Author Topic: eastward/east coast in September  (Read 3735 times)

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Offline stef

eastward/east coast in September
« on: July 10, 2008, 06:33:49 pm »
Hello,
I'm planning a bicycle trip heading east in September, probably beginning in Kansas/Missouri.  We'd like to end up in Philadelphia with about three weeks to a month of riding.  Thus far I've looked into the latter part of the Transamerica Route and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Any advice or thoughts from folks regarding weather or routes that time of year?
Angthing is appreciated!
Stef


Offline rlovisa

eastward/east coast in September
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2008, 12:23:20 am »
Hey Stef,

The Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) is a very nice route.  Two lane park road, low speed limit, many pull outs but generally no shoulders.  Weather should be great.  Later in September and early October should be very nice.  September may be a few weeks too early for the fall colors but there is a lot to offer.  Fall is my favorite time of the year, so I tend to oversell the season.  Visit the National Park Service (NPS) website for more information (http://www.nps.gov/blri) for camp sites and other logistics.  The BRP connects to Skyline Drive (SD) that is in Shenandoah National Park (SNP) also 2 lane, low speed limit, etc. (http://www.nps.gov/shen/historyculture/skylinedrive.htm).  BRP is much easier to bike than SD because SD is much hillier.  From the northern terminus of SD (near Front Royal, VA), you can bike East and go to DC and see the sites there and pick up the Atlantic Coast Route (ACR).  If you need suggestions on a route from Front Royal to DC, contact me.  The ACR goes right through DC, then North towards Philly.  The actual route around Philly is to the West and North of the city.

Have a great ride.


Offline staehpj1

eastward/east coast in September
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2008, 10:36:26 am »
The BRP itself is very pleasant, but climbing up to it can be tough.  That was the hardest part of the TA or at least very close to it.  Nothing in the Rockies was even close IMO.  Unfortunately any detour for construction usually involves descending and climbing back up VERY steeply.  So double check for road closures at:
http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm

Also any marked detours don't take bikes into account and are likely to use interstate or other roads unsuitable for bikes.  You may be able to sneak through rather than use the detours.

I don't think any current closures should affect you, but it is a good idea to check.

Skyline drive is a nice ride.  I would disagree that it is harder than the BRP in general, but perhaps it is harder than the portion of the BRP that the TA uses.

If you decide to pass close to Baltimore and need a place to stay I am just inside the beltway on the north side and could probably provide a place to stay assuming we are home.  Let me know if that would help.


Offline litespeed

eastward/east coast in September
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 08:30:13 pm »
US highways in Virginia can be tough. They don't believe in paved shoulders. US58 in far SW Virginia is very lightly travelled but brutally hilly with about the steepest ups and downs I've ever ridden. And don't even think about riding US15 or US29 in northern Virginia. Best to stick to back roads or ride the Blue Ridge Parkway although you will have to pack food there.

On the other hand, Maryland and Pennsylvania roads are very bicycle friendly. Southeastern Pennsylvania is also full of ice cream and fudge shops and good diners with good, cheap food. If you haven't been to Gettysburg you ought to put it on your route and allow a day or two for touring the place. I also like Hershey but it's not for everyone.