Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
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I don't have specific route advice, but... In general it should be possible to find a nice route. Try to use either lightly traveled roads or ones with a decent shoulder. Using Google maps directions and checking the "avoid highways" check box is a starting point. You can drag the route away from roads you want to avoid to more desirable ones.
With regard to what you were told by non-cyclists...
With appropriate gearing no roads are too hilly and I have found the drivers on the narrow rural roads of the Appalachians to be cautious and courteous in general.