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51
General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps vs. Google Maps - Southern Tier
« Last post by staehpj1 on August 30, 2015, 09:01:16 am »
When they first came out they had a tendency to miss out bike paths

I chuckled a bit at that.  I guess our preferences differ.  My biggest complaint with Google Maps bike directions was that they went out of their way to put you on bike paths when a nice short regular road route was available.

If using Google Maps I tend to look at bike directions, regular car directions, and car (avoid highways) directions and then pick one or mix and match.

I have found that the quality of bike paths varies widely.  In places they can be very nice, but they can also be indirect and have poor surfaces.  In a few bike friendly cities they can be nice and the ones near Breckenridge were pretty nice. That said I more often avoid them than seek them out.
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General Discussion / Re: Tips for giving away books while touring?
« Last post by PeteJack on August 30, 2015, 08:37:40 am »
I'm like you; I cannot tour without a good book and don't have any good ideas as to what to do with them once finished it. If it's a real classic I might mail it back home otherwise potboilers I'll leave in motel rooms in the forlorn hope that some cleaner might discover literature. I often stop by libraries and they many times have books they are trying to get rid of for a few cents. You'd think that would be a good place to find some reading but it's usually pretty dismal stuff. There's a reason why they are getting rid of it.
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General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps vs. Google Maps - Southern Tier
« Last post by PeteJack on August 30, 2015, 08:24:12 am »
Google Maps bike routes have come a long way. When they first came out they had a tendency to miss out bike paths but just the other day I used Google Maps to cross Seattle and it took me on handy back streets I didn't know existed and I've lived here for 40 years. However I agree with previous respondants GM will tend to take you on iffy roads (unpaved, much traffic) especially in places where there are a lot of them like Texas. Doing the Northern Tier using the ACA map there's a stretch in MT on a minor road that parallels I90, some guys who were riding at the same time as me took I90 with all its noise and traffic thinking it was quicker. I took the minor road and saw one car in 11 miles of paved road (I did have to brake for cows) in about the same time. I'm guessing GM would have picked I90 because it was slightly shorter but I can't say for sure. So use it with care.

FWIW I find Apple Maps dreadful for cycling compared to GM. They don't even have a cycling option, just pedestrian.
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General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps vs. Google Maps - Southern Tier
« Last post by staehpj1 on August 30, 2015, 07:45:33 am »
I did the ST using ACA ST maps, but deviated from them where it made sense to me.  I found that I reduced the distance a good bit and didn't feel like I missed much.  Oddly enough I met as many or more other riders when I was off of the ACA route as when I was on it.

Personally in the West, I don't mind riding the interstate more than the ACA suggested.  For as far as it goes I'd be inclined to ride US 90 much of the way.  I made most of the route decisions on the road as I went and would do the same again.

You will find that the ST is a good route for knocking out long mileage days, so 5 weeks isn't a slam dunk, but is possible.  I went W-E and stopped in Pensacola, but if I had gone all the way to St Augustine, it would have taken me 5-1/2 weeks or just a bit less. To calibrate that, I was 61 and not especially that fit starting out.  I do tend to like to do long days and not take rest days though.  I think that if I started out in real good riding for and wanted to I could finish in 5 weeks using mostly the ACA ST.

I went in Feb.-Mar. so the daylight hours were longer for me.  Personally I think that is a better time to go if your schedule is flexible.  I also went W-E.  I think the W-E direction makes sense if you think you may run out of time because it is pretty easy to cut the route shorter without missing much.  Also if you make it to the gulf, it is a coast to coast trip even if you stop there.  That worked out well for me because I have a daughter on the Florida pan handle, so it was nice to finish there.

BTW, I am now living in Tallahassee, so if you need a place to spend a night there look me up.
55
General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps vs. Google Maps - Southern Tier
« Last post by bobbys beard on August 30, 2015, 05:13:58 am »
Google maps is great for manually planning a route, especially through towns and cities, but I wouldn't trust its directions, especially on a bike. I've tried it locally and the directions were pretty poor and hard to follow.

