something decent for a very reasonable price.
For instance I know of a guy here in NL who makes a tidy living selling barely used expedition bikes.

Similarly, Decathlon is a large, European chain store that sell & equip bikes. Buying a bike there would be relatively cheap with the comfort of being able to roll into another store somewhere else if there were any mechanical issues.

Sell (difficult) at the end or donate to a cycling charity when you're done. Mind you, I had a warmshowers guest once who flew into NL, bought a cheap second hand bike in a local bike shop, rode around the country and brought it back to the shop and got half her money back!

Finally, this could be a good opportunity to pick up a brand spanking new Touring/Expedition bike to your own specs that you pick up over here, tour on in Europe and ship home. I believe there's the possibility of getting a VAT (sales tax) refund back. Thorn (UK), Santos, Koga (NL) would be some of the big touring bike manufacturers.

But.... probably the most important factor in a touring bike is that it is comfortable! That's difficult to organise in advance so whatever option you go for I'd plan on doing a shortish circular route from where you pick up the bike to test it out and be able to have any adjustments or component changes made before heading off proper.

113
Gear Talk / Re: Burley: Coho XC or Nomad ?
« on: June 22, 2019, 11:55:57 am »
For off-road trailers the Extra-Wheel is great. A monowheel (in the same size as your bike so you have a spare front wheel should you need it) it tracks the bike perfectly. My model is the older Voyager and I think it is a great bit of kit, albeit with the proviso that the panniers are evenly packed in terms of weight.

It is attached to the (propriety) QR skewer of the rear wheel by tension so that in the event of an extreme event the trailer will decouple.

Only disadvantage is that the panniers can be a bit close to the ground.

114
Well, that sure is a whole lot of cycling! And a lot of time!

Amsterdam to Prague is pretty much the opposite direction to Netherlands south down to France! :-)

Ev6 is the hilly one!

I've done most of those with the exception of the Berlin/Prague part.
Some comments:
Personally, I wouldn't cycle Amsterdam to Berlin. Nothing wrong with it, but there's more attractive places out there.
The Rhine is great, but some parts are definitely better than others. Specifically, the section from Cologne down to Mainz is probably the most scenic and the most along the river.
Ditto the Danube. By far the most popular (and busiest) is Passau to Vienna. Glorious! After Budapest and heading for the Black Sea it is a lot less developed.
(It's entirely possible to link the Rhine & Danube routes in Switzerland).
France is great to cycle through, but I wouldn't be a slave to an EV route.

With a bit of planning it's possible to create a pretty impressive circular tour covering a lot of what you want to do - but it'll be months on the road.

Here's a handy hint: Using cycle.travel, create an account and start creating simple routes such as Amsterdam to Berlin. Create a few routes like this forming a rough circle. Put all those routes in one folder (max 20) and when you click on the "map" icon, all the routes will be presented on one European map.
If you go back in and fill preferences like average speed etc. each route on the map will give you estimated mileage and time to complete. You can then go back and look at routes in detail or add alternatives to see which suit the best.

Don't forget there are lots of local routes that are just as well developed (and sometimes better than) the EV routes. In fact, I've just added one to my wishlist - The Iron Curtain trail, basically a route along the old West/East border in Germany.
Biroto is useful for those as are the likes of RWGPS and cycle.travel - in fact any planner that allows you to search other people's routes.

As always, have a look on CrazyGuyOnABike for others who have done similar.
Have fun!  ;D

115
If you haven't heard of RidewithGPS I assume that you are not familiar with using gps? (RWGPS is just one of many sites/apps used for route planning)

Depending on what EV route you are using, there will be very useful guidebooks available, usually in English with another language too. Bikeline are one brand. These will not cover the entire route, but sections of routes. Since the EV routes are not complete in all cases, the books are not either!  :) Some of the routes are well signposted, others are well signposted in sections. The books are handy not just from a navigation point of view but from a historical and cultural perspective, highlighting interesting detours and local sites of interest.

http://www.stanfords.co.uk/ is the goto place for maps and guidebooks.

Maybe throw up some more detail of your intended route?

116
I would also suggest Biroto - it's a fabulous resource for European routes.
But I'd stay a million miles away from Google - my experience (in Europe) is that it is not for planning anything except perhaps where's the nearest X?

I've just tested it quickly and downoading the simple gpx file from Biroto (EuroVelo 7) and uploading it to RidewithGPS will give you the elevation profile.

Similarly, RWGPS is sometimes very handy if other people have created a route you want to follow - just search - of course it may have been adapted from the "official" route.

If you want more accurate elevation info https://cycle.travel/ will show it for shorter routes - not for an entire EV route. As well as giving an indication of surfaces.

Hope that helps

117
Routes / Re: Southern Tier, Heading West, Novemberish...
« on: June 18, 2019, 06:55:33 am »
Thanks for the reply. It matches what I have found out myself - possible short delays. I agree about the shorter daylight hours, but needs must.

118
Routes / Southern Tier, Heading West, Novemberish...
« on: June 18, 2019, 04:56:46 am »
Hi, just looking for some feedback/info on covering part of the Southern Tier from about the New Orleans spur, heading west, starting say, mid November.

Ultimate aim is to turn south and head through Mexico at some point. I'm just wondering if anyone has local or direct experience of this area at this time of year?

My understanding is that the highest peaks are in New Mexico and therefore the most risk of snow/road closures. How far can I realistically expect to get before I'm more likely than less likely to be hit by snow?

As much as I'd like to all the way to San Diego before heading south I'm thinking that this is unrealistic and that I'd be better avoiding the border crossing at Tijuana. Agree or disagree?

Mant thanks from the other side of the pond!

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