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Old 11-01-05, 01:56 PM   #1
DXchulo
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Virginia or North Carolina?

Which would you rather tour through to start or finish a US tour? Has anyone been through both? It doesn't really seem to matter all that much as far as distance is concerned.

I'm leaning one way, but maybe you guys can change my mind.
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Old 11-01-05, 02:10 PM   #2
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I say finish in NC.

http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle..._highways.html
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Old 11-01-05, 03:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DXchulo
Which would you rather tour through to start or finish a US tour? Has anyone been through both? It doesn't really seem to matter all that much as far as distance is concerned.

I'm leaning one way, but maybe you guys can change my mind.
If you want to leverage a well traveled and well doumented/mapped route you have the www.adventurecycling.org Trans-American route that punches thru Virginia....be aware that the s/w corner of VA and eastern Kentucky, according to a number of journals on that route, has (1) coal trucks, (2) coal debris strewn pavement/shoulders and (3) some here and there attitudinal dogs -some that have owners and some that don't (i.e., feral, and reported in groups/packs).
A largely off pavement option that'd bring you out in north VA/DC is the American Discovery Trail (www.DiscoveryTrail.org). It starts in San Fransico and eventually goes Ohio > W.VA.> MD > VA > DC > DE.

If you ARE thinking NC are you looking at somewhere in coordination with the Mountains to the Sea routing ???????
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Old 11-01-05, 03:27 PM   #4
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Went to your suggested site. Thanks. Ordered the Mountians to the Sea map.
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Old 11-01-05, 05:00 PM   #5
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If you want to leverage a well traveled and well doumented/mapped route you have the www.adventurecycling.org Trans-American route that punches thru Virginia....be aware that the s/w corner of VA and eastern Kentucky, according to a number of journals on that route, has (1) coal trucks, (2) coal debris strewn pavement/shoulders and (3) some here and there attitudinal dogs -some that have owners and some that don't (i.e., feral, and reported in groups/packs).
A largely off pavement option that'd bring you out in north VA/DC is the American Discovery Trail (www.DiscoveryTrail.org). It starts in San Fransico and eventually goes Ohio > W.VA.> MD > VA > DC > DE.

If you ARE thinking NC are you looking at somewhere in coordination with the Mountains to the Sea routing ???????
I'm planning my own route, but I'm going to be following parts of the TransAmerica route in KY just to see if I can meet some other people. I like how the TransAmerica route gets a lot of touring cyclists, but at the same time that's kind of a downside. I want to feel special out there. Sounds dumb, but it's true.

I've heard some not-so-great things about Virginia (kind of surprised me) reading through crazyguyonabike, so I thought about going through NC for something different. The only downside to that is that I've actually been there before, but that was in a car and I loved it there anyway, so I think I can get over it.

I ordered 2 NC maps a week ago, so with some luck I'll have them in a few weeks.
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Old 11-01-05, 05:07 PM   #6
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Both are wonderful states. Virginia has more civil war history to it. North Carolina has nicer beaches. You can't really go wrong with either choice.
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Old 11-01-05, 05:28 PM   #7
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Howdy -

You know what they say,
"Nawth Care'lina is a valley of humility nestled between two mountains of conceit."

But North Carolina is far, far better if you want to start or finish on the ocean itself. The Outer Banks are superlicious. My pick is Ocracoke - where you can watch the sun rise over the ocean by the campground and watch the sun set over Silver Harbor on the deck of a cafe sipping a tall cool one. Just across the inlet is the ghost village of Portsmouth. There is ferry service - cheap $3 - to the mainland.

I'd start in Beaufort and head up to Cedar Island - cross to Ocracoke on the ferry - then cross again to Swan Quarter. Taking ferries and being on the ocean gives you a real sense of a beginning to the journey. Halfway between Swan Quarter and Edenton is the Somerset Plantation on Phelps Lake - great swamp country and a beautiful state park. And Edenton is a wonderful colonial town without all the bull and tourists of Williamsburg.

It really is SOOOOOO much better in NC. Far less traffic, nice camping, the ocean, ferries, swamp country. The one drawback is getting to the start. It's tricky, but you can fly into Raleigh and connect to Trailways to New Bern. I'm not sure if the bus still goes to Morehead City. Call the New Bern chamber of commerce.

As for the mountains - I also agree that the Transam route is questionable. I'd get on the Blue Ridge Parkway (avoid weekends!!!) and take it to Galax. Then catch a wee bit of the New River Trail - nice remote camping - then over to Troutdale and the Virginia Creeper Trail to Abingdon. If you are interested in this route, I'll fill you in on some incredible back roads that follow the valleys and run along the banks of the rivers.

So you'll get both Carolina and Virginny if you do this.

Best - J
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Old 11-01-05, 06:14 PM   #8
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I've done both NC and VA - rode the transamerica route through VA and the Mtns to Sea through NC (with a few variations.) If just comparing those two routes, I liked Virginia better. I liked riding in both states. If I went back to NC for a long tour again, though, I would map out my own route - the state route was outdated in some places.
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Old 11-01-05, 06:29 PM   #9
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Two great states in every respect. Which is the best? That's difficult to answer. My preference is for Virginia mostly because that's where I am from and, that's where I will be buried. But, I now live in NC now and certainly the Western part of this state is lovely for riding. Hilly, like Western VA, but lovely in every respect.
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Old 11-01-05, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamawani
<snip> I'd get on the Blue Ridge Parkway (avoid weekends!!!) and take it to Galax. Then catch a wee bit of the New River Trail - nice remote camping - then over to Troutdale and the Virginia Creeper Trail to Abingdon. If you are interested in this route, I'll fill you in on some incredible back roads that follow the valleys and run along the banks of the rivers. <snip>
This is near the area where I am from, and I must say that I'm a big fan of the Parkway and SW Virginia near Galax. Beautiful country indeed. Hope you like hills!


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Originally Posted by kesroberts
I've done both NC and VA - rode the transamerica route through VA and the Mtns to Sea through NC (with a few variations.) If just comparing those two routes, I liked Virginia better. I liked riding in both states. If I went back to NC for a long tour again, though, I would map out my own route - the state route was outdated in some places.
I agree. The Mtns to Sea route (frankly) travels through some of the most un-exciting (and heavily populated) parts of the state, and the maps are a bit outdated.

I would also "map out my own route", and it would probably look something like this:



(starting near the Parkway and ending at Ocracoke)
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Old 11-01-05, 07:44 PM   #11
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Remember now - it's "Nawth Care' lina"
Nobody says, "Care-oh-lina"

Here are three maps showing a nice route - light traffic, nice scenery, parks, history.
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