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Old 03-09-07, 07:34 PM   #1
gqsmoothie
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Carolinas coastal tour

Hey everyone. I'm heading out next week, probably Wed., from Raleigh I'll be pedaling east to Manteo then down the Outer Banks, down to Centenary SC, and possibly all the way to Charleston SC, then I'll be heading back home (haven't figured out that route yet).

Any tips, suggestions of things to see or do would be much appreciated.


cheers,


Gabe
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Old 03-09-07, 07:36 PM   #2
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Has anybody ridden the SC Coastal route? This is the link, http://www.sctrails.net/trails/ALLTR...e/coastal.html
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Old 03-10-07, 01:54 PM   #3
eric von zipper
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Just curious, what's your route from Outer Banks to the SC border? Passing throught Wilmington? If so, when do you think you will be? If you feel like stopping for coffee, let me know, I should be around.
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Old 03-10-07, 06:45 PM   #4
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I don't have my maps in front of me right now, but I think the route I decided on has me taking HWY 53 near Burgaw, but not through Burgaw, then staying north of Wilmington and going over to Lake Waccamaw.

Are you in Wilmington proper?
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Old 03-11-07, 03:08 PM   #5
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Yes, in Wilmington proper. Sounds like a good ride. Have fun.
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Old 03-18-07, 02:11 AM   #6
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My tour has been delayed a little while longer due to work. My work schedule is very erratic so when work is available I take it. I should leave this Thursday morning.
Anyway, I was just going through my food list and was trying to think of food to bring and I was hoping for some suggestions from y'all. BTW I'm vegan.
Here's my list so far:
oatmeal
bread
PB
pasta
potatoes
fruit (mostly bananas)
some Clif bars
agua
trail mix

That's all I got, any other suggestions?
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Old 04-05-07, 08:48 PM   #7
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After being delayed a few days because of work, I had another bad thing happen. I had to go up to Indiana for a funeral; I've just arrived back in NC and will be heading out for the coast this weekend. I hope to god that something else doesn't come up and further delay this trip!


adios

Gabe
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Old 04-05-07, 09:19 PM   #8
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I'll be leaving for my tour probably on Monday, heading toward Myrtle Beach then then Baltimore either via the Outer Banks or northbound mainly on US 301.

You will always be able to buy food while on route so you shouldn't sweat too much on what to bring. One thing about entering Charleston.. US 17 north of Charleston to Georgetown has a really high death toll rate. I would suggest sticking to the Atlantic Coast route or at least using US 17 alt which will add miles to your trip but is safer.
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Old 04-15-07, 06:49 PM   #9
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I just got back from a brief tour of coastal NC and I must say it was not fun at all. I was only gone 5 days, before leaving I had planned on being gone at least 2 weeks. Rode from Raleigh to Swanquarter, took the Ferry to Ocracoke, then the ferry to Cedar Island then hitchhiked the rest of the way home.

The reason I'm so bummed about the trip is that I was so lonely and depressed just riding my bike in eastern NC, which sorta looks like a graveyard for trailers and trash. The scenery was bad till I got to Washington then the trailers and trash were less common and I was riding through more forests. Ocracoke was nice and picturesque. What really started off the trip bad was that I left not feeling 100% and I was sick on the 2nd day and it was cold and rainy that day so that made it worse. Also, I should have had a better arrangement for my packing. At the last minute I realized that my rear rack wouldn't fit with my BOB trailer skewer. So I had to carry everything in the BOB sack which made it a real pain in the *ss to get stuff out of there and even to shut the bag took considerable effort. My Brooks B-17 also caused much discomfort. I've had it about 9 months and several miles are on it. It's comfortable enough for daily commuting of 15-25 miles, but after 70 miles my butt was killing me. Maybe I expect too much out of a saddle, but I don't see how people say that saddle is so awesome.

I was going to do a Crazy guy travellog but due to the unpleasantness of this trip I'd rather just forget the whole thing ever happened.

The things that I will do differently on my next tour (I'm not so discouraged to never tour again) :
tour with someone else
find a saddle that I love
pack my gear in a more userfriendly way
go somewhere more scenic


How do y'all get over riding all day by oneself? To be really honest, I'm really lonely here in Raleigh where I live. But although I go days without talking to anyone at least I'm in the presence of other people which makes my loneliness tolerable and manageable. But when I was touring it was just me by myself all day and it really got to me.

Sincerely,

Gabe
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Old 04-16-07, 03:18 AM   #10
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Gabe,
That is a sucky (to quote my daughter ) route IMHO. I don't even like driving that route it is so monotonous. I do different things to entertain myself when on a solo tour, sing drinking songs, listen to a pocket radio/mp3 player, count road kill...etc. Touring with someone can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on riding capabilities as well as compatibility. The saddle issue definitely needs to be corrected, if you aren't comfortable you are going to be miserable. I also wonder if you might have been a bit too aggressive in your daily mileage attempts. I usually schedule 50-60 miles a day max with the alternative to go plus or minus 20 depending on road/weather/mental conditions. Best day ever was about 120 miles screaming across the plains with a 30 mph tailwind. Worst day ever was about 7 miles into a storm before I called it quits and holed up at a mom and pop hotel for 2 days to ride the storm out (that was in VA). One thing I learned about touring is you have to be flexible.

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Old 04-16-07, 07:25 AM   #11
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Interesting story. Funny thing is I've made numerous tours of all of eastern NC from I-95 to the Outer Banks and from the Virginia to South Carolina lines and find it a wonderful place for touring. I've overnighted everywhere from Weldon to Edenton to Plymouth to Washington to New Bern to Swansboro to Wilmington to Southport to Calabash and a whole host of other towns, state parks and private campgrounds. The wind can be tough and relentless if it's in your face, but the tabletop landscape is a bonus even though it may sacrifice scenic value for those that equate scenery with rolling vistas. It's possible to schedule a four to five day tour and combine each day's ride with a ferry across some scenic large body of water...and ferries and bikes are natural complements to each other.

Based on your statements, you apparently need the comfort of company and touring solo is not your bag. If you're going to tour in eastern NC, then you need to expect some times of quiet solitude. I've never had any difficulties with touring alone in the region, but then I appreciate solo tours and don't have any problems with loneliness when sitting outside my tent at dusk watching the reflection of a bright pink solar ball on one of eastern NC's numerous rivers or sounds and listening to the laughter of gulls.

It sounds to me like you began your tour in a foul state of mind and body and added to it as you went along. This was probably further compounded as you correctly pointed out the frequency of trailers and trash in the region. We should not forget that in recent years eastern NC has taken a series of natural and economic whammies that have left much of the region struggling to recover. With the exception of a few pockets like Greenville and Wilmington, eastern NC is an economically depressed region and precious little is being done from a statewide perspective to help get it back on its feet. For most people in the economically thriving piedmont, eastern NC is little more than a barren area one has to drive through on the way to the overpriced hotels and restaurants of the barrier island beaches. Personally, I find that to be one of its attractions....

Then again...there are all those damn mosquitos......nasty little buggers....
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Old 04-16-07, 09:43 AM   #12
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Like they say, different strokes.... Personally I love eastern NC so much that twenty some years ago, I decided that it's the only place in the world I want to live, but anyone who's offended at the sight of someone's "lower station" in life might not like it.
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