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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 12-10-06, 09:49 PM   #1
SlowSpinner
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Natchez Trace

Thinking about riding the Natchez Trace through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Looking for advice on riding the Trace?
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Old 12-11-06, 11:47 AM   #2
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You might get better response from the Touring group, but I suggest checking the National Park Service web site for info on the Trace. Crazyguyonabike.com probably has a tour journal or two from those who have done it. From what I have read, the road is "smooth as butter" with no commercial traffic. Should be a fun trip.
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Old 12-11-06, 01:26 PM   #3
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National Park Service info:

Natchez Trace
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Old 12-11-06, 01:45 PM   #4
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There is also a well done tour book...cannot recall the exact title but it is on the order of "riding the natchez trace" or some such......I want to do this ride as well......
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Old 12-12-06, 05:30 PM   #5
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Possibly "Bicycling The Natchez Trace" by Glen Wanner? ISBN 0-9637798-3-4 if you're searching...
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Old 12-13-06, 06:39 AM   #6
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As supcom says, road surface is excellent. I understand the southern section in Ms has been repaved over the past few years. Traffic is quite sporadic and with a 45-50mph speed limit plus the wide roads and long sight lines rarely a problem. The road tends to have a lot of broad grassy margins, with the woods only occasionally approaching the road. Terrain is pretty flat, though the occasional 1/2-1mi long hill occurs but these rarely ascend more than 200' elevation change. Facilities on the Trace are nil, but there are frequent transecting roads, and most of these, but not all, will have a connection to the Trace so you can bail to a nearby store, ville or even sizeable town for snacks, or R&R. I have not done anywhere near all the Trace, but on the 100mi or so I have done have been amazed at how artfully they block any sight lines to the 20th century, apart from the road itself. The Alabama section is very short, just hitting the corner of the state.
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Old 12-30-06, 08:56 AM   #7
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I've ridden it quite a bit, I used to live 5 miles off of it, now about 15. PM me with your address & I'll send you a NPS Trace map I have a stack of them here I found this summer when we moved. I do hope some sections have been repaved since I toured it, chip-seal was awefull, of course I was on 28mm tires and a AL bike, but my toes were numb for a month after. Oh and you'll want a partner to ride with, I did it solo and was bored to tears.
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Old 12-30-06, 10:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowSpinner
Thinking about riding the Natchez Trace through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Looking for advice on riding the Trace?
When are you doing this? I might be going to Vicksburg, MS in early March and I'm thinking about riding as much of the Trace as I can (1-day rides, not a tour). Let me know how it went if you get done before that. If you're going after March I'll let you know how my rides went.
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Old 01-07-07, 07:07 PM   #9
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The book's called 'Bicycling The Natchez Trace' by Glenn Wanner and Ann Richards. It's available from Pennywell Press, PO Box 50624, Nashville, TN 37205. !5.95 per book w/additional 2.00 for shipping and handling. Check or money order.
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Old 03-11-07, 09:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DXchulo
When are you doing this? I might be going to Vicksburg, MS in early March and I'm thinking about riding as much of the Trace as I can (1-day rides, not a tour). Let me know how it went if you get done before that. If you're going after March I'll let you know how my rides went.
I just got back from my trip a few days ago. My experience on the trace was somewhat limited, especially in areas that are probably of most interest to you such as what it's like around the city areas.

I was staying in Vicksburg, and when I drove to the trace I was about 30 miles west of Jackson. It just turned out that my short ride was towards Jackson and my longer rides were towards Natchez, so I never made it close to the center of Jackson. Unfortunately, I can't tell you how easy it is to get around Jackson.

What I can tell you is that the trace from west of Jackson to Natchez is great. There wasn't much traffic (I went on a Sunday, a Monday, and a Wednesday), and the cars that I saw gave me plenty of space. The roads were smooth and were mainly rolling hills from what I saw. I'm used to the flatlands, so take that for what it's worth. I saw a cop and a few park rangers on the road, which is nice to know just in case something terrible happens. There were a ton of birds and I saw a few deer, which I hear are pretty common on the trace. I even saw a turkey.

I'd definitely recommend the Natchez Trace to anyone who's close to the area. It was nice to just get on and ride. I didn't have to worry about stop signs, semis, or anything like that. I just rode, soaked up the sun, and checked out the scenery. That's cycling at its best.
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