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Syracuse NY to Asheville NC priority: speed

Old 05-08-14, 12:02 PM
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MattoftheRocks
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Syracuse NY to Asheville NC priority: speed

So, I've been wanting to go across the country for a long time, but life just hasn't allowed it. I've done plenty of rides to all edges of New York state. My little sis has her graduation happening in july down in Asheville. Good excuse to do a "short one" and check out tyat blue ridge, right? On paper, considering my usual average speeds cranking through the fingerlakes region and up to old forge, I ought to be able to make it there in four days or so. Problem is, having driven the penna turnpike enough times, I'm terrified of having to spend half of my estimated time grinding and flying, grinding and flying my way through those ridiculous vallies.

On one hand, I want to go along the lake over to erie, then down through Pittsburg, and through Charleston. On the other I want to just go down towards NYC and grab one of the us bike routes to take me down the coast and over to Johnson City then guess my way down to Ashe.

Help me if you can, folks, what is going to be the flattest/smoothest-grade, fastest way down. I'd like to ride this fabled Blue Ridge highway, but it's not as high a priority as is getting there in the shortest time by bicycle.

Thanks in advance,
Matt
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Old 05-08-14, 12:51 PM
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Did this in 2009...East coast seems to be all up and down.

Stayed in my granny ring for three days on part of it.

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Old 05-08-14, 12:53 PM
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Straight shot by car via I-81 it's about 775 miles. Easily doable in four 193.25 mile days, especially for someone who is terrifield of constant ups and downs.
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Old 05-08-14, 01:39 PM
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The Blue Ridge is beautiful, but it's also narrow, twisty in a lot of places, and there's a couple of hellacious hills to go up and down that will make the hills around Ithaca and Old Forge look like bumps in the road.

Also factor in that the climate, once you get past northern PA, is liable to get a lot warmer and more humid than the finger lakes region. :-)

Four days seems awfully ambitious unless you're in truly top-notch shape. Maybe drive part way then ride the rest?
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Old 05-08-14, 02:09 PM
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Plus no mention of what style (i.e., credit card, camping, cooking).
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Old 05-08-14, 02:44 PM
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What are "vallies" and how do you ridicule one?
I suggest Greyhound.
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Old 05-08-14, 03:03 PM
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Syracuse to Asheville in 4 days while avoiding too much up and down. Sounds like a troll to me.

Who has graduations in July?
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Old 05-08-14, 03:46 PM
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At the risk of sounding ridiculous:

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Old 05-08-14, 06:11 PM
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from the North Carolina border north to Maine and west to the Ohio river is a beeatch. makes the rest of the country look like southern Florida.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:21 PM
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Bus?

Or take more time?
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Old 05-09-14, 06:54 AM
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Lol! Not trolling I really have no issues riding most any of the hills through the finger lakes with regular road gearing. My "terror" was hyperbole, but the concern is at the time potentially soaked on bikeable roads really only through PA, with my only travels thus far in that state being relegated to the highway- I have no idea what any of the landscape is like outside of the the view from the penna, which does look like it would have me spending a ton of time under 10 mph. If there is a route that is only as hilly as rt11 is from Ogdensburg to Cortland, that would be ideal, however, if it's only as rough as Rt20 from Morrisville to Auburn, it's really not a problem. I'd really only done my math using my avg speed from Oswego to Cortland, rather than my avg on rt20 (dumb, I know) and considering pedalling all of the time that I'm not in my ENO hammock sleeping and not sitting in a diner, bistro or whatever fuelling up. On the topog maps it appears as though rt11 continues to be as smooth all of the way down as it is up here, so yeah, I was definitely getting pretty optimistic.

10wheels, how many days had it taken you go go between your east end (nyc?) and central NC, and how many hours were you spending in the saddle per day?
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Old 05-09-14, 10:14 AM
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800 miles in 4 days? Even if it was pancake flat, that is super ambitious. Do half the trip and have your parents or other folks attending the graduation pick you up on route.
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Old 05-09-14, 10:34 AM
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Yeah, this proposed ride is the equivalent of doing a 1200K grand randonee. A person capable of doing that sort of ride would not likley be writing what is being written here.

