Crossing the Mississippi at Memphis...

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Mike Vermeulen, Jul 13, 2003.

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  1. Does anyone know if bicycles can cross the Mississippi River at Memphis, Tennessee? My map shows two
    bridges, one looks like I-55 and one like I-40. If not at Memphis, I assume US-49 at Helena south of
    Memphis allows bicycles? Any ferry or other alternative?

    I recently bicycled for a week from Fort Collins to Wichita, Kansas. A lot nice small Kansas towns
    in middle of wheat harvest, though also hot temperatures. My trip report is here:
    http://www.mvermeulen.com/wichita

    On completion of my Wichita ride, I'm investigating the next week of a west to east crossing and
    Memphis seems like a good destination as long as the bridges cooperate.

    --mev, Mike Vermeulen

    p.s. An obligatory bicycle tour bridge crossing experience... In 2001, I cycled the southern tier of
    the USA. When crossing Louisiana, I saw a short cut that could take me from Opelousas to the St
    Francisville ferry...via the small town of Melville.

    On arrival at Melville I discovered the wide Afchafalaya River and a small ferry that only ran in
    morning (5-8am) and late afternoon (4-9pm). Rather than either wait six hours for the 4pm ferry
    or negate my short cut by backtracking, I spotted nearby railroad bridge with pedestrian walkway
    and started walking across pushing my bicycle.

    I passed a small guardhouse and was short distance further when someone came out of the
    guardhouse and started yelling at me. Uh oh!?! Was I going to get kicked off the bridge. I
    contemplated going on, but then turned to the person calling. He told me a train was coming
    and invited me and bicycle into his guardhouse. I had a nice friendly conversation about
    bicycle touring. The train came about 10 minutes later. After that, I went on my way and
    continued the crossing.

    If I hadn't stopped in the guardhouse, I would have likely been able to make the
    crossing...though getting caught on the bridge with the train would have been pretty unnerving if
    not fatal (not quite clear how much clearance I would have had).
     
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  2. Mike Vermeulen wrote:
    > Does anyone know if bicycles can cross the Mississippi River at Memphis, Tennessee? My map shows
    > two bridges, one looks like I-55 and one like I-40. If not at Memphis, I assume US-49 at Helena
    > south of Memphis allows bicycles? Any ferry or other alternative?

    Helena is your safest bet. It is a two lane highway over the river but very little traffic. Looked
    like it would not be a problem on a bike. Certainly no problem with access.

    When I drove over the I-40 bridge a few months ago, scheming for bike routes it looked like it had a
    pedestrian sidewalk on the north side, but I could not spot any access to it from Arkansas or
    Memphis. I have researched it before and concluded that there is no access.

    CRM

    >
    > I recently bicycled for a week from Fort Collins to Wichita, Kansas. A lot nice small Kansas towns
    > in middle of wheat harvest, though also hot temperatures. My trip report is here:
    > http://www.mvermeulen.com/wichita
    >
    > On completion of my Wichita ride, I'm investigating the next week of a west to east crossing and
    > Memphis seems like a good destination as long as the bridges cooperate.
    >
    > --mev, Mike Vermeulen
    >
    > p.s. An obligatory bicycle tour bridge crossing experience... In 2001, I cycled the southern tier
    > of the USA. When crossing Louisiana, I saw a short cut that could take me from Opelousas to
    > the St Francisville ferry...via the small town of Melville.
    >
    > On arrival at Melville I discovered the wide Afchafalaya River and a small ferry that only ran
    > in morning (5-8am) and late afternoon (4-9pm). Rather than either wait six hours for the 4pm
    > ferry or negate my short cut by backtracking, I spotted nearby railroad bridge with pedestrian
    > walkway and started walking across pushing my bicycle.
    >
    > I passed a small guardhouse and was short distance further when someone came out of the
    > guardhouse and started yelling at me. Uh oh!?! Was I going to get kicked off the bridge. I
    > contemplated going on, but then turned to the person calling. He told me a train was coming and
    > invited me and bicycle into his guardhouse. I had a nice friendly conversation about bicycle
    > touring. The train came about 10 minutes later. After that, I went on my way and continued the
    > crossing.
    >
    > If I hadn't stopped in the guardhouse, I would have likely been able to make the
    > crossing...though getting caught on the bridge with the train would have been pretty unnerving
    > if not fatal (not quite clear how much clearance I would have had).
     
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