2010 Ride for Mike route: Day One

It is time to start seriously mapping out my route for the 2010 Ride for Mike. It is a 700 – 750 mile trip from Memphis, Tennessee to Raleigh, North Carolina. My plan is to go southeast out of Memphis to go below the higher elevations of the Appalachians. It will take me near Atlanta before swinging northeast toward Greenville and then on to Raleigh. Whatever the route, I’ve got to do it in 7 days.

I’ve set some target cities along the route. These are the locations where I will bed down at night. I plan to reserve some decent hotels so that I can make the most of the rest I can receive. I’ll ride to get as close to each city as I can… or ride past it if possible… then I’ll stop, get in the car, and head to the hotel. The next morning I’ll get up and drive back to the spot where I stopped the day before. Then it is off to the next target city.

Here are my plans for Day One. The target city is Corinth, Mississippi. If I can get 100 miles in, it will put me near the town of Burnsville. The two major roads that would take me in the direction where I need to be are 64 and 72. However, the road I’d like to get on is Hwy. 57. My plan is to conceive of two to three alternate routes. If I find that traffic will allow me to take a road like 64 or 72, I will in order to make the best time.

The third route I am considering is to Hwy. 57 as quickly as I can. I would then continue on that road until I reach Wolf Pen Road. Of course, it would be a simpler route just to head down 72! The problem with that is there are numerous sections where the traffic lanes are three wide. The 57 route would allow me to take a rural road for most of the route. The distance would be only about an extra 7 miles.

Anyone have any suggestions? I’d also like to find a good bicycle shop in the Corinth area just in case I need a mechanic. If you live in the area, I’d love to have you come out and ride with me. I’ll be leaving from Eastside Baptist Church, 3232 Covington Pike, Memphis, TN on Sunday, September 19. I’d appreciate some company… and a good draft!