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Messages - jamawani

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Routes / Re: Suitability mapping?
« on: November 06, 2011, 09:48:59 am »
In the meantime - - -

Here's the Oklahoma AADT page.
AADT is "Average Annual Daily Traffic" -
It's one of the key benchmarks for good cycling roads.

Nearly every state has a statewide AADT map.
Many states have county road info, too.
Of course, this doesn't say anything about shoulders.

Rough AADT rule of thumb:
Below 500  - Magical
500-1000 - Good
1000-2000 - O.K.
2000-4000 - Iffy, shoulder very useful
Over 4000 - Risky without shoulder
(An experienced cyclist can do short stretches of 4000+ - - but it ain't fun.)

Routes / Re: Suitability mapping?
« on: November 06, 2011, 09:42:59 am »
JN -

I'm sure Oklahoma has found some way to indicate they they are working "hard" to increase multi-modality.
Perhaps they are stenciling "Watch for Cyclists" on Okla DOT truck tailgates.

Here's the info on the Okla Bike/Ped Program:

Larry Willis
Bicycle/Pedestrian Program Coordinator

 phone: 405-522-4085
 fax: 405-522-7612
Web Site

 Project Management Division
 Oklahoma Department of Transportation
 200 NE 21st St
 Oklahoma City, OK   73105-3299

Ask him if he's full-time.
If there is a state bike map published.
("In preparation" can last a hundred years.)
And what actions have been taken to increase cycling opportunities in Okla.

Routes / Re: Suitability mapping?
« on: November 05, 2011, 11:12:54 pm »
The mapping varies considerable by state.
Federal highway legislation for the past 20 years has required multi-modal planning.
That means that states have included bicycle/pedestrian use in their DOTs.
(Sometimes that is 10% a a single person's job description - FWIW)

The results reflect as much.
Oregon's bike map is super - has been since well before the federal mandate.
Arizona's is iffy - their criteria for traffic volume is too high.
Also, states often only consider state highways -
when county roads are nearby which are far preferable.

Caveat emptor.
(Except that the maps are usually free)

Routes / Re: Cross Country Dream
« on: November 01, 2011, 11:41:52 pm »
Lewis & Clark. Lewis & Clark.
Louis was the guy who lost his head over some cake.

Why restrict yourselves to ACA routes?
(Although, I grant you this is an ACA forum.)
The advantages of ACA routes are their excellent maps and meeting other riders.
But since you are riding with others, you won't be alone.

If you are riding west to east it all depends on when you are leaving.
A departure in May or early June should be from central Calif - probably the Western Express.
June is the best month to start from the Trans Am in Oregon. (Or the L&C along the Columbia)
If you are leaving as late as July you should consider the Northern Tier.

I've ridden across all of the Great Plains states.
You really don't need a lot of info. 
Traffic is generally light on back roads.
Most county seat towns permit camping in parks.
They all have libraries, small motels, cafes.

I prefer South Dakota and Nebraska to Kansas and North Dakota.
Why? Far more interesting terrain.
Nebraska has the Sandhills along Hwy 92 and Hwy 2.
South Dakota has the Black Hills and Badlands.

Check out some of the journals at Crazyguy.
The flats of west Kansas and North Dakota can be endless.
Wherever you are - you will get wind.  That's a given.

The further north you are in the Midwest - the cooler it will be in mid-summer.
Rough line - - Peoria to Ft. Wayne to Akron. 
Missouri and Kentucky are just plain hot amd muggy.

Take a look at some of the Penna DOT bike routes.
They have strip maps with them - maybe the northern Penna route?
11 weeks should allow you plenty of time - plenty.

Don't hurry.

Routes / Re: Boulder, CO to New York City. Northern route suggestions?
« on: October 25, 2011, 07:47:13 pm »
Yes, you should avoid US 34 in Iowa - there is no need to take it.
There are sections with new highway and old highway - but they are only segments.
Otherwise, you are forced out on a busy highway - usually with little to no shoulder.

