Author Topic: Help With Bike Route From Tampa FL. to Aurora CO.  (Read 259 times)

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Offline Raven

Help With Bike Route From Tampa FL. to Aurora CO.
« on: October 22, 2018, 03:06:30 pm »
Hello I'm new here, I have cycled across Florida and never ventured out of the state. I would like some help in planning a route. From Tampa Florida to Aurora Colorado. To visit my Son and to see my grandchildren.

Time Frame: This Spring, March thru June
Riding Type: Small hills but mostly flat and paved ( No Mountains if at all possible)
Interest: Sort of on the fast track the sites I will see as I ride.
Overnight preferences: Camping in Campgrounds such as State Parks or Private campgrounds Mom & Pop or cheap Hotels and Resturants
Food Preferences: If I camp I will cook and If I stay in a hotel then I will find a resturant or go to a conveinence store if there is a grocery store I could restock my supplies.
Stealth Camping: I did not know that was stilled allowed. ( if this is the same as roadside camping or just pick a spot which I'm very familiar with).
Miles Per Day: I cant tell you (not sure) but I can say is this, About 8 hours a day I'm 63 years old cant pedal 10 to 14 hours a day anymore.

The route  I need help with the cities, Towns or rural areas should be 7 to 8 hours apart but no more than 9 hours.

If it is possible and if anyone can help I would like to stay away from Kansas if a all possible unless someone can give me reasons why.

If I have forgotten anything please feel free to email me or a reply.


Save rubber use two wheels instead of four

Offline John Nettles

Re: Help With Bike Route From Tampa FL. to Aurora CO.
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2018, 05:04:16 pm »
First, welcome to the ACA Forums and feel free to ask any questions.

As far as a route goes, since this appears to be your first major tour, I would highly recommend using ACA routes and maps.  They are geared specifically for the touring cyclist, i.e. they show the campgrounds, grocery stores, convenience stores, bike shops, etc.  and the routing is geared for the cyclist by an actual human, not Google's computer.

I would take some of the wonderful bike paths east of Tampa up toward Dunnellon then west on CR40 to CR336 to CR337 to Bronson.  Work you way east to the bike path near Chiefland then at Old Town north on FL349 to Branford.  Take the bike path east to CR-137 where you hook up with ACA's Southern Tier (ST) Route and go west to Norwood, LA.

Here is a link to Google's maps showing the bike paths (dark green lines): 
  From Norwood head north on ACA's Great Rivers South (GRS) Route up to Houston, MS.  From there, you have two options, both have some hills but by now you should have some strength to you.

The FIRST OPTION FROM HOUSTON is to continue on ACA's GRS up to Dutzow, MO where you head west on the Katy rail trail to Boonville, MO.  You would have a lot of hills between and Cape Girardeau, MO and Dutzow.  Steep but not too long. 

From Booneville there are two options.  FIRST BOONVILLE OPTION is to connect with the TransAm Eastern Express Route (a NON-ACA route but it is pretty good) and take it to Sterling, CO.  Mostly flat but some hills between Boonville and Kansas border.

The SECOND BOONVILLE OPTION is I can send you routes that take you from Boonville to Denver (on your own to Aurora).  That way is pretty flat the entire way and connects with ACA's TransAm (TA) Route between Rush Center, KS and Eads, CO. 

Going back to Houston, MS,  the SECOND OPTION FROM HOUSTON is I can send you flat routes that get you to Denver via Memphis; Fort Smith, AR, (hills between Little Rock and Ft. Smith); Tulsa (where I can host you); Rush Center, KS, etc.  This route has a few mandatory hotel nights as there are no campgrounds in the area.

Stealth camping means camping without being seen and not necessarily legally, i.e. you hide in the woods.
Hope this helps somewhat, John

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!

Offline Gbutler

Re: Help With Bike Route From Tampa FL. to Aurora CO.
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 10:17:28 pm »
How is your planning going? I'm sorry to see there are not many responses to your request. I have driven the route your considering but never been on it with a bike. However, I live a little south of Aurora and can tell you the roads through eastern Colorado have little traffic and many of them are great options for riding. I would recommend not going west all the way to I 25, it starts to get a little crowded. Highways 86 and 83 are both good options for your approach into the Denver / Aurora area, they meet in a little town called Franktown, that's where highway 83 becomes known as Parker Road. It is a little busy but a lot of it has a wide shoulder. If your interested there is a bike trail called the Cherry Creek trail that goes from Franktown to the Cherry Creek reservoir in a Aurora, it's 8 feet wide cement. A very pleasant way to get into the city without traffic.

I hope this may be at least a little help, good luck in your travels.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Help With Bike Route From Tampa FL. to Aurora CO.
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 05:30:14 pm »
If at all possible, I'd try to work in the KATY Trail across Missouri. It starts just west of St Louis and ends in far western Missouri. Wonderful ride across the entire state.

As far as Kansas is concerned, I  found it to be the cleanest state I rode in and the people were unbelievably friendly.  You're going to have to cross the great plains one way or another and Kansas is as good as any route to take.

Don't miss these folks. They are good as they come.

Have great trip!

« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 05:39:15 pm by hikerjer »