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  1. #1
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Bike Route #1 in Virginia - from NC line to Ashland

    Anyone know of a cue sheet or a useful map? (That excuse for a map thing that VA gummit puts out does not count.)

    I think I can follow the signs fromt the NC line to the Petersburg area, but missing a sign on / off Genito Rd once one gets into the built-up, heavy traffic, 4-lanes (with turn lanes) would likely be a major nuisance I'd like to avoid.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kenseth03's Avatar
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    Contact Richmond Area Bicycling Association www.raba.org/ There are some of the best riders there that central Virginia has to offer. They may be able to help you. I live basically in Ashland. Very nice town. Enjoy!!!!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    I second kenseth's idea, Raba is a good place to get info. If possible, try to include some of the Washington-Rochambeau route as it is very nice riding. It is included on the Ashland Bike Festival event in September. I will miss it this year unfortunately.

  4. #4
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/usbike.htm#usbike1

    I found a site thru Google once that had .GPX data for Bike Rte. 76 (which crosses 1 near Ashland, VA); not sure if the same exists for Rt. 1.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    I found a site a couple years ago that had a classic cue sheet with turn-by-turn directions from the NC border to either Richmond or the north edge of Virginia (I forget which), but I cannot find it now.

    ".GPX" data is of little use to ludites.

    Thanks for the link even though I have yet to figure the "instructions". At first glance, it appears to be suggesting riding ON I-64 & I-95, which is a no-no in Virginia.

    The other interesting thing is the reliance on VA "local SR #'s", which change at the drop of a hat, whereas most of the distance from the NC border to Genito Rd (where it approaches Petersburg) only uses about 6 different "names" for the roads used. The "named" parts sometimes seem to become the minor split of a fork, but the "name" stays the same. As noted, the "local SR #'s" change at about every blade of grass.

    Thanks for the link. This is the most info I've found so far.

    Oh, I wouldn't have even posted in the first place if RABA had responded to an e-mail.

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    I ride alot in central Virginia, and I've not noticed the problem with the SR roads. They have all been very clearly marked. I have not ridden south of Petersburg, however.

  7. #7
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    I guess that it is a good cue for most of the route, but don't use it for the north end of the state. It's in serious need of revision. Even the red letter warnings are out dated. Above Quantico I'd consider many parts of their route as hazardous and un-bikeable. There are much safer alternate routes that run approximately parallel to the one they give.

  8. #8
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    I ride on a lot of those SR's around central VA and haven't noticed any of them changing, at least not in the 9 years I've lived around here.

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    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Y'all are misunderstanding the comment about the SR changing at the drop of a hat.

    I am NOT suggesting that VA-DOT goes out and changes the "designation" of a particlar stretch of road.

    I am saying that a road, with a single "name", has several (or many) SR designations along its continuous path.

    E.g., look at a google-earth or similar electronic map. Follow Genito Rd from west of Petersburg until it finally peters out a score or two miles later in south-central Virginia. One name. How many SR "designations"?

  10. #10
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider View Post
    I guess that it is a good cue for most of the route, but don't use it for the north end of the state. It's in serious need of revision. Even the red letter warnings are out dated. Above Quantico I'd consider many parts of their route as hazardous and un-bikeable. There are much safer alternate routes that run approximately parallel to the one they give.
    I used to live in Fredericksburg -- about 7 / 8 years ago, and worked in DC. I wouldn't have been likely to ride from F'burg to the District then, and not now, either.

    Luckily, I am thinking to ride from Raleigh to Ashland, and take the train back. (Though now, the prospective ride partner has been making comments about starting @ DC, riding toward Charlottesville, and on to Raleigh.)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hey, "va_cyclist", the tag below your handle indicates you live in Ashland. Got any suggestions on getting from Ashland to Genito Rd / VA Bike Route # 1 (or reverse direction), that won't make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end?
    Last edited by skiffrun; 07-30-09 at 09:42 AM.

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    On our rides, we go by SR on our cue sheets. Names are not that important, at least in the rural areas. Never been on Genito, though. Best of luck on your ride; it sounds like a good one.

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    I live near Bike Route 1 in Chesterfield county. It's actually pretty well marked through here, and it generally avoids the really high traffic areas. From Genito you'll turn left (north) onto Charter Colony. It's a divided four lanes (it ultimately narrows to two lanes), but it's pretty wide, mostly residential, the traffic isn't horrible, and there's (sort of) a bike lane for most of it. When you get to Midlothian High School, you'll turn left (and then a quick right) into Le Gordon (there's a big Kroger supermarket on your left after a quarter mile or so if you need to pick up some snacks). Then you cross Midlothian Turnpike (60) and head north on Winterfield, and then turn right onto Salisbury. This is all residential. When Salisbury hits Robious Rd, BR1 is a right turn onto Robious. I usually turn left here to head out into the countryside, but I think BR1 turns (from Robious) left onto Old *** and then follows Cherokee along the James River until you get to a bridge that takes you into Richmond. This is all residential, too.

    So aside from negotiating a few left turns and stoplights, this stretch is pretty bike friendly.

