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Old 06-25-09, 10:17 AM   #1
balto charlie
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West Virginia tour

Hey folks: I have spent countless hours in this state Mnt. biking, kayaking, climbing, backpacking but never bike touring. I hope to incorporate a few rail trails(Blackwater canyon, West Fork trail), bike the shavers fork and possibly UP to Dolly Sods. The areas I need a little feedback:
The road connecting Cass to Seneca rocks. It is called 28, 33 and something else? This runs through Germany Valley. I know in some places traffic can be fast but lightly traveled. Is this true for the entire road? Good enough to tour?
Also the roads that are on each side of the Shavers Fork south of 219 just below Parsons. Both sides bikeable? What is road surface? Will mnt bike be needed.

This weekend I 'll post the final map for the entire trip. Looks like a 200 mile ride. Trying to keep the climbing to a respectable low level....but it is West Virginia
Thanks charlie

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Old 06-25-09, 05:57 PM   #2
balto charlie
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Here's a link to my current ride in Bikely
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Monongahela

Please critique it. Or tell me what you know, thanks, Charlie
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Old 06-25-09, 07:52 PM   #3
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I don't have any specific recomendations or knowledge of your route, but it may be worthwhile to review ACA's Allegheny Mountain routes in WV:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/rout...ntainsloop.cfm
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Old 06-26-09, 06:17 AM   #4
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Doable... WV drivers scare the crap outta me, and most of their roads bring the suck for shoulders but if you're careful it can be done. It's the log trucks and coal trucks that'll run you in the ditch and leave ya for dead tho
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Old 06-26-09, 11:57 AM   #5
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Doable... WV drivers scare the crap outta me, and most of their roads bring the suck for shoulders but if you're careful it can be done. It's the log trucks and coal trucks that'll run you in the ditch and leave ya for dead tho
I dunno I would rather ride in WV than anywhere near DC. I am in Morgantown PM me your planned route and I can ask some guys in my bike club about it. Some of the older guys know those roads like the back of their hand. If it is the same road I am thinking of it has a nice wide shoulder and you shouldn't hit a lot of traffic.

Oh and I do agree. Watch out for Coal Trucks, thought you won't see a lot in the part of the state.

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Old 06-26-09, 06:38 PM   #6
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may be worthwhile to review ACA's Allegheny Mountain routes in WV:
I didn't know they had a map of WVa. Thanks

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Doable... WV drivers scare the crap outta me, and most of their roads bring the suck for shoulders but if you're careful it can be done. It's the log trucks and coal trucks that'll run you in the ditch and leave ya for dead tho
I hear ya on the coal and logging trucks

[QUOTE=mtclifford;9172202]PM me your planned route and I can ask some guys in my bike club about it. Some of the older guys know those roads like the back of their hand.

mtclifford: PM sent thanks
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Old 06-26-09, 10:49 PM   #7
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Run the most dangerous roads on Sunday. All other days can be dangerous. Stick to side roads and country roads as much as possible. It's doable if you have good bike control and are not the stubborn "I have a right to the road" type. Yes, you do but those that assert that right to the road too much will be roadkill. NEVER assume a truck will yield or slow down or move over one inch in WV and you will survive.

Ride when the trucks aren't running and you will be 900% safer.
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Old 06-28-09, 04:57 AM   #8
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Run the most dangerous roads on Sunday.
Ride when the trucks aren't running and you will be 900% safer.
Thanks good to know.
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Old 07-02-09, 05:08 AM   #9
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I hope to incorporate a few rail trails(Blackwater canyon, West Fork trail), bike the shavers fork and possibly UP to Dolly Sods.
Also the roads that are on each side of the Shavers Fork south of 219 just below Parsons. Both sides bike-able? What is road surface? Will mnt bike be needed.

