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  1. #1
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Outer Banks Trip Ride Suggestions?

    So I will be making the trip down from Maryland to the Outer banks (Corolla to be exact). I will be their for a couple days enjoying the beach with my family but I also plan to bring my bike. I wanted to find out if their are any good routes around their that I should check out. I believe route 12 goes for a very long distance and it should be very flat right? I am looking to do a ride around 50 to 100 miles if possible because I have a 100 mile ride in MD later this year.

    Also any suggestion on good places I should eat at?
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  2. #2
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    very few options beyond the beach road or NC158/12 unless you go inland (which you can do at 158 in kitty hawk or 64 in nags head...neither of which i recommend). stick to the beach road where you can, as 12 has little shoulder and lots of traffic in the summer and is a 5 lane highway in kitty hawk/nags head.

    you can ride it south for a long, long way (how far is corolla to hatteras village). yes, dead flat...but the sun and wind can be brutal. south of the 64 intersection it's a 55mph 2-lane with no shoulder but less traffic.

    actually, i take back the no-no on inland. if you go in at 64 and turn south on 264 at manteo, it's probably not too bad. way less traffic than the beach. but i've only driven 264, not ridden. on the beach, there's lots of places to take a break and get a refreshment...not so on 264.

  3. #3
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Leave the good bike at home and rent a beach cruiser. Road riding on the outer banks is not a lot of fun. Too much wind and sand, and too many vacationers driving too fast.

  4. #4
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookie View Post
    very few options beyond the beach road or NC158/12 unless you go inland (which you can do at 158 in kitty hawk or 64 in nags head...neither of which i recommend). stick to the beach road where you can, as 12 has little shoulder and lots of traffic in the summer and is a 5 lane highway in kitty hawk/nags head.

    you can ride it south for a long, long way (how far is corolla to hatteras village). yes, dead flat...but the sun and wind can be brutal. south of the 64 intersection it's a 55mph 2-lane with no shoulder but less traffic.

    actually, i take back the no-no on inland. if you go in at 64 and turn south on 264 at manteo, it's probably not too bad. way less traffic than the beach. but i've only driven 264, not ridden. on the beach, there's lots of places to take a break and get a refreshment...not so on 264.
    I did a google maps a found I could do a 20 mile stretch from Corrola on 12 until 64 came in. I am planing on stopping before 64 and turning around to head back completing this about 4 times for a total of 80 miles.

    That said so north of 64 is their any shoulder at all? And as someone mentioned any experience on how much sand will be kicked up. The reason I ask is I dont want to get sand in my chain and other parts to come home and find I have messed up my bike on the 3 days I was their.
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  5. #5
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Just a FYI after doing some google searching I found some good information on bike routes around corolla. It appears route 12 should be fine as long as I am doing this earlier in the morning were traffic volume is low and the speed is 35mph along the route till 64 comes in. I can do about 20mph+ on the flat with no problems so I think I should hold up ok. Along with that I ride on a fairly busy road in the area daily so I dont think I should be to suprised with motorist (I hope lol ).

    My only real concern is the amount of sand cause I intend to clean my bike when back but dont want to mess anything up when I am riding. Also might bring the trainer with me just incase the weather decides to be nasty.

    http://www.outerbanks.org/activities...outerbanks.asp
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    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    if you don't want sand on your bike, do NOT take it to the OBX

    At least two of your posts include something about not wanting to get sand in your chain.

    Therefore, given that much concern, leave your bike at home.

    The OBX is nothing but sand and saltwater, both blown around by the wind.

    Sand gets everywhere. I mean everywhere. And if the sand doesn't get there, the saltwater will. If it is windy - a very likely possibility - you can taste the salt in the air, and sometimes chew on the sand blown into yor mouth by the wind.

  7. #7
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    as has been said, you will get sand in your drivetrain and everywhere else...not in huge quantities, but it cannot be avoided. i wouldn't let this stop you from riding your bike. clean your chain when you get home.

    nc158 sucks all the time. definitely stick to nc12 north of 64. as i recall, there is a shoulder and the speed limit is a strictly-enforced 35 most of the way. south of 64 there are ~5 miles of beach road before you're dumped onto the now 55mph 2-lane nc12, if you want to tack a little more on past 64.

    if you're up for a top-notch meal, 'ocean blvd.' is spectacular (if pricey). kitty hawk, i believe.
    Last edited by dookie; 07-23-08 at 04:40 PM.

  8. #8
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    Corolla is beautiful, and there are lots of bikes there, but most are cruisers. If you are serious about a 100 mile ride, summer is not the best time. Late fall would be much better. The weather is cooler and the tourists are all back in Virginia where they belong. I sound a bit snotty about Virginians because they are the ones who act, by far, as if they own the place. Yada yada.

