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Old 12-28-16, 07:25 AM   #1
NoShiftSherlock
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Touring - How Would One Ride This?

https://goo.gl/maps/d1ehsAjKr7r

A bit around 60-70% of my upcoming tour goes through Georgias US-17 to Savannah. I have looked at multiple paths that don't include 17 and it can add a ton of time and aren't much different (though maybe lower traffic) and add anywhere from 15-20 miles to the trip depending. Curious how you all would deal with the above imaged road? Is that a useable shoulder to any of you?

Thanks!
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Old 12-28-16, 08:14 AM   #2
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It's Georgia Bike Route 95, Strava Global Heatmap shows people on bicycles use it.

12' wide lanes, 55 MPH for most of the road. There are similar roads, but shorter stretches, that I've ridden on Cape Cod - not only the narrow shoulders but more importantly sand makes such shoulders mostly avoidable for me.

Lastly, you won't be able to hide from the sun for most of the day for long stretches.

You have to answer to your own comfort level.

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Old 12-28-16, 08:22 AM   #3
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We have a lot of similar roads up here, in Maine, mostly the main road heading down the long, thin, coastal penninsulas we have. The speed limit is usually 40-45, though. I believe in luck, but I have been accused of naivety at times.
If you're only doing this stretch once, cross your fingers, pray to the higher power of your choice, hope that the drunks are all at home or in rehab.., and go for it.
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Old 12-28-16, 09:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoShiftSherlock View Post
https://goo.gl/maps/d1ehsAjKr7r

A bit around 60-70% of my upcoming tour goes through Georgias US-17 to Savannah. I have looked at multiple paths that don't include 17 and it can add a ton of time and aren't much different (though maybe lower traffic) and add anywhere from 15-20 miles to the trip depending. Curious how you all would deal with the above imaged road? Is that a useable shoulder to any of you?

Thanks!
If you are touring, and there ARE safer routes... why not add the 15-20 miles... what difference does it make? If you feel it adds to your safety, then your mind will be at greater ease... and you are touring, so relax, smell the roses and take your time.
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Old 12-28-16, 10:15 AM   #5
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In an old thread @gpsblake has positive things to say about 17 in *Georgia*.

-mr. bill
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Old 12-28-16, 10:22 AM   #6
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If you are touring, and there ARE safer routes... why not add the 15-20 miles... what difference does it make? If you feel it adds to your safety, then your mind will be at greater ease... and you are touring, so relax, smell the roses and take your time.
+ 1. I thought the whole point of touring was the journey? I do my best to avoid busy, fast roads when touring.
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Old 12-28-16, 10:23 AM   #7
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If you are touring, and there ARE safer routes... why not add the 15-20 miles... what difference does it make? If you feel it adds to your safety, then your mind will be at greater ease... and you are touring, so relax, smell the roses and take your time.
Good question! The reason is due to it being a time issue. This is a short, 3-4 day riding tour. Cant afford to take another day. Adding more to the west would add a day that I can't add at this time. As I said, the other routes are literally the same though with less traffic. My issue is mainly with the road itself.
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Old 12-28-16, 11:46 AM   #8
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NOT AT ALL or only once, because youll be ran over..
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Old 12-28-16, 12:45 PM   #9
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+ 1. I thought the whole point of touring was the journey? I do my best to avoid busy, fast roads when touring.
We agree... but apparently the OP is just doing an extended weekend... What we might call a "delivery cruise" in the boating world... and that means "schedule."

For that aspect, it appears that taking the fast road is the only solution... I'd wear a lot of bright flashy clothing, maybe even put some orange or yellow blaze on the panniers and then just gut it out on the "bad road." He is essentially "commuting" at this point... and commuters all know that ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Real tours are all about the journey, and smelling the roses and going where the road leads you... but those types of tours just don't happen often enough.
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Old 12-28-16, 03:39 PM   #10
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Update!!!

Ended up buying the ACA map of Atlantic Coast Section 6. It brings me in quite a bit but has me going essentially backroads or roads with better shoulders and much lighter traffic. It then cuts across to Savannah all within the same time frame of 4ish days. Added benefit is only 1 60+ mile day.
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Old 01-01-17, 10:05 PM   #11
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Update!!!

Ended up buying the ACA map of Atlantic Coast Section 6. It brings me in quite a bit but has me going essentially backroads or roads with better shoulders and much lighter traffic. It then cuts across to Savannah all within the same time frame of 4ish days. Added benefit is only 1 60+ mile day.
That's probably your best bet. Maybe use some tough tires and if you encounter anything like this stretch on your trip, and something big (or fast) is approaching from behind, especially with an opposing vehicle approaching, don't be afraid of going off onto the dirt for a bit.
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Old 01-02-17, 02:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoShiftSherlock View Post
https://goo.gl/maps/d1ehsAjKr7r

A bit around 60-70% of my upcoming tour goes through Georgias US-17 to Savannah. I have looked at multiple paths that don't include 17 and it can add a ton of time and aren't much different (though maybe lower traffic) and add anywhere from 15-20 miles to the trip depending. Curious how you all would deal with the above imaged road? Is that a useable shoulder to any of you?

Thanks!
No, that's not a useable shoulder under any circumstances but especially when touring with bags of any sort. The travel lane also isn't wide enough for a motor vehicle to safely pass while staying in the lane, so that is a classic "take the lane" type of road. It's also the worst kind of road if it has much traffic because motorists think you should try to ride that tiny shoulder, so punish-passes are going to happen. Leave enough room to the right so you can deal with these.