Ive used ACA maps on two routes and sight seeing doesn't appear to be a big factor. Sometimes they have an alternative route to a city, or somewhere such as the Gila cliffs, but those are optional and rejoin with the original route.
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Underground Railroad / Re: Niagara Falls to Columbus, OH
« Last post by Jeredutt3 on August 30, 2015, 03:35:38 am »
Did you do this ride ? I am looking to do parts of the ohio to erie section possibly fall or spring. Interested in how it is by lake as well.
57
Bicycle Route 66 / Current advice and ideas for western portions of Route 66
« Last post by dianamaps on August 29, 2015, 08:56:44 am »
Hi all. Our 18-yr-old son is currently traveling towards California following the ACA Route 66 maps. He's in western OK today, about to get into TX. He left New York about a month ago and is usually doing 70-80 miles/day.

He's had lots of luck using WarmShowers to find hosts so far, but now they're obviously farther and fewer between. He has camping gear with him but often wishes to find others for conversation in the evenings. (He's v stubborn and strong willed; didn't want to do the trip with a group, or when weather was cooler, or from west-to-east for prevailing winds, etc.)    We have friends in all of the big cities coming up (ALB, Santa Fe, Flagstaff), but the rural areas are hard on him.  But he's having a great time and all good adventures so far.

I'll make sure he's aware of the current info about the problematic sections of having to travel on Rt 40 in California, and Cajon Pass, etc.

Any suggestions, encouragement, ideas, free camping sites, etc., are welcome.

Thanks!
Diana
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General Discussion / Tips for giving away books while touring?
« Last post by RestlessSpinster on August 28, 2015, 07:39:51 pm »
Hey fellow riders,
Inspired by cycling librarians (see bibliobicicleta.org  and  magazine.good.is/articles/bike-libraries), I've hatched an idea to combine a cross-country tour with a love of books and a concern about racial/social justice issues to... give books away to people living in "book deserts" along the route. Thinking of calling it "Biking, Books & Black Lives Matter." Working title.

Has anyone out there ever done anything like this? Cycling around my home town of Seattle would be one thing, but cross-country is quite another. I imagine partnering with libraries/book stores/community groups along the way, shipping books ahead and then distributing them from hubs.  (Rather than hauling a load of books every pedal stroke of the way.)

Would love to hear any tips or resources you can pass along. Thanks!
59
General Discussion / Re: Where next, US?
« Last post by Iowagriz on August 28, 2015, 11:54:00 am »
Heavily dependent. WA 20 sounds like it's out. Significant fire activity near Winthrop, Twisp, Okanogon and Omak, WA. If you look at the Winthrop KOA web site there is an alter noting that while the campground is open, portions of WA 20 east and west of the facility are closed.

There is also a fire near Chelan, WA. Also, one near John Day, OR, which I believe is on the TransAm route, has grown and could get bigger:

http://news.yahoo.com/firefighters-holding-own-against-giant-wildfire-075139846.html;_ylt=AwrBT7cWfuBVV9IAbTlXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyODRjcmJxBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjAzNDFfMQRzZWMDc2M-

I may not have been clear, continue on the train to Spokane or Whitefish.  I agree that you wouldn't be able to ride along the northern tier route due to the smoke and fires (or it wouldn't be any fun). 

For the limited amount of time left, get to the National Parks the easiest and quickest possible way and then tour around those areas.
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General Discussion / Re: Where next, US?
« Last post by indyfabz on August 28, 2015, 11:31:30 am »
Another smoke and fire dependent route recommendation.

Take train north to Seattle and east to Whitefish.  Then do the National Parks routes.  Since you are in the US, no better place to tour than Glacier and Yellowstone Parks.  Tourist season is winding down (after Labor Day) and the roads should be nice and quiet.

Heavily dependent. WA 20 sounds like it's out. Significant fire activity near Winthrop, Twisp, Okanogon and Omak, WA. If you look at the Winthrop KOA web site there is an alter noting that while the campground is open, portions of WA 20 east and west of the facility are closed.

There is also a fire near Chelan, WA. Also, one near John Day, OR, which I believe is on the TransAm route, has grown and could get bigger:

http://news.yahoo.com/firefighters-holding-own-against-giant-wildfire-075139846.html;_ylt=AwrBT7cWfuBVV9IAbTlXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyODRjcmJxBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjAzNDFfMQRzZWMDc2M-
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