Thanks charlie
Here's what I have so far
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Monongahela-tour
I called the ranger station this week. Here' what I found out:
The east side of shavers Fork is best. Apparently the Blackwater Canyon Rail Trail is NOT being maintained. The ranger thought I should use a Mnt Bike but a biker on "crazy guy on a bike" thought I could make it on my Miyata 1000 with thick tires.
I am still seeking info on the road to Dolly Sods. It will be around 2500-3000 ft climb in 4-5 miles on dirt. I'm wondering the condition of this road....lose stones, potholes or just a dirt road? thanks, Charlie
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Old 07-02-09, 06:00 AM   #10
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I just made this drive about 4 weeks ago and I'm gearing up to ride the northern part of this road from Petersburg to Seneca and back to Petersburg. The two days that I made the drive there was very light traffic and the road runs through the valley so its fairly flat. One of these days I'm going to use this route to do a tour of my own from Moorefield down to Cass then on to the GRT.
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Old 07-02-09, 04:18 PM   #11
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I am still seeking info on the road to Dolly Sods. It will be around 2500-3000 ft climb in 4-5 miles on dirt. I'm wondering the condition of this road....lose stones, potholes or just a dirt road? thanks, Charlie
It's been a while since I've been up to the Sods, but I doubt it's changed much. The roads are a mix of gravel (to fill in the low spots and ruts) and dirt. I've never done it by bike, but it would be pretty challenging, especially coming up from the Petersburg side. The Canaan approach is much less steep, straighter and I think better road conditions, although probably twice as long. Either way expect a rough ride with some tight switchbacks and slow going. Try to hit it mid-week, weekends get pretty busy and visibility can drop to near zero at times from the dust. That said, it's a great wilderness with unique features and a gorgeous view off Bear Rocks.

Hmmm, makes me want to head up again. We started going twice yearly in 1976 when you'd go 2 weeks without seeing another person. By the early 90's the Sods single road was getting so busy it just felt different, and we've only been back a couple times since. Maybe it's time.
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Old 07-02-09, 08:12 PM   #12
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I was last up at Dolly Sods last fall. A fair portion of the road up is gravel/dirt with potholes large enough to make me reconsider taking my Civic up. It will be fun getting up, but I love the views, plants, and unexploded ordinance. I haven't biked up there, so I can't really comment on it from a first-hand biking experience, but it is a rough road; you probably want some wider tires for your rims' and wrists' sakes on the trip down.

Traffic on 33 (in German Valley) moves fast (speed limit is 55 except a short segment near Seneca Rocks), and the road has narrow to non-existent shoulders. There is a moderate amount of traffic (considering its location). Once you get north of Seneca Rocks (on 27?), the amount of traffic drops, though it still moves fast on narrow roads.

This is a gorgeous area. I travel a short portion of your route whenever I visit my parents in Ohio (well, used to-I just moved from Harrisonburg VA). Hope the info helps, and happy tour!
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Old 07-06-09, 06:37 AM   #13
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fotoout, paco and dewaday thanks for the info. Sounds like I might get some thicker tires. Currently riding 32s. Might need to bump to 38s....will they fit my frame??? I know 35s will work but if I'm going thicker then I would want 38s.
Rt 33 sounds good. I'm getting excited about this trip. Wilderness, biking and self-supported...what's not to love.
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Old 07-25-09, 10:27 PM   #14
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Well folks I finally attempted this tour. I say attempted because I didn't do all of my planned route. Still had a lot of fun on some of the steepest hills I've ever ridden. Here's a link to it on CGOAB
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=5639&v=60

To those of you that assisted in my journey, I thank you all. I used a lot of your advice and heeded your warnings. thanks, Charlie
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Old 07-26-09, 05:44 AM   #15
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I don't have time right now but I cant wait to read about your trip.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:43 AM   #16
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OK, I had to cancel my canoe trip today because of the rain, so I had some time to read your journal. Very cool trip!! Great job for all your hard work!!! I'm glad you were rewarded with lots of great scenery. The only problem that I have is that all your beautiful photos are going to compel more "out of staters" to come here. LOL!!

Anyways, great job!! I had fun reading about your experiences. Just this week I found out that spruce knob is paved all the way to the top, so if you want to make another attempt at it check out this link:

http://www.mountainstatewheelers.org...eKnobClimb.htm
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Old 07-31-09, 09:40 AM   #17
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OK, I had to cancel my canoe trip today because of the rain, so I had some time to read your journal. Very cool trip!! Great job for all your hard work!!! I'm glad you were rewarded with lots of great scenery. The only problem that I have is that all your beautiful photos are going to compel more "out of staters" to come here. LOL!!

Anyways, great job!! I had fun reading about your experiences. Just this week I found out that spruce knob is paved all the way to the top, so if you want to make another attempt at it check out this link:

http://www.mountainstatewheelers.org...eKnobClimb.htm
Thanks Paco. Spruce knob is still on the list. Much easier from the westside but I still had issues. Do post a trip report if you take on that beast. I really wanted to camp on the top. Next time
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