Author Topic: Hmmmm... Route advice for a beginner  (Read 971 times)

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Offline interpopulus

Hmmmm... Route advice for a beginner
« on: April 16, 2011, 02:49:32 pm »
Hey fellow cycling enthusiasts,

I'm relatively new to "serious" riding, but I'm set out on cycling across America this summer. I've settled on the fact that I want to start in California (someplace) and end in Boston. (check out my site http://www.interpopulus.com!)

I've been checking out the Adventure Cycling routes, and think that cutting certain portions of the specified routes could be a good idea.
Would you guys recommend this, or form my own route? What are your experiences? I'd love to hear any suggestions,

Andrew G

Offline tonythomson

Re: Hmmmm... Route advice for a beginner
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 06:12:05 pm »
Hi - figure out what you want to see, what you want to experience, are you wanting to go fast or meander along (like me) is it going to be a circular route or one way - then use the ACA maps as and when they suit how you want to travel.  Certainly there are times that you can take shorter routes but there are stacks of info on them to help you plan.

Use Google Earth/maps when not using ACA  plus Rails to Trails (my fave) plus there are designated cycle routes all over USA.

Get your overall info together and then if there are specifics ask on here as someone will have ridden it or have knowledge about it.

Mainly just go and have fun stay safe use a mirror (that's the best advice I can give to stay safe)
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline interpopulus

Re: Hmmmm... Route advice for a beginner
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 01:16:27 am »
Fantastic!

I've been considering using a mirror for a while. Pros and cons are kinda weighted evenly right now, but riding on a road for months might sway the equilibrium...

I'll be "trudging" (riding average of 80 miles per day) one way (from west to east)

Offline staehpj1

Re: Hmmmm... Route advice for a beginner
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 10:33:51 am »
Different strokes, but personally I wouldn't start in California unless you are doing the southern tier in the cooler months.  If you must be in California, I'd take the train to Oregon to start your tour.  I probably wouldn't shoot for Boston either.  My opinion is that the Trans America route does about as good of a job as is possible of sampling what the US has to offer.  If I had it to do over I'd do the TA again.  If starting early in the season I'd start in the east and if starting mid june or later I'd start in the west.

On shortcutting the AC routes.  We did alternates in a few places, but I wouldn't really recommend planning a bunch of shortcuts.  Take them by whim once in a while if you want, that is what I have done and it was fun change of pace.

The AC routes are really pretty well thought out for the most part and simplify things greatly.  Unless you really want to plan your own route they are the way to go in my opinion.

As far as the mirror...  I'd say use one of you do at home, but there is nothing about a long tour that makes it more useful.  I do not use a mirror myself and on the rural roads of the west, the plains, and the Appalachians it seemed like it would be even less useful than around town at home.

Offline Patco

Re: Hmmmm... Route advice for a beginner
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 07:55:29 pm »
I am with TonyThomson when it comes to using a mirror. I see it as a safety device. It is nice to know what is behind you when you see a semi-truck traveling in the opposite lane of a two lane road with no shoulder...you glance in the mirror and see an RV (which have large, extended side mirrors) traveling in your direction, and it appears both will be passing each other in your vicinity...it is information that may be helpful as you decide whether to pull off on the side of the road to let the whirlwind pass or focus, grit your teeth and hold on. I see no cons when it comes to safety.

Start anywhere you like based on what you wish to do. There are always ways to tie into an ACA route, either by another ACA route or a route of your choice. Google Earth has been very helpful for me when formulating a route - it allows me to see whether there are shoulders; how narrow is the roadway; and what the surrounding area is like. I have made a number of changes to my routes because of the info gleaned from Google Earth.

Enjoy the journey.