When I know I have a road like that on a tour, I often deal with it by riding it in the wee hours of the morning. If I'm far from towns/cities, I'll take off as early as 1:00 AM. If I'm closer to where I expect drunk drivers, I'll hit the road closer to 3:00 AM. Two things happen in the pre-dawn hours, both of which I like:
1. There's less traffic, so there are fewer conflicts
2. What traffic there is seems to be more accommodating, especially the trucks.
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Old 01-02-17, 06:12 AM   #13
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No, that's not a useable shoulder under any circumstances but especially when touring with bags of any sort. The travel lane also isn't wide enough for a motor vehicle to safely pass while staying in the lane, so that is a classic "take the lane" type of road. It's also the worst kind of road if it has much traffic because motorists think you should try to ride that tiny shoulder, so punish-passes are going to happen. Leave enough room to the right so you can deal with these.

When I know I have a road like that on a tour, I often deal with it by riding it in the wee hours of the morning. If I'm far from towns/cities, I'll take off as early as 1:00 AM. If I'm closer to where I expect drunk drivers, I'll hit the road closer to 3:00 AM. Two things happen in the pre-dawn hours, both of which I like:
1. There's less traffic, so there are fewer conflicts
2. What traffic there is seems to be more accommodating, especially the trucks.
Thanks for the advice! I probably won't be waking up that earlier, but I do plan on leaving daily around 7am. I checked the Georgia AADT (annual average daily traffic) and this particular road hovers around 2500 daily in areas like what's shown above and, naturally, more when entering into towns/cities. To me, 2500 doesn't seem like much AT ALL compared to neighborhoods, yes neighborhoods, where I'm from getting 2x that a day. That's roughly 104 cars TOTAL (both going my direction and the opposite direction) per hour. Pretty manageable to me.

Thanks again! I'm going to have to take this route since my other route takes me through a country known for it's uh, meth issues.

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Old 01-03-17, 02:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoShiftSherlock View Post
https://goo.gl/maps/d1ehsAjKr7r

A bit around 60-70% of my upcoming tour goes through Georgias US-17 to Savannah. I have looked at multiple paths that don't include 17 and it can add a ton of time and aren't much different (though maybe lower traffic) and add anywhere from 15-20 miles to the trip depending. Curious how you all would deal with the above imaged road? Is that a useable shoulder to any of you?

Thanks!
Would the 15-20mi. absolutely include shoulders like that?
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Old 01-03-17, 02:43 PM   #15
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I have toured on plenty of roads like that around the country, including roads on several ACA routes. I also live in PA, where shoulders are often non-existent. Your experience will depend largely on traffic count and driver courtesy.
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Old 01-04-17, 06:46 AM   #16
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Would the 15-20mi. absolutely include shoulders like that?
Correct. This is me actually low balling it a bit but it would be a TOTAL of ~20 or ~30 miles that I'll have to ride that look identical to that. In cities/towns it changes of course but generally the road looks like the above google view.
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Old 01-04-17, 09:34 AM   #17
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I guess I am confused. That looks like every 55mph rural road where I grew up, and in many instances where I still am, that I rode as a teenager in the summers nearly every day. Just looks like a normal road to me that I wouldn't ride anything differently.

That said, I agree with genec, if it is a tour find a better (different?) route.
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Old 01-04-17, 02:25 PM   #18
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I wouldn't do this. Can you survive? Sure. Is it fun to ride on a road like this with cars whizzing by at 55 mph or perhaps even faster? No way. If I'm "touring", I'm looking for scenery, peace and serenity.

If this was the only way to get where I'm going, I would go someplace else. For me, when the destination outweighs the journey, I've lost sight of why I ride. YMMV.
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Old 01-04-17, 07:45 PM   #19
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Correct. This is me actually low balling it a bit but it would be a TOTAL of ~20 or ~30 miles that I'll have to ride that look identical to that. In cities/towns it changes of course but generally the road looks like the above google view.
Okay. Then, I would ride inside the line.
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Old 01-04-17, 08:06 PM   #20
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I guess I am confused. That looks like every 55mph rural road where I grew up, and in many instances where I still am, that I rode as a teenager in the summers nearly every day. Just looks like a normal road to me that I wouldn't ride anything differently.
There are a lot of roads I ride that look like that. And one road that looks about like that which I won't ride due to traffic volume.
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Old 01-05-17, 02:49 AM   #21
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Thanks for the advice! I probably won't be waking up that earlier, but I do plan on leaving daily around 7am. I checked the Georgia AADT (annual average daily traffic) and this particular road hovers around 2500 daily in areas like what's shown above and, naturally, more when entering into towns/cities. To me, 2500 doesn't seem like much AT ALL compared to neighborhoods, yes neighborhoods, where I'm from getting 2x that a day. That's roughly 104 cars TOTAL (both going my direction and the opposite direction) per hour. Pretty manageable to me.

Thanks again! I'm going to have to take this route since my other route takes me through a country known for it's uh, meth issues.
Your cars/hour calculation doesn't take the "going to/from work" drivers into consideration. In my experience, you don't want to be riding on a road like this before 8:30am or after 4pm. If there's a school in session in the area, be off the road by 3pm. Consider not only the road, but also the time of day on that road.

Make sure you have a mirror and pull onto the shoulder when prudent. Watch out for fire ant mounds and stay away from them.
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Old 01-05-17, 07:16 AM   #22
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Your cars/hour calculation doesn't take the "going to/from work" drivers into consideration. In my experience, you don't want to be riding on a road like this before 8:30am or after 4pm. If there's a school in session in the area, be off the road by 3pm. Consider not only the road, but also the time of day on that road.

Make sure you have a mirror and pull onto the shoulder when prudent. Watch out for fire ant mounds and stay away from them.
Good call! I accounted for schools on some of the route going into large towns/cities, but it may be worth it to get some extra rest and leave at 9am as opposed to my planned 7am schedule.
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