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In 2004 a group of brave scooterists embarked upon a cross-country journey called the Scooter Cannonball Run. Ten years later, in mid to late April 2014, another select few intrepid travelers will also set out from Virginia Beach, VA, headed to Los Angeles CA. It is our goal to capture some of the spirit of that initial event, mixed with a large helping of social interaction. I

It's already set that the Gumball Rally in its first few days will include the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Dragon, and the Cherohala Skyway. These roads are our heritage from the 2004 Cannonball route and are deserving of revisiting. We aim to make the next 146 million inches every bit as exciting as we possibly can.

If you draw a line from Chattanooga to LA, and allow for 100 miles or so north or south, what spectacular roads do you think we should add. What is in your backyard that will take our breath away? Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. All are under consideration. Help us and join us. Hoping to make this the one ride you will never forget!
 

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In 1976 folks got together for a spectacular cross country ride to celebrate our country's birthday; they called it Bikecentennial. That ride led to the formation of Adventure Cyclingin Missoula, MT. One of the services this organization offers is route maps. They include three(3) E-W routes across the country, four(4) N-S routes, and several specialized routes (Lewis & Clark, Freedom Trail, etc.). These routes usually involve scenic byways, instead of interstate highways.
Another thought is the old US highway system, even numbers tend E-W, low numbers in the N and higher numbers in the S. I'm not sure about other states, but in CO, US 50 is a spectacular ride.
 

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You mention Chattanooga. US-64 through much of Tennessee is very nice. It's still nice after the Natchez Trace, but if you want to consider a southward (and small-scooter-friendly) route, take the Trace down through NW Alabama into Mississippi.

How far you'd stay on the Trace would depend on where you plan to cross the river. There are bridges at Helena (Arkansas), Greenville, Vicksburg and Natchez. I'm only familiar with the Helena crossing, so that's what I will talk about. Helena itself is a hell-hole, but the route takes you through some nice parts of Arkansas. I'm not suggesting that this is "better" than staying on the Trace all the way to Natchez. The Trace is superb. But I don't know much about that area, not having been any further south than US-80 in western Mississippi.

I would take MS-4 to Booneville (you're close to me at the MS-4 exit), then MS-30 to Oxford. 30 is two-lanes and twisty and scenic, not very busy. You do cross MS-30 twice before MS-4, but I would take the slightly longer route to stay on the Trace longer, and to cross the Tenn-Tom Waterway just below the Bay Springs Dam. (I am actually closer to the Trace at the first 3 exits after leaving Alabama.)

Oxford is a college town: Ole Miss. Lots of stuff there. US-278 west of Oxford is superslab, but you would not be on it long. MS-315 takes you across the Sardis Dam and then all the way to US-49, which crosses to Helena.

Mississippi highway rest areas are very nice. They have one right there at the intersection of US-61/49 and MS-315. Wifi 24/7 and free coffee while they're open (I think 8-5 Central time.) There's also a big casino just before the Helena bridge, if you're into that (decent and relatively cheap lodging there, anyway.)

US-49 is lightly traveled, but a good road. I'd take that to US-70 (which parallels I-40) into Little Rock. Another option would be US-79 to US-165 into LR; I am not familiar with that route.

At LR US-70 joins I-30 and heads southwest; I would however look at going more due west from Little Rock, through the mountains. Here my familiarity ends, so I'll shut up. :)

Camping options along or very close to this route include David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg, TN; numerous possibilities along the Trace, notably Colbert Ferry in Alabama; Tishomingo State Park in Mississippi (second exit off the Trace in MS), Piney Grove campground at Bay Springs Lake (USA Corps of Engineers), and possibly some at Sardis Lake.

