Author Topic: 2nd attempt  (Read 9741 times)

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Offline sunfisher

2nd attempt
« on: December 31, 2003, 01:52:21 pm »
I attempted to post something a few minutes ago, but was told to log in again.  I did so. Thanks to cut& paste, here goes again...

I was surfing the Crazyguyonabike site and noted a number of people starting from Philly/DC/NY and heading west on the C&O towpath. Wouldn't it be interesting, I thought, if there was a straightforward way to put some things together...

First, the current conditions:

1.There already exist the C&O canal/Allegheny Passage, connecting DC to points west of Pittsburgh.  

2.Ohio has Bike routes CT and F that cover E-W, and have in the works a route running from Cleveland to Cincy - although it's possible to run from South Charleston to near Germantown today.

3.Mo has the Katy Trail.

4.The Northern Tier through Ill, IN, and OH is (no offence intended) bland.

Now the idea...

Supposing that connectors were developed to connect the East Coast route to the C&O/Alleg Psg, the Alleg Psg to "Ohio Route F" (which already passes within a dozen country miles of the Little Miami bikeway), the Little Miami through southern IN and South-Central IL to the Katy, from whence one could jump to L&C or Transam/Western Express.

The total of new route miles would be something like 600 (60 in PA/WV/OH, 450-550 from western OH to St Louis).

The C&0/Allegheny Passage already exists, and is being promoted as a touring venue.
IL, IN, and OH are often perceived as unscenic, flat, and unchallenging.  "Route F" and a route from, say Germantown OH, through Oxford OH, and Indiana towns such as Batesville, Columbus, Bedford, and crossing into IL at, say, Hutsonville (thence through Effingham, Hillsboro, Newbern, and crossing the big river just upstream from St Louis) would provide a more challenging/rewarding/scenic transit while still allowing a selection of lightly travelled roads without sacrificing available services.

Any comments ?



  • Guest
2nd attempt
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2004, 11:54:47 am »
I like it. Anything to bypass Cleveland gains my approbation. (A fine place to live and work, no doubt, but not much for through cyclists.)

"The Northern Tier through Ill, IN, and OH is (no offence intended) bland." LOL! Bland is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose, but traffic in the industrial cities on the Lakes is more like exciting or terrifying to me.

Now, a flat, straight day on the Katy Trail: that's bland. I have nothing against bland in moderation. ;)


Offline rootchopper

2nd attempt
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2004, 02:31:04 pm »
Well, speaking of second attmepts, this is mine.  

Last summer I attempted a ride from IN to DC via the Great Allegheny Passage.  The original plan was to use some of the OH bikeways you refer to, as well as a small segment of the Northern Tier route. I found the backroads in IN and OH to be great for biking and decided to just improvise my route from western IN to Wheeling WV.  I did use some bike paths and the Great Allegehny Passage (GAP).

Here is my two cents:
1)  Off road bike paths in the flat midwast are more trouble than they are worth.  One near Newark OH was so slippery I crashed.  Most of the back roads are flat to gently rolling and far more interesting.  

The main bike routes in OH F, CT may be good but so are the hundreds of other backroads to choose from.  I have read that parts of the CT route are chip sealed which can be a drag to ride on.  The people I encountered across OH were not accustomed to seeing touring bicyclists and were very helpful with directions and encouragement.

PADOT has laid out a grid of mostly on-road bike routes.  I used the "S" route to go from Wheeling to West Newton where it merges with the GAP.  You could use the GAP to go west around Pittsburgh and hook up with the CT trail.

The GAP isn't quite finished yet, but it is an incredibly nice ride.  And the towns along the trail are dying for your business.  The section of the GAP through Ohiopyle State Park is really wonderful.

The C&O towpath can be a quagmire so plan accordingly.

Check out for a blow by blow account.