Author Topic: Cycling US = Crazy?  (Read 1398 times)

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Offline bert claes

Cycling US = Crazy?
« on: March 24, 2013, 01:22:35 am »
My girlfriend and I are on a 14month trip. We first did Europe for 3 months and then 5monts souteast asia and now we are ending with 6months in the united states. We are cycling here for 10 days and its just awful to cycle here! No bike lanes, crazy drivers, ... Each day it best more awfull. Even thinking about hiring a car sometimes ;-)

We are looking for a way to get alive and well to cycle from Banning to Joshua Tree - Death Valley - Vegas to Grand Canyon. From there we start to cycle with the maps/routes of cycleorganisation. Anyone has info for us which roads to take?

Sorry for the bad English,
Bert


Offline dombrosk

Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 10:10:19 am »
Welcome to American Cycling!   

Perhaps from your name you are from Belgium?  If so, I understand you are worried.  Compared to Northern Europe, cycling in the United States is not well supported by our road system.  But, it is possible!

Keep in mind that unlike areas like the Netherlands, many automobile drivers in the United States do not respect cyclists.   Because of this, it is important to keep aware and alert at all times to vehicle traffic.  Many drivers will, sadly, assume that it is your job to clear the road for them.   This can be upsetting at first.  But many, many Americans do cycle and enjoy cycling so it is possible to adapt. 

When I cycle in Europe I need to adapt also.  It can be hard to realize that motorists actually do give right of way to cyclists in some regions!  But, it is perhaps a more happy adjustment.  :-)

For your immediate question:  I am guessing you are in Banning, California?  If you are still there, below is a quick suggested route to Joshua Tree based on using Google maps for walking directions.  Google is often incorrect for cycling in the U.S., but the walking directions are sometimes helpful. 

Perhaps those directions will help you request local assistance. 

Another tip is to seek out local cyclists for help.   

Google shows a bike shop in Beaumont, telephone (951) 916-4600.  According to their web site they are open on Sunday from noon to 4 pm ( 12:00 to 16:00)

1. Head east on E Ramsey St toward S Murray St   0.5 mi
2. Turn right onto N Hargrave St   0.1 mi
3. Turn left onto Johnson Ln   2.7 mi
4. Turn left onto Malki Rd   59 ft
5. Turn right onto Seminole Dr   1.1 mi
6. At the traffic circle, continue straight to stay on Seminole Dr   4.1 mi
7. Turn right onto Kimdale Dr   1.1 mi
8. Turn right onto Rushmore Ave   0.2 mi
9. Turn left onto Tamarack Rd   4.4 mi
10. Slight right onto Service Rd   0.1 mi
11. Turn right onto Whitewater Canyon Rd   0.1 mi
12. Turn left onto Whitewater Cutoff   0.7 mi
13. Slight left onto Old Morongo Rd/Painted Hills Rd   0.4 mi
14. Turn right to stay on Old Morongo Rd/Painted Hills Rd   1.1 mi
15. Turn left onto Windhaven Rd   236 ft
16. Turn right toward Old Morongo Rd/Painted Hills Rd   0.1 mi
17. Slight left onto Old Morongo Rd/Painted Hills Rd   1.1 mi
18. Turn left onto CA-62 W/Twentynine Palms Highway   25.3 mi
19. Turn right onto El Reposo Cir   85 ft


Offline aggie

Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 10:46:05 am »
Sounds like you've been riding in the Los Angeles basin. 

If you are in Banning you should proceed on east Ramsey st until it become an on ramp and crosses under the freeway (I 10).  The last time I checked a map you are allowed to ride on the shoulder at least a short distance (next off ramp).  However if you see a break in the fence there is an unmaintained old road between the freeway and the railroad tracks.  It's a little rough but has virtually no traffic.  Follow this east bound (it changes name to main street after a traffic circle and becomes a better maintained road) until it ends.  You enter the freeway shoulder but exit on Hwy 111 towards Palm Springs.   Follow 111 towards Palm Springs until you get to the road that goes up to the Tram.  Make a left on W. San Rafael Dr. and follow it to N. Indian Canyon Dr.  Make a left.  Go North on this road until you get to Dillon Rd then go left.   Dillon will take you to 29 Palms Hwy (lots of traffic).  Make a Right.  Follow this until you get to the signs that will take to you to Joshua Tree National Park. 

In 29 Palms you can take either Godwin Rd, Utah Trail or Adobe Rd  north to Amboy Rd.  Make a right (east) and follow Amboy Rd (you will be going through a desert area with absolutely no services) until you get to National Trails Hwy.  Go right (east)    When you get to Kelbaker Rd make a left (north).  Follow Kelbaker Road all the way into Death Valley.  The only services on this route are at 29 Palms and Baker.  This is a desert area that is very lightly traveled.  Carry lots of water.

