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First time poster looking for tour ideas...

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First time poster looking for tour ideas...

Old 01-02-10, 02:36 PM
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First time poster looking for tour ideas...

First time posting - hope to gain from all of your advice! Am looking to do a weekend ride - either organized or just a nice area. Some criteria:

Time frame is late Mar to early April
Would like it to be warmer than colder ride
Willing to drive up to 8hrs from Chicagoland area
Want to ride 100mi or so over 2 days
Nice inn or location to stay in with some nice restaurants

Any thoughts - was looking for a website that catalog'ed rides in different regions but did not didn;t have too much luck.

thanks!
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Old 01-02-10, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chicagorick
First time posting - hope to gain from all of your advice! Am looking to do a weekend ride - either organized or just a nice area. Some criteria:

Time frame is late Mar to early April
Would like it to be warmer than colder ride
Willing to drive up to 8hrs from Chicagoland area
Want to ride 100mi or so over 2 days
Nice inn or location to stay in with some nice restaurants

Any thoughts - was looking for a website that catalog'ed rides in different regions but did not didn;t have too much luck.

thanks!
I would recommend a tour on the Blue Ridge Parkway but the time of year can't guarantee warm/dry weather. A nice ride would be to start at the Parkway terminus in Cherokee and ride to the Pisgah Inn then back the next day. The problem is you have to ride above 5000' for many miles and cross 6000' at the highpoint. There is no telling what the weather would be like that time of year. It could be anything, but not hot obviously and not warm at high elevation. This suggestion probably wasn't much help after all. lol
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Old 01-02-10, 03:07 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You might check the Great Lakes forum on this board. There are often threads about regional get togethers and events. You may also be able to learn of local bike clubs that you could join. https://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...33-Great-Lakes

You could also check the Bicycle Touring classifieds on crazyguyonabike.com https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/classifieds/?o=RrzKj A lot of those are for longer tours, but you may occasionally find a short, local tour. It's an interesting site loaded with lots of information if your interested in touring.

REI also sponsors bicycle adventure trips, but they're all abroad (Asia, Latin America and Europe). https://www.rei.com/adventures/activity/cycle.html

This tour would be close to you (in Indiana). You'd also have time to get in shape since it isn't until June. https://www.triri.org/triri.html

Good luck and have fun pedaling.
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Old 01-02-10, 03:37 PM
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8 hours of driving, assume that is around 400 miles.

"Straight" south out of Chicagoland, staring from the Loop, on I-57 (and some on I-55, but well south of St. Louis) would get you to New Madrid, Missouri. You could check out the ACA Great River Trail (I think its ACA). Don't know if the lodging, etc. would fit your desires. [I-55 for the entire trip would be fewer miles, but on I-55 one has to deal with St. Louis - no big cities on I-57.]

Fancy Gap, Virginia, right on the BRP, would be about 700 miles from the Loop via I-65, I-74, I-75, I-64, I-77.

The driving on I-57 is a lot easier than on I-65/74/75/64/77.

The southern edge of Missouri is likely to warmer than the mountains of the BRP. And, if you are looking to "escape" the long, ugly Chicago winter, I'm thinking warmer is a lot better. (I used to live in Chicago.)

Oh, and I assume you'll not be doing a "Tour", but will do a self-supported ride with yourself and maybe a few friends.
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Old 01-02-10, 04:07 PM
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Near Cincinnati, last year, my late March to early April rides were all near 50F to 60F.
You'll want to go much farther south or go later in the year to have predictably warm weather.

April 5, 2009. 55F that day. Near the covered bridge on Stonelick Creek, near Owensville OH.



April 26, 2008. Trees are just starting to leaf out, and the redbuds were in full bloom. This is Route 8 along the Ohio River, on the way to Augusta KY.
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Old 01-02-10, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by skiffrun
...

Fancy Gap, Virginia, right on the BRP, would be about 700 miles from the Loop via I-65, I-74, I-75, I-64, I-77.
...
That's about 10 hours from Chicago, maybe too far. But it has a great out-and-back Blue Ridge Parkway ride nearby: This route starts from the Cumberland Knob picnic area and heads south to Doughton Park. There's a nice cafe at the top of the mountain in Doughton Park.

The starting location is 1000 feet lower than Doughton Park, so the return is easier.

I wouldn't plan to ride this area that early in the season, though.
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Old 01-02-10, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
That's about 10 hours from Chicago, maybe too far. . . .
More like 12 hours. I've done that drive more time than I would like to remember.

Clearing Chicago can be a real pain.
Indianapolis can be a busy pain.
Northern KY, south of Cincinnati to about half-way to Lexington can be a pain.
Huntington to Charleston, WV can be a pain. (Seems all the bridges are always being repaired.)
It seems that at least one is guaranteed to be a pain.