    That road out to Corolla is one lane in each direction with no shoulder, and in the summer gets traffic jams. I was there about five weeks ago and a car crossed the center line, getting into a head-on collision with a fully loaded Pepsi truck. The people in the car died, and the Pepsi truck flipped over. It took two hours to clean it up, and we sat in traffic the entire time at a dead stop.

    I love the Outer Banks, but I won't be going to Corolla again. It isn't just the traffic, but after staying in Nag's Head each year, I just don't care to go north. I like the southern route much better down to Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Buxton, etc.

    South is more blue collar. Nag's head through Kitty Hawk is more middle class, and once you get north you get the Virginians.

    I can do without the Virginians on the Outer Banks.

    For some reason people in Virginia can't say "house". They say "Hose".
    I'm two-tired to ride today.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Last year my wife and I vacationed with family in the outer banks. I brought my bike, she rented one there. My chain was showing rust at the end of the trip. So was hers, but she just turned it in and it soon became someone else's problem. This year we're doing it again. I may bring my break apart bike just because I love having my own bike and I'm a glutton for punishment, but I won't take my regular commuter. Between salt damage and the hassle of needing to use a rack on the car, obscuring the rear view mirror, having to keep making sure it's secured, etc. it was not worth it. I think my wife's bike was under $50 to rent for the week.

  10. #10
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairmont View Post
    Corolla is beautiful, and there are lots of bikes there, but most are cruisers. If you are serious about a 100 mile ride, summer is not the best time. Late fall would be much better. The weather is cooler and the tourists are all back in Virginia where they belong. I sound a bit snotty about Virginians because they are the ones who act, by far, as if they own the place. Yada yada.

    That road out to Corolla is one lane in each direction with no shoulder, and in the summer gets traffic jams. I was there about five weeks ago and a car crossed the center line, getting into a head-on collision with a fully loaded Pepsi truck. The people in the car died, and the Pepsi truck flipped over. It took two hours to clean it up, and we sat in traffic the entire time at a dead stop.

    I love the Outer Banks, but I won't be going to Corolla again. It isn't just the traffic, but after staying in Nag's Head each year, I just don't care to go north. I like the southern route much better down to Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Buxton, etc.

    South is more blue collar. Nag's head through Kitty Hawk is more middle class, and once you get north you get the Virginians.

    I can do without the Virginians on the Outer Banks.

    For some reason people in Virginia can't say "house". They say "Hose".
    Thats why I like to be from Maryland ha. Anyway yeah I think I am just going to bring it and worst case I dont ride it while im their. I dont know about rust cause it will be Sunday-Tuesday I am going down and I am going to clean my bike ASAP when im back. But anyway thanks for all the great info and I will post up some information if I do end up going out riding.
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  11. #11
    car dodger norskagent's Avatar
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    Go to kitty hawk cycles on eckner st. (between the beach rd. and 158) @ mp 2.5, Micheal the owner there will hook you up with a local bike route map. You can then string together a decently long ride. There are extensive soundside neighborhoods in kitty hawk / kill devils hill, very low traffic, sheltered from the sand, very scenic, etc.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member nagsheadlocal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norskagent View Post
    Go to kitty hawk cycles on eckner st. (between the beach rd. and 158) @ mp 2.5, Micheal the owner there will hook you up with a local bike route map. You can then string together a decently long ride. There are extensive soundside neighborhoods in kitty hawk / kill devils hill, very low traffic, sheltered from the sand, very scenic, etc.
    Micheal is indeed a cool fellow and an excellent wrench should you need one. Be sure to buy a T-shirt from him.

    I have never done a ride in the Corolla area. The endless stream of Hummers, Yukons, Land Rovers, etc, all doing 90mph on narrow roads is pretty much a turn off. But if anyone would know, ask for Stuart at the Corolla Surf Shop.

    The towns of KDH/KH have done a pretty good job of piecing together a bike route, of sorts, along the sound side. You can ride from the Powell Point bridge (just south of Southern Shores) to the Wright Bros Monument along multi-use paths and residential streets. South of that is the Maritime Forest Preserve which means sand roads - kind of a horror if you have narrow tires. In Nags Head, you are pretty much stuck with the beach road. Most of the sound side is either park land (Jockey's Ridge), a historic district (Old Nags Head) or yuppieville (no trespassing).

