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Awesome Bike Routes in Southern US

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Awesome Bike Routes in Southern US

Old 10-30-15, 12:41 PM
  #26  
sprocketss
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
If you are considering starting in Florida, I'm not too sure how bad the traffic is in the Ft. Lauderdale area, but I live on the Treasure Coast in Martin County (just north of Palm Beach County). A1A on Hutchinson Island is a great place to ride with minimal traffic. I ride along there every week, and I enjoy an occasional nice view of the ocean and the Indian River. Along the east coast, the traffic is not bad from Martin County to at least Daytona, and possibly even as far north to Jacksonville. You can even stop at the Kennedy Space Center, in Brevard County and take a tour.
Sounds good, I have the misunderstanding that Florida is just paved with asphalt at this point.
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Old 10-30-15, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Natchez Trace might be a good choice, if you hit a dry week. Rain and wind in February are common and unpleasant, though.

I'd look at southern Arizona or southern California. Southern, to avoid sub-freezing weather and high altitudes (which also rules out New Mexico, although it's still dry there). Just plan to stay away from the larger cities where all the snow birds have parked their RVs. (They're all retired and drive a lot like Florida drivers, the ones that make Florida the most dangerous state to bicycle.)

I've never heard of it, but I'm checking it out.
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Old 10-30-15, 12:57 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sprocketss View Post
Sounds good, I have the misunderstanding that Florida is just paved with asphalt at this point.
On the pan handle you can ride miles and miles through pretty much nothing but tall pine trees between widely spaced towns.
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Old 10-30-15, 05:05 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
On the pan handle you can ride miles and miles through pretty much nothing but tall pine trees between widely spaced towns.
I will agree with this as long as you stay up off the coast. I remember riding FL200 and it was mostly wild. I was a bit surprised. The only thing about riding up there is to watch the big bridge crossings. If heading westbound you have to deal with lousy sign placement telling you that you have to cross over to the other side of the road and hop on the sidewalk to get across the bridge. They don't want to place the signs before you ever get to the crossover for the sidewalk, they want to wait until you are beyond the crossover. That became a big complaint of mine this summer. Every time I would get somewhere that bikes were prohibited or had to crossover to use sidewalks, etc they always wait so darn late to tell you that you have to do something compared to the norm. I had a couple of bridges that were the same way so when I came to Pensacola Bay Bridge and knew I was dealing with traffic I was wandering if I was allowed to ride the bridge deck or if I was going to get forced onto a sidewalk.
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Old 10-30-15, 05:27 PM
  #30  
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I live in Atlanta and have lived all over the south. February is not great if you're camping. And if you forecast a 40F nighttime low based on a monthly average, be prepared for half that. The temperature swings are big. It can be real warm too. But when planning I don't bank on it.
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Old 10-30-15, 05:35 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
On the pan handle you can ride miles and miles through pretty much nothing but tall pine trees between widely spaced towns.
True. And for when the OP is going I'd recommend the Everglades. The cycling is great and full of natural beauty. If you want to have fun then ride your bike from the mainland to Key West on the biggest catamaran in the world and then ride up the keys back to the Everglades
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Old 10-30-15, 05:45 PM
  #32  
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So I couldn't fight it anymore, I have bought my airline ticket to Phoenix. I have three weeks to explore Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and perhaps New Mexico. Flying Delta, I found a good price, but I will be paying $300 more to transport my bike, there will be other checked baggage charges, but I'm not going to worry about that. I'm excited to explore all the national parks in the area, including the Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and others as I draw up an itinerary.

I would value any suggestions, routes and offered links. I also would value any tips to camp in the backcountry. I understand I can expect a range of weather that could include snow.

Over the next several weeks I hope to draw up a plan. Since this will my first self supported tour, I do want to take it easy and enjoy the experience by minimizing the mishaps :-).
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Old 10-30-15, 07:59 PM
  #33  
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The further north of Phx you get, the colder it'll be. With snow. Good luck with that.

Much more pleasant options toward S. Cali. I'd target Joshua Tree and the Salton Sea.
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Old 10-31-15, 02:35 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
The further north of Phx you get, the colder it'll be. With snow. Good luck with that.

Much more pleasant options toward S. Cali. I'd target Joshua Tree and the Salton Sea.
Ya, I am aware of the snow, thinking a day trip by bus to view the canyon. I will be checking out Joshua tree thou, thinking of doing a loop from Joshua Tree, then south and east to the Arizona Trail.

Last edited by sprocketss; 10-31-15 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 11-03-15, 05:18 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
I'd target Joshua Tree and the Salton Sea.
I'd add Anza Borrego to that, it's sort of just over the road from the Salton Sea.
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Old 11-04-15, 04:03 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
I'd add Anza Borrego to that, it's sort of just over the road from the Salton Sea.
Checking it out
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Old 11-04-15, 10:34 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
On the pan handle you can ride miles and miles through pretty much nothing but tall pine trees between widely spaced towns.
And a surprising number of hills also. I remember cycling west in the panhandle and I guess around Monticello, it was, ARE YOU KIDDING ME FLORIDA IS SUPPOSED TO BE FLAT********** Ocala national forest is flat and tons of roads both paved and unpvaed and so rural, you can't even get cellphone reception in most of it.
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Old 11-05-15, 03:35 AM
  #38  
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https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...two-weeks.html

I don't really have any specific suggestions at the moment. I just wanted to pass this link your way. I recently rode through a lot of the states you're planning to ride, so if you think there's any questions of yours I could answer feel free to ask. I just made up my routes on the fly, so they weren't ideal by any means. I wouldn't really suggest the routes I took, except for the awesome coastal ride along Mississippi.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:48 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff View Post
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...two-weeks.html

