Author Topic: Cycling in TN  (Read 5742 times)

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Offline inzpired

Cycling in TN
« on: June 28, 2009, 02:00:24 am »
Hey everyone, would be keen to hear thoughts on cycling through Tennessee? That is, worth a ride through (detour off the TransAm) or not worth the effort. Have an interest in country music but only if the roads / destination is worth the effort! Cheers, Scott

Offline dubovsmj

Re: Cycling in TN
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2009, 03:38:21 am »
this site might help...they give some suggested routes, etc. 

http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/bikeped/routes.htm

i think it'd be worth your while, and physical effort, to swing thru tennesse...if you're starting transam in yorktown then you'll get to blue ridge parkway in a few days and just keep taking that south right into southern terminous and town cherokee, nc....from there you could bike through great smokey mtn nt'l park and head on towards nashville. scenery on parkway is unbeatable and, in my humble opinion, a helluva lot better than biking through kentucky...plus less traffic.   

i do recall finding a blog about a couple who did a xc tour but started near outer banks, nc and went thru smokey mtns and straight thru tennessee...if find that blog you could plot their route on map and find appropriate roads.

hope that helps a bit and good luck.

michael

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cycling in TN
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2009, 02:29:46 pm »
The Tennessee roads are nice as is the scenery.  There isn't anything attraction-wise that I personally would detour off of the TA for, but if you have plenty of time the Blue Ridge Parkway is nice as are the Tennessee roads in general.  Services and places to stay on the parkway are scarce though and if you leave the Parkway, you have massive climbs to get back to it.  Plan you stops carefully if you do the Parkway.

I generally avoid larger cities when on tour so places like Nashville don't especially appeal to me.  If seeing Nashville is a big plus for you, and you have the time, go for it.

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Cycling in TN
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 07:13:50 am »
Hi Staehpj1,

If going to Cherokee sounds right, consider heading west from there to Tennessee via the Cherohala Skyway http://www.cherohala.com/, the less-known cousin of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just as beautiful and just as challenging.

Fred

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cycling in TN
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 04:56:31 pm »
If going to Cherokee sounds right, consider heading west from there to Tennessee via the Cherohala Skyway http://www.cherohala.com/, the less-known cousin of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just as beautiful and just as challenging.
That sounds interesting.  I will have to check it out.  Have you ridden it?

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Cycling in TN
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 07:30:45 am »
Yes, I rode it west to east in 2005. Like the Blue Ridge, it is a long climb up the end of the ridge--not terribly steep--then miles of ups and downs before the swish down at the end. Also like the Blue Ridge, services are limited on the Skyway. Plan ahead for food and camping.

Fred

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Cycling in TN
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2009, 09:03:09 am »
I once cycled the southernmost tier of counties of Tennessee from east to west. It was actually a pretty good ride. Nashville was farther north, but near enough to visit. There was an extremely destructive weather system. The news said fifty-seven tornadoes touched down in one day, and it was some kind of a record. Luckily, there was minimum property damage, and no loss of life except maybe for some animals. You get into Arkansas west of Memphis and the Mississippi. That's where the land is table top flat with all the rice fields, under shallow water. There were lots of places for free camping.

Offline litespeed

Re: Cycling in TN
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 06:15:37 pm »
I have bicycled through Tennessee twice - once north to south from Land Between The Lakes to Chattanooga and once over the pass from Cherokee NC to Gatlinburg then NE through Johnson City to VA.

The roads were generally, but not always, bicycle friendly. They usually had shoulders or light traffic. There were some steep climbs, especially approaching Chattanooga. You'll need low MTB gears. Once between Dover and Dickson I had to walk my bike up a hill - a very rare occurrence.

There are plenty of KOA's and state parks for camping and cheap motels in some of the more depressed towns like Columbia.

It was overcast when I went over Newfound Gap between Cherokee and Gatlinburg so I can't tell you how scenic it is. I passed on the 7 mile climb up to Clingman's Dome, the highest point in Tennessee.

The people were typical southerners - friendly and helpful.