Touring - A few questions about riding on US 17 north from Myrtle Beach
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05-10-06, 12:29 PM
Hello. Trying to plan a bike trip along US 17 and the Atlantic Coast. I have a few questions.
* How is US 17 bike riding wise from Myrtle Beach north to Virginia?
* Can you legally cross over the US 17 bridge near Newport News
* Alternative. Is there anyway to get a bike across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel?
* Are the bears a problem along NC part of US 17?
* If I decide to shoot out toward the outer banks, is it legal to free camp along the beach there?
I plan on starting on the tuesday after memorial day.
Thanks so much.
05-10-06, 01:13 PM
Well, first of all, anything on 17 outside of Myrtle Beach (beyond NMB) is better! US 17 is all good once you cross into North Carolina. That state actually believes in wide shoulders. Have never seen any bears going to Wilmington and Jacksonville. After that, I leave up to others to fill you in...HTH :)
As for the CBBT, I doubt you can travel it. There's no mention of it on their website, nor anything on their toll schedule. Go here (http://www.roadstothefuture.com/CBBT_Photos_1198.html) for those rare times bikes were allowed...maybe take an intercity bus traveling from PTP. If you do get to the north side of CBBT, the riding is pretty flat, and well, pretty boring. I drove it and though quiet, nothing really to see except lots of chicken factories. Sorry, but that was my impression of it.
05-10-06, 04:27 PM
Just drove up 17 from Myrtle Beach to the Outer Banks last weekend.
Mostly OK for biking. Between Newbern and Washington, NC the two lane part is not too fun for bikers. You might want to take the exit just after the bridge, go to Oriental, then on to Bellhaven (nice ferry ride between these), pick up 264 and go to the OUter Banks.
NO, you cannot camp anywhere except a designated campground within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Don't know about the 17 bridge , but there's a nice new bike path along the Dismal Swamp Canal which runs paralell to 17 in NE NC north of Elizabeth City.
Sounds like a great trip. Have fun.
05-10-06, 04:28 PM
Oh, yeah, the bears part. Forget that.
05-10-06, 08:42 PM
If you have a few bucks to spend, check out the Adventure Cycling east coast route map for that area.
05-10-06, 09:25 PM
Rather than ride through Downtown Wilmington ( nice downtown but traffic really sux) turn east off of US 17 onto NC 211 east at Supply NC. Ride 211 to Southport, then take the Fort Fisher Ferry across the Cape Fear river then follow the coast till you hook up with US 17 again. I think that is part of the ACA east coast route.
05-11-06, 10:52 AM
I was born and raised in eastern NC and have ridden that portion of the state MANY times. My simple response is why ride on US 17? It's not very pleasant from a bike touring point of view. For a much better choice, go here: http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle/maps/maps_highways.html and order the Ports of Call Route (NC Bicycling Highways Rt 3). It is a fabulous ride that takes you through the historic and most interesting parts of eastern NC, primarily along nicely paved back roads with little traffic. If you are going to ride the Outer Banks, you may want to order the Around Pamlico Sound and Dare County Bicycle maps as well. Oh, and I believe the maps are free of charge. Do it now as sometimes it takes a couple of weeks for the maps to arrive.
Have a nice trip. Watch out for the bears. We got some pretty nasty skeeters, too.
05-11-06, 11:20 AM
The Bay Bridge Tunnel has a van service that will take you and your bike across for a fee. You just have to arrange an appointment to do it. When I went through there I didn't know exactly what day I'd be there, and you have to call like 2 weeks in advance or so, so what I did is just roll up as close to the bridge as possible, and stick my thumb out with a ten spot in hand. Took about 5 minutes the fiest time and 30 minutes the second time before someone in a pickup stopped for me.
05-11-06, 01:36 PM
Not sure about the route 17 bridge over the James River, but you can take routes 10 and 31 to Scotland and take the ferry over to Jamestown.
You can take either back roads or the Colonial Parkway from Jamestown to Yorktown, and I've read somewhere that bikes are now allowed on the Coleman bridge (route 17 over the York River).
Route 17 from Glouchester Point to Fredericksburg is mostly bikeable, but the last 15 miles might be a problem. Here route 17 is 2 lane with little or no shoulder. Better to turn right at Port Royal and take 301 to route 3 and into Fredericksburg that way.
If you are continuing past Fredericksburg, there is a nice rural route north towards DC that avoids route 1 and route 17. Let me know if you need details.
05-11-06, 08:12 PM
I downloaded the gps route from adv-cycling.org and decided to ride along that with a few exceptions. I idea of going through historical towns like New Bern & Edenton plus a ferry ride was too much to pass by.
Thanks for the responses.
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