OP - you need a plan B. You'll very possibly end up using it.
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Old 05-09-14, 12:17 PM
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From Syracuse, head south to Corning/Elmira. If you ride on the west side of 81, it is tamer hill wise to get there. From Elmira/Corning area, take 15 down to Harrisburg. There are some hills of course, but the route is decently bike friendly, and there are amenities along the way. After Harrisburg, I got nothing, except I would try to angle for Skyline Drive to ride down through parallel to 81. If I was planning it, I would think 9 days +-, but I am also someone who did a two day, 257 mile ride last weekend, so your daily mileage may vary.

NOTE: I have not driven that route in a few years, and there were a couple of sections that they were looking to build into two lanes both directions, that may be highway feeling.
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Old 05-10-14, 09:09 AM
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Thanks RollCNY, 9 days really is not that awful. I have several times done 200+ mile days (food prepped the night before and going straight from bed to the bike and only stopping to dump and drain), but those were on very flat routes spending very little time on the saddle and starting before the sun was fully up and getting home quite a bit after the sun had set. So, including the celebration day and a significantly more sane day to day riding schedule, I'd be looking at a 18-20 day trip. Thats probably fine.

Mulveyr, I wouldn't say I'm in top notch shape, as I don't sprint too very often and really can't keep pace with some of the faster locals for more than ten or so miles, but I do do at the absolute very least twenty miles every day, often two to three times that before work and am on my feet all day long every day except Sunday. I'm no racer for sure, but I'm no slouch either.

Steamer, that is an awesome screenname! I really like it. For years, my life has been too packed to be able to do more than either an insane day ride plus a recovery day or just a mild two day ride + camp. This summer I actually have a couple of months where I am absolutely free to get fat in any which way I choose. I was hoping to cram a ton of little projects including this ride into that timespan, so cutting a couple of projects off really isn't that big of a deal.

Thanks again everybody!
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Old 05-10-14, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
From Syracuse, head south to Corning/Elmira. If you ride on the west side of 81, it is tamer hill wise to get there. From Elmira/Corning area, take 15 down to Harrisburg. There are some hills of course, but the route is decently bike friendly, and there are amenities along the way. After Harrisburg, I got nothing, except I would try to angle for Skyline Drive to ride down through parallel to 81. If I was planning it, I would think 9 days +-, but I am also someone who did a two day, 257 mile ride last weekend, so your daily mileage may vary.

NOTE: I have not driven that route in a few years, and there were a couple of sections that they were looking to build into two lanes both directions, that may be highway feeling.
Well, Route 15 in northern PA is now a high speed highway since they rebuilt it 10-15 years ago, and there is a large amount of truck traffic ( which is the reason it was rebuilt, presumably. ) I'm not sure bikes are allowed on it, south of Tioga. This is what you'd be on, for example:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ma...83dac4b729c4c3

The "old" route 15 still exists in places, but a lot of the convenience stores/etc. that used to line the route are now gone, killed off by the new highway.
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Old 05-11-14, 04:29 AM
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Good info, @mulveyr. I haven't been on Rt. 15 in many years, so what I remember as a few inconvenient stretches is obviously much larger now.
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Old 05-11-14, 05:05 AM
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Ride the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, and allow much more time
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Old 05-11-14, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Ride the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, and allow much more time
This ^^^

I have ridden most of the Blue Ridge Parkway, for things like food you have to leave the parkway which means having to CLIMB back up on to it. Beautiful ride though. Most people don't believe it when you tell them the grades in the Appalachians/Shenandoah mountains are steep, they are shorter than the long grades out west, but much steeper. I have ridden in the Finger Lakes and the Adirondacks... Hundred mile days in the Apps are going to whoop your ass.

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Old 05-13-14, 07:27 AM
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Welp, got tagged yesterday in the city, typing this from my hospital bed on some heavy narcotics. Docs say that I'm not gonna be pedalling at all for six months. Keep the route suggestions coming though, maybe next year my employer will have mercy on me and grant me a month to go for a ride next year. I do really want to check out these trails in my sister's town that so many people have talked up to me.
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