In Arkansas I am not sure, but there is Pinnacle Mountain State Park just west of Little Rock, and maybe some camping in the city itself. I don't think there is much (if any) camping before Little Rock, so that could be a long stretch for some of the smaller scooters, from Sardis to Little Rock. I vaguely recall some kind of commercial campground at or near Brinkley, AR (US-49 and 70). It might be worth contacting a local chamber of commerce or Arkansas Tourism. Arkansas has a lot of nice attractions, but in general the river delta area is not it, and obviously, you do have to cross Old Man River somewhere.
 

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SPS Tools said:
I'm not sure about other states, but in CO, US 50 is a spectacular ride.
I grew up a few blocks from what used to be US-50 in Kansas City, MO. 50 through Missouri has some excellent parts, but in eastern MO (St. Louis to Jefferson City) I would go with MO-100 along the river.

US-50 through the Flint Hills in Kansas is pretty nice also, but consider US-56 as well, or any other means of avoiding I-35 out of the Kansas City metro area. IIRC the better part of US-50 and the Flint Hills begins at Emporia.

I can also recommend US-24 and US-40 in eastern Kansas. US-24 through Missouri looks interesting as well, but I don't know much about it beyond Independence, MO. Maybe after Jefferson City, follow the river with MO-179 and MO-41 to Marshall, then US-65 to 24.
 

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When you enter Texas westbound on I-10 at Orange, the highway mileage sign says "El Paso 898," so there should be plenty of options. Any of a dozen routes through the Hill Country would be fun. Austin is a fun city for an overnight stop, too. But that's all pretty far south of your Chattanooga-to-LA line. If you follow that line straight through the Texas Panhandle, it's just miles and miles of miles and miles.

Mike
 

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My bucket list is getting shorter but this trip would make the top of the list.
So what would the average miles per day be?
This would be a ride of a lifetime.
 

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Do you have any idea if you plan to cross North Texas or South Texas.

If you are heading west from Chattanogo that implies running between the I-40/I-30 and I-20 corridors. That brings you into the northeast part of Texas. Texas Hwy 11 from up close to Atlanta is an interesting 2 lane that will take you through a bunch of small towns. If you follow it all the way up to Whitewright you can connect with one of the better twisties in the north part of Texas. That is Farm to Market Road 697 from just north of Whitewright up to Sherman. The problem is that once you get there heading on to the west puts you into the Panhandle which is not the most interesting part of Texas to ride through. As Mike said, miles and miles of miles and miles.

If on the other hand you go across the south part of Texas then once you get past the I-35 corridor then you are into the Hill country which again puts you into some nice roads. You can even ride the Texas parallel to the Dragon, the Three Sisters Loop formed by Ranch Roads 335, 336 and 337 beginning and ending in the town of Leakey. Some people include in that 337 east from Leakey to the town of Vanderpool. Personally I consider that the best part. West from there you have the Davis Mountains before you get to El Paso and there are some good roads there. However you pass over long areas with not much in the way of civilization or fun roads before you get there.

That's the problem with Texas. There are some good riding areas but you have to cross long stretches of not so fun stuff between them. That's why it would help to know if you plan to cross the top half or the bottom half. In my opinion the best riding roads east of I-35 are in the northeast. The best west of I-35 are the south central and far southwest. Connecting those three areas makes for a long trip across Texas.