From Plattsmouth, you can take mostly county roads to Des Moines:
Via Henderson, Griswold, (use caution on Hwy 92) Greenfield, and Winterset.
(There's a nice paved rail trail from Cumming into Des Moines.)

From Des Moines, you can take back roads to Iowa City:
Via Monroe, Lynnville, Montezuma, and Millersburg.

Iowa City to Davenport is a little trickier - more traffic as you head east:
Little longer - via West Branch, Tipton, Maysville Rd, 110th, to Telegraph.


Iowa is very bike friendly in many ways - trails, shops, welcome - -
But its roads are not that bike friendly because there are so few shoulders.
And because most county roads are gravel - paved through roads tend to be collectors.
Still, Iowa drivers are some of the most courteous - esp. on count roads.
State, county, and town parks abound with inexpensive camping.
And the county seats often have lovely B&Bs in old victorian houses.

Routes / Re: Boulder, CO to New York City. Northern route suggestions?
« on: October 24, 2011, 10:24:58 pm »
Karin -

Congrats to you and your work for others.

Yes, you can take a more northerly route - you just have to do more homework.
State Dept of Transportation website usually have traffic volume maps -
These give you a good idea about which roads are busier or quieter.
AADT - Average Annual Daily Traffic

Rough rule of thumb for me:
Under 500 - Serene
500 to 1000 - Nice
1000 to 2000 - OK but more caution used
2000 to 4000 - Getting busy, shoulder useful
Over 4000 - Really busy, shoulder essential

If you take COLO 52 east from Boulder almost to Wiggins -
You can pick up Avenue Q (paved) to Fort Morgan rather then the I-76 service road.
From there, US 6 makes for a nice ride all the way to Lincoln (bike friendly town)
[There are more remote and scenic routes - a little longer, using more back roads]

There is a spectacular, new bike/ped bridge across the Missouri in Omaha
But getting into Omaha can be a hassle.
An easier crossing is at Plattsmouth - narrow, but refurbished surface, and 25mph.

Iowa does not have many roads with shoulders.
They have a great cycling map which shows traffic on county roads.
You can take in the Bridges of Madison County and the college town of Iowa City.
[I will be glad to provide assistance]

The nicest bridge to cross the Mississippi is at Davenport/Rock Island - Centennial Bridge.
(Gotta use the north side sidewalk - south walk is blocked.)
Then you can ride 20 or so miles along a bike trail on the river.

More later.


Routes / Re: route over Susquehanna
« on: October 23, 2011, 08:23:28 pm »
Maryland really sucks when it comes to getting across bridges.

Bikes on I-95 and US 40 are banned.
But US 1 is really narrow and dicey.

Here are links to MDOT bike maps:

You can cross the Susquehanna just over the Penna line.

Routes / Re: Trans America/Western Express - Best time to leave VA
« on: October 23, 2011, 08:13:27 pm »
You do realize that May/June is the peak of the rainy season in the central U.S.?
Also, you would have to pedal real slowly to take three months on the TA/WX.
I suspect it will take more like 10 weeks. (6 days x 65 mi - with one day off per week)
Trust me, you will be clipping the miles off in Kansas.

I've hit some pretty cool snaps in the Appalachian Mountains in May.
April can be downright cold and wet.  Probably not snowy, but bone chilling wet.
A May 1 departure will get you to Calif by about July 15.
But you will still have to use caution in the Colorado Rockies in mid-late June.

If it were me, I wouldn't leave much before May 1.

General Discussion / Re: Banff to San Francisco
« on: October 20, 2011, 09:03:47 am »
PS -
April is really ideal in the American Southwest.
Have you thought about STARTING in San Francisco -
Riding down the coast and into the deserts - which are blooming then -
Then heading north in the valley regions of the Rockies?

General Discussion / Re: Banff to San Francisco
« on: October 20, 2011, 08:44:19 am »
Ditto to Valygrl - insane and unrealistic.
Not to be mean, but April is no time to be out in the Canadian & Northern Rockies -
Unless you are prepared for brutal winter conditions.

For the route you suggested - a 60-mile day is moderate, 80 is good, 100 is serious.

