Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 39
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    My Bikes
    several custom 3 speed internal hub raod bikes, a fixie in progress, and a touring road bike.
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Secret Paths- does getting out of the cage increase your options?

    I've had some discussion, in threads and PMs, about the secret paths people tend to discover once they ditch the car and get out on bikes more.

    We discovered that the herndon/reston area of virginia has a level of bike access via multi use paths, rail trails, and greenbelts that rivals a well designed freeway system.

    We actually got started in this not by biking, but by geocaching and walking. Davis had some excellent multi use pathways that my then girlfriend (now wife) and I used to wander for fun, and geocaching took us to some fun places you can't get to by car. And I've always been an urban wanderer, walking around in europe and finding the secret ways to get from here to there.

    What's your best shortcut? secret route? How do you research new areas when things like googlemaps and mapquest don't show the bike routes?
    looking for the one true bike.

  2. #2
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My city is cut in half by a busy rail freight track. The main crossings are bike unfriendly arterials. I use a mostly forgotten pedestrian underpass that crosses into a low traffic residential area. I found out about it by asking a local railroad hobbyist if he knew about any alternate crossings.

    Pedestrian bridges over creeks are very useful here. I don't know of any way to find them except to explore for them in person.

  3. #3
    bragi bragi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    2,830
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The county I live in publishes a bike route map, which is available for free at any local bike shop. It includes color-coded bike paths, arterials with bike lanes, and regular streets commonly used by cyclists. I've found it to be very useful, even though it hasn't been updated in about 7 years. Maybe your city has something similar.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    My Bikes
    several custom 3 speed internal hub raod bikes, a fixie in progress, and a touring road bike.
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Davis has a decent bike map, and there's a regional one that shows bike lanes/routes through farm country, but...

    The Davis bike map misses some of the multi use greenbelt stuff, doesn't list all the crossings (we have a series of walk/bikeways connecting dead end culdesacs, for example), and I think it's about 5 years out of date.....

    I know in Herndon there was nothing besides B&O trail guides which didn't show much, and in Venice/Santa Monica we mostly had to learn by doing. EVERYTHING there is done with car assumptions, even tourist walking guides
    looking for the one true bike.

  5. #5
    Senor Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    464
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have found some nice ones right in my area, probably about 10kms worth just a few minutes walk from my apartment, which I would never found if I got around by car. My father in law who has been living here most of his life does not know about all the nice tralis that I have found. Some of them are old rail beds that go through the forest, and off of the main trails there are a lot of other small trails. I have been checking them out for the last year or so, and I still have not been on them all. There is a nice one that goes along one of the drains, and the only time you can cross is in the winter when it is frozen over. I checked it out on my x-country skis the other day, it was really a nice time, and there are never many signs of humans that far out.

  6. #6
    Instigator at best kjohnnytarr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Columbia, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Jury
    Posts
    1,086
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, I love a city with good bike trails. Fairfax VA has great ones, IMO.

    Around here, I ride along campus sidewalks, railroad beds, along creeks (for some reason, the city has made walkways that make it easy to follow creeks where they go under the road) and even in storm drains!

    Pretty much anything horizontal is a good bike path.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshFrank View Post
    (By icing I mean puke and by cake I mean Lexus)
    Bikes: Flannigan, Finn Mac, Tim Finnegan, Nicholai Ivanich
    Words: Going Underground, Pedicabs After Dark, Thanksgiving Via The KATY Trail

  7. #7
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    4,165
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Christof H
    How do you research new areas when things like googlemaps and mapquest don't show the bike routes?
    Bike maps + satellite view in Google Maps. I really love my Google maps and their mashups that allow you to chart and measure your own routes. I wish they were around when I was planning my first bike tours.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Davis CA
    My Bikes
    Surly Cross-Check, '85 Giant road bike (unrecogizable fixed-gear conversion
    Posts
    3,954
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Speaking of Davis, when I tell people I commute from Davis to West Sac, half the time they ask "how do you get across the causeway?" Little do they know that 10 feet from the freeway separated by a concrete barrier and a chainlink fence is a nice bike path that parallells the freeway. You just miss so much from a car.

