Author Topic: Washington DC to East Lansing MI  (Read 589 times)

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Offline DMC

Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« on: November 13, 2018, 10:12:42 pm »
Hello there bikers, 

Planning an intro tour (haven't done one in decades lol) from Washington DC to Lansing, MI area this Summer.   I'm a history teacher so love passing historical sites, etc.   Obviously Pittsburgh is on the way.   But I would like to stay off routes with lots of traffic, when possible. 

I considered going up to Buffalo (so I could see the end-point of the Erie Canal), thinking I'd avoid the traffic around Cleveland and Toledo, but crossing the border over to Detroit doesn't look too appealing (I read somewhere biking is really crappy in Detroit). 

I'm off  vintage mid-century vintage, but in very good shape.  I plan on camping on the way.  Shooting for 80-100 miles day (I get up early : )   

Any suggestions would be welcome. 

Thanks, DMC 

Offline John Nelson

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2018, 11:17:27 pm »
Consider the north shore of Lake Erie. Look at the ACA Lake Erie Connector. And the North Lakes Route.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 11:38:18 pm »
One option is to take the UGRR Pittsburgh Spur north to Erie, then west to Fremont where you connect with the UGRR Detroit Alternate and go north to Adrian where you would break off and make your way to East Lansing.

Another option is to break off at Pittsburgh and head west toward Jewett then north to Cleveland utilizing the rail trails much of the time.  Somewhere south of Cleveland, say Breckville, you would head west toward North Royalton where you would get on the rail trail to near Berea and then west to Elyria.  From there rail trail to Fremont which as stated above connects with the UGRR to Adrian.

You can use Google Streetmaps bicycle view to help see where the rail trails go.  NOTE:  Do not let Google Maps solely determine your routes, especially for distances over 15 miles as it get a little wonky then.  Use in conjunction with Traffic Count maps, Bike Maps (see if Ohio has some from the Dept. of Transportation), etc.

Hope this helps, John

Offline JHamelman

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 10:15:36 am »
John Nettles suggested looking for Ohio cycling maps. Here are a couple of sources.

ODOT Bicycle Pedestrian page:

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Planning/SPR/Bicycle/Pages/default.aspx

ODOT mapping site where you can create your own map with their data. Choose Create a Map and then start looking through the data options on the left to build.
https://gis.dot.state.oh.us/tims

I hope this helps,
Jennifer
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer Hamelman
Assistant Director, Routes & Mapping
Cartographer

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline DMC

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2018, 03:35:23 pm »
Wow!  Thanks you guys/gal!  Extremely helpful info.  I know it's not the sexiest route, but it's back to my fam and that's #1 before I trek out to more exotic locales.    Thanks again.

Offline Tandem Tom

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2018, 08:17:49 pm »
I live about 30 miles east of Cleveland and about 20 miles south of the Northern Tier Route. Getting through the city is quite easy and the route is not heavily trafficed.
My wife and I have ridden from home to DC via Pittsburgh and then the GAP and C&O. Try to avoid at all costs Rt51 in PA!!
We are WS hosts so maybe....

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2018, 12:00:41 pm »
One wrinkle you may not have considered is that if you're looking for historical markers, you won't find many on the backroads on which you prefer to ride.  You're left with a choice -- either ride the highways and you get to be surprised at the number of historical markers you can read on a bike (that you'd never bother stopping for if you were driving your car), or do your homework on the route ahead of time so you'll have some idea what happened in East Podunk at the end of the eighteenth century.

Notwithstanding the astounding number of places Abraham Lincoln played golf in Kentucky on the TransAm, :) most of the people I've talked to in diners, etc. are lucky if they know one historical item of interest about their town that's older than they are.

Offline DMC

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 06:30:34 pm »
What did happen in East Podunk at the end of the 18th Century??  8)

I'm the sucker who had groaning kids in the back as we'd pull over on the curb to read those things lol.   Can't wait to see them on my bike.   :D]

You're right:  gotta plan for those too.   Do bike routes on GPS's etc. show which roads have a decent-enough shoulder or adjacent bike path (rarity)?   

Thanks.

Offline aggie

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 09:01:35 am »
You might find this database of historical markers useful when planning your trip.  https://www.hmdb.org/Results.asp?State=Ohio¬

Offline John Nettles

Re: Washington DC to East Lansing MI
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2018, 09:32:57 am »
Nice site Aggie