I don't really have any specific suggestions at the moment. I just wanted to pass this link your way. I recently rode through a lot of the states you're planning to ride, so if you think there's any questions of yours I could answer feel free to ask. I just made up my routes on the fly, so they weren't ideal by any means. I wouldn't really suggest the routes I took, except for the awesome coastal ride along Mississippi.
Enjoyed you videos, great tour, you have inspired me to video diary my ride.
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Old 11-05-15, 06:34 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I live in Atlanta and have lived all over the south. February is not great if you're camping. And if you forecast a 40F nighttime low based on a monthly average, be prepared for half that. The temperature swings are big. It can be real warm too. But when planning I don't bank on it.
I did the ST in Feb-Mar and would choose that time again. Daytime temps were generally pleasantly cool. Overnight lows were fairly often cool enough for frost and only one night was really cold (18 F on my thermometer). I'd take the weather I had on that trip over hot weather any time. The farther north you go from the ST the more chance of cold weather and snow, so I would be cautious of planning on being much more north anywhere with much elevation.

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
And a surprising number of hills also. I remember cycling west in the panhandle and I guess around Monticello, it was, ARE YOU KIDDING ME FLORIDA IS SUPPOSED TO BE FLAT********** Ocala national forest is flat and tons of roads both paved and unpvaed and so rural, you can't even get cellphone reception in most of it.
Yeah, I moved to Tallahassee not long ago and it is surprisingly hilly in places. The hills can be pretty steep, but given that the state high point is only 345' at least the climbs can't be super long.
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Old 11-06-15, 05:27 PM
  #41  
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If you want to do a lot of climbing in the South, then a lot of cyclists like to bike the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC and VA.

GH
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Old 11-21-15, 01:00 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
As far as ACA maps. They are generally very good and I find them worth using. They have a ton of info about the available services and some general info about the area they pass through. OTOH, If I were riding the ST again I might opt to just ride US 90 a lot more of the way on the portion between Jacksonville Beach FL and Van Horn TX.
Hi, I was wondering why you suggested using 90 over the ACA route. I'm also thinking about riding a portion of the ST from Texas to Florida and then hopefully to the keys.
@sprocketss Good luck with your trip!
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Old 11-21-15, 05:58 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by jamminB View Post
Hi, I was wondering why you suggested using 90 over the ACA route.
I only mentioned it as an option. Personal preference may dictate one over the other and a mix and match approach is possible. I used US 90 some of the way on my ST and found it pretty nice.

I tend to like highways with the US designation. They are fairly direct and many of them are nice riding IMO. It would keep things simple to follow one highway rather than do a lot of navigating on little back roads. US 90 can be pretty remote in places, traffic isn't too heavy for a lot of it (some places you will see a car only every 20-30 minutes), it typically has decent shoulders.

ACA routes tend to go out of their way to take scenic routes that I fairly often find myself wondering what they thought was more scenic about them.

My suggestion is to be flexible in your plans and try some of both. Then adjust to ride on the one you find you prefer. Bear in mind that the choice may be different in different sections.
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Old 11-21-15, 06:06 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by RedandBlack View Post
For Rail/trail routes I recommend traillink.com . You have to register, but it's free and with little spam. Best thing to do is view the map of a trail near your start point and then select the "nearby trails" and "Google bike map" options to see what links up. From what I can see it looks like pretty slim pickins in the South though Florida has more than the rest. Maybe combine this site with some ACA maps? ACA seems to be pretty good with picking low traffic roads. You may also want to look up some CGOAB journals for Florida and Georgia. The one that comes to mind is https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=15065&v=2y1 . They start off in Key West and work their way West.

Also, wild camping in Florida National parks? I'm not from the South but gators and snakes seem like they'd be a problem.

Hope this helps and may your journey have plenty of tailwind.
I'd worry more about rednecks and wild pigs. I wild camp all the time on state forest land and no issues though. Hammock here, as there isn't must flat debris free ground.

As far as traveling up the east coast of Florida I love riding there. Sometimes you can run across a lot of traffic, but I don't see it as much of an issue. You can ride up A1A for the coastal feel, or pop over to US1 (which you must in some places to get around inlets). Some parts of US1 you are riding for many miles right alongside the water. Ride though the Cape Canaveral area (wild camping along the way) and come in to the Daytona Beach area from the south on US1 and is a nice ride. Go over to A1A for the beach scene.

Anyway, very many options. If you want more specifics let me know. I have ridden that coast from the Keys to Georgia (and on to Savannah the day after high school graduation! - HS in Daytona Beach - the Fighting Sandcrabs!!).
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Old 11-23-15, 09:03 PM
  #45  
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Besides being wet in Southern California, strong El Nino events tend to generate cool and wet weather across the entire southern US, while the Pacific NW can be warmer and drier than average. Just something to be prepared for.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:03 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post
If you want to do a lot of climbing in the South, then a lot of cyclists like to bike the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC and VA.

GH
In February? I haven't been, but I sometimes keep an eye on the mountain area temps over the winter. It can get chilly up there.
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Old 11-24-15, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
In February? I haven't been, but I sometimes keep an eye on the mountain area temps over the winter. It can get chilly up there.
The roadway (BRP) will be closed then.
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Old 11-25-15, 01:36 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by sprocketss View Post
On cursory examination, I'm thinking I could start at Fort Lauderdale and end at Savannah Georgia, I hear traffic can be challenging up though Florida though.
Rode from Ft Lauderdale to Jupiter, A1A is quite pretty even w/the condos & has bike lane for many parts. Drivers were nice since there was ample room for easy passes. I even like biking in Miami--one needs to watch out for bozos pulling out of parking lots but don't mind the Ferraris passing in same lane.
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