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Old 08-21-05, 10:09 PM   #1
will dehne
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A Bike path across USA

Please forgive my ignorance if this came up before. I searched but could not find it.

It seems to me that it would be a worthwhile thing to promote a car free bike path across the USA.
Imagine what tourist attraction that would be. Imagine the businesses who could cater to that. Seems to me that a good start has been made in Wisconsin. They almost have one across Wisconsin trail.

I come from Germany which has many very long distance bike trails. For instance there is one to Amsterdam along the Rhine. There is another famous one along the Danube.

We could have one across the USA which could be a magnet for all kinds of activity.
Is this not something this forum could promote?
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Old 08-22-05, 04:43 AM   #2
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There is one across Ohio that is very beautiful.

The Ohio to Erie Trail begins in Cincinnati at the Ohio River and ends in Cleveland at Lake Erie.

http://www.ohiotoerietrail.org/OnTheTrail/default.htm


Many sections of the Ohio to Erie Trail are open and in daily use. Of the 453-mile length of the Ohio to Erie Trail, 262 miles are completed and open for public enjoyment, another 54 miles are either under construction or in engineering design, and an additional 137 miles are awaiting final planning, acquisition, and funding.

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Old 08-22-05, 06:08 AM   #3
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Interesting idea, although I'd imagine there'd be places where there wouldn't be much in the way of water or food stops, like out west near Nevada where you get long stretches of desert. Perhaps if you ran it along close to a large road (like I-70 or I-80) so you could take advantage of gas stations servicing that, but still, I've seen stretches of road that say, "Next Stop: 60mi" and that's a log way to go if you run out of food or water, or have a mechanical.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:39 AM   #4
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http://www.discoverytrail.org/

It's more promise than reality, but someone's working on it.
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Old 08-22-05, 05:41 PM   #5
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There's one across Canada: http://www.tctrail.ca/

It's not in the greatest condition all the way across. I wouldn't have ridden the section nearest to me in Winnipeg with a road bicycle. But at least it is there, and they are working to improve it.
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Old 08-22-05, 06:50 PM   #6
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Thank you all for above leads and comments.
I am nearing retirement and frankly I am looking for a pet project. This may be such a one.
Wonder if Lance needs another cause in addition to his interest in cancer? Imagine a Tour the Lance US bike path. I wonder.......
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Old 08-22-05, 06:58 PM   #7
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The country is too big. I can't see a path that a lot of cyclists could take. Where would it be located? Would I have to go to the northern part of the US to ride across the USA, or would it start in Florida and work its way across the bottom half?

I'd be cool with a network of interconnected trails across the USA, but one trail wouldn't be realistic.

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Old 08-22-05, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
The country is too big. I can't see a path that a lot of cyclists could take. Where would it be located? Would I have to go to the northern part of the US to ride across the USA, or would it start in Florida and work its way across the bottom half?

I'd be cool with a network of interconnected trails across the USA, but one trail wouldn't be realistic.

Koffee
According to the above link, it looks like it starts in your backyard!
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Old 08-22-05, 07:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
The country is too big. I can't see a path that a lot of cyclists could take. Where would it be located? Would I have to go to the northern part of the US to ride across the USA, or would it start in Florida and work its way across the bottom half?

I'd be cool with a network of interconnected trails across the USA, but one trail wouldn't be realistic.

Koffee

So true, that is one of the drawbacks to being a huge, powerful, world dominating country like the USA. Some of these other tiny, wimpy countries can manage a bike path across but not the world's only super-power.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:19 PM   #10
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Colorado is working on their own to kinda parallel I-70. Many of the individual cities are focusing on their own section and arguably the most difficult place to build a path already has one... Glenwood Springs. They figured they might as well build it when the highway was upgraded. Smart people.

But really, who wants to bike through Kansas
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Old 08-22-05, 07:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
The country is too big. I can't see a path that a lot of cyclists could take. Where would it be located? Would I have to go to the northern part of the US to ride across the USA, or would it start in Florida and work its way across the bottom half?

