Author Topic: Route 98 along the Gulf of Mexico  (Read 1710 times)

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Offline Quahog03

Route 98 along the Gulf of Mexico
« on: September 25, 2021, 12:00:24 pm »
Many years ago, I drove along to route,however I can't remember if it has a wide shoulder for cycling.
I'm thinking of riding the area in Jan/Feb of 2022. Looking to do short rides 30-40 miles a day and stay in hotels.
Any information would be helpful.

Offline ray b

Re: Route 98 along the Gulf of Mexico
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2021, 04:23:26 pm »
Did much of this on the motorcycle a year ago.... Any specific sections you plan to do?

A lot of unappealing, busy 4-lane in many areas, but my recollection is the road gives a lot of access to more local roads that are worth exploring on two wheels. (E.g., if your are a fan of James Lee Burke, don't miss 182 through Jeanerette and New Iberia and 31 along Bayou Teche....)

It's a long and variably maintained road. Paved shoulders are wide to non-existent. Even on the 4-lane sections, make sure your tail lights are bright and plentiful.

As regards the 2-lane between Mobile and Hattiesburg - here's a link to a recording of Bloody 98, written Cary Hudson and Laurie Stirratt, and the first cut on the 1997 album Homegrown, by Blue Mountain. (Last word I've heard, is that you can meet Laurie Stirratt cooking up the food at the Chickory Market in Oxford.) 

Not sure how much this helps with logistics, but the point is, this road runs smack through the middle of a lot of fun, for those of us who enjoy occasionally big doses of flat and straight.

“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline Quahog03

Re: Route 98 along the Gulf of Mexico
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2021, 08:47:35 am »
Thanks Ray,for your help. I'll check out the link you provided and get my maps out and try to see I can do some day trips in that area.
The section I was planning to ride was from Pensacola Beach to Panama City Beach.
Thanks again,

Offline aggie

Re: Route 98 along the Gulf of Mexico
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2021, 09:32:08 am »
I rode Hwy 98 a couple of years ago.  I mostly enjoyed the ride but once you get close to Destin cycling conditions were not that great.  Further along there was a great deal of construction that should be done by now.  It may have improved riding conditions.  It was a very busy stretch of Hwy.  In 2019 I wrote there was no shoulder from Ft. Walton to at least 10 miles past Destin and had heavy traffic.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 09:39:17 am by aggie »

Offline staehpj1

Re: Route 98 along the Gulf of Mexico
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2021, 09:49:03 am »
I haven't ridden that section, but have driven it.  I think there was a decent shoulder most of the way, but maybe not the whole way.  I'd suggest doing a thorough checking with street view.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Route 98 along the Gulf of Mexico
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2021, 10:19:17 pm »
I rode it westbound maybe 6 years ago while riding the Gold Coast.  It was fine.  I used some back roads when possible.  The only stretch we did not like was between Mary Ester and Navarre as there was just a ton of traffic and little shoulder. 

Also, under no circumstances should you cross the Dupont Bridge into Panama City from the air base on a Friday afternoon as work lets out and all the 20 something personnel are racing to get into PC for the night.  Easily in the top 3 scariest rides in 45+ years.  Other than that, the route was fine from Tampa to Galveston. 
Note that this was before at least 1 hurricane hit the area.  I think some bridges were knocked out and don't know if they have been repaired. 

I might have GPS data if you need it but not sure.  Privately message me if you think you might want it. 

Tailwinds, John