Author Topic: Help in knowing what routes to consider  (Read 1060 times)

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Offline Tandempair

Help in knowing what routes to consider
« on: September 20, 2011, 08:40:12 pm »
We are new at planning a self supporting tour.  Did our first 6 day supported tour across our home state of MI this summer and it was great.  Plan to do some short self supported tours next season.  Our  long term goal is to do a self supported tour from MI to Bellingham WA.  We hope to do this in 3 or 4 years when we retire.
No idea how we even find out what routes to consider.  This winter we wold like to get some maps, and  start looking  at possible routes .  How do we know what maps to order?   How do we actually plan a route?  We were recently in an REI store, thought we would find some route maps there, but there were all state route maps.  Would appreciate any input we can get from those who have experience at this kind of thing.
Thanks in advance,
Tandempair

Offline scayford

Re: Help in knowing what routes to consider
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 10:01:13 pm »
Here's a good starting point to think about routes & maps: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/network.cfm The Northern Tier sounds most like what you're looking at.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Help in knowing what routes to consider
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 10:20:00 pm »
I agree with the idea of first seeing if an ACA route will cover some or most or all of your route. If so, this is almost certainly your best option.

Next is to ask Google maps for driving (not bicycling) directions from point A to point B with the "Avoid highways" option checked. You can tweak the route as desired by dragging the route around. Consider using smaller roads whenever you can find them. Use Google maps satellite and street views to see if the roads are paved and what the shoulders, if any, might look like. Then consult state DOT bicycling maps to see traffic volumes. If you are concerned about hills, you can then map the ride at mapmyride.com and look at the elevation profile.

Offline tsteven4

Re: Help in knowing what routes to consider
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 08:00:10 pm »
check out detailed online maps of ACA routes here:
http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/
After you pick a route order the real maps here:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/store/index.cfm
To get the most recent version don't order the maps too far ahead of time.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Help in knowing what routes to consider
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2011, 11:56:36 am »
I like to use ACA routes when they go where I want to go.  I do tend to second guess them in places and do my own thing for some portion of the trip.

When I do my own route I generally look at both the bicycling and avoid highways options on google maps.  The street view feature allows a reality check.

Then again sometimes I just wing it for some portion of the trip..

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Help in knowing what routes to consider
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 01:45:59 pm »
All the ACA maps and ideas are great, as is lots of research online etc.  That said. the greatest rides I ever had were the early ones about 30 years ago when we looked at regular old highway maps and made it up.  We asked locals and figured it out as we went along.  You actually get more adventure that way.  Of course, some of the "adventures" were epic, i.e. no food stops for 70 miles, commando camping in horse pastures, etc etc. I feel if you plan in too much detail, a lot of the adventure is drained out if it. different folks, different spokes1
May the wind be at your back!