This would be an interesting route across Texas but it's almost 1,300 miles. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=TX-151+Loop+W&daddr=33.2225428,-94.1532362+to:33.0002212,-94.4881508+to:33.0018872,-94.9821639+to:33.2050706,-95.8413048+to:33.3990072,-96.1053808+to:33.4978022,-96.3533832+to:33.5408363,-96.4219506+to:33.6190764,-96.5882951+to:33.6714132,-96.754581+to:33.4030695,-98.0316116+to:33.0579627,-98.559167+to:31.3682656,-98.6658294+to:29.7802772,-99.4041939+to:29.7154342,-99.6995341+to:29.851795,-99.7891289+to:30.0673095,-99.9189437+to:30.0351,-100.060381+to:29.878791,-100.0178429+to:29.7248104,-99.7730618+to:29.2032171,-99.8862627+to:30.2850254,-103.4472332+to:30.8059359,-104.1620253+to:US-54+E&hl=en&ll=29.267233,-100.239258&spn=22.702099,28.256836&sll=29.64032,-103.172607&sspn=5.679654,7.064209&geocode=FR-K_QEdvC1k-g;FY7v-gEd7FVj-ilTbXwyfTs0hjEkbGzJrdJfcg;FR2L9wEdqjle-inJyII_AtY1hjHLuj39TU3oVQ;FZ-R9wEd7a9W-in5Sp04C_41hjEqm5A1L6SMwQ;FU6r-gEd6JNJ-in9umA6yc5LhjFaKEwPDsSP4A;Fd-g_QEdXIxF-il7oxhyZpZLhjGkcCQ1Q53zYg;Fcoi_wEdmcNB-imvPjr6WIZLhjFIoulrN_RJUw;FeTK_wEdwrdA-ikJ8wdNsnhMhjGb0F4veBJSUA;FYT8AAId-S0--illoPD8qGJMhjFxiV7pgIFBaQ;FfXIAQIda6Q7-ilV9XJRzPRMhjFKoGFJksd5IA;Fb2w_QEdBSgo-in72gAFNGRShjH6Qzs6LYJFKA;Faps-AEdQRsg-in__yUg-stThjHL_79kYdyF9w;FUmk3gEdm3oe-imH6JZYLJ1QhjGUIwv_3Me_iA;FTVpxgEdXzYT-intPyeR-LJehjEUKcLA_WBTjQ;FeprxQEdsrQO-inrgYJt3s1ehjFcWwl-EwTpeA;FZOAxwEduFYN-ikl_mxpXSxZhjE97CcTlpVsCA;FW3KygEdoVsL-ikrJpkZTN9YhjEUKR987ohcAQ;FZxMygEdIzMJ-ilH6OeTQttYhjHrLLm6pwsd4A;FQfqxwEdTtkJ-inLlUdqZtFYhjEFzxp7rCU8KA;FYqQxQEde5UN-imJagKPydNehjHgEP8ZWX3XKQ;FRGbvQEdStsL-imdfs1ibf1ehjGY0wjI3HvB3Q;FeEczgEdP4XV-Sm3JiA9BSzwhjE_9pmkuxEdYw;Fa8P1gEdF53K-SmXkxzt4YbvhjF41yVRaT-Opg;FUSm5gEdTNan-Q&mra=dpe&mrsp=22&sz=7&via=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22&t=m&z=5
 

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I live in northeast Maryland and visit
Ocean City, MD quite often. When leaving OCMD, there is a sign on RT 50 that states 3073 miles to Sacramento, CA. Ever since I was a small child, I have had a dream of traveling across the country on Rt 50. There are probably portions of this route that would be good for a Gumball Rally and I would certainly be interested.
 

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If you follow that line straight through the Texas Panhandle, it's just miles and miles of miles and miles.

With apologies to my Tejas buddies, if you've ever been to west Texas, you know why the devil moved to he11. Not as bad as the road from Salt Lake City to Vegas; but not much better.
 

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If you follow that line straight through the Texas Panhandle, it's just miles and miles of miles and miles.

With apologies to my Tejas buddies, if you've ever been to west Texas, you know why the devil moved to he11. Not as bad as the road from Salt Lake City to Vegas; but not much better.
That's why most of us live in the eastern half of the state ;).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi everyone,

Check out the Gumball facebook page as Scootereno suggested.
https://www.facebook.com/ScooterGumball

Please share the page and help me get the word out.

April 29, 2014.

Virginia Beach, Blue Ridge, Tail of the Dragon, Cherohala, Barber Museum, Clarksdale, MS, Durango, CO, Four Corners, Zion National Park, the Mojave desert, and a Santa Monica Pier finish line. Then, a final ride on the Snake in the Hollywood Hills.

SO far it's just me on my trusty 400.
 
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