Bike Across USA blog

Traveling by Bicycle Across America

January 21, 2019
by Shular
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Natchez Trace Parkway Bicycle Safety

Bicycles May Use Full Lane

I love this sign. Motorists are supposed to change lanes to pass bicycles on the Trace. My experience was that many drivers did change lanes. A good many didn’t move their front wheels over the line, but still gave me much more clearance than I typically have on a highway.

There were exceptions of course, people who came much to close to avoid slowing down because of on coming traffic. The speed limit is 50 mph. Some where obviously in too much of a hurry to stay near that posted limit.

Another sign on Natchez Trace I really like is the one prohibiting commercial traffic. That one is not always heeded either. I saw commercial vehicles many times. The issue may be limited enforcement in the early spring.

Commercial Traffic is Prohibited but exists

Most of the time I had pleasant time along the Trace, despite two full days of rain. The northern section near Nashville, TN is hilly. Some of the grades are long. the photo shows me climbing a hill at 3.5mph. That is about as slow as I can pedal a fully loaded touring bike while maintaining balance. Since I turned around at Tupelo, MS, I got to climb the hills both ways. With about 45 pounds of gear, food and water, it was challenging.

Slow Climbing

If I ride the Trace again, I am thinking that starting at Natchez which will give me time to be ready for the hilly sections to the northern.

April 24, 2018
by Shular
2 Comments

Day Three: Alabama State Line

Alabama State Line

Alabama State Line

Day three I rode from the campground at the Meriwether Lewis site to the historical site of the Culbert Ferry across the Tennessee River.

A lady stopped there with a small son asked if I would like my picture taken. She said she didn’t think my arms were long enough.

The next day it rained almost all day. I took a quick picture at the Mississippi Line and kept riding toward Tupelo.