  9. #9
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    My Bikes
    TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)
    Posts
    10,527
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Messengers have used laneways and alleys to slice across cities for ages. Biking offers up a whole system of new routes. Even more so if your willing to ride stairs, in between office towers.

  10. #10
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Des Moines
    My Bikes
    1974 Huffy 3 speed
    Posts
    9,084
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cephy
    Bike maps + satellite view in Google Maps. I really love my Google maps and their mashups that allow you to chart and measure your own routes. I wish they were around when I was planning my first bike tours.
    +1 Google maps. Just switch to the satellite mode and you get to see routes not on the map. These maps can also be useful when navigating city streets since they give a clear view of residential streets that could help you avoid car traffic.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Crystal MN
    Posts
    2,147
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gerv
    +1 Google maps. Just switch to the satellite mode and you get to see routes not on the map. These maps can also be useful when navigating city streets since they give a clear view of residential streets that could help you avoid car traffic.

    +1
    Yea I use them to find crosswalks and stoplights. I can also use them to go hiking.
    Ohh yea a free for all. Cars would see them as to slow or not big enough.
    My Youtube Cycling Videos Here

  12. #12
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Dallas Suburbpopolis
    Posts
    1,481
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i like exploring the town & wandering around
    my commute has evolved over the years with a few options available to me to keep it fresh.
    It's about the journey, not the destination.... ( yeah right)
    but the journey is fun!
    beer-bottle target

  13. #13
    Enjoy
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Seattle metro
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    6,167
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Around here, most any road that says NO OUTLET, has a way to get to the next street over. These streets are usually short and through-traffic stays out.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    My Bikes
    several custom 3 speed internal hub raod bikes, a fixie in progress, and a touring road bike.
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    Speaking of Davis, when I tell people I commute from Davis to West Sac, half the time they ask "how do you get across the causeway?" Little do they know that 10 feet from the freeway separated by a concrete barrier and a chainlink fence is a nice bike path that parallells the freeway. You just miss so much from a car.

    And you GOTTA know bike RV (human powered housing) dude. I've known him a while, but seen his RV on the causeway bike path a few times.
    looking for the one true bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    My Bikes
    several custom 3 speed internal hub raod bikes, a fixie in progress, and a touring road bike.
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Google maps seems to work sometimes and not others. Like with the herndon area we used to live in, some areas have so much canopy you can't tell....
    looking for the one true bike.

  16. #16
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Davis CA
    My Bikes
    Surly Cross-Check, '85 Giant road bike (unrecogizable fixed-gear conversion
    Posts
    3,954
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Christof H
    And you GOTTA know bike RV (human powered housing) dude. I've known him a while, but seen his RV on the causeway bike path a few times.
    Are you talking about the guy who had the bike with a bed in it? I've seen him around town a few times. There are a couple of homeless guys who live on the causeway, one has a trailer setup made from a dog carrier, but it's no RV.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    northern California
    My Bikes
    Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
    Posts
    5,605
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have learned that when older areas are developed or re-developed the older routes, foot, bike, RR, horses, even planes, are rarey completely erased. If only for the cost of acquiring right-of-way and removal. So when I visit a new area I look at a map for evidence of roads that seen to end in the middle of no-where or go at an angle to other roads. Frequently peds and bikes can make it through to a newer road while cars are stuck. Also along the borders of different developements separated by long, high walls there are access paths built for school kids so parents do not have to drive miles to get kids to schools. These are not advertised and commonly only locals know about them. Topographic maps are good for giving leads to sneaky back door routes.
    This space open

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    My Bikes
    several custom 3 speed internal hub raod bikes, a fixie in progress, and a touring road bike.
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    Are you talking about the guy who had the bike with a bed in it? I've seen him around town a few times. There are a couple of homeless guys who live on the causeway, one has a trailer setup made from a dog carrier, but it's no RV.

