Route Planning: STL, Tennessee River, BuRP, Pittsburgh
After much changing of plan, it looks like I'm doing the KATY in Missouri, then making some sort of a ragged letter U dropping south, then curving up in some fashion to end up in Pittsburgh. I want to see the South, minimize the mountains to an extent, and have a total of about 1500 post KATY miles by the time I end up in Pittsburgh.
I'm piecing together a route, and would appreciate any insights whatsoever. I'm checking CGOAB threads and tried to fight the Search Monster here at BikeForums, and really don't have much. I do see some websites from state DOTs that help a bit, but I'd rather hear from riders who have:
1. ridden the length of the Tennessee River or at least a goodly portion of it.
2. figured out a way from Knoxville to WV that won't have TOO many hills
3. a way from Knoxville to the Blue Ridge Parkway
4. Any insights on the comment that the Blue Ridge Parkway gets too much summer traffic to be enjoyable
5. A good way to go through West Virginia to Pittsburgh
6. Any feedback whatsoever on the ACA "Allegheny Mountains Loop" which, from what I can surmise, might be the least traveled ACA route (at least in terms of rider reports).
Historian: Yes. Yes I could. That possibility came up, but I could use some route planning on how to best get from, let's say, Knoxville to Cumberland, MD or so to catch the C&O. Not being from the East Coast, my knowledge of the best line from a population/hills (not to mention road bike friendliness) is zero to low.