Author Topic: Great Smoky Mountain Expressway  (Read 3771 times)

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Offline iExp

Great Smoky Mountain Expressway
« on: March 26, 2019, 11:45:10 am »
Hello there... I’m planning a three day route from Raleigh to western NC. Last stretch between Sylva and Murphy takes me on the Expressway (US74/US19)... It’s a 4 lane divided with rumbling strips on both sides.

I can choose taking it around through US23 and US64...

Any ideas and suggestions?


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Offline iExp

Great Smoky Mountain Expressway
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 05:48:29 pm »
Looks like a part of Expressway is actually part of NC2 bike route Mountain to Sea route from NCDOT

https://www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/ncbikeways/routes/nc2-mountains-to-sea/default.aspx

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« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 05:51:05 pm by iExp »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Great Smoky Mountain Expressway
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2019, 02:46:37 pm »
First, that's a helluva ride to try to do in only three days.  Do you have experience riding 100-150 miles per day on successive days?

I've driven the Franklin to Murphy stretch on 64; it was narrow and winding.  It looks like the NC2 route leaves 64 just west of Franklin, so that'll probably put you on even more narrow, crooked, and poorly paved roads.

19/74 from Sylva through the outskirts of Bryson City to Almond is four-lane, divided highway with pretty good shoulders and high speed traffic.  Watch out for entrance and exit ramps.  From Almond over to Wesser (Nantahala Outdoors Center), it's steep, winding, no shoulders, and heavy traffic for two lanes.  I might be talked into riding to Almond, but I'd hitch a ride in somebody's pickup truck to Wesser.  If the river's running, I'd stay off the road up to where the road leaves the river, because drivers will be distracted watching rafters; otherwise, the sighlines are such that it's not usually too dangerous from Wesser over the gap where 129 comes in.  A mile south of there, it's four lanes and divided highway, but shoulder's aren't all that great; I'd suggest taking the business routes and/or old 19 from Andrews into Murphy.

Offline DanE

Re: Great Smoky Mountain Expressway
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 03:48:07 pm »
I have ridden NC Bike Route 2 between Sylva and Murphy, it is a remote and mountainous route but safe to ride. Steep, hairpin descents requiring hard breaking, swinging around 180, release brakes and pick up speed to the next one. Pat is correct that once you reach Andrews you can ride on the old US19 road which parallels the four lane highway and is a pleasant ride down a mountain valley and no serious climbing. I have done that as well.

Doing this in three days, I don't know unless you are doing it randonneur style and riding at night, etc. I once rode between Murphy and Raleigh in five days I think, and that was some long mileage days when I was young.


Offline iExp

Re: Great Smoky Mountain Expressway
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2019, 04:05:46 pm »
Thanks guys for the great responses. Yes, it’s gonna be challenging. I’m actually taking a train to Charlotte and pedaling from there... 100, 90 and 60 miles..


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