Touring - Crossing PA, Anyone take Route 6 Byway?
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04-22-09, 12:13 PM
My friend and I are trying to plan a route from the NYC area to Cleveland this summer. I found some route maps on the PA Department of Transportation website. See link:
I feel that Route Y would be a good choice for us base on many reasons (where it starts and stops, and being more rural than other crossings) We would be taking it all the way thru PA.
See this link specific to this route:
I found a website specific to Route 6 that has a lot of great info, but at no place on the site does it mention cycling or suggest it as an activity....
Over 90% of this route takes you across norther PA along the Route 6 Byway. Anyone have any experience riding this route? Pro and cons are welcome. This would be our first longer tour. Thanks!
04-25-09, 06:52 PM
Wow! Really? 60 Views and no one traveled on Route 6? Bummer for me!
I have considered the Y-route for a planned trip from the NY Finger Lakes region to New York City (coming down into Tioga county and then turning east). So I'd also be curious if anyone has ever ridden the route. I imagine it must be quite hilly...
04-26-09, 05:04 AM
I imagine it must be quite hilly...
Try to cross PA without hills. You better have wings on your bike. :)
04-26-09, 06:45 AM
I have never ridden it.
I've ridden Penna, but further south.
I would be curious to hear from anyone who has.
Have you checked over at Crazyguy?
One of my main criticisms of the Pennsylvania bike "routes" is that they appear to be simply highlighter lines drawn on a map without any real research. US 6 has less traffic than many roads - but still usually has more than 2000 AADT and often 4000, 5000, and more. Those are not comfortable numbers when you are on a two-lane road with no shoulders. Also, use a state highway map and notice that there are four-lane/expressway sections here and there. That usually indicates more traffic. Where does all that traffic go after the four-lane section?
If you take some time and use the Penna DOT county traffic volume maps, you should be able to plan out a much better route than US 6. Absolutely - absolutely - plan to ride the Grand Canyon of Pine Creek rail trail.
One of my main criticisms of the Pennsylvania bike "routes" is that they appear to be simply highlighter lines drawn on a map without any real research.
PA Bike Routes are limited to state roads and paths. There are only so many of those to choose from. Between that and PA's terrain there are compromises that get made.
A journal by a poster to this forum:
He describes the Y route, at least the portion he rode, as easier than the S route in the southern part of the state.
(Disclaimer: I'm the fellow who stored the author's extra gear when he realized three miles from his home that he was overloaded. )
04-27-09, 04:10 AM
I crossed Pennsylvania mostly by Route 6 in the summer of 2007. It's not like there is an alternative route. You'll be fine. I tracked my route at Sanoodi.com, where you can see it, if you are interested.
Most of the way, it consists of a wide shoulder that is signed. That was enough that I felt comfortable.
04-27-09, 09:53 PM
Thanks for the posts guys. I am going to take a look at some of the included links above. Sounds like it might not be too bad.
04-27-09, 10:28 PM
I'll be doing a ride through PA in mid-May and will more than likely use some of the PA state bike routes but I'm not totally trusting of them. It's been years since I've ridden cross PA but I remember lots of hills and trucks- I don't mind the hills but trucks on narrow roads with steep hills can be a little daunting- so if there are preferred routes it would be a help.
My "tour" will take about 6 days and I'll report back on the roads I chose, which sounds like it will be well before your departure so hopefully it will help you plan your route.
04-27-09, 10:41 PM
You might try asking at http://www.bike-pgh.org. I know folks there have done at least Route S.
05-03-09, 05:11 AM
One thing is that there was a Pennsylvania state recreation map a few years back that showed some bike routes that appeared like finished routes, but when I got to them, I found them instead to be unimproved rail beds. Good intentions. I did see the real thing, where they had followed through on those intentions. Don't trust state maps about when the road is supposed to be "complete". I've found that, to be be completed in 2007 often means, it's 2009 and we still don't have the money, since we diverted it again last year into highway projects.
I live not too far from 6 and have traveled it many times. Did a tour on it from Wellsboro, pa and points west back in 2000. PA has tried to clean up it's bike act in this decade and while it has a ways to go, it's doing better. They are adding shoulders where none existed, but the bike routes stick to State roads, when there are better choices in terms of lighter, slower traffic.
Y is very hilly and cuts across several moutain ranges. My biggest complaint on Y is the Truck traffic. 6 gets alot of truck traffic as it's a major E-W highway in the Northern part of the state. As much as I like to promote cycling in PA, a better choice is probably Bike Route 17 going through the Southern Tier of NY. I live very near to BR17 and have traveled it many times between Binghamton and Points west. The road in my region has wide nicely paved shoulders. Traffic outside of the cities is very low, not that many trucks except milk, gravel and log trucks for around here. Quite a few services, at least 1 convienient store every 10 miles or so. Bike route 17 is largely old route 17, which is now a 4 lane and takes most of the faster heavier traffic. Actually a pretty ideal situation.
Both routes are quite scenic Pa has a plethera of quaint towns along the route. It was originally designed to connect the 16 northern county seats. Most if not all of them is like stepping back into the 50's.
Good luck on your trip
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