Author Topic: Myrtle Beach to Dickson TN -- Any route advice?  (Read 1395 times)

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Offline Figaro

Myrtle Beach to Dickson TN -- Any route advice?
« on: February 04, 2019, 06:21:30 pm »
I did the transam last summer and it was an adventure of a lifetime. Training for that got me back into biking after a very long break from most any exercise. This summer I won't be able to take off two months again--if so, I would do it again--but I am looking for a challenging adventure. I'll be turning 59 next month and my 40-year high school reunion will be in Dickson, TN this summer. I have grandkids in Myrtle Beach, so my thought is to visit the grandkids and then bike from Myrtle Beach to Dickson.

All I've done thus far for route planning is plug this into google maps and clicked on the bike icon. It shows a route of about 700 miles going through--just north of--Atlanta. Over the next few weeks, I'll research this more and try to look at the route in satellite view to see what the roads look like.

Couple questions: 1. How good is google maps at actually plotting a decent bike route? 2. Anyone familiar with the areas it will be taking me through have any advice? And, 3. I'm ok with going 1,000 or so miles, so based on that anyone have any advice on a better route to think about?

Appreciate any advice anyone may offer. In exchange, here is my day-by-day TransAm blog from last summer for anyone thinking of doing that maybe you'll pick up a tip or two that'll help. Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 06:23:35 pm by Figaro »

Offline John Nettles

Re: Myrtle Beach to Dickson TN -- Any route advice?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 09:13:57 pm »
Steve (assuming that is your name based on the website),

First, Google is pretty good for routes of less than 10-15 miles, especially in urban areas.  Outside urban areas and/or longer than 15 miles their ability to produce a decent route drops drramatically, i.e. don't trust it as it will route you God knows where.

Second, if the timing permits, you might want to consider reversing the route, i.e. Dickson to Myrtle Beach as then you may not be on a time crunch as much.  If you arrive a day or so early/late, the kids will still be there but the reunion may be over.

Thirdly, I have tons of routes around the country.  Unforunately, I don't have DIRECT route from Dickson to Myrtle to give you.  That said, I do have a combination of routes that will get you there.  One suggestion is to get from Dickson down to the Natchez Trace Trail where it cross the Duck River via backroads.  Since you grew up in that area, I assume you can find a road or two.  If not, I have a route that goes into Nashville where you can connect to the NTT. 

Head southwest on the NTT, until CR-14 (just north of TN River).  From there I have a route that goes to Cullman, AL (via Decatur), where it connects to another route that connects to the rail trails that head to Atlanta.  I have a couple of routes that go from Atlanta to near Charleston where you can take the ACA Atlantic Coast Route north.

I am guessing the overall routes to be about 800-850 miles usually on low-traffic county or state roads.  It would require camping for at least some days.  I have ridden about 1/2 of it (Alabama is hilly!).  If you are seriously considering this route, I can get you the GPS relatively easily but a cue sheet would take a bit of effort to produce.

Private message me if this interests you.  Tailwinds, John

Offline Figaro

Re: Myrtle Beach to Dickson TN -- Any route advice?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 07:27:37 pm »
Steve (assuming that is your name based on the website),

Yes, I'm Steve. Thanks for the detailed response and offer of the routes John. Dickson to Myrtle Beach wouldn't work for me. I need a challenge and a big part of doing this is to challenge myself to make it in time for the reunion--the potential for failure is what motivates me.

Your response has given me an idea though to look into what the mileage would be to go south following the Atlantic Coast route, then west on the Southern Tier, and North following the Underground Railroad. That will keep me on ACA routes and may even make it more challenging--just need to look and see what the mileage would be. 

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Myrtle Beach to Dickson TN -- Any route advice?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 10:04:05 pm »
If I were going to do this route, I'd have to figure out a way to get to Atlanta (minor detail!), take the Silver Comet Trail to Rockmart, then head up USBR 21 ( and reverse the route).  From Lafayette or Chickamauga take 136 over Lookout Mountain to Trenton, up the back roads to New England, up Hales Gap Rd. and over Sand Mountain to Bryant, AL, then down to South Pittsburgh, TN.  Take 56 up the Cumberland Plateau or go down towards Stevenson and up 156? to Sewanee.  Harpeth Bike Club randonneurs have a good route from Sewanee to Brentwood at  Check out their Ultra page at under the permanents tab for a couple ideas how to get west from there.  (Jeff and Robert are both great guys, if you need to email them they can probably help you with details of the area from Brentwood to Dickson.)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 10:28:16 am by Pat Lamb »