Author Topic: Backroads maps of the US.  (Read 5903 times)

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Offline tonythomson

Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2012, 08:23:55 am »
Hi Chappers - good advise above(as always on here) I would only add while planning your route check out Rails to Trails as I enjoy combining these traffic free routes on my tours if possible. 

Wherever you think that areas might have too much heavy traffic go to Google maps - choose your points of destination and use the cycle or walking option to print out a route.  Then as said earlier check it out on Google Earth.

Have fun and US is a great place to cycle tour.
Ps we are a bit spoilt in UK with OS maps!!  ;)
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline jamawani

Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2012, 11:32:01 am »
Chappers - It sounds like you have only moderate experience with mapping.  Previous replies have mentioned USGS, DeLorme, Benchmark, and Google among others.  One thing to remember is that any map - - electronic included - - is at best a snapshot in time of a moving object.

Google, in particular, has real problems in the West showing dirt roads that are on private land and have no access.  Google and other mapping websites will even route you down some of them - - which is no fun when you come to a locked gate with a "No Trespassing!" sign on it and a 30 miles detour.

All maps have errors.  Things change on the ground.  That's why Adventure Cycling has updates and errata for its mapping products.  Especially in the West and on dirt roads, there are seasonal closures - snowmelt, critical game habitat, fire danger.  Not to mention construction, bridges out, etc. 

About bridges, there are thousands of substandard bridges on remote roads which pose a liability risk for managing local governmental bodies.  Faced with high replacement costs, many of these are simply being removed.  So even if Google satellite shows a bridge - it may no longer be there.

What I am saying - in response to your wish for an "Everything" resource - is that such an animal does not exist.  Yes, you can get a combination of sources that are reliable, but you need always to be prepared for differences on the ground - especially in remotes areas such as the West.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2012, 01:03:28 pm »
"Google, in particular, has real problems in the West showing dirt roads that are on private land and have no access.  Google and other mapping websites will even route you down some of them - - which is no fun when you come to a locked gate with a "No Trespassing!" sign on it and a 30 miles detour."

Not just the West I got caught out in Florida, Google maps/cycling took me to a farm with all the "KEEP OUT etc" fortunately for me there were some workers close by who happened to be from Mexico - just as England were about to play them at football (sorry soccer huh) so after a chat about football they took me through the farm/plantation on dirt tracks out the other side and back onto Google's route. So guys I advise you to learn Spanish and call soccer by it's correct name  ;)
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2012, 11:55:41 pm »
Hi all,

I just had a quick look on amazon and came up with Benchmark Maps & Atlases. look good...but what do you use?


I have used the Benchmark for Washington for several years and have found them to be very good.  I think it's an adventure to peruse the map and imagine what the country looks like and then find out by bike.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Backroads maps of the US.
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2012, 08:24:31 am »
A book-type state road atlas, or ordnance survey maps might have all that. I have seen ordnance survey maps with known footpaths in the hills. Just about everything you might need to know for fighting a battle where a knowledge of the geography can be a decisive advantage is on such maps. Where to find them? I don't know. They're probably expensive. They have elevations, the whole nine yards.