Author Topic: Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question  (Read 3754 times)

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Offline Ottsworld

Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question
« on: April 04, 2023, 07:20:48 pm »
Hi - I'm a new cyclist and I'm biking from Phoenix to Santa Fe.  I'm going on parts of the Route 66 route.  From Laguna to Albuquerque it appears the only option I have it to ride on Interstate 40 for a number of miles. 
My question is - is this the only way? Should I even be riding along the interstate?  Any advice on how to do so safely?
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Sherry

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2023, 07:37:51 pm »
Sherry,
First, welcome to the ACA Forums! Second, welcome to bicycle touring.  WARNING:  It can be a very addictive passion.

Regarding your question.  You could ride east on NM-6 and then north on NM-47.  However, once you get on NM-47, the shoulder is minimal and there is still a lot of traffic.  It is legal and safe to ride on the Interstate in this area (follow ACA's routing as you get closer to the metro area).  There is a full-width shoulder in addition to a rumble strip at the right side of the outer lane to warn vehicles they are drifting into the shoulder so it would be quite unusual for a vehicle to drift onto the shoulder and hit you.  Plus, the road grades tend to be a little gentler if not longer and the sight lines are generally much better so drivers can see you easier. 

The big cons are Interstates are typically much noisier, you have a high chance of a flat tire due to little wires from shredded truck tires (avoid them!), no shade if it is hot, no trees to block the wind (can also be a positive), and the scenery is typically blah.

I have LOTS of touring experience.  While I do not enjoy Interstates generally due to the cons, I will ride them if needed.  In this particular area, I would personally ride the Interstate with no reservations (other than shredded truck tires) versus the above alternative.

As an FYI, you are generally allowed to ride the shoulder of Interstates WEST of the Mississippi River outside of metro areas if there is no "reasonable" alternative like a paved frontage road.  In this case, there is no "reasonable" alternative as the above alternate I listed would add almost 20 miles or 2 hours of riding. 

Hope this helps and I wish you a wonderful tour!

Tailwinds, John
« Last Edit: April 05, 2023, 09:33:37 am by John Nettles »

Offline Ottsworld

Re: Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2023, 09:02:28 pm »
John - thanks so much for this info...it does make me feel better.  I agree with your pros/cons and will likely take the i40 route.  I really appreciate the quick response. I'm on the trip now and already battling with the fact that there is no shoulder to ride on for most of AZ and NM!
Sherry

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2023, 09:29:48 pm »
Think positively.  Lots of cyclists have already done the route without incident (other than the !@#$ tire wires).  You will be fine.  Have an enjoyable trip!

Tailwinds, John

Offline John Nelson

Re: Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2023, 02:00:01 am »
I got three flats on Route 66, all of them on Interstate 40, and all of them from truck tire wires. If you see tire fragments, get off and walk until you are clear of them. And take along some tweezers; sometimes that’s the only way to get these wires out of your tire.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2023, 08:07:09 am »
Sherry, since you are new to cycling, when you get a flat, ALWAYS look for the cause.  If you can't find an obvious one, run a typical cotton ball on the inside of the tire (assuming the hole in the tube was on the tire side and not the rim side).  The cotton will usually catch on even the smallest of things, which is typically a very small piece of wire.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2023, 09:24:02 am »
As an FYI, you are generally allowed to ride the shoulder of Interstates east of the Mississippi River outside of metro areas if there is no "reasonable" alternative like a paved frontage road.  In this case, there is no "reasonable" alternative as the above alternate I listed would add almost 20 miles or 2 hours of riding. 

John answered the question better than I could have, but I think he meant to say you are generally allowed to ride the shoulder of Interstates west of the Mississippi River outside of metro areas.  We're a bit more uptight east of the Mississippi.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Route 66 Near Laguna I40 riding question
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2023, 09:34:44 am »
As an FYI, you are generally allowed to ride the shoulder of Interstates east of the Mississippi River outside of metro areas if there is no "reasonable" alternative like a paved frontage road.  In this case, there is no "reasonable" alternative as the above alternate I listed would add almost 20 miles or 2 hours of riding. 

John answered the question better than I could have, but I think he meant to say you are generally allowed to ride the shoulder of Interstates west of the Mississippi River outside of metro areas.  We're a bit more uptight east of the Mississippi.
Opps. Thanks for catching that as that is a fairly major goof.  I have corrected my original post to say west.