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Old 07-23-13, 02:20 PM   #1
Zinger
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Top urban bike paths across the USA

Top urban bike paths across the USA

I just saw a thread on this over in C&V and thought it might be of interest here as well. I know that San Diego has a number of great hidden bike trails that crisscross the city and suburbs. I loved riding down there and that's just one of the reasons.

We also have the Centennial Trail that runs (with some interruptions) from Coeur d'Alene Idaho to Spokane Washington and covers lots of urban ground.

Anybody know of others not on the list?
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Old 07-23-13, 02:26 PM   #2
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Hmm. The omission of the Marvin Braude bike path here in the South Bay are of Los Angeles is a glaring omission. Enormously popular and scenic.
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Old 07-23-13, 04:07 PM   #3
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I've ridden, walked and rollerbladed on several of those. What they all share in common is a great resource for the communities in which they are located. One urban bike path that I've ridden numerous times over the years is the Towpath Trail, which runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in NE Ohio. The trail runs from Cleveland in the north, through Akron and farther south into east central Ohio. Work continues to connect various pieces.

The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in NJ is a multi-use path extending 68 miles, although I don't recommend riding the all too urban portion of the trail going through Trenton. A list of most of the multi-use paths in NJ can be found at http://www.traillink.com/stateactivi...ke-trails.aspx
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Old 07-23-13, 08:30 PM   #4
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We have the Silver Comet Trail here in Georgia that is paved from Smyrna Georgia all the way to Anniston Alabama. It's 62 miles through Georgia and changes names at the Alabama State line to the Chief Ladiga Trail for another 33 miles. Total distance is 95 miles one way. I think it is the 2nd longest paved trail in the U.S. It runs through miles of shaded woods and long stretches of open pasture land.

The great part for me is it runs within a mile of my house so it is very convenient to access and ride all day. There are also a lot of hop off points where I can get out on low traffic country roads to take advantage of challenging hills.
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Old 07-23-13, 08:38 PM   #5
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Denver's Cherry Creek Trail is mentioned. Here is a map of the major trails in Denver, including Cherry Creek. My home is in the lower right hand corner. Trail are mostly cement. I can go 40+ miles through the city proper and never have a street intersection.



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Old 07-23-13, 10:31 PM   #6
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Site crashed when I got to Hawaii Volcanoes. ($#%$% ATT DSL) So I don't know if any of these are on the list. Locally in San Diego I know of no dedicated bike paths that are worthy of that list, with the possible exception of the HWY 52 trail westbound for the incredible view of the entire city with the Pacifc Ocean backdrop. Not good if you are adverse to hills, or freeway noise. The bike lanes on regular streets are another matter. Miles of oceanfront bike routes, Del Dios Highway (more hills) and the back country (HILLS!) If you don't mind, or even like, hills, they're great.

I commute to southern Orange County and there are two that I think are very good. Peters Canyon-Mountain to Sea, and the San Diego Creek Path are great ways for traversing the South County that allow bikes to bypass lots of traffic signals. Further south is my favorite, the Aliso Creek Path. I like taking it from the top of of El Toro Road about ten miles to where it hits bike lanes for the next six and a half miles or so to Dana Point. http://app.strava.com/segments/4849940

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Old 07-24-13, 02:06 AM   #7
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Site crashed when I got to Hawaii Volcanoes. ($#%$% ATT DSL) So I don't know if any of these are on the list. Locally in San Diego I know of no dedicated bike paths that are worthy of that list, with the possible exception of the HWY 52 trail westbound for the incredible view of the entire city with the Pacifc Ocean backdrop. Not good if you are adverse to hills, or freeway noise. The bike lanes on regular streets are another matter. Miles of oceanfront bike routes, Del Dios Highway (more hills) and the back country (HILLS!) If you don't mind, or even like, hills, they're great.

