Has anyone followed ACA's maps before?Since you are posting on the ACA site, I would guess that most of us have used ACA maps. They aren't the be-all and end-all, but they are useful. Having used a lot of them, I would state their pros and cons as follows:
- They keep you on the safest roads in the area. Be advised, however, that not everybody would consider all the roads as "safe." The roads don't all have shoulders and they aren't all bike paths. But they are mostly on low-traffic roads.
- They are very useful for finding campgrounds (and free places to stay), which of course is only useful if you are camping and/or willing to sleep on a couch.
- Although they avoid big cities as much as they can, they are useful for safely getting you through one when necessary.
- They save you a ton of planning time.
- They generally show you where you can get food and water.
- Many of the roads are incredibly gorgeous, and without the ACA maps, you may accidentally ride a busier and less-scenic road nearby.
- If you have a particular starting and ending point in mind, they probably don't go there.
- If you like to see big cities, they generally won't take you there.
- If you want to (or have to because of construction) venture off route, they are useless.
- They aren't kept up to date as well as I'd like, and you will sometimes find the information out-of-date.
- They have more mistakes on them than you would think for a map used by a thousand people before you.
- If you want the shortest or fastest or flattest route between two points, these maps are not that--not by a long shot.
That sums it up pretty well. I'll add that they contain a lot of other info about services available. They list locations and contact info just about anything you might look for while on tour.
Also be aware that they are strip maps and once you go off route a few miles they are pretty useless.