Author Topic: Help with Route Planning From KS to CA  (Read 2239 times)

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Offline SoCalGal

Help with Route Planning From KS to CA
« on: December 28, 2016, 06:17:05 pm »
I have a grand idea to bike from Kansas City, KS to Victorvillie, CA. Is there anyone here who could help with route planning? This will be my first trip and I'm going alone so any tips, tricks and route tweaking anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated. I would love to stop by Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas on the way if possible. Thanks in advance!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Help with Route Planning From KS to CA
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2016, 09:32:47 pm »
Big towns always complicate route planning. The best routes (IMHO) avoid big towns. They are hard to get into, through and out of.

My advice would be to drop straight down to Baxter Springs in the southeast corner of Kansas and then take Bicycle Route 66, which goes directly to Victorville. It's a really cool route, but it doesn't get you to Denver or Las Vegas. My advice would be to visit those two big cities another time by automobile.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Help with Route Planning From KS to CA
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2016, 11:24:15 pm »
While John is correct that big towns or cities are typically a pain to get into and out of and best avoided, Denver may be a different beast.

If you ride to the airport ENE of town, you can take a shuttle train to downtown Denver (you are able to roll your bike onto the train).  Then you could take the bike routes (some are separate paths out to Golden where you can make your way to Idaho Springs via side roads and a short (legal) section of I-70 (use Google Maps/Bicycling to see bike routes).  Then you could take the Great Park South route over to Silverthorne to connect to other routes.  NOTE:  This is a high traffic route but if you MUST go to Denver, there is a way.

You could also take a shuttle from Denver to Silverthorn and bypass a LOT of climbing and time (recommended for beginners).

If you give more info such as time of year, are you camping or hotels, cafes or cooking, your daily distance, ability at altitude, etc., perhaps you could get better answers.

Happy Trails, John

Offline Ziggity

Re: Help with Route Planning From KS to CA
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 01:25:26 am »
Greetings,  I enjoy creating routes on Strava, mind if I give it a shot? So, KC Kansas to Victorville, Ca? Ok and you would like to stop in Denver and Las Vegas, ever thought about Yosemite as opposed to Vegas? I was also wondering if you want to try to avoid large climbs. And I assume you want to stay in a hotel as opposed to camping since you will be alone. I'd love to give it a shot since most of my routes are in and around Northern California/Lake Tahoe. I'll see what I can do. I've wanted to ride from Sacramento to central Washington, so this might be good practice. If you complete you're a rock star! Good luck and if interested reply.

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Offline jamawani

Re: Help with Route Planning From KS to CA
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 10:28:57 am »
Dear SCG -

You do say this will be your first trip - but you don't say when you propose to do it. That is important because you are looking at riding
through the Rocky Mountains - which tend to be significant colder than surrounding areas and the Mojave Desert - which tends to be significantly hotter. And if you are going east-to-west, it is more difficult to find a workable window.

If this is your first tour, you might want to consider including significant segments of ACA's TransAm and Western Express routes.

Say, from Alexander, KS to Pueblo, CO -

Then from Pueblo, CO to Cedar City, UT -

I agree about avoiding riding thru big cities - it's tough and adds to the risk factors.
If you are meeting friends - you should have THEM come meet you - say in Pueblo or Cedar City.
Or have them come pick you up in these locations. Or you can leave your bike at a bike shop and take a bus.
(There is frequent bus service Pueblo-Denver and Cedar City-Las Vegas.)

Not sure where in K.C. you plan to start - but there are a number of eastern Kansas options.
One is to ride to Ottawa and then get on the Prairie Spirit Trail to Iola and connect with the TransAM kust to the west.
Another option is to use the Kansas DOT bike map and head directly west towards Alexander.

Finally, on the western segment, I would suggest heading through central Nevada and then south in Calif on US 395.
That would entail heading due west out of Cedar City to Rachel and Tonopah to Bishop. Services scarce.
There are few to no back road options directly from Vegas to Victorville - forcing you to use I-15.
One possibility is to head south on US 95 to Old Rute 66 - extremely hot and extremely remote.
The other is to continue south on US 95 to Hwy 62 thru 29 Palms - still pretty darn hot and remote.