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  1. #1
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    route planning for longer distances, how do you deal with it.

    First, this is one of my not really a question threads, just something that comes up when living a car free lifestyle.
    For those of us who live in the sticks, there are no train or bus options. So to get a mere 80 miles over to the next city can be a little problematic.
    Since this is not touring, just getting to a place on the best roads available is the goal.
    Minimal kit, just a change of clothes for the party I am attending, will wear the same thing on the return the next day.

    My options include several bridges that are NOT bike friendly, loads of roads with virtually no shoulder and those damn rumble strips, lots of rolling hills. Some are less problematic than others, but significantly longer, while still having ridability issues. For what its worth, I live and will be riding through the Ozarks.
    Bike choices include fast road bike with 23mm tires, pavements only, or a slightly heavier road bike with 32mm tires that I can take on rural farm roads, in theory cutting some miles off the day. With two 90+ mile days the bike has to be a faster one, particularly as the days get shorter. So my utility rides are not really an option.

    Plan on taking a minimal camping kit, just bare bones survival emergency insulated bivy and tarp. You never know.

    This is an thing that comes up for me a bit, and I have never really read it on the LCF forums. Edit to add, I mean that most of the threads involve urban situations. Not really the issues that come up when you live in an area that's really out of the way.
    Last edited by shipwreck; 10-20-13 at 03:13 PM.

  2. #2
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    The closest big city to me is Omaha. Last time I was over there was 1998, so next-city travel.. not too often.

    Occasionally I'll go on camping trip and... yes... carry bags with tent, sleeping bag, etc.

    However, in recent years, I've become somewhat of a "locavore". I rarely go outside a 15 mile radius from my house. My life seems pretty busy inside that zone and I'm pretty content with it.

    Omaha doesn't really beckon.

  3. #3
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Not many other cities close to Little Rock. So my inter-city travel has been by bus, plane or car. However, I have heard that Memphis bicycle advocates have been working on making the Harahan Bridge safe for bicycling across the Mississippi River. When that happens, it seems like it would be a great ride to stretch oneself, since it's about 140 miles away, mostly flat with only Crowley's Ridge having many hills.




    Other than that, plans have just been announced for the Southwest Trail to go between Little Rock and Hot Springs, a distance of about 60 miles. Hot Springs isn't that large of a city, but it's a fun place and the oldest federal reserve in the country. Essentially, it was the first National Park.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 10-20-13 at 03:39 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Omaha doesn't really beckon.
    I think most people would agree with that statement.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    23 isn't something I'd want to ride on back county roads. 28 is rough enough.

  6. #6
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Artkansas
    i have ridden to little rock a couple times, it is not that bad a ride but takes two days crossing the buffalo. Only once did I make it in one day back to eureka. My friends who I was visiting at the time realized what a mistake living in little rock was for them so have moved, Sarasota is a bit to far to go by bike casually.
    I really don't miss crossing the bridge at lake Dardanelle, rode there through fort smith and usually just took 65 home the whole way. Went through boxley canyon once and that was enough!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    Pack as light as you can & take the bike that is most comfortable, the one that can get you there in the best shape. Send your clothes in the mail.

  8. #8
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
    Pack as light as you can & take the bike that is most comfortable, the one that can get you there in the best shape. Send your clothes in the mail.
    First, congrats on being one of the first posters I have read in a while who can spell clothes.

    This is for a one night party, when I am staying for a few days I will mail stuff, but otherwise a pair of backpacking pants and shirt are only 14 ounces. This is a Halloween party though, so you have an idea there for any costume.

  9. #9
    Pedalin' Erry Day lasauge's Avatar
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    I treat visits to friends who live reasonably far away like very light tours, I plan to stay over for a night and right back the next day. In fair weather a change of clothes can be rolled up inside a jacket and strapped to the handlebars, and the usual equipment for riding can go in a small saddlebag, so I don't even need a rack installed for that kind of riding. Route planning I do by asking the friends for advice, and I will look over my route on google maps or similar and jot down a simple cue sheet and road map that I can navigate by. If I didn't live along the Front Range of Colorado where you you can always figure out the cardinal directions based off the geography, I would carry a compass too.

  10. #10
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
    Artkansas
    i have ridden to little rock a couple times, it is not that bad a ride but takes two days crossing the buffalo. Only once did I make it in one day back to eureka. My friends who I was visiting at the time realized what a mistake living in little rock was for them so have moved, Sarasota is a bit to far to go by bike casually.
    I really don't miss crossing the bridge at lake Dardanelle, rode there through fort smith and usually just took 65 home the whole way. Went through boxley canyon once and that was enough!
    I've never ridden in that part of Arkansas. I've ridden in Little Rock and got my start riding in Sarasota, but never between them.

    Have you ever joined in the BRAA? Bicycle Ride Around Arkansas? Have you contacted the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks? They are out of Fayetteville.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 10-20-13 at 07:05 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I've never ridden in that part of Arkansas. I've ridden in Little Rock and got my start riding in Sarasota, but never between them.

    Have you ever joined in the BRAA? Bicycle Ride Around Arkansas? Have you contacted the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks? They are out of Fayetteville.
    The BRAA always falls on a date that I have something happening. Possibly someday. Might try for it this spring.
    BCO does not really interest me. I was a member but let it lapse.
    Last edited by shipwreck; 10-20-13 at 08:40 PM.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I try to deal with the longer distances in smaller chunks.

    In other words, on one weekend I'll head out one way and check out various roads. On another weekend, I'll try another route. And so on.

    Then when it comes time for the real thing, I'll have a reasonable idea of how to handle the first half of the ride ... and hopefully the second half will flow from there.



    I'm doing a bit of that now ... moved to a new place relatively recently so a lot of my rides involve riding up a road, deciding I don't really like it and trying the next one until I find a route I feel comfortable with.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    And ... I buy detailed maps. I've just picked up three 1:25,000 topographical maps and two 1:250,000 maps of various areas around here. I've got my eye on an even more detailed street map as well.

    I don't need to refer to the maps all the time as I ride, but they can be very helpful prior to the ride to plot a route, and they can be useful mid-ride when you get yourself into a place you're uncertain about.

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