I'd be cool with a network of interconnected trails across the USA, but one trail wouldn't be realistic.

Koffee
Koffee:
I hear your argument. I see it as an immigrant who is rather enthusiastic about the USA. I have friends in places such as Germany. They have up to six weeks vacation and they do bike in the USA. My Boss biked down Highway #1 on the West coast. The traffic was the big negative.
There are a number of people looking for a challenge. But getting side swiped by a SUV is not fun. You know that many streets are in bad shape as pavement goes. Seldom is there a nice bike lane. A lone single biker is at risk, especially at dusk. Forget it at night.

If we had a bike path to see much of the USA without taking your life in your hands, that would be great. Do you know the bike fatality in the USA? I do not.
Today's lunch conversation was about an almost catastrophic accident in Wisconsin around Mount Horeb. A car nearly plowed into a large group of bikers. Of course there was no bike lane. The bikers were not without fault, they went through a stop sign.
A bike path would get more individuals traveling longer distance. I think that that would be a good thing. You could do all or part of the way.

Think of the Appalachian HIKING path. 2100 miles hiking. It is a busy path. Too busy.
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Old 08-22-05, 07:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
The country is too big. I can't see a path that a lot of cyclists could take. Where would it be located? Would I have to go to the northern part of the US to ride across the USA, or would it start in Florida and work its way across the bottom half?

I'd be cool with a network of interconnected trails across the USA, but one trail wouldn't be realistic.

Koffee
Last time I checked Canada is bigger than the USA ... but we've got a trail across our country.

Admittedly most of our population is in the "southern tier" but from what I've seen, when it comes to touring in the USA, most people seem to talk about the northern tier, a middle tier, and a southern tier. So ... why not start a trail in the middle tier and build on that? Isn't the middle tier roughly the route the RAAM riders go?
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Old 08-22-05, 09:08 PM   #13
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I'm not saying we shouldn't have one. I just think we shouldn't have ONE. One would definitely be limiting.

I like how they have it in Switzerland- a whole network of bike paths that can get you anywhere. If we had a network... even 3 or 4 major paths that give alternatives for travel, I'd be all good. Even if it started in my neck of the woods, if it didn't go to places I wanted to go, that would screw me over. I just want a greater network, that's all. One path is like giving a hungry dog a bone, but then covering it with bleach before you hand it to him. Bleah.

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Old 08-22-05, 09:30 PM   #14
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If each and every State provided their own east/west, north/south trails, they'll all interconnect with one another someday, providing an uninterrupted journey across the continent.
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Old 08-22-05, 10:06 PM   #15
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That's more like what I'm talking about. I network of interconnected bike paths and lanes that get you all the way across the US.

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Old 08-22-05, 11:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
If each and every State provided their own east/west, north/south trails, they'll all interconnect with one another someday, providing an uninterrupted journey across the continent.

That's basically what they've done across Canada. They've taken cycling routes through cities, combined them with abandonned railway tracks which have been filled in (gravelled, or in some cases paved), and a few quiet roads, I think.

http://www.tctrail.ca/index.php?section_id=8&lang=en
"The Trans Canada Trail is a non-profit, registered charity organization, whose primary purpose is to raise funds to build a recreational trail that will wind its way through every province and territory in Canada, linking hundreds of communities along its route. The target date for completion of the main trunk of the Trans Canada Trail is the fall of 2010.

The Trans Canada Trail was created in 1992 and publicly launched in the summer of 1994. It was conceived by the Canada 125 management as a legacy project. Canada 125 was an organization created to celebrate Canada’s 125th year of confederation in 1992. Individual Canadians are invited to help build the Trail by “symbolically” purchasing metres. A donation of $50.00 builds a metre of Trail and the donor’s name (or the name of anyone they designate) is permanently inscribed in a Trail Pavilion along the route of the Trail.

