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Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to the Outer Banks with my whole extended family in two weeks. Because my parents will be there to help with our kids, I'll have time to ride. I haven't been down there in about 4 years, and have never taken a bike. We used to always stay down in Avon, but will be further north this time (Duck, if I remember correctly). I was thinking it would be cool to ride all the way down to Hatteras and back, but don't remember if the roads are conducive to biking. I'd wait for a day without wind or slight breeze out of the south, because It's probably 60+ miles each way. I figure it'd be a great place to do my first double metric, since it's so flat.

Anyone ridden that? What's it like?
 

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Good luck finding a day without wind down there. They are few and far between. Maybe just go on a day with a breeze from the south(ish) and get a tailwind on the return leg.

The road past mile marker 17 or so, (south Nags Head) has very little shoulder to ride on, so that might make it tough.
 

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Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gill-Again said:
Good luck finding a day without wind down there. They are few and far between. Maybe just go on a day with a breeze from the south(ish) and get a tailwind on the return leg.

The road past mile marker 17 or so, (south Nags Head) has very little shoulder to ride on, so that might make it tough.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Nags Head is way up north though, isn't it? There are still 2 lanes in each direction there. I think I'm more concerned with the 2-lane (one in each direction) long sections further south, such as the areas through the wild life preserve.
 

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I've got to get in shape.
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Well, like the previous poster said, it's a bit breezy, so brace yourself for that. In addition, be prepared for long bouts of monotonous scenery with brief episodes of absolute terror as lost vacationers gaze at their GPS units/cell phones/satellite radio receivers instead of the road. I've mostly ridden north from Duck and found that traffic dissipates as you go. As you ride south, traffic increases and so does the idiot per square mile quotient. Plus, you will have to ride on the bypass road which has a narrower shoulder (plus lots of sand blows on to the road), not the regular beach road.

In short, I decided this year (we went last week to Duck) was the time for me to take a break from riding for a week. Instead I rented a beach cruiser and rode with my kids to the beach every day.:D
 

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Hmmm.....we're going to Corolla this fall and had every intention of bringing the bikes. But now I'm wondering if that's worthwhile, based on the info in this thread.

How's the riding in-land, say, if we wanted to load up the car and drive over to start the ride?
 

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i've stayed and rode out of corolla twice and the shoulders are pretty good and traffic wasn't that bad either but that all depends on the time of day and we liked to get out a little bit early before it starts to get really warm out. never did any major rides though just 20-30 miles going south to duck and north to where the road ends. super super flat and the wind isn't bad because you get a really nice tailwind going at least one way.
 

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JohnnyTooBad said:
O.M.G Gill! WTF have you been?!?! Wanna ride on Saturday? See my post in the Mid-Atlantic forum.
Hey John. I'd love to, but I can't. I have friends from Chicago staying with us all week and weekend. Besides, I an on the IR for the time being. I have to have my right knee scoped. complete tear of the medial meniscus. Tore through it horizontally - like you'd slice through a bagel. Doc says I'll be out of action 6-8 weeks post-op, then it's back on the bike.
 

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JohnnyTooBad said:
O.M.G Gill! WTF have you been?!?! Wanna ride on Saturday? See my post in the Mid-Atlantic forum.
Hey John. I'd love to, but I can't. I have friends from Chicago staying with us all week and weekend. Besides, I an on the IR for the time being. I have to have my right knee scoped. complete tear of the medial meniscus. Tore through it horizontally - like you'd slice through a bagel. Doc says I'll be out of action 6-8 weeks post-op, then it's back on the bike.
 

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Don't even think about riding down toward Cape Hatteras unless you have a death wish. There is only one highway (NC 12) and it is packed with traffic this time of year. The wind could be a blessing or torture, depending on the direction.

