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N.O. to Tampa: thoughts

Old 03-11-08, 06:33 PM
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N.O. to Tampa: thoughts

Hi!

First, I want to thank the many of you who responded to my Dec request for light touring tire suggestions (I decided to go with Michelin Krylion Carbon 700x25).

Second, I've decided to fly into New Orleans, and I fly out of Tampa. I have 11 cycling days to cover approx 650 mi. Since this is a tighter timeline than I'd otherwise like for my first touring experience, I would appreciate any thoughts about this plan.

Am I overly ambitious? [In Sept, this would've been a breeze. But a brutal winter, a brutal workload for several months, and too many beers have conspired to reduce my fitness. So I'm assuming a slow pace.] Are there any bottlenecks that I should avoid? Is there a good bike shop in Tampa that will expertly box my bike for the flight back?

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 03-11-08, 06:45 PM
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Mississippi Gulf Coast might be a little difficult to get across due to Katrina destruction. I think I'd take old Hwy 19 once you hit Florida.
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Old 03-12-08, 08:24 AM
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I am still looking for a gentleman who recently posted about his tour E/W along the same Gulf Coast route. He had some recommendations for getting through the hurricane damaged roadways. In any event, my recommendation would be to avoid Mobile, Al. You can use the same routing that ACA and others use by going down to Dauphin Island and taking the ferry across the bay. I rode US 98 through Pensacola and on to Santa Rosa Beach (you can use 399 along Pensacola Beach as well for part of the route). That was a decent road in 2003. US 90 into Tallahassee is one of the best routes in Florida (I have ridden it twice), though it takes you a bit more north than you might want to go. Once you get over to Perry, use Alt 27/19 southward, that is a good road with shoulders even though it also has traffic (I have used that route to Chiefland twice as well). I would probably stay on 19 south of Chiefland but have no first hand knowledge of that road.
Good luck
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Old 03-12-08, 10:49 AM
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I think pedal preacher posted that route. That may not be his exact handle but something similar, neat guy.
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Old 03-13-08, 07:02 AM
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Found it. Here is his web site. He sent me a real nice route recently. I am pretty sure he has done the route you are going on.
https://www.pedalprayers.org/index.html
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Old 03-13-08, 07:04 AM
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Old 03-13-08, 07:11 AM
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Through Mississippi US 90 is tough to ride on right now. Lots of construction, lots of traffic, not much room.

Jack
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Old 03-13-08, 11:55 AM
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U.S. 98 along the coast in Fla. Panhandle could be scenic, but the traffic can be heavy. East of Apalachicola, the road is so close to the coast that the eastbound shoulder was washed out by the recent hurricanes (and has not been replaced - so watch the traffic there especially.) If you want to get off the coast, the www.pedaling.com site has some touring route info you might make use of. Look for the Seven Hills to the Sea Tour pages. U.S. 19 along the West Coast North of Crystal River might be a candidate as long as miles and miles of straight flat pinelands won't drive you bonkers.I would make every effort to avoid U.S. 19 south of Weeki Wachee. Some alternatives might be the Gen. Van Fleet, Withlacoochee, and Nature Coast trails, (https://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/index.htm) connected by low-volume/bike-acceptable roads.

Traffic Volume Data: https://www.dot.state.fl.us/planning/...ta/default.htm (The Florida Dept. of Transportation will mail you a CD with the info, as well.)

Edit: The Pinellas Trail from Tarpon Springs to St. Pete is also useful in avoiding the insane urban Florida drivers.

Last edited by toodman; 03-13-08 at 02:12 PM.
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