Routes / Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« on: October 04, 2011, 10:45:00 pm »
B.R. -

So you are saying that you will be crossing Tioga Pass in early June -
Then heading across Nevada - most likely on US 6, eh?

Here was my route - at Crazyguy
(I took the route via Rachel and Caliente from Warm Springs.)

Notice that I had to take the long way around -
Because Tioga Pass often is closed until mid June.

BTW - coming into Yosemite from the West -
Hwy 140 is WAY, WAY better than Hwy 120.

Hwy 120 east of Yosemite and US 6 in Nevada are really nice.
They are even more remote than US 50.

You can get a minimum of food & water at Benton.
Tonopah has most services.
Then there is no developed areas until Ely.

You can usually beg water at the closed motel at Montgomery Pass.
There is a rest area with water 7 miles west of Tonopah.
There is a rest area without water 30 miles east of Tonopah.
(If you hand out long enough you can beg water from someone pulling in.)
Warm Springs is an abandoned bar/pool. Begging of water possible.
The Blue Jay Highway Maintenance Station - 15 miles east of WSarm Springs has water.
There's a funky, tiny store - the man is a tough sister - at Lockes.
Bar/cafe at Currant - sometimes there is someone home in the trailer behind it for H2O.
Lund is well off the route - but does have a little store.

I rec staying in old downtown Ely at the Hotel Nevada rather than out on the strip.
Course, you can always camp in the national forest above town and ride in the next a.m.


Routes / Re: Ojo Caliente
« on: August 19, 2011, 10:42:13 pm »
Sister lives in Northern New Mexico.
Have ridden quite a number of routes.
Traffic, shoulders, and conditions can vary greatly.

I wasn't overly impressed with Ojo Caliente --
Pricey, gravel camping area geared to RVs. YMMV.

US 285 has fast moving traffic -
direct route from Albuquerque/Santa Fe to Colorado Mtns.
US 84 also quite busy south of T.A.
US 64 has moderate to light traffic over the
NM 554 very nice thru El Rito.NM 567 also nice - -
But you have to negotiate a rock slide to use the old road into Taos.
A nice out & back is NM 378 from Questa out to the Rio Grande confluence.
NM 68 is very busy.

All of these roads have lots of ups and downs - mesas and canyons.
There are a lot of possible loops that would include some dirt roads.
If you have a hybrid or mtn bike, your options are better.

General Discussion / Re: Just the Bear essentials
« on: July 09, 2011, 01:51:00 pm »
The solution -
Is to always tour with a younger, tenderer person.

General Discussion / Re: Fleece in July?
« on: July 09, 2011, 01:28:07 pm »
Mike -

You should expect low temps in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado to be in the 40s - sometimes high 30s in August.  You could always mail the cool weather stuff via "General Delivery" to some place like Missoula that you are sure to visit and that you'll be there on a weekday (or Sat a.m.).  Then you can mail the stuff home from Pueblo.

Depending on your skin melanin, long sleeves and long pants can also be very nice in intense sun.  Also saves on the sunscreen bill and reduces the number of bugs that get stuck on your skin.  In cooler weather, three tiny things are of tremendous help - lightweight poly gloves, a lightweight earband or balaclava, and a quality pair of hiking socks (wool blend).  Yes, you should have a windbreaker, poly top, and long pants/tights - but these three small items probably account for 50% of body heat loss while riding.

Routes / Re: route 11, PA through southern Virginia
« on: June 28, 2011, 09:16:57 pm »
Even though US 11 is the old highway which parallels I-81, it is usually pretty busy and developed.  The mountains of Maryland and Virginia run in a northeast to southwest direction in a series of ridges with lovely valleys in between.  Virginia has wonderful secondary highways usually numbered in the 600s that are often empty.  Just one valley over from US 11 there may be a perfect road - - however, you should exercise caution on any roads around the DC area - especially Northern Virginia which has seen a development boom that has dumped cars onto what had been country 600 roads.  Don't overlook the Skyline Drive and Blue RIdge Parkway, either.

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