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Old 01-24-07, 09:30 AM   #1
John Wilke
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KY / TN in April - suggestions?

I'm driving down from Milwaukee, WI on the weekend of April 20th to visit my sister in Adolphus, KY (south central), have never been there, am bringing the road bike, and looking for ride suggestions anywhere in KY and northern TN. Am bringing two cycling friends along, and we think we're going to get some warm miles in, but we have no idea how the riding is down there that time of year, or what areas to ride. My family down there says that the roads are narrow, with little room to ride on. I was thinking that if the roads are iffy, we could have two guys riding and one driving support, then switch off later. If the road is no good, load the bikes on the car (Subaru Outback), and drive on - looking for the next good section.

Plans are pretty loose at this time, but it will probably be a three day trip. Day one will include a brief stop in Bloomington, IN for a few miles and to soak up some of the energy from the Little 500 bike race. Then probably continue to KY from there that evening. Saturday will be in and around Adolphus, Sunday is wide open, can go anywhere.

Suggestions needed for: clothing (shoe covers or shorts?), routes?, suggested gearing?

Two of us are in our 40's, decades of cycling experience, third is 16 yo. All on road bikes with probably 39 x 23 as lowest gear on the bikes now.

What say?

John Wilke
Milwaukee, WI
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Old 01-24-07, 10:27 AM   #2
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I haven't done any riding in (north) central Tennessee, but if the roads there are similar to East Tennessee, yes, they are narrow. But I suspect you should be able to find plenty of enjoyable riding on the quieter backroads.

As far as weather goes, the average high/low here that time of year is 70/48. However, the temperatures in March and April are prone to vary widely; it might be in the 80s, it could be below 60. You're just going to have to check the forecast before you take the trip.
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Old 01-24-07, 03:38 PM   #3
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It's a little south but try the Natchez Trace. There are several local roads off of the Trace if you want a longer route. Check the website of the Harpeth Bicycle Club (just google it).
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Old 01-25-07, 10:34 AM   #4
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Try http://home.comcast.net/~biketennessee/

Two of the counties border TN/KY and clicking on these shaded counties will list some known rides. On the next page, click the link in the far right column for some great maps.

You may want to look at the elevation profile on a topo map reference - they aren't mountains like East TN, but they aren't flat either. Of course that's relative and an Old/Newbie/Clyde like me will spend more time in the granny gear than the average cyclist, so ymmv.
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Old 01-25-07, 01:33 PM   #5
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Hey that's great. Thanks. Looking at www.routeslip.com, I see there's plenty of marked routes near Bowling Green. There's even a route marked for Bowling Green to Somerset with a mere 7,000+ feet of climbing over 120 miles which is great because that's on the way to Pikeville, home of Hillbilly Days on Sunday!



Any recommended bike stores to hit in Nashville, Louisville, Bowling Green, or Lexington? To stock up on souvenirs, or emergency bike parts??

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Milwaukee, WI
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Old 01-25-07, 09:01 PM   #6
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North of Nashville:

http://www.thebikerschoice.com/
http://www.acmemultisports.com/
http://intrepidcyclist.com/

...and a larger listing of shops in TN:
http://www.nashvillecyclist.com/arch.../frameset.html
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