Author Topic: suggestions for mapping needed for fundraiser  (Read 3259 times)

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Offline roeclan

suggestions for mapping needed for fundraiser
« on: August 22, 2006, 08:11:45 pm »
My name is Christina (Tina) Roe and my husband is Thomas Roe. We are in the process of organizing and awareness and fundraising tour across the US through 22 states and Washington DC by bicycle. We are doing this with the support of the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation. I have attempted to obtain bicycle maps for the trip online with little success.

Let me explain to you what I am looking for and maybe someone would be able to assist us in this matter. If not then maybe one of you would be able to refer us to who would be able to help.

We are looking for our trip to begin at the state capitol in Concord, NH and end at the EDNF National Foundation in Los Angeles, CA. This trip is scheduled to take place next summer and is estimated to take approximately 10 weeks and roughly 6500 miles. We intend to use all on-road routes and no bike trails. Our plan is stop at the state capitol in every state and at the National Capitol in Washington DC.

The problem that I have found online is that there do not seem to be any programs with the equivalent to Map-quest but for bicycle routes. I need specific maps which will provide us with usable roads from one state capitol to the next, obviously using the shortest possible routes between. I would also prefer if these maps included mileage of the routes as well to better gauge the time needed to complete our campaign. The states that we will be traveling are NH, MA, CT, NY, MD, Washington DC, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN, AR, TX, OK, KS, CO, WY, ID, OR and CA in that order.
If any of you is able to tell us where we may go to obtain the information that we are looking for please let me know. I can be reached at

Thank you,
Christina Roe


  • Guest
suggestions for mapping needed for fundraiser
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 08:27:56 am »
Oh my! You need a quick dose of reality. You have found the premier bicycle route mappers here, and should get in touch with Carla Majernik of routes and mapping pronto.

Just to start, you will have to make some compromises. "Usable roads" and "shortest possible routes" are contradictions. Cycling through big cities and between them can be done safely, but requires the local knowledge of experienced cycle commuters, possibly gained by contacting bike shops and bike clubs in each city. Adventure Cycling avoids big cities for good reasons, but has made routes through a few of them.

Your proposed route is twice the length of a typical Adventure Cycling cross-country route. Ask Carla how much work goes into scouting and mapping one of those. I'll guess it is many man-years and tens of thousands of dollars.

You have not mentioned the number of riders you plan, but if it is more than a handful, the logistics are not trivial. Carla will refer you to someone who has done it, no doubt. This is not a job for beginners.

In sum, I think you have planned more than you can handle in the time (and probably the money) available. You have surely considered alternatives that will get your cause on the local TV news just a well. One might be local rides in each city.


Offline RussellSeaton

suggestions for mapping needed for fundraiser
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2006, 02:17:57 pm »
I'll jump on Fred's wagon.  Your project seems very ambitious.  Nothing wrong with ambition.  But some practical experience helps achieve ambitious goals.  How many of your riders or participants are experienced bicyclists who have ridden for many weeks/months on end across countries?  They could give you some insight to what is involved.

As for looking for everything online...  It seems people have forgotten that paper maps exist.  Kind of like people expect to buy everything via internet and contact everyone via email instead of just picking up a telephone and talking to the person.  Every state has a tourism board and publishes state road maps.  Some like my state even have a bike specific one that shows traffic count on roads.  Gives you an idea of which roads are better for cycling.  Most counties also have county maps.  Usually look like blueprint sized paper.  They show all the little roads.  City maps show all of the roads around the towns so you can pick which ones to ride through or around the city.  Get on the phone and email and post office and contact all the states and cities and counties you will be travveling through and get real, paper maps.  Lot of work.  Can't just click a website link.  Most things in life are not easy and a click away.  At least not the important things you remember and cherish and care about.

6500 miles in 10 weeks?  I ride some pretty high mileage rides.  200, 300, 400, 600k brevets this year.  Plus more than a few other century plus rides.  But even I would balk, and never plan, a trip that required 93 mile days on average every day for 70 consecutive days.  Doesn't sound like much fun or joy to me.

I realize riding into the capital city of the state is for publicity.  But some of the capitals in the states you list are huge and not pleasant for riding.  Boston, DC, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, Denver.

For California routes, contact the Davis Bike Club.  Suburb of Sacramento.  They run a 1200k brevet from Sacramento to the Oregon border and back.  I would guess you could use their route for part of your trip from Oregon to Sacramento.

Offline John Nettles

suggestions for mapping needed for fundraiser
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2006, 12:05:31 am »
Hi Tina,

You never indicated how much experience with riding and/or touring you have.  Also, you indicated you have "support" but that could be financial, vehicle, press/PR, etc.

With MANY years of experience, you could probably use a regular AAA road map and have a good idea of a route but it would not be the shortest as-the-crow-flies but shortest as a bike rides.

You could perhaps look at the archives of cross state bike routes.  For instance, Oklahoma, KS, GA, etc. have annual rides across the state. However, most bypass the large cities on purpose.

Additionally, 650 a week while touring for 10 straight weeks would be very tiring.  And that is assuming the 6500 miles was a realistic distance, not a Mapquest distance.  650 miles a week is almost a century a day plus I assume you have "downtime" for the fundraising, rest day (yes your body will require rest days), etc.

This would NOT be a fun trip at all even if you had total support, i.e. someone doing all work and you just ride and smile for cameras.  Are you hoteling it at least??

I would strongly recommend either lengthening your time, or cutting some states.

I don't want to dissuade you from your goal but a goal needs to be obtainable :).

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!