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Old 07-23-2011, 10:42 AM   #1
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Mulling a bicycle trip (WAY off topic)

I have started thinking I want to do a bike trip next year falling in the last two weeks of May and early June (three weeks or so). One route I was considering was New Orleans up the Mississippi River as far as Natchez and then doing the Natchez Trace up to Nashville. Anybody ridden any part of this route? Ideas? Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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Tomrv

I can't help you on the southern end of the Mississippi, but I've talked with several riders about TOMRV (Tour Of the Mississippi River Valley). They talked very highly of the ride. It can be a little challenging, but very scenic.

And then there's the The Great Mississippi River Ride, all 1700 miles of it, but divided into 3 sections. I've heard that it, too, is a great ride, and it's all downhill as it starts in the north!

America By Bicycle: The Great Mississippi River Ride

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Old 07-23-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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Have you guys all already done the RAGBRAI?
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondocker View Post
I have started thinking I want to do a bike trip next year falling in the last two weeks of May and early June (three weeks or so). One route I was considering was New Orleans up the Mississippi River as far as Natchez and then doing the Natchez Trace up to Nashville. Ideas? Thanks!
I think it would be too far to tow the trailer with the bicycle...
Seriously, I think early May would be better, if you can get away from your teaching job then. Less heat, less humidity, less bugs, more flowery stuff to take pictures of.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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Terry, a mid May start date is what I am working with. Vintage photos aside,I agree that its too far to tow (it would be really nice if I had someone to man the AS as a sag wagon) and that an earlier start date would be better,but that you play the hand you are dealt.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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Natchez Trace would be a great ride. What history! We drove it a couple of years ago, and I don't remember anything that would indicate a ride would be out of the question. Especially for one who has gotten himself in shape - as you have.

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Old 07-23-2011, 08:02 PM   #7
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Rodney,

I have ridden portions of the Trace and have several friends who have done the whole thing. It it beautiful but it can be deadly. Google Trace bike fatalities. The area around Jackson and Tupelo are the most dangerous, most traffic. It is a very narrow road, I was on it this week coming home from the Smokey's. There are lots of RV's and they are big and wide. Don't want to discourage you but just make you aware of the danger zones. For the record, I am an avid cyclist. The past 10 years or so I have averaged over 3K a year on the road and countless miles on MTB bikes as well. I have had many close calls with cars and RV's during that time and several of them were on the Trace.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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Roads everywhere are pretty dicey, especially since the advent of cell phones and texting. I wear neon and ride at least a foot, usually two from the side. I am a firm beliver that hugging the right line is an invitation for someone to try and wedge their vehicle in beside me or to pass me in the lane. Anyway, thanks for the heads up on the trouble spots! I will definitely be aware of them.

Right now, I am resisting the temptation to become "that guy" with a different bike for every type of riding. For most my riding the hybrid is best, but rides over 50 miles are really a stretch. Some days, I really want a tour bike, but how many bikes should a guy really have?
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:48 AM   #9
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I'd say at least 3 if you are serious about riding, have the time and money. Won't tell you how many I have but with a good road bike, a good mountain bike and a good hybrid you would be equipped for just about any kind of riding. Currently I am looking for a good "camping" bike. One to put in the back of the truck and carry when Airstreaming. My two primary bikes are just too valuable to transport in the back of the truck or to leave chained to a tree in the campground. Cyclocross bikes make a good compromise for some one who only has one bike and does a mix of light trail and short road rides.In the past few years the price point on bikes has fallen greatly. The quality you get today is much better that a few years ago for the same money, (I am talking Trek, Specialized,etc). I am biased, my son worked his way through college as a mechanic at the local bike shop here in a college town so I know a little about the business. If you need a bike, pay a little more and buy from a good local shop. They will sell you the correct size and then get it fitted to you. The money is well spent. The difference in being comfortable and being miserable on a bike can be a matter of a few centimeters of adjustment on bars or seat.

Mississippi passed a 3-foot law(drivers must give cyclist a minimum of 3 feet clearance) this year that went into effect this month. Great idea but 99% of drivers don't know about it. We have had numerous accidents here in north Mississippi this year, several fatal. I was like you for years, wore neon and didn't worry, but this past year drivers seem to have it in for us and I have to admit that I have lost my cavalier attitude.
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