New Idea/ TAT inspired

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by Eagleavn, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Eagleavn

    Eagleavn EagleAvn

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    To all my Fellow Va. Riders,

    Has anyone tried to plot a route from one side of Va. to the other without using pavement?

    I am sure you all know about the Trans America Route and all that goes along with it. Why dont we as a collective group try the same idea. I know just from riding my local area that there is a lot of unexplored dirt roads/fire roads etc, etc. Who is up for the challenge? Could be a lot of fun.....:clap



    :lurk :lurk

    Eagleavn
    #1
  2. Greenflyfarmer

    Greenflyfarmer I'm better now.

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    Please show me your unexplored dirt and fire roads while we talk about it.
    #2
  3. SteveOnTheWay

    SteveOnTheWay Been here awhile

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    Sounds good, got any maps or info yet?
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  4. screamin injin

    screamin injin FUBAR

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    Sounds like a good idea, but don't know if we can piece that much dirt together. Most of the dirt/gravel that I know about around my area always dead-ends on some farm.
    #4
  5. pplassm

    pplassm Brace for collision!

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    Yes, that's been my experience, too. Too many water courses East of Richmond, and too many developments.

    If dirt ways do exist, I am sure they are private, and may be defended! :eek2
    #5
  6. Eagleavn

    Eagleavn EagleAvn

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    I dont think it will be easy.....how did the guy do the TAT?
    :dunno
    Eagleavn
    #6
  7. pplassm

    pplassm Brace for collision!

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    Well, from what I understand, just about all of the TAT east of the Mississippi is paved now. The western portion is composed largely of publicly maintained dirt roads. Access isn't a problem.
    #7
  8. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

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    I'm with ya, I'll help you any way I can BUT:


    At best, you can only hope to do this with 50% unpaved. I stress unpaved, not dirt, not single track, unpaved roads. But that is not such a bad thing, there is a lot to see and some fun pavement in the Old Dominion. As has been mentioned, the TAT East is falling to the wrath of the DOT.

    I have over the past 5 years, put together a humble attempt across West Virginia. You can find it here. Of the true WV sections, over half is unpaved. I have had a lot of help, and now the routes extend to the NJ border. There is also a file for NJ available.

    My time this year will be spent working on tying this to Jellico, the eastern start of the TAT, and hopefully make it to Helena. I tell you this because I spent a few months last year trying to get through a western section of Virginia and met with hard top and mine gates. Kentucky is my focus right now, and things are looking pretty good.


    You need to get a set of VDOT county maps, the Forest Service MVUMs, City Nav, and look at google earth until your eyes bleed. I have links to all of that here.

    Don't be discouraged after looking at all of that, the best finds are most often found while you are out there beating the bushes. Lay out a reasonable track and go scout it.

    I'm with you on this, I may not have a lot of time to ride any of the sections this year, but this will take some time. Don't tease me on this, let's go, let's go, let's go.


    O, Bluefield WV by the way, right on the Virginia border.
    #8
  9. Eagleavn

    Eagleavn EagleAvn

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    Rock on wild man......not teasing, just didnt know how to get started,:dunno now I do. When I get back to VA I will start looking for the maps you described.:ricky


    The Eagle
    #9
  10. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

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    Let me know if you need any help at all. I think I will be limited to arm chair quarterbacking for this year, but I am a damn good one.:D I can, or can ask somebody to run some local routes if you meander this way. I have track logs and some local knowledge for most of the West Virginia border.

    To quote Uncle Buck, " Keep an eye on your honey hole".
    #10
  11. MarkNC

    MarkNC Now Unchained

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    The area from north of Roanoke to Tazewell co is pretty easy. Lots of great forest service roads in Jefferson NF. There will be short sections of pavement between them but most of the roads up that way are great even paved.
    Oh and Im originally from Bluefield VA myself :D
    I could point you to some of them if you need any help just pm me.



    #11
  12. code

    code advcurious

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    have you checked out the gps tracks east, in the layin' down tracks section of this forum? There are several people working up similar routes across wv, pa, nj, and maryland. I've got most of maryland mapped as far as where gravel / dirt roads are located. And have a large portion of va, wv. and pa. mapped out as well.
    As someone else mentioned, you're not going to have "TAT" style roads unless you ask local farmers for some kind of pass to use their access roads. When word gets out and you start releasing those spots to people on here or elsewhere you'll loose that access really quick. A lot of what you're going to run around here is going to be privately owned gravel roads, and at best the gravel gets worn to nothing early winter to mid spring before they dump a fresh batch, so it's close to riding packed dirt. Still fun, just not as "TAT" worthy as I think people hope for.
    Running those roads from west to east, you'll definitely find the more rougher stuff west where you have the obvious fire roads, etc. leading through the Shenandoah park areas / skyline / blue ridge on up to harpers ferry area without crossing into wv. that is. The further east you go the harder it's going to be. In the end, you'll probably do just as someone else mentioned and make it 50/50, if you're lucky 60/40. Still fun to ride and a worthwhile thing to do, if you're willing to vest the time into doing it.?.

    If you need some help, let me know and I'll send you the points I have for the va. area gravel road and dirt road locations. I've been working on maryland moreso then anywhere else, so don't expect too much from my current file stash. I have it as a mapsource file currently, pm me and let me know what you can use.
    #12
  13. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    I'd like to see tracks throughout VA, but it would be nice if people also posted some photo "exemplars" of the track to indicate what it is like or its high points. I'd rather do a 50-50 ride across VA where all the roads, dirt or paved, are scenic. 100% dirt for the sake of dirt would suck if it is just some dirt frontage road along the highway.

    If people posted pics of their tracks, you could select your own route based upon what you like.

    Based upon some of the pictures of the eastern TAT I have seen, I'd just assume skip some ugly dirt portions in exchange nice backroads.

    Just my $.02
    #13
  14. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

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    fixt
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  15. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    I'll certainly follow my own recommendation. I wasn't trying to criticize the extensive work others have done. Just suggesting a format that some might find useful.

    Now, if I could just remember to take my camera . . .
    #15
  16. knybanjo

    knybanjo kinda slow

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    I'm excited to hear of your Kentucky explorations!! :clap

    That is something that I have wondered about since Tennessee has been on a mission to pave the whole state. There is some good dirt left in TN but I think it's all East of Jellico along the NC border before the TAT begins. :rolleyes

    I've not made an attempt of the TAT yet myself, but I've been following the ride reports and have met a few guys that have done it......I must admit my disappointment that there is so little "dirt" on the Eastern side where I live. :dunno

    I think it would be great to have an alternate route to the North, if not several options. :thumb

    :ddog
    If only I had the time to just go out exploring for weeks on end..........
    #16