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  1. #1
    the uncarved block openmindedgent's Avatar
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    NC coast to VA mountains... Route Suggestions?

    I am leaving south out of the Outer Banks in a few weks and I want to go across North Carolina to visit the state eventually making my way up to the Blue Ridge mountains and then back home to Richmond, VA. I am scouting out roads to take but I was hoping to see if anyone has gone along this route and would have information on which roads I can and can't take and which towns I am likely to be shot/unwelcome going through. Let me know!
    You only live once, so please spend that time wisely. Ride bicycles.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #2
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    One option is to search http://www.crazyguyonabike.com for folks who have toured through NC and see if they provide information on routes.

  3. #3
    Hooked on Touring
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    From Ocracoke Island -

    Take the ferry to Swan Quarter (not Cedar Island)
    Continue north on NC 94 to Columbia
    To Phelps Lake, Somerset Plantation
    To Edenton then Merchants Millpond
    To Franklin, VA, Courtland, Jarratt, to Alberta
    To Victoria and VA 40 across southern VA to Rocky Mount
    To Blue Ridge Parkway west of Ferrum past Fancy Gap
    To Galax and then down the New River Trail to Draper

    From Draper there are nice back roads into Roanoke.

    <<<>>>

    The problem with North Carolina is the massive growth of the Piedmont metro areas -
    Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro-Winston-Salem, Charlotte.
    They form a near wall of poor roads with heavy traffic.

    There are bike maps from the NC DOT -
    http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle...aps_intro.html
    But I really wouldn't rec the Mountains to Sea any more because of the metro areas.
    The North Line Trace is a better option if you wish to stay in NC.

    I think the maps are still free - but they take a while to arrive.
    Plus by the end of summer they are often out - call ahead.

    If you start with my route from Ocracoke, you can connect with the NC North Line route - Bike Route #4.



    Not guaranteed, but the route is pretty well marked with signs like this at every turn.

  4. #4
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    In reviewing Jamawani's suggestion I note that one would omit the western part of NC. Maybe there is no good way from east to west NC, but if you do find a route with which you are comfortable, I highly recommend riding the Blue Ridge Parkway north into VA. Joining the Parkway in Asheville would provide a nice, long, and scenic ride north.

  5. #5
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    I think I would stay off the parkway during Fall Leaf Madness. Highest traffic of the whole year in 2nd/3rd weeks of October, plus the motorists are MORE distracted from driving than usual. It's scary to even DRIVE up there on October weekends. Bumper to bumper traffic on a road signed for 45mph, hairpin turns and grade change make 35mph more appropriate in many areas, and of course everyone is trying to go 55mph - and steal a glance at the scenery as they look out for patrolling Parkway Police.

    Early in the AM away from population centers might not be too bad. Asheville, Blowing Rock areas will be hectic - short sections of Parkway are used for normal work commutes. Also, you spend ~90% of your time riding the Parkway going uphill. Fly down hills at 40mph, creep up them at 5-10mph. And there's no shoulder in most places, plus that road gets a lot of freezing / frost heave, so the sides of the road are more eroded than average in the area. Legal camping spots are not ideally spaced for bikes, and services are generally 5-15 miles and 1000-4000 feet down - and then back up to the Parkway.

    But, if it's clear/no rain, the scenery may make it worthwhile. It's getting hazier up there all the time, combustion emissions from points west are ruining the vista - it's an old trend. Best views are in winter, also traffic lowest. Sections of BRP are gated/closed to motor vehicles every winter due to dangerous road condition - snow, freezing rain, ice, rock falls, landslides. This can be the best time to bike tour the Parkway.

    http://webcam.srs.fs.fed.us/

  6. #6
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    I think I would stay off the parkway during Fall Leaf Madness.
    Yes, you are correct and I overlooked this issue.

  7. #7
    Hooked on Touring
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    The New River Trail - on the other hand - will be lovely.

  8. #8
    the uncarved block openmindedgent's Avatar
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    You only live once, so please spend that time wisely. Ride bicycles.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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