Years ago, I drove from central NC to Louisville, KY the day Isiah Thomas beat Syracuse for the NCAA mens b-ball Div I championship. Drive was good until about 1/3 the way from Lexington to Lousiville. Then I had to drive through the middle of a 12-inch snowstorm. Wierd storm. A couple hundred miles long. but only 30 or 40 miles wide. As if someone had drawn a line on a map. (The point being early April can be warm, or not -- as "rm -rf" noted.)
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Old 01-02-10, 07:54 PM
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Ohio valley weather is completely unpredictable that time of year. It's not unusual for it to be nasty cold in Louisville in early April.
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Old 01-02-10, 08:20 PM
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Chicagorick I live an hour away from you. I camp at different state parks in Michigan. I stay at a state near south haven Michigan. The park is called van Buren state park. You can ride the Kal-Haven State Park Trail. It is a 33 mile trail starting from South Haven to Kalamazoo. There is a lot of wineries on country roads. You can camp at Warren dunes in Sawyer Michigan. First you have to stop at Three oaks Michigan and visit the local bike club. They have many planned routes all over the south west corner of Michigan. I tour all over southern, and western Michigan. There is a nice paved 20 mile path in Chesterton Indiana.
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Old 01-02-10, 10:44 PM
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You can get to the Katy trail in central Missouri in well under 8 hours; I believe weather that time of year should be highs of around 50 to 55 degrees.

Hermann, Missouri, is a nice old town with plenty of places to stay, right on the Katy trail.
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Old 01-03-10, 10:28 AM
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March and early April are very unpredictable in the northern tier. I think if you want nice weather you'll have to wait a bit longer or drive further. Early May has TOSRV out of Columbus, which still suffers from unpredictable weather. In Late May there's Horsey Hundred, in Georgetown KY. That usually has nicer weather.
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Old 01-03-10, 10:45 AM
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Natchez Trace. I read someone's story about it on CrazyGuyOnaBike. He traveled at about the same time of year. It stuck in my mind as something I"d like to ride.

Jeepers. Seems like hundreds of guys there have ridden it. I don't remember which one I read.

Starts just outside Nashville. 7 hrs, 16 mins according to Google. Looks like a week's ride at a metric a day to do the whole thing.
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Old 01-03-10, 11:01 AM
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Wow - thanks for all the ideas and photos....
I used to live in Cinci area so I think I would avoid going back - weather is unpredictable. And Hermann is nice, with Katy trail but did that a couple of years ago. I do think my best bet is to head straight south on 57 to get as far south as possible without too many divergences. Maybe head SE on 24 a bit.

My wife and i will be joined by another couple from Cinci so i am thinking I'll concentrate my focus on somewhere around the SW KY, SE Missouri, N Tennessee area. If anyone has thoughts or nice rides they have done their, let me know. Probably won't go much south of the TN border though since that makes the drive way too long.

btw Skiffrun - i remember that game! I am a long standing - and sometimes suffering Syracuse fan - that was a depressing day. Sort of like yesterday for any other 'Cuse fans.
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Old 01-03-10, 12:04 PM
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I suggest posing the same question on the Touring forum. Those people have been everywhere!

I'm also looking for a touring location in late March/early April, but I'll be driving from the central coast of California. I like to tour in warm weather.

I don't know much about your neck of the woods. Good luck, and have fun!
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Old 01-03-10, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe
I suggest posing the same question on the Touring forum. Those people have been everywhere!

I'm also looking for a touring location in late March/early April, but I'll be driving from the central coast of California. I like to tour in warm weather.

I don't know much about your neck of the woods. Good luck, and have fun!
https://www.nbtda.com/default.php

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Old 01-03-10, 07:51 PM
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Going down I-57 about 5-6 hours from you there is a real nice rail-trail south of Carbondale... goes through Vienna as I recall. I believe it's called the Tunnel Hill Trail. Cannot vouch for fine dining in there area, but Little Egypt does have some charm to it for sure.

https://illinois.sierraclub.org/shawn...bike_trail.htm

https://www.traillink.com/ViewTrail.aspx?AcctID=6032279

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Old 01-03-10, 08:49 PM
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we do alot of riding in southern ill and around the st louis area-----trails are great and varied we rode 105 miles last sept ---trails.com will be a lot of help and the b&bs are neat
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Old 01-04-10, 06:44 AM
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Here's a link to one of my favorite places to ride. It's in the central part of Pennsylvania, mostly along the Susquehanna River, north of the state capital Harrisburg. It's very easy to find inexpensive motels and/or campgrounds, and cyclist are generally treated with respect.

https://www.itourcolumbiamontour.com/...0Counties2.pdf

Oh, and welcome!
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