Author Topic: What roads can you cycle on?  (Read 13056 times)

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Offline rmware

What roads can you cycle on?
« on: March 01, 2009, 09:26:19 am »
I know this is probably a stupid question, but what roads can i legally cycle on in the USA? Would I be right in assuming I can ride on anything except interstates.

Offline staehpj1

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 10:40:46 am »
Pretty much.  In some places you can even ride on the interstates.  Just because you can ride on a given road doesn't mean you would want to though.

Where do you plan on riding?  Different parts of the country vary a lot.

Offline rmware

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 10:56:02 am »
I'm starting the transam + western express next thursday as part of my round the world tour. But now have to get to San Fran within 40 days. So I'm looking at taking a few shortcuts.

Offline whittierider

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 11:35:48 am »
In California you can ride the freeways where there's no other practical way to get somewhere.  The freeway on-ramps have signs that say "Pedestrians, bicycles, motor-driven cycles prohibited" or something like that, but in the sections where you can ride, the "bicycles" part is covered over.  Where you have to get off, a sign will say "Bicycles must exit."  I've ridden on the freeway quite a few times.  In the 7-mile section near Camp Pendelton (around 40 miles north of  San Diego), although the shoulder is wide and paved and feels save, it's not kept clean, and riding there is not very pleasant.  Near Santa Barbara, it is much more pleasant.  I've been in these places when the traffic was heavy and slow too, and with a tail wind, we were keeping up with the traffic at 30mph for miles.

Virtually all other roads and streets are legal to ride anytime.

Offline staehpj1

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 05:58:32 pm »
I'm starting the transam + western express next thursday as part of my round the world tour. But now have to get to San Fran within 40 days. So I'm looking at taking a few shortcuts.
That will put you at high altitudes in the Rockies way too early.  Iffy weather and a firm deadline can be a recipe for disaster.  Be careful.  That is a fairly ambitious schedule in good weather.  That time of year you really can't count on good weather.  Don't let a deadline get you into trouble.

Given your starting time and deadline, you might be better off to use the Souther Tier.  Ride the ST and use the train to go up the coast to SF.

Offline valygrl

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 07:17:25 pm »
I'm starting the transam + western express next thursday as part of my round the world tour. But now have to get to San Fran within 40 days. So I'm looking at taking a few shortcuts.
That will put you at high altitudes in the Rockies way too early.  Iffy weather and a firm deadline can be a recipe for disaster.  Be careful.  That is a fairly ambitious schedule in good weather.  That time of year you really can't count on good weather.  Don't let a deadline get you into trouble.

Given your starting time and deadline, you might be better off to use the Souther Tier.  Ride the ST and use the train to go up the coast to SF.

Agree 100%.  It's still ski season in three major places on that route: the rockies (Telluride, Monarch Pass, and you are high for a long time in between), Utah (Brian Head is a ski area, and on your route, closing date mid-April), and the Sierra - ride right by Kirkwood - they might be closed by then, but there might still be huge walls of snow on the side of the road, the camping will be snowy and the campgrounds might be closed.


Offline Westinghouse

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 07:39:47 am »
I was cycling 90, alt. 90, 190, and alt. 190. By the time I had reached San Antanio, TX from east coastal FL I was tired of the bumpy, roller coaster road and traffic. I scrapped going to Del Rio and north. Instead I took highway 46 that looped around to the north of San Antonio. I was hoping they allowed bikes on interstate 10 that far east. They did. At least from that point and westward you can use interstate 10 all the way to California, except that you must exit on certain stretches where alternative roads are available, no matter what the conditions of those roads might be. I had to get off the Interstate because a road was available, no matter that it would have been difficult riding for a tank. The law was the law.

The last time I cycled through Oregon, which was 1993, I believe it was permissible to pedal bikes on any interstate highway in the state. In Florida where I am from bicycles are banned from the turnpike and all interstates, but there in Florida alternate roads are always available.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 12:10:00 am »
You can ride I-90 all the way across Washington state, and most of it is pretty good--wide shoulders, rumble strips so the cars know when they're drifting to the edge.  The main drawbacks to me are the the noise and the amount of junk on the shoulders.  When i've ridden a lot of freeway, I've always gotten lots of flats.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 02:00:12 am »
Generally speaking, some interstates you can cycle on and most you cannot; you have to find out which. Aside from private stretches of road and turnpikes, etc., you are pretty much free to cycle any public road in the country. Be forewarned; some roads are really great for cycling, heavenly almost; some roads are straight out of hell; there are many roads of varying degrees of suitability for cycling between heaven and hell. Try to choose your routes along the high roads as well as you are able to.

Offline DaveB

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2009, 09:09:04 am »
Along with the Advbenture Cycling maps there is a mapping web site www.viamichelin.com that allows you to specify a "bicycling" option so their suggested route avoids prohibited Interstates, etc.

Offline staehpj1

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2009, 12:30:18 pm »
Along with the Advbenture Cycling maps there is a mapping web site www.viamichelin.com that allows you to specify a "bicycling" option so their suggested route avoids prohibited Interstates, etc.
Interesting that Bicycle routes can't exceed 200km on that site but auto routes can be thousands of miles.  What is up with that?

Offline DaveB

Re: What roads can you cycle on?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2009, 10:39:50 am »
Interesting that Bicycle routes can't exceed 200km on that site but auto routes can be thousands of miles.  What is up with that?
I don't know why the limitation.  Maybe the Europeans (The site is by Michelin, a French company) never go more than 200km at one time  on a bike. 

Anyway, you could put together any length route by piecing together from one endpoint to another within the 200km range.