TRAIL ROUTE:

The Trail makes its way through every province and territory. Given the geography of Canada, it is not a straight line but one that dips and curves to include as much of the population as possible. A water route is being used in the Northwest Territories and part of Northern Alberta."


http://www.tctrail.ca/index.php?sect...c3e8810f1ce878
"Building the longest recreational trail in the world is no easy task. The Trans Canada Trail will be a confederation of existing trails linked together by new construction to forge one contiguous Trail that winds its way through every province and territory."
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Old 08-23-05, 07:01 AM   #17
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The old rail lines in the US belong to private companies, and some have clauses to turn the property over to the previous landowners. We are having that problem trying to build a railtrail here.

However, I like the idea of a bike path along cross country interstate highways.
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Old 08-23-05, 08:02 AM   #18
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However, I like the idea of a bike path along cross country interstate highways.
Plus, there are services already established. The furthest I've ever driven between services was the desert of Utah and that was only like 50-60 miles? (If you're riding across the country, 60 road miles shouldn't be an issue.)
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Old 08-23-05, 08:03 AM   #19
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Not across the country, but along the whole east coast, is the planned East Coast Greenway.

http://www.greenway.org/

According to the website, it's 20% complete. We have a couple sections here in Maine that are finished, and a quick ride along them will make anyone wish for more and more.
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Old 08-23-05, 08:07 AM   #20
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It would be great....but I don't see this being any kind of reality anytime soon.

There are two huge limiting factors:
1. This country is too big, physically. It's just a HUGE undertaking.
2. Cycling, unfortunately, is not popular enough here like it is in Europe and the rest of the world. There wouldn't be enough support and not enough businesses to cater to it. You would end up with probably HUGE stretches void of any kind of business or people - you get into trouble you are on your own. Might even end up with muggers and such casing the trail for solo cyclist.
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Old 08-23-05, 08:15 AM   #21
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Above posts give me ideas. Thanks. Perhaps we can get some busybodies interested as they do in Canada. I can think of lesser things than promoting this idea. Many of my friends are sort of lost what to do with themselves.
I found biking about 10 to 15 years ago. It is the only sustained activity I can do for 10 hours per day with no harm to my joints. But I had two bad accidents. That is what motivates me. That is the message I am trying to get around.
Biking is good for many if not most, but we must make it reasonably safe. Dealing with high speed cars a few feet or inches away from you, is scary.
Is this not a good cause?
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Old 08-23-05, 08:24 AM   #22
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The Trans-Canada trail is not a bike path. In many places, it's a hiking trail. I believe there's a trans-USA hiking trail but the north-south hiking trails are more popular. There's a almost-finished trans-province bike route here called the "route verte" (green route). It uses rail-trails, bike paths, shoulder/bike lane and designated low-traffic roads. It's very popular.

Just connecting existing bike route/trail is a big step.

Edit: Route Verte website. It passes in front of my house.
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Old 08-23-05, 08:31 AM   #23
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We are having trouble just getting a bike path put in from where I live in Lakeside (near the river) down to Ocean Beach (the ocean), about 25 miles total. One of the parks in between is holding everything up even though there is already a bike path through part of the park. Just this little project like this will probably takes years to settle.
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Old 08-23-05, 09:25 AM   #24
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http://www.greenway.org/

20% down, 80% to go! I wonder if it will be done in my lifetime.
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Old 08-23-05, 09:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite
It would be great....but I don't see this being any kind of reality anytime soon.

There are two huge limiting factors:
1. This country is too big, physically. It's just a HUGE undertaking.
2. Cycling, unfortunately, is not popular enough here like it is in Europe and the rest of the world. There wouldn't be enough support and not enough businesses to cater to it. You would end up with probably HUGE stretches void of any kind of business or people - you get into trouble you are on your own. Might even end up with muggers and such casing the trail for solo cyclist.
As far as point 3, they'd have to put in those emergency phones along the route and markers along the length of the trail. In the event of an emergency, you'd get to the nearest phone and that phone would be connected to the nearest police department. Since they are phones for emergencies, the police should have a procedure for responding to calls in the event someone gets to a phone but cannot speak or is disoriented.

We'd have problems additionally with trail maintenance, cleaning, bathroom installations, etc. That would need to be worked out.

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