Author Topic: Trying to bike from Chicago to Pittsburgh, ideas?  (Read 917 times)

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Offline Riot Grrrl Bea

Trying to bike from Chicago to Pittsburgh, ideas?
« on: April 01, 2013, 01:48:39 pm »
Heya, ;D

I'm brainstorming on a summer (july/august) bike trip from Chicago to Pittsburgh. I've never done a bike trip of this length before, tho I've done a lot of long distance hiking and shorter (100 mile) bike trips. I don't know much about the landscape of bike trails around the USA. I have a road bike and also a hybrid bike, depending on the quality of the trail I take not sure which one I will use. This is a one way trip kinda deal, but I know next to nothing about bike gear. I'm a very capable long distance hiker (thru-hiked the AT last year) which means I can definitely use a lot of my ultra-light camping gear and related knowledge for this trip, but I'm still trying to make sure I don't have gaps in knowledge when it comes to stuff particular to long distance biking (like repairs, cheap DIY bike gear, etc.)

Anyway, one of my ideas was take the US 76 bike trail from Illinois to Waynesboro Virginia, then find my way to Pittsburgh from there.

But then someone pointed me to this forum and mentioned that some of the adventurecycling routes might be what I'm needing? It looks like the Northern Tier could take me to Eerie, Pennsylvania, with bike routes going south from there? I'm not asking for people to do the heavy lifting in terms of planning my trip, obviously, but advice and input would be really appreciated.

Whew! Yeah, this was a lot, but I'm trying to plan things early  so nothing catches me by surprise 8) 8) 8) 8)

Offline DaveB

Re: Trying to bike from Chicago to Pittsburgh, ideas?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 02:42:40 pm »
Once you get to Erie, PA there is a Pennsylvania "Bike Route A" that has been mapped out and signed that goes south all the way to Morgantown, WV and passes just slightly west of Pittsburgh so that would be the easiest route to follow.   Here is the link to the various bike routs in PA and Route A is the first one listed: http://www.pahighways.com/other/bicyclepa.html¬

Offline jamawani

Re: Trying to bike from Chicago to Pittsburgh, ideas?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 07:29:57 pm »
The Old Lincoln Highway

Mostly back roads - historic - services.
2013 is the 100th anniversary - events along the way.

Strip maps of Indiana and Ohio:
The 1928 Route in Indiana is more direct and goes thru Plymouth and Warsaw.

Indiana -
http://www.lincolnhighwayoh.com/articles/8-articles/34-in-search-of-the-1928-lincoln-highway-in-indiana

Ohio -
 http://www.lincolnhighwayoh.com/road-guide

There are a couple of short stretches east of Fort Wayne and Canton that you may wish to avoid.
You can easily use nearby county roads.

PS - You don't need to ride them, but you can see a few places where the very early brick roadway winds over the hills.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Trying to bike from Chicago to Pittsburgh, ideas?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 12:08:03 pm »
DaveB's link appears to be broken. There is however an ACA route from Erie to Pittsburgh, http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/undergroundrailroad.cfm?pg=detail&s=6 I plan on taking this route this summer heading norh, with luck our paths might cross

Offline indyfabz

Re: Trying to bike from Chicago to Pittsburgh, ideas?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 01:15:38 pm »
Here is PA Bike Route A:

ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/bikes/state_mapA.pdf

Click on a numbered segment to see the details. I am starting to wonder whether PA has somewhat "disowned" their routes. A general Internet search does not seem to produce a direct link to the official PennDot sites like it used to. I have to get there through private sites:

http://www.pahighways.com/other/bicyclepa.html

As I have noted before, some portions of them are substandard. Gas mining has also changed the traffic patterns drastically in some areas.

In any event, understand that we are not talking trails in the sense of car-free bike trails, although some ACA routes incorporate bike trails or portions thereof. (Don't even know what the "US 76 bike trail" is.)

Offline DaveB

Re: Trying to bike from Chicago to Pittsburgh, ideas?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 05:18:05 pm »
DaveB's link appears to be broken.
It was broken by the moderator as I offered to assist the OP when they got near Pittsburgh since I live right in the area.