I commute to southern Orange County and there Two that I think are very good. Peters Canyon-Mountain to Sea, and the San Diego Creek Path are great ways for traversing the South County that allow bikes to bypass lots of traffic signals. Further south is my favorite, the Aliso Creek Path. I lake taking it from the top of of El Toro Road about ten miles to where it hits bike lanes for the next six and a half miles or so to Dana Point. http://app.strava.com/segments/4849940
There are probably not any worthy of that particular list. But, when I lived there in the '80s, I used to use some of the hidden bike trails that I learned of from a brochure I picked up at a bike shop downtown in the Gaslamp district. I don't believe that LBS is there anymore. (The San Diego Bike Shop at 619 C Street isn't the same one.)

One paved trail I used a lot runs to Poway alongside the Highway from San Diego. I used to take it up as far as Santee and detour into Santee from there. There are lots of others around town but they're pretty short and nothing spectacular. But they link up and keep you out of some of the traffic. I used the Mission Bay path a lot. One in Mission Valley. One in La Jolla. I don't remember them well anymore.

Here's a map at this site that might have some of them

Here's another of just some bike routes

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Old 07-24-13, 05:57 AM   #8
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The article states "dedicated bike path". I guess I've never been on a path that was dedicated to bicycles. The ones I've ridden were MUP, with zoned out walkers with their ear buds or smart phones, uncontrolled and unpredictable small children, dog walkers with six meter long leashes and folks using the path as a piazza.



Dallas' Katy Trail is an urban pathway that is driving development in its part of town. For a good portion of its length, it's actually two side-by-side paths, one for walkers/runners only, and the other for any user. For reasons I can't understand, fully three-quarters of the pedestrians use the 'any user' path, choosing to mix it up with the cyclists. Occasionally it's a pleasant ride, often it's like trying to ride through a shopping mall.
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Old 12-07-13, 12:02 AM   #9
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We have the Silver Comet Trail here in Georgia that is paved from Smyrna Georgia all the way to Anniston Alabama. It's 62 miles through Georgia and changes names at the Alabama State line to the Chief Ladiga Trail for another 33 miles. Total distance is 95 miles one way. I think it is the 2nd longest paved trail in the U.S. It runs through miles of shaded woods and long stretches of open pasture land.

The great part for me is it runs within a mile of my house so it is very convenient to access and ride all day. There are also a lot of hop off points where I can get out on low traffic country roads to take advantage of challenging hills.
Dennis,
How would you describe the Silver Comet Trail as far as topography goes? Is it very hilly? I'm an old timer and have always wanted to stop off when I'm driving thru GA. and bike that trail. Are there rest stops along on the trail for food and liquid refuel? I'm usually driving thru your state in April.
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Old 12-07-13, 07:20 AM   #10
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If you build it they will come.

More and more Americans want to get off their increasingly expansive derrières but don't feel safe out on the roads on a bike.

As annoying as the gals of girth walking in lockstep on the MUPs can be, I'm just happy to see them out there. All we need to do is slow down and give the Hello Kitty bell a dingaling.
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Old 12-07-13, 07:22 AM   #11
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And speaking of the Minuteman Trail, this is my favorite (NSFW because of bad language) rant ever: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/bos/70245362.html
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Old 12-07-13, 07:48 AM   #12
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And speaking of the Minuteman Trail, this is my favorite (NSFW because of bad language) rant ever: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/bos/70245362.html
Too bad the kid behind the bush didn't have a real gun. Although I'm in agreement with with a lot of his points, he obviously regards himself as king of the world.
Oh, and this "God you are slow. Jettison some of your useless s*** and maybe I won’t blow by you 4 times in one ride." Does she take shortcuts he does,'t know about, or is he the hare that never heard the story.
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Old 12-07-13, 08:10 AM   #13
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I've ridden, walked and rollerbladed on several of those. What they all share in common is a great resource for the communities in which they are located. One urban bike path that I've ridden numerous times over the years is the Towpath Trail, which runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in NE Ohio. The trail runs from Cleveland in the north, through Akron and farther south into east central Ohio. Work continues to connect various pieces.
Edwardsville and Alton, Illinois have more than 100 miles of paved bikepaths that connect these towns to St Louis and to the 240 mile long KATY trail. It's a great system.

