planning a big tour next year.. need lots of advice
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  1. #1
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    Question planning a big tour next year.. need lots of advice

    Hi folks,

    I'm a rider from belgium and would like to make a fairly big trip next year. The plan would be to visit some friends i made in the last few years. They live in Nashville, Savannah and Charlotte.

    The plan would be to fly on Nashville and then make a big roundtrip. Total distance would be more or less 2000km (1300miles) and I would have more or less 3weeks to complete this.

    Provided that i get fit enough to actually do this (if not I will adjust plans and make other arrangements) Are there things i should take special note of riding in the U.S. What's good conduct on U.S. roads? Which roads are fairly safe to ride? What are nice places to stay and eat (i'll be travelling light)?

    Really appreciate all the advice you can give me,

    Cheers,

    Wassler

  2. #2
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    Camping or Hotels?
    "All I want in life is to ride my bike and drink good coffee."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontRanger
    Camping or Hotels?
    Most likely hotel/motel or b&b As stated in my original post: i'll be travelling light so just a backpak with the essential stuff.. Not sure though how light one can go with some basic camping gear..

    But i'm always open to suggestions..

    cheers,

    Wassler

  4. #4
    Great White North
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    Quote Originally Posted by wassler
    Most likely hotel/motel or b&b As stated in my original post: i'll be travelling light so just a backpak with the essential stuff.. Not sure though how light one can go with some basic camping gear..

    But i'm always open to suggestions..

    cheers,

    Wassler
    I would suggest NOT using a backpack and using panniers or other frame bags instead. If you're truly going light, you'll be able to manage easily with a couple of small panniers and/or small frame bags.

    1300 miles over 21 days doesn't sound too difficult, although it depends on your expectations of non-riding time to visit with friends and such.

    If you're buying a new bike for this, buy it now and get some miles on it. Outfit it as you would for the trip as soon as possible and start doing overnights and trial runs with gear to get that sorted before you start. Build up some base fitness and you'll be fine..

    Plum
    This post is in 3B, three beers and it looks good, eh!

  5. #5
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    Check out www.adventurecycling.org

    They have lots of information on their site about touring in the USA, and great information in their forums. They also have fantastic maps showing the best roads to bike on in various parts of the country.

  6. #6
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    Routes

    Quote Originally Posted by wassler
    Which roads are fairly safe to ride?
    Here's a link to North Carolina's bike routes, which come pretty close to Charlotte (if not passing right through it): http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle..._highways.html

    South Carolina routes are at: http://www.sctrails.net/trails/ALLTR...de/biking.html

    Tennesee doesn't have designated bike routes, but they do have a bike suitability map. Contact [email protected] or visit. http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/bikeped

    In many cases, you can look at a state road map and figure out which roads are better for cycling; the narrower the line on the map, the less traffic it will have. Not a guarantee, but a good place to start.

    Most towns of any size will have a motel, or it won't be far to the next town that has one.

    Rules of the road for a touring cyclist are fairly simple: keep to the right. You will probably get yelled at a few times, so let us appologize in advance for a few people's rude behavior.

    Eastern Tennesee and western North and South Carolina have some mountains. Not the alps, but steep like the Ardennes in places, and bigger elevation gains. Those narrower lines on the maps tend to have steeper grades when crossing the mountains.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advices so far.. If anybody has some more info.; please let me know.

    Cheers,

    wassler.

  8. #8
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    Think carefully about what time of year you hope to do this. I know August is a big time for long holidays in Europe, but in the Southern US, it can be unbearably hot. I live in Nashville myself, and tomorrow, for example it will be 99 degrees (37.5 C) with 87% humidity. Not great weather for setting off for a 100 mile ride, though people do it and live. October and May are the really lovely months here.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RagbraiNewB
    Think carefully about what time of year you hope to do this. I know August is a big time for long holidays in Europe, but in the Southern US, it can be unbearably hot. I live in Nashville myself, and tomorrow, for example it will be 99 degrees (37.5 C) with 87% humidity. Not great weather for setting off for a 100 mile ride, though people do it and live. October and May are the really lovely months here.
    I'm well aware of this.; but unfortunately the company where i work always closes for 3 weeks during summer. usually last two weeks of july and first week of august.. So i'll better learn to cope with heat and humidity.. prolly take plenty of fluids with me too.

    If i'd have choice i'd rather go september or october.. But that's unfortunately not the case :-(

    Wassler.

  10. #10
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    forewarned is forearmed

    As long as you know what you're getting into, you should be OK. I'd still recommend planning a route that not only allows you good places to sleep at night, but think about public pools and State Parks where you can be in the shade or in water from 13:00 to 16:00.

    Here is a good route for your first day. Ride south from Nashville on 8th Avenue, which becomes Franklin Road, cut west on Concord Road through River Park. Follow that (through the tunnel under Interstate highway 65) to Wilson Pike. Follow Wilson to Trinity Road, then south on Trinity to Arno Road. After that, follow the Red Line on this map, which is the bike route of a large charity ride called Jack and Back. Your first night will be in Lynchburg Tennessee, where Jack Daniels is created.

    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...burg/502359836

    Contact me whenever. If you need a place to stay your first night in Nashville to get organized and put your bike together, my bikestand is free to use. Maybe I'll ride with you the first day!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RagbraiNewB
    As long as you know what you're getting into, you should be OK. I'd still recommend planning a route that not only allows you good places to sleep at night, but think about public pools and State Parks where you can be in the shade or in water from 13:00 to 16:00.

    Here is a good route for your first day. Ride south from Nashville on 8th Avenue, which becomes Franklin Road, cut west on Concord Road through River Park. Follow that (through the tunnel under Interstate highway 65) to Wilson Pike. Follow Wilson to Trinity Road, then south on Trinity to Arno Road. After that, follow the Red Line on this map, which is the bike route of a large charity ride called Jack and Back. Your first night will be in Lynchburg Tennessee, where Jack Daniels is created.

    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...burg/502359836

    Contact me whenever. If you need a place to stay your first night in Nashville to get organized and put your bike together, my bikestand is free to use. Maybe I'll ride with you the first day!
    Thank for the info. I'll gladly use your hospitality but prolly it won't be needed.; my first firend that i'm gonna visit will live in nashville by next year.. Though you're more than welcome to join me on the ride :-) two bikers = twice the fun

    cheers,

    wassler.

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