Author Topic: Best routes for newbies?  (Read 1061 times)

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Offline sauntrer

Best routes for newbies?
« on: February 13, 2014, 12:10:13 am »
I've done a lot of long distance hiking and am looking to get into cycling. I could use some advice from experienced riders on which routes would be good to start out with and basic logistics of those routes. I'd prefer something scenic and off of the major highways (little traffic), with good camping possibilities (not interested in staying in a hotel more than once a week). I am also interested in suggestions on good winter routes.


Offline BikeFreak

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 06:50:25 am »
Best camping possibilities are probably CA, OR and WA with all their cheap hiker biker sites.

On the contrary, in the Eastern states, private campgrounds can easily reach 30 dollars pr night for 1 person and 1 tent.

Lucas

Offline John Nelson

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 08:05:41 am »
In my opinion, the TransAm is best for beginners. It is the oldest route, has the most infrastructure and support, is mostly on sleepy back roads, and passes through areas of great scenic and historic interest. You will also meet many other touring cyclists. The weather is generally cooperative in the summer.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 08:31:59 am »
I could use some advice from experienced riders on which routes would be good to start out with and basic logistics of those routes. I'd prefer something scenic and off of the major highways (little traffic), with good camping possibilities (not interested in staying in a hotel more than once a week). I am also interested in suggestions on good winter routes.

It doesn't meet the "little traffic" requirement, but I still recommend the Pacific Coast especially in Oregon and Northern California as a good place to start touring.  The scenery is good and the camping is cheap and plentiful.  In some places the traffic is light, but it is heavy in others.  Mostly there are good ride-able shoulders making the traffic less of an issue.

Offline Cyclesafe

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 11:00:40 am »
Agree that the Pacific Coast N to S is the best overall for newbies.  Stay off the Sierra Cascades.  Best for "winter" is the Southern Tier, but you still must get over the Rockies...
Hoping to do the North Star with ACA in 2014.

Offline Norsman

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 02:42:22 am »
I also agree that the Pacific Coast route is the best choice for a newbie.  If you go in September or October you will also miss the heavy summer traffic. Depending on how much time you have I would do at least all of Oregon and California down to Santa Barbara.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 10:36:34 am »
The PCBR is very hilly. The scenery is second to none. Camping is cheap and easy. Food is plentiful along the way. There are hostels. Traffic can get heavy.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2014, 06:28:35 pm »
I am always an advocate of short trips while you master your craft.  I don't think that these would lend themselves to winter riding but they are generally car free:
  • Katy Trail, Missouri
  • Williamette Valley, Oregon
  • Eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Michigan
  • Greater Allegheny Passage, Pennsylvania
  • Erie Canal, New York
All are 5 days or less, with easy replenishment.
Danno

Offline Matt Sarad

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2014, 08:39:54 pm »
Astoria to the California border was my solo trip. Mileage was 75 the first day, 25 the second, and then it was 40-75 the rest of the trip.

Offline BikePacker

Re: Best routes for newbies?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 12:22:25 pm »
Hello Sauntrer -
What I am about to describe to you are GA/AL ("1" & "2") and, also, Virginia - North Carolina ("3") venues. I mention this so that if this geography is NOT of interest to you, you will not need to spend any of your time reading further.
1.  In GA, west of Atlanta to the GA/AL border is a completely traffic free paved route entitled The Silver Comet Trail (SCT).  Your campsite on the link/map diagram that follows is just east of the town by the name of Rockmart... the campsite is wide-open and friendly to cyclists and is called The Rock.
SCT: www.silvercometga.com/silver-comet-map/silver-comet-map.shtml
The Rock: www.therockrvpark.com
2.  At the state line the SCT connects with another paved trail that runs from the GA/AL line to just north of Anniston, Al (Anniston is an exit on I-20 and you will find that it is located east of Birmingham, AL.).  It is entitled the Chief Ladiga Trail.  I can not speak to the campsites along this trail. www.chiefladigatrail.com
3.  Forgive me if I missed any above reference to The Skyline Drive / Blue Ridge Parkway, so I will go ahead and suggest this, as well, for your consideration (NOT a winter ride - but this is now March :- ) ..... with the exception of Roanoke, Asheville and the southern terminus vicinity of Cherokee, I found it to be only about 4 vehicles an hour.  This route will take some serious research for campsites, as well as, where to get on an off....not to mention re-supplying.  This route is classified by most as arduous....at the same time it is as beautiful as any slice of Heaven.  There are MANY sites for your research... here are the ones from the Natl Park Svc:
www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/driving-skyline-drive.htm
www.nps.gov/blri/index.htm