I'm also a fan of the Towpath that runs along the Cuyahoga River and have taken it from Lake Erie to well south of Akron. The Metro Park bike path that runs along the Cuyahoga river valley can be used to create a loop.
















The Chicago Lakefront is very scenic, but the amount of walkers and runners that use the path on weekends keeps me off it, except in winter. Weekday use during the summer is very enjoyable.

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Old 12-07-13, 08:25 AM   #14
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Yeah. What constitutes a "top" bike path depends on the criteria you are using. Very very few, in my experience, are good for a roadie that just wants to hammer.
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Old 12-07-13, 08:34 AM   #15
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Dennis,
How would you describe the Silver Comet Trail as far as topography goes? Is it very hilly? I'm an old timer and have always wanted to stop off when I'm driving thru GA. and bike that trail. Are there rest stops along on the trail for food and liquid refuel? I'm usually driving thru your state in April.
Snapshot46, The trail is very flat with less than 1% grades. I can easily maintain 14-15 MPH average over most of the trail riding my Hybrid. There is one segment 5 miles East of Cedartown that has a bunch of short rolling climbs for about a mile. Some of these have an 8%+ grade.

There are restrooms and water scattered along the trail where trailheads and parking is located. Food is available in towns that the trail passes through such as Powder Springs, Rockmark, Cedartown, etc. You have to turn off a trailhead and ride down some streets to get to most of these. Rockmark has a wonderful Italian restaurant (Frankies) right next to the trail in the town center. Unfortunately, it is only open Thursday thru Sunday. There are also convenient stores located within a few blocks of the trail in a few places such as Coots Lake and Rockmark. You can see them when you cross the road. The restrooms in Rockmark are located at the ball field. Basically there are services available from Smyrna to Cedartown. Once you go past Cedartown, it is pretty desolate until Anniston.
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Old 12-07-13, 08:45 AM   #16
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For a smaller city 275,000 Lincoln Ne has approx 130 miles of hard surface bike trails. I string together four 35 mile routes that I ride. Omaha too has a large number of bike trails that string together with trails across the river into Iowa.
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Old 12-07-13, 09:17 AM   #17
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For a smaller city 275,000 Lincoln Ne has approx 130 miles of hard surface bike trails. I string together four 35 mile routes that I ride. Omaha too has a large number of bike trails that string together with trails across the river into Iowa.
The Wabash Trace starts near Council Bluffs and runs 60 miles into rural SW Iowa. Very Scenic and quiet area.
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Old 12-07-13, 09:35 AM   #18
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The Wabash Trace starts near Council Bluffs and runs 60 miles into rural SW Iowa. Very Scenic and quiet area.
I did a 30 miler on that trail with Billydonn last year from Council Bluffs to Silver City and back. Great ride!
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Old 12-07-13, 10:20 AM   #19
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Edwardsville and Alton, Illinois have more than 100 miles of paved bikepaths that connect these towns to St Louis and to the 240 mile long KATY trail. It's a great system.
Edwardsville, IL in particular, is a veritable rats-nest of interconnecting trails. The advantage of being both a County Seat and a University Town. I've done two halves of riding from my house in Wood River, IL to the St. Louis Arch. Next year, I plan to try the whole 25 miles in one trip (or 22 miles, if I stay on this side of the river to the McKinley Bridge, instead of crossing the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge).

The St. Louis Riverfront Trail was more interesting than I thought it would be, yet it could be so much more than it is. Hopefully the Archgrounds/Greenway renovations will make this trail more viable and popular. St. Louis MO could really benefit from some additional bike trails connecting the City and the County. Alton IL could use some additional trail mileage as well.