    I can't remember his name, though I've talked to him off and on for years. Often parks by the Co Op, has a big blue custom built bike that is a sort of minimalist RV in the back. Pretty fun to see. It's definitely his house.
    looking for the one true bike.

  19. #19
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,454
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had to laugh when I read the title to this thread. I actually call one of my alternate routes "the secret path." It's a short dirt and rock trail through a woods at the back of a park, then through a deserted railroad siding and a small factory loading zone and parking lot. It saves about a half mile on my commute to work. I found it by exploring on my own, then looking on Google Maps for some ideas.

    I have many routes that I use to get to different parts of the city. My criteria are that they be scenic, low-stress, faster and/or shorter routes. My inspiration is little kids. They are always exploring for new routes that nobody knows about. Just keep looking "farther and deeper" and you'll find some great short couts.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,454
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you want to share your routes, use Bikely.com. It's an app for Google Maps, and the best one I've found.

    Click here if you want to see one of my "secret" routes. It's a commuting route from Lansing to East Lansing. See that it goes on side streets, beautiful paved trails, farm fields and a university campus. It's just as fast as the route most most people take--which goes on heavily traficked city streets.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  21. #21
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The weather looks like it's going to be nice this afternoon and the next few days. I'm going to start scouting a bike route from my place to Round Rock, which is a north side suburb of Austin. This should be an interesting challenge. Between here and there, the terrain is all sliced up by barriers such as expressways, tollways, creeks and railroad tracks.

    Just before Christmas last year I scouted out and posted a bike route from Austin to Taylor (an east side suburb). It took a few days and it was a fun project.
    http://bikeculture.austinyellowbike....tercity_Routes

  22. #22
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I got back from the scouting ride. I found a route that's good enough. It's not as direct as I'd like but maybe I can improve it with a few tweaks. It'll probably be around 22 miles round trip. I rode 36 miles checking some possible short cuts that just didn't work out. I found what looks like a well used but clearly illegal railroad track crossing that shortens the route. I'll just keep that one under my hat.

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,454
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Platy
    I got back from the scouting ride. I found a route that's good enough. It's not as direct as I'd like but maybe I can improve it with a few tweaks. It'll probably be around 22 miles round trip. I rode 36 miles checking some possible short cuts that just didn't work out. I found what looks like a well used but clearly illegal railroad track crossing that shortens the route. I'll just keep that one under my hat.
    I carry my bike across RR tracks at a couple different places. I have seen people get arrested for RR Trespass. In some cities/counties the penalty is greater than for regular trespass, so be careful. Also, make sure you have a very long sight distance anywhere you cross a track. Quite a few people get squashed.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #24
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Roger that, Roody. I intend to post that route for the public, so I can't recommend anything dangerous or illegal.

    I got a digital voice memo recorder from the local drugstore yesterday. I'm using it while I scout to note turns, landmarks, road conditions and so forth.

    The Austin to Round Rock route was too easy to figure out. I'm trying to extend it to Georgetown, the next suburb up the road.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Davis, CA
    My Bikes
    several custom 3 speed internal hub raod bikes, a fixie in progress, and a touring road bike.
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I carry my bike across RR tracks at a couple different places. I have seen people get arrested for RR Trespass. In some cities/counties the penalty is greater than for regular trespass, so be careful. Also, make sure you have a very long sight distance anywhere you cross a track. Quite a few people get squashed.

    Here in Davis, there are basically 5 crossings for the main UP east/west line, of those one is waaay out of the way and takes you from a seperate bike path to a dodgy bike route for a mile, one requires a pretty major climb and merge to the easternmost davis exit (mace) which can be a cast iron ***** in traffic. The Third is a pedestrian overpass over 80 and the railroad line, but it takes you from 2 blocks south of 80 to 3 blocks NORTH of the tracks, bypassing 2nd street. the last two center on the western portion of olive drive and are fine if they aren't out of your way. a LOT of people, peds and bikes, cross the tracks on east olive.

    Other places I've lived, it's been a matter of miles to use an illegal crossing, which is a big deal if you aren't in a car. Davis is pretty decent overall about making crossing points.
    looking for the one true bike.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •