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Messages - Turk

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Wisconsin has a bicyle guide:

The Sugar River Trail might be of use.

The Wisconsin DOT has a link for bicycle maps:

Wisconsin used to have the Wisconsin Bikeway, which ran from Kenosha to LaCrosse. I rode it many years ago. I couldn't find a link to it, though.

Iowa has a bicycling link:

Iowa has a famous annual cross-state ride every year, RAGGBRAI, sponsored by the Des Moines Register newspaper. It wouldn't surprise me if they had a ride starting in Dubuque sometime in the past.

You can find rails to trails info here:

I don't know anything about Nebraska.

Urban Cycling / commuting by bike
« on: April 11, 2008, 03:20:42 pm »
Regarding my previous post, I think I've got my problems worked out. I found that I can take my bike to work in the morning on the bus. It costs $1.50 and it takes 50 minutes vs. 30 by car and 1 hr 15 min by bicycle. I have to transfer in downtown St. Paul but the connection is good. The second bus is a reverse commuting route to the suburbs that lets me off one mile from work. The bike racks have always been unoccupied and it's not a big deal to load it on the bus. I bought a plastic cover for my bike in case of rain. In a heavy rain I can walk to the bus. With an umbrella and perhaps a rain suit that shouldn't be so bad. I did it four days this week.

Urban Cycling / commuting by bike
« on: March 22, 2008, 08:25:15 pm »
I'm hoping to bicycle commute a lot this year. It's 14 miles one way but most is on a path along the Mississippi River. I used to bike commute every day, even in winter, to my old job but that was only 1-2 miles. My problems with the new commute are having to cool off after arriving at work, showering in a tiny shower, lack of covered parking for my bike, what to do when it rains heavily, two humongous hills, darkness during the morning commute (I start at 7 AM), etc.

Urban Cycling / what bike do you use for pure urban ridin'?
« on: May 25, 2008, 11:42:05 pm »
I use my old Raliegh Grand Prix, made in England, that I've been using for all purposes since I bought it in 1972. It's a touring bike with the shifters on the frame. The only thing I don't like about it is the Weinmann brakes. I don't think I'd like a new bike since I take it on the bus in the morning and I've heard that the bikes sometimes get stolen off the racks. I ride it 14 miles home in the afternoon. It's bike trail most of the way but some of the trail is pretty rough due to tree roots upsetting the asphalt. There's also a few small curbs to ride up. The wheels and tires handle it well.

Urban Cycling / top bicycle-friendly cities and towns
« on: November 11, 2006, 12:21:59 am »
I live in St. Paul, Mn and I think the city is pretty bicycle-friendly. I would say it's better than St. Louis and Chicago by far and better than Milwaukee, on a par with Madison. Those are other cities I'm familiar with.

There is noplace in the cities I wouldn't go on my bike because of traffic or safety issues. I've even biked at night through some of the worst. The one problem I had was that I used to work in Eden Prairie and there wasn't a good way to get there from East St. Paul. The rivers, railroads, and expressways are barriers but can be dealt with. Usually there are alternatives to busy roads.

One year I lobbied hard to get a 500-yard long bikeway made to go over an abandoned interurban streetcar bridge. The pols were in favor and it got funded but a resident complained to the mayor about it and it got eliminated. I waited about 20 years and tried again through my city bicycle advocate committee and they got it done. At least my grandchildren can use it if they live here.

Routes / Ohio to California
« on: October 07, 2008, 08:55:55 am »
It would help to know where you're starting from in Ohio. Knowing you're 30 minutes from the Indiana line doesn't tell us much. A town name would help a lot.

In general, there are ways to get a route. One way is to use a routing CD like Microsoft Trips and set your preferences to less-travelled roads and/or set it for the shortest route.

Another way is to get county or state traffic count maps. I think if there are about 500 cars per day or less you should be OK. Road and shoulder condition and type also matter.

I have heard there is an internet site that will give you bike routes but I don't know the web address.

You could also ask at your local bike shop or find an experienced biker in your area.

« on: September 12, 2008, 09:34:26 pm »
I haven't done the route before but I would guess that the paths go through cities. The trails might be converted railroad beds. For the New York portion I would suggest hitting the links I listed in my post to learn more. For the western portion buy the maps from Adventure Cycling. I haven't tried them myself but I think they'll be just what you need.

I've mapped trips before but not since 1980 and it's changed a lot since then. I used to use county traffic count maps. Many of the trips I planned (for my company's bicycle club) were shorter and local and I just explored on my bike. The area I live in is pretty bicycle-friendly, except for the winters.

The Erie Canal route is one I'd really like to do someday since I'm a history buff but I generally don't travel very much.

« on: September 05, 2008, 10:44:18 pm »
It looks to me like you can use the Northern Tier route to go from near Chicago to Buffalo. There are Chicagoland bicycle maps that you can use to connect to the Norhtern Tier. I think there are cycling paths that go along the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany (see and For Albany to New York see

This would probably be the most level way to get there.

Routes / Plotting my own course
« on: March 02, 2007, 09:59:58 pm »
You can generally get traffic count maps that give cars per day. These are quite useful. The state DOT's websites have them. You generally want roads with less than 500 cars per day.

With Microsoft Streets and Trips there are several ways to get routes. You can set it on "shortest". That's the one I've used the most. But you can also choose low speeds for main roads and very high speeds more desirable bicycling roads. That will give you interesting and useful routes.

Routes / Northern Tier Lodging
« on: February 24, 2007, 01:35:41 pm »
Maybe you could call the campgrounds in that area and ask them if there is lodging in the vicinity.

Routes / Indiana (South Bend area) to Chicago?
« on: January 20, 2007, 02:47:26 pm »
I noticed that there is a good Chicagoland bicycle map online at and at

Routes / Biking PA
« on: September 02, 2006, 03:23:51 pm »
I also see that the Transamerica Trail and the Underground Railway Trail mapped by Adventure Cycling go through northwest PA.

Routes / Biking PA
« on: September 02, 2006, 03:20:58 pm »
I haven't biked out there but I would think that because of the terrain and traffic you'd have to be careful about which roads you choose. You can probably get traffic count maps off the website of the state department of transportation, and you'd want to choose roads that get less than 1,000 cars per day. 500 is much better.

The above site might give you some leads on rails to trails sites. It seems there are a lot in PA. Those can be great for biking since there is no traffic and they are quite level. The trail surface and maintenance can be an issue.

Routes / Trans-Long Island route
« on: August 30, 2006, 09:31:01 pm »
I did that route in about 1979, the week after Labor Day. It was quiet and we went right down the road that runs along the Atlantic Coast, through the Hamptons and Riverhead. We loved East Hampton. We stayed in a B&B that was built in the early 1600's.

There was almost no traffic on the road when we went, just one huge empty beachfront mansion after another.

I don't remember how far into the city we went. We stayed with a friend in Brooklyn and Labor Day weekend we biked all through Manhattan.

Come to think of it we must have biked out from the city. We went sailing afterwards around Newport. It was lots of fun, except for the hurricane (David?) that went through and we had to stay an extra day in East Hampton.

Routes / Through/Around Chicago
« on: August 06, 2006, 11:50:00 am »
The commuter train that could take you through this area is now called the Metra Electric, I believe.

My sister claims that Gary wouldn't be too bad to cycle through, as long as you did it during the day.

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