Author Topic: Novice coming to America !  (Read 10423 times)

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Offline tonythomson

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2010, 09:50:41 am »
Many thanks - you always get great support & advice on here.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline tim in wales

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2011, 11:20:10 am »
Apologies folks, not been viewing this thread for a while...but still got the vision of touring in the spring.  It all depends on my job.

This may have been answered before but it is it best to stay away from the Interstates, and stick to smaller roads, or do you have to mix them up ?

Offline knolltop

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Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2011, 07:14:03 pm »
In general, not legal to use interstates.  Exception is some sections of western states where roads are few & far between.

Interstates are no fun anyway.  If you're going to develop own routing then recommend looking for less traveled roads going through small/medium size towns.

Hope ya have GREAT TIME!!
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Offline John Nelson

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2011, 08:28:32 pm »
County roads are generally better for cycling than state routes, state routes better than US routes, US routes better than interstates. However, the roads that are better for cycling are almost always longer and hillier than the major roads, but cyclotourists are not usually after the shortest path between two points anyway.

A lot of road choice depends on personal preference. Some prefer broad shoulders on high-traffic roads, and others prefer no shoulders on low-traffic roads. It's seldom you get both shoulders and low traffic.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2011, 05:44:44 am »
County roads are generally better for cycling than state routes, state routes better than US routes, US routes better than interstates. However, the roads that are better for cycling are almost always longer and hillier than the major roads, but cyclotourists are not usually after the shortest path between two points anyway.

A lot of road choice depends on personal preference. Some prefer broad shoulders on high-traffic roads, and others prefer no shoulders on low-traffic roads. It's seldom you get both shoulders and low traffic.
I agree that a lot depends on personal preference.  It also varies with geographic location and individual road.  That said I don't find smaller better in many cases.

Interstates - Can be ridden in large portions of the west.  They can be quite pleasant, quite unpleasant, or something in between.  I have ridden sections of Interstate that I hated and sections that I really liked.  For example I-25 in NE New Mexico was very nice.  Good views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, clean shoulders, gentle grades, and light traffic made for a very pleasant ride.  I'd go out of my way to ride there.  The section of I-80 on the TA was loud, not scenic, and the shoulders were wide, but somewhat debris strewn.  It wasn't completely awful, but we were glad to be off of it.  Access roads for interstates can be quite nice.  You do have to be careful because sometimes they just fizzle out.

In the continuum from US routes to county roads I find that which works the best depends on where I am.  At home (Baltimore area) when just out for a meandering ride I find county roads nice.  In more remote and rural areas I less often ride them though preferring somewhat larger roads much of the time.  When going longish distances in these more remote parts of the country I'd rather stick to the fairly direct route and minimal need for complex directions provided by US or state routes.  I do like to ride some sections on smaller roads for variety.

In the Ozarks and Appalachians I enjoyed the tiny roads.  In the Cascades, the Rockies, and the plains I mostly liked US and state routes.  In the Sierras I enjoyed a mix with a bias toward state routes.

BTW, I have a low tolerance for roads in poor condition and avoid dirt or gravel roads if at all possible.  If I want to ride off pavement I'll do a MTB tour and try to go all dirt, otherwise I prefer well surfaced roads.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Novice coming to America !
« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2011, 10:03:29 pm »
I-90 in Wa is legal, but not always  recommended--lots of traffic, especially trucks, and often junk all over the shoulder.  Other times not too bad, like weekdays in the early hours.  I live near the road and ride on it some.  It does have wide shoulders and a rumble strip to keep you separated from traffic.
May the wind be at your back!