    South of Nags Head you can ride along the beach road through old South Nags Head until the road runs out at Coquina Beach. Then you have the highway south to Hatteras/Ocracoke. Which means yuppies in SUVs and rednecks in pickup trucks, all doing 90mph on a road with no shoulder. What I particularly find adventurous are the boat trailers that are wider than the vehicle pulling it - the drivers seem to forget that easing over a few inches means that neither their wide-view mirrors or the wheels on the trailer will clear the cyclist. There's nothing like the "whoosh" of an extended mirror missing your helmet by an inch or so to really wake you up. Last time I did that ride in the summer was in '83 and I haven't done it since. It's a great ride in the late fall and winter, however. Fewer mosquitoes then, too.

    If you have a map, you can ride through Southern Shores as far north as Duck before you lose the side streets and start running into endless "no trespassing, no beach access" signs. So, if you hook up with one of the KDH Cyclists rides, you'll probably start at the shopping center there at the entrance of Southern Shores and ride north to Duck, back south to the Monument, and then back to the shopping center. At this time of year, the ride leaves at 6:30 am and usually runs at a 22mph pace. Anything later in the day tends to run into heat and traffic.

    Fun fact about the road from Southern Shores to Duck: when it was widened about 20 years ago, they included a bike lane. That soon became a multi-use lane filled with joggers and walkers. After a few of these got hit by drunk/idiot drivers, the town spent some serious cash and built a paved sidewalk a few feet away from the road. So, if you ride on the sidewalk you have to contend with joggers and walkers. If you ride on the old bike lane, you'll experience the joy of local drivers yelling "use the sidewalk" at you.

    Oh, the beach road through KDH/KH has a bike lane, but don't trust it. It's one of those things I call a tourist sell. They tell the tourists "oh, yeah, we have a bike lane!" but all they did was just paint a white line down the side of the road for most of the length. It's full of sand, garbage cans, pot holes, broken glass, etc. You really are safer on the road. As you go south, down around the First Street area in KDH, the path is actually paved out and marked - but it's a "multi-use" path which means it's filled with tourists walking in packs, kids weaving around on their rental cruisers, families with armloads of tourist crap, and cars stuck in the sand.

    There's a ride that goes over the bridge into Manteo and then over the old Manns Harbor bridge and then south to Stumpy Point. That's 75 miles round trip at a moderate pace and once you are south of the Hwy 64 turn, the traffic is minimal and you are riding through a nature preserve. I really recommend it if you have the time.

  13. #13
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    So I am back from the trip (very short one cause had to come back for work).

    Some points from the trip:

    - Sand: Not nearly as much as I though, roads were mostly clear and bike is fairly clean, but still going to clean it
    - Road: Very smooth and definitely flat ha which made it kinda boring since I am use to a rolling route.
    - Weather: Sunny and humid as expected but the head wind also expect was a mess. Weather said 5-10mph but I swear it was more.
    - Route: 12 was a great route and in Corolla was great with a very nice shoulder, in Duck it was smaller but still enough room. Their is a section in duck that turns to 25mph which was fun cause peoples faces look funny when they see a biker keeping up with them. However after that 25mph I suggest getting on the path cause the shoulder goes away for a little and the path is nice and smooth along with shaded.
    - Transportation: Bike fit perfectly in my car so that was good to see

    Other things to mention:
    Dont ride on Mondays lol cause it is trash day. I had to dodge trash cans like crazy but it made the ride interesting. Most of the people while I was their were very friendly to bikers giving me some room when going around things and taking their time to go around. Their were also tons of other bikers which was nice to see and a lot of people that rented the beach crusier with their familys. I stopped a couple times when I had seen a group of people stopped on the side to offer help but all were just enjoying the time and taking a quick breath. Everyone said thanks and have a good trip so it was all a good deal. Also managed to pass a couple of riders and offered to work in a pace line with one guy cause the headwind but he declinded since he route was just about done. Another note about getting their I made it from MD (Gaithersburg) to their in 4:30 mins were google maps says 5:53 and did the way back in the same amount of time. This was in no traffic and doing 15mph over (I believe that is fair for hyway). Did get pulled over however for fallowing a cop to closely (about 1 car length behind when he said I should be 5) but I got a warning since the officer was nice and since I mentioned I work with the Gaithersburg Police Depertment (kinda told him that indirectly with asking a question about his new Charger).

    Ride:
    Sunday (I was extermely tired cause I got no sleep before leaving at 5am): 35 mile ride at 18mph average at around 2 hours - Wind South at 5-10mph
    Monday (Legs felt a little crapped from surfing on Sunday): 40.13 mile ride at 21mph average at around 2 hours and 5min - Wind NNE at 5-8mph

    I wanted to go for a longer ride but I was with the family and felt it would be best to spend as much time with them cause I normally ride all the time when I am home. I would definitely suggest to anyone that happens to go out their to bring their bike to ride.
    Last edited by J.Lockdown; 07-29-08 at 02:19 PM.
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