My advice would be to head to the "inner coast" and ride some of the roads that weave through the coastal counties. Very nice riding, flat with scenery ranging from swamps to farmlands to coastal sounds to small towns. Traffic should be light if you stay off the main highways. Here is a link to the bike club in Elizabeth City, which has big century ride every spring; they have some routes posted on their web site.

http://www.rivercitycyclingclub.com/

Right now, I would avoid riding in the inner coastal counties of Dare, Hyde, Washington and Tyrrell. A huge wildfire has been burning there since early June, producing tremendous amounts of smoke and nasty air pollution. The soils down there are mostly peat, which is nearly impossible to put out once it starts burning, which is the case right now until they get some heavy rain in the area. Stay north of the Albermarle Sound and you should be OK unless the fire flares up and the winds are blowing in that direction. A complicated factor is another large fire in the Great Dismal Swamp of SE Virginia, but that one seems to have died down for now.
 

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My wife and I stayed in Salvo earlier this summer and it was our first year there with the new bikes. We decided not to try and fight traffic during "normal" hours given the amount of people on the OBX during the summer. Instead, we got on the road around 0600 and had no problems riding along Rte 12 from Oregon Inlet down to Avon. Just my $0.02.
 

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Traffic

Lot's of traffic. I brought my bike down there a couple of years ago. We stayed in Corolla(sp?) which is North of Duck. I only went down to the crossover North of Nags Head but the traffic really gets bad to the South. The flat terrain really didn't interest me at all. Found it a little boring - I probably find another hobby if I lived there. Next time I left the bikes at home and did some swimming, surfing, etc.
 

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Road-kill possum zombie
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I live in KDH. I would say to anyone coming here with bikes, riding in the early morning is the best way to go. Not only is traffic light but the wind is usually calmer than it is in the afternoon.

Riding on Hatteras Island would also be best early in the morning. The shoulders are very narrow for most of the way down to Buxton. Plus there can sometimes be alot of sand on the sides of the roads in some places. Around mid-morning the traffic is too much for me.


Mike
 

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Failboat Captian
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm starting to think I'll bail on the bike idea. I'm sure the wife will be happy. Plus, we plan on renting sea/surf kayaks for the week, so maybe I'll go for an upper body workout, and go paddle with the dolphins and ride some waves for a few hours at a time. We did that on our last trip there, and it was a lot of fun.
 

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Watch the traffic on Rt 158 between 12-North and 12-South. It is like a super highway around there sometimes. Rt 12-South has lots of sand on the road (migrating dunes) and is only 1 lane each direction. People tend to get impatient trying to pass. Once you get down toward Avon/Frisco, traffic is very light. Ocracoke light house parking lot is the turnaround point. That is over 80+ miles from Duck/Corolla with a decent crosswind the entire way. I have never biked the entire way, but driven all the sections at different times.

My recommendation is to head North on the 12 toward North Corolla beach access and back. With a stiff wind (10-15MPH) the ~35 mile trip is a decent workout. Oh, and make sure to finish by 10am or you will be cooking in the heat/humidity.
 

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OBX in November

Yes, there will be less traffic in late fall. Rt 12 is variable with respect to the bike shoulder.

We go to Hatteras Island every October and May & always take our bikes. When the winds aren't superstiff, you can definitely enjoy the open road. When it's really blowing, it's another story all together.

I'd suggest, depending on what kind of distance you want to do, from Avon south to Buxton s. to Frisco, then down to Hatteras Village where you can catch the free ferry over to Ocracoke. It's some 20 miles-plus on Ocracoke Island from ferry landing down to the town center. You will encounter far fewer cars on Ocracoke. The ferry crossing is about 40 minutes.

If you want to get off Rt 12, there are some back roads in and around Buxton (including Buxton Woods) and there are some limited developments, along canals, in Frisco. Avon has Kinnakeet Shores just off of Rt 12 (approx. 5 miles if you go up & down all the streets).
 

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I agree with the idea of hitting Ocracoke for some good biking. Much less traffic and less corssroads as you head from the ferry (Hatteras side) to the main part of town on Ocracoke Island. Don't forget to stop at Howards Pub as you head into Ocracoke Village!
 
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