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Old 05-16-06, 07:38 AM   #1
rustycool7
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tour through West Virginia

We're planning a tour from Richmond, VA to Indianapolis, IN. Crossing into WV on US 33 and then want to make it to Parkersburg WV for Ohio River crossing. Has anyone ever ridden US 33 on the VA/WV border and through WV. What are the road conditions? Traffic, width, etc.

Thanks for any info,

Russ
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Old 05-16-06, 08:52 AM   #2
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I live within a couple of miles of Route 33 near Stanardsville, VA. Traffic can be fairly heavy on the twisty road up into the Shenandoah National Park--and then heavy in spots through Harrisonburg, VA. Even though it goes through some nice country, it's a major road and not a bucolic byway.

I'm going to make an alternative suggestion that will give you a beautiful, traffic-free ride: Find a way to DC and ride the C&O Canal Tow Path from Georgetown to Cumberland, MD. I've done it on a regular touring bike with no problems. From Cumberland, you can navigate a direct shot to Parkersburg and beyond.

More info here: http://bikewashington.org/canal/
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Old 05-16-06, 09:07 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I've noticed that the minor roads kind of dissapear when you get into the mountains. I guess terrain dictates that. Further info and suggested routes through WV to Parkersburg would be welcome.
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Old 05-16-06, 12:08 PM   #4
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Virginia is full of tiny little roads. I've toured there twice and loved it for that reason. So you really shouldn't have to ride a major road like 33 for much of the trip. Just get a DeLorme VA Gazeteer and start riding, I say.
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Old 05-16-06, 12:13 PM   #5
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my ex is from parkersburg. i think she might have moved back there. be warned...
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Old 05-16-06, 12:54 PM   #6
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Consider the North Bend Rail Trail from just west of Clarksburg to Parkersburg.
Would need mountain bikes but zero cars and great tunnels.
The best of West Virginia!
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Old 05-16-06, 01:19 PM   #7
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You don't think th North Bend Trail would be passable with 700cc touring bikes on 32/35 tires with a 60/70 LB load? Have you ridden this trail?

I always stay away from any ex's.
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Old 05-16-06, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustycool7
We're planning a tour from Richmond, VA to Indianapolis, IN. Crossing into WV on US 33 and then want to make it to Parkersburg WV for Ohio River crossing. Has anyone ever ridden US 33 on the VA/WV border and through WV. What are the road conditions? Traffic, width, etc.

Thanks for any info,

Russ
Rt33, my van can barely make it over the hills. I assume you mean the road from Harrisonburg to Franklin. I climb there a lot so I know the road by driving...... Serious hills!! Narrow roads, light to medium traffic. Traffic doesn't haul ass too much due to the nature of the curves. There are a couple of long straight sections and then the cars...I mean trucks haul. I'm not saying not to ride but I would check alternative routes. Did I tell you about the hills!! Actually a bunch of it is flat, nicely wooded but then it hits the Allegheny plateau. Steep! Charlie
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Old 05-16-06, 02:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice Charlie. I'm sure we'll put the granny gear to good use through here.
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Old 05-16-06, 06:18 PM   #10
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I've ridden the North Bend rail trail many times on mountain bike with city tires (Michelin Trans World). The surface is crushed limestone, mostly flat and smooth. I wouldn't hesitate to ride it on my loaded touring bike. There are several long tunnels, you'd have to walk through if you don't have a light, kinda spooky. I am most familiar with the Western end, Ellenboro to P-burg. Rt. 33 from Elkins to I-79 is 4 lane superhighway. I don't know of any way through the mountains with out lots of climbing.
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Old 05-16-06, 07:46 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info df. Did you ride the whole trail in one day?
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Old 05-17-06, 08:00 AM   #12
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Sorry I didn't mean to imply that I had ridden the whole trail. I have ridden the Western end many times. The entire trail is 72 miles long. It is fine crushed limestone and rolling resistance is greater than asphalt so it is more demanding than road riding would be. It is flat though so that helps. I have ridden 60 miles on it (not loaded for touring) in one day and that was enough for me. I have seen tourers on rt.50 which runs parallel to the trail and from Clarksburg West is not heavily traveled. If you got sick of the rail trail you could jump over to 50. To answer your question though yes I am sure you could ride it in one day. Good luck.
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Old 05-17-06, 08:07 AM   #13
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Here is a link for the trail

http://www.wvparks.com/northbendrailtrail/
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Old 05-17-06, 03:10 PM   #14
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Thanks for the link. Here's another one I found.

http://outdoortravels.com/biking_wv_overview_nbrt.html
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Old 05-28-06, 09:31 PM   #15
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Completed the tour from Richmond to Parkersburg, WV. What a trip! We climbed 5 major passes through VA and WV. Could only average a bout 40-50 miles a day through the mountains. Weather was great until the 2nd to last day on the North Bend Rail Trail from Clarksburg, VA to Parkersburg, WV. That trail needs significant maintenance in the middle sections. It's a shame they don't maintain it as it could be very nice. The condition of the trail beat us up worse than all the mountains in WV. Stealth camped every night except the last 2. Stoped at Bob's Bicycle Shop in Parkersburg where Bob gave me a box for bus shipment back to Richmond. Very helpful and much apreciated. The rest of the crew continued their way across Ohio on the way to Indiana and Bruce Springsteen concert. Good Luck guys and gals.
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Old 06-01-06, 09:55 AM   #16
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I'm doing a day by day written account of this ride which can be found at this Richmond cycler syndicate blog:

CCPRichmond.com
Attached Images
File Type: jpg road closed.jpg (6.8 KB, 4 views)

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Old 06-01-06, 10:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustycool7
Completed the tour from Richmond to Parkersburg, WV. What a trip! We climbed 5 major passes through VA and WV. Could only average a bout 40-50 miles a day through the mountains. Weather was great until the 2nd to last day on the North Bend Rail Trail from Clarksburg, VA to Parkersburg, WV. That trail needs significant maintenance in the middle sections. It's a shame they don't maintain it as it could be very nice. The condition of the trail beat us up worse than all the mountains in WV. Stealth camped every night except the last 2. Stoped at Bob's Bicycle Shop in Parkersburg where Bob gave me a box for bus shipment back to Richmond. Very helpful and much apreciated. The rest of the crew continued their way across Ohio on the way to Indiana and Bruce Springsteen concert. Good Luck guys and gals.
Way to go Rusty! 40-50 miles in those mnts is a HUGE amount of cycling. Charlie
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Old 06-21-06, 01:20 PM   #18
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A journal of this trip can be seen here:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ...c_id=1706&v=3r
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