Once you get to Death Valley you can take several roads east to connect with the Hwy 95 or 160 that will take you into Las Vegas.  Unfortunately there isn't a good way to get from Vegas to the Grand Canyon.  The most direct way is to find you way east through Vegas to Henderson.  Then you can get on Hwy 93 that goes through Boulder.  Follow Hwy 93 (wide shoulder) until you get to Interstate 40.  That will take you to Williams and the road that goes up to the Grand Canyon. 

Most of the area is a desert.  Be prepared to carry lots of water and food as there is NOTHING between towns.  Most likely you won't have any phone service either. 

Good Luck.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 12:43:35 pm »
Cycling in the U.S. is fun, safe, easy, beautiful and enjoyable -- but not everywhere,  and apparently not where you are. Get out on the lonely, serene back roads.

Offline geegee

Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 07:59:03 pm »
Actually there are areas in the USA where the cycling is better than Europe. Some of the new state roads are wider and built to better standards. Bike routes in the urban areas are rarely straightforward, and it's most likely you missed them because they are not obvious. Once you get out of the big cities and in to the open country, you'll have a an easier time.

Offline mcparsons

Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2013, 08:39:22 pm »
I'm not sure if it is a fair comparison but it would seem that drawing conclusions about cycling in the US based on experience in southern California would be like deciding drivers in Europe are insane based on a trip across Milan. 

But I'm pretty sure that:
"Starting a bike tour from LA to Grand Canyon without researching the route" = "kinda Crazy"  ;)


Offline bert claes

Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 01:57:11 pm »
I'm not sure if it is a fair comparison but it would seem that drawing conclusions about cycling in the US based on experience in southern California would be like deciding drivers in Europe are insane based on a trip across Milan. 

But I'm pretty sure that:
"Starting a bike tour from LA to Grand Canyon without researching the route" = "kinda Crazy"  ;)

They are indeed crazy but you don't have to ride at the same road with them. I cycled in Juli, august and september from Belgium to Portugal. I've driven around 10 miles in total on a road that we had to shared witch cars... thats the difference.

I hope you are right and outside California it will be hopefully better.

Offline bert claes

Re: Cycling US = Crazy?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 02:00:57 pm »
Welcome to American Cycling!   

Perhaps from your name you are from Belgium?  If so, I understand you are worried.  Compared to Northern Europe, cycling in the United States is not well supported by our road system.  But, it is possible!

Keep in mind that unlike areas like the Netherlands, many automobile drivers in the United States do not respect cyclists.   Because of this, it is important to keep aware and alert at all times to vehicle traffic.  Many drivers will, sadly, assume that it is your job to clear the road for them.   This can be upsetting at first.  But many, many Americans do cycle and enjoy cycling so it is possible to adapt. 

When I cycle in Europe I need to adapt also.  It can be hard to realize that motorists actually do give right of way to cyclists in some regions!  But, it is perhaps a more happy adjustment.  :-)

For your immediate question:  I am guessing you are in Banning, California?  If you are still there, below is a quick suggested route to Joshua Tree based on using Google maps for walking directions.  Google is often incorrect for cycling in the U.S., but the walking directions are sometimes helpful. 

Perhaps those directions will help you request local assistance. 

Another tip is to seek out local cyclists for help.   

Google shows a bike shop in Beaumont, telephone (951) 916-4600.  According to their web site they are open on Sunday from noon to 4 pm ( 12:00 to 16:00)

1. Head east on E Ramsey St toward S Murray St   0.5 mi
2. Turn right onto N Hargrave St   0.1 mi
3. Turn left onto Johnson Ln   2.7 mi
4. Turn left onto Malki Rd   59 ft
5. Turn right onto Seminole Dr   1.1 mi
6. At the traffic circle, continue straight to stay on Seminole Dr   4.1 mi
7. Turn right onto Kimdale Dr   1.1 mi
8. Turn right onto Rushmore Ave   0.2 mi
9. Turn left onto Tamarack Rd   4.4 mi
10. Slight right onto Service Rd   0.1 mi
11. Turn right onto Whitewater Canyon Rd   0.1 mi
12. Turn left onto Whitewater Cutoff   0.7 mi
13. Slight left onto Old Morongo Rd/Painted Hills Rd   0.4 mi
14. Turn right to stay on Old Morongo Rd/Painted Hills Rd   1.1 mi
15. Turn left onto Windhaven Rd   236 ft
16. Turn right toward Old Morongo Rd/Painted Hills Rd   0.1 mi
17. Slight left onto Old Morongo Rd/Painted Hills Rd   1.1 mi
18. Turn left onto CA-62 W/Twentynine Palms Highway   25.3 mi
19. Turn right onto El Reposo Cir   85 ft

thx for the help! we decided to hire a car and now we are doing joshua tree, las vegas and death valley. after that well take a train to flagstaff. we looked at a lot of options and you can take here in the area samall roads but eventually there is always a big road we have to take... hopefully from flagstaff it will be quitter.