As for the Craigslist rant, in regards to bullet-point #8 , I've seen a dog on a leash, running beside his bicycling master... who didn't have the other end of the leash in his hand. I thought to myself "this can only end in disaster." I take issue with point #4 however. simply providing a different hand position is a perfectly valid use for bar ends at any angle. This guy needs some meditation and yoga classes.

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Old 12-07-13, 11:23 AM   #20
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Too old, & compact to be suburban, too small to be Urban so MUP is short..7 miles..
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Old 12-07-13, 11:59 AM   #21
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And speaking of the Minuteman Trail, this is my favorite (NSFW because of bad language) rant ever: http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/bos/70245362.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by USA Today
6. Minuteman Commuter Bikeway—Greater Boston
As with everything in Boston, function is closely tied to history...
I couldn’t get into that link, but on the “Metro Boston: Good ride today,” thread many local cyclists write about their rides there.

There are two other decent, utilitarian, and very urban bike paths in Boston with historic names, The Paul Dudley White and Pierre Lallemant Paths:

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...Paul Dudley White [of Boston] is viewed by most medical authorities as the founder of preventive cardiology. Appointed as President Dwight D. Eisenhower's physician following his heart attack in 1955, White was a staunch advocate of exercise, diet, and weight control in the prevention of heart disease…. In keeping with his beliefs, he was a vigorous walker and bicycle rider and walked, on one occasion, from Washington National Airport to the White House to consult with President Eisenhower. Reportedly, his positive approach inspired Lyndon B. Johnson to return to the Senate in 1955 after his heart attack and later to become Vice President...

...In 1862 while Lallement was employed building baby carriages in Nancy he saw someone riding a dandy horse, a forerunner of the bicycle that required the rider to propel the vehicle by walking. Lallement modified what he had seen by adding a transmission comprising a rotary crank mechanism and pedals attached to the front-wheel hub, thus creating the first true bicycle… He died in obscurity in 1891 in Boston at the age of 47....
PS:
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...(NSFW because of bad language)...

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I couldn’t get into that link..
I just looked up NSFW (“Not safe for work”); I had tried to open that link while at work.

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Old 12-07-13, 05:08 PM   #22
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Too bad the kid behind the bush didn't have a real gun. Although I'm in agreement with with a lot of his points, he obviously regards himself as king of the world.
Oh, and this "God you are slow. Jettison some of your useless s*** and maybe I won’t blow by you 4 times in one ride." Does she take shortcuts he does,'t know about, or is he the hare that never heard the story.
All true, but once something is identified as a rant, I don't worry too much about logic and stuff. It's a rant. And some of it is funny.
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Old 12-07-13, 07:17 PM   #23
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Yeah. What constitutes a "top" bike path depends on the criteria you are using. Very very few, in my experience, are good for a roadie that just wants to hammer.
True that but our Centennial Trail up here in Spokane offers some wide open less inhabited stretches where you can get away with going way over the 15 mph limit. But, of course, when you get to those areas with pedestrians, kids and dogs you'd better slow way down and some guys don't....quite enough.

A lot of slowing to a near stop around kids for me and I get a lot of thanks from the parents for checking my brakes in those cases.
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Old 12-09-13, 03:24 PM   #24
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Sort of a love-hate for me on "urban" bike trails because they can be SO crowded (Chicago lakefront on summer weekend is crazy crowded). I guess I like the sneaky hidden trails I've ridden in Milwaukee and the miles of interconnected trails in Madison. And the Chicago 'burbs have lots of good trails that I would still call "urban" because they pass through some pretty dense suburbs --and many of them seem so isolated and quiet. Kinda cool to find THOSE urban trails.
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Old 12-09-13, 04:29 PM   #25
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There are two that I think are very good. Peters Canyon-Mountain to Sea, and the San Diego Creek Path http://app.strava.com/segments/4849940
Another vote for Peters-Canyon Mountain to Sea and San Diego Creek Paths. Both are MUPS, true, but they are plenty wide enough for safe passing.

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