  13. #13
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    On our rides, we go by SR on our cue sheets. Names are not that important, at least in the rural areas. . . . .
    I do the opposite. Because in NC, the 4-digit SR numbers are likely to change several times as one rides a "straight" line on a single road within a single county, so the SR-xxxx gets annoyingly confusing. And because on on the green signs at the intersections, the names are in large enough print to read from 20 or 30 yards, whereas the the teeny-tiny print of the SR-xxxx can only be seen from within a few yards, or less.

    Virginia does have the 3-digit road designations, which are not quite as crazy as the 4-digit designations in NC or VA.

  14. #14
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithsb View Post
    I live near Bike Route 1 in Chesterfield county. It's actually pretty well marked through here, and it generally avoids the really high traffic areas. From Genito you'll turn left (north) onto Charter Colony. . . . and then follows Cherokee along the James River until you get to a bridge that takes you into Richmond. This is all residential, too.

    So aside from negotiating a few left turns and stoplights, this stretch is pretty bike friendly.
    Thanks. I can figure that stretch out with your advice. Now, all I have to do, is confirm a way to get from Richmond to Ashland. Or, instead of staying on BR #1, figure a less populated route from west of Petersburg up to Ashland.

    While the concept was to ride BR #1, that was just an idea. We'd have no qualms about routing around metro Richmond. After all, I wouldn't recommend anyone ride NC BR #1 "through" Raleigh. It can still sort-of be done; but BR #1 was originally routed to go between Raleigh and the airport, on mostly empty roads, and continue on to tiny towns just southeast of Research Triangle Park.

    Now, there is no between and the tiny towns are MUCH bigger -- think Petersburg. Oh, and because there has been / still is so much destruction / construction with new roads, moving old roads, new housing developments, new shopping centers, etc., etc., good luck finding a single sign for over 30 miles. (From Raleigh to the NC / VA border, I think only one sign is missing -- and it is only noticeable if one is southbound. I know that the signage on the VA side of the border for "some" distance is very good -- well, there's a sign at every turn and most "major" intersections; but there may be long sections between cross-roads where one might begin to doubt whether one was still on the route.)

  15. #15
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    Good luck with your trip. Keep in mind that my description of the Old *** and Cherokee stretch is an assumption. I never go in that direction, and don't typically drive on those roads--but it's the most logical way to avoid the traffic on Huguenot road.

    Andy Thompson at the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote an article on the stretch through Richmond several years ago. It used to be online, but the link at vabike.org is broken. As I recall, he had good things to say about the route. You should be able to find his e-mail address at the RTD web site.

  16. #16
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    I grew up in Durham, and rode my bike all over southern Durham and Wake Counties. Not anymore.

    The RABA website has the cue sheet from Laurel Park to Ashland. Unfortunately, they don't have a cue sheet TO Laurel Park.

  17. #17
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    Hey, "va_cyclist", the tag below your handle indicates you live in Ashland. Got any suggestions on getting from Ashland to Genito Rd / VA Bike Route # 1 (or reverse direction), that won't make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end?
    There are multiple Genito Roads. I ride on one out in Goochland Cty., but that's just a short connector. You probably mean the one down in Chesterfield Cty. that runs east-west from Hull St. out toward Farmville.

    Your main problem is getting across the James River -- most of the main routes are just too busy unless you go really far out of town. I'd probably aim for the Huguenot Bridge across the river, something like this. The worst parts will probably be the downtown bridge, and getting across Broad Street (250).

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...,0.308647&z=12

  18. #18
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiffrun View Post
    I used to live in Fredericksburg -- about 7 / 8 years ago, and worked in DC. I wouldn't have been likely to ride from F'burg to the District then, and not now, either.
    .....
    DC to Fredricksburg isn't a bad ride. I've ridden all but the last 15 or so miles to Falmouth. There are good, low traffic roads most of the way, just not the ones on the US Bike 1 cue.

    US Bike 1 is too focused on sending people down the GW Parkway. Until they reopen the side gate to Fort Belvoir, it's not going to be a bike friendly route.
    And I don't know why they still insist on using Minnieville Road, which has turned in to a major highway, when Lucasville is a much safer and more pleasant alternative (even if the route is a few miles longer).

  19. #19
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Here's another alternative to getting across the James River. The Boulevard bridge is less heavily-traveled than the Huguenot, but it dumps you into an area on the southside that's difficult to ride out of without taking major major roads (you want to avoid Midlothian Tpke.).

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...,0.441513&z=11
    Last edited by va_cyclist; 07-31-09 at 07:56 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider View Post
    . . . . And I don't know why they still insist on using Minnieville Road, which has turned in to a major highway, when Lucasville is a much safer and more pleasant alternative (even if the route is a few miles longer).
    Probably the same reason I think BR #1 in North Carolina is on some of the roads it was first "put" on 30 + years ago. Despite bicycle "award winning" DOT, they seem to have an attitude, whether intended or not, that goes something like "hey, we dealt with the routings once, why should they EVER need to be revisited?"
    Last edited by skiffrun; 08-18-09 at 07:00 PM.

  21. #21
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    The entire length of US1 is mapped on opencyclemap (http://www.opencyclemap.org/) along with a bunch of official bike routes. Nearly all of the NCDOT bike routes are mapped here. I don't know if it is possible to get cue sheets from this site.

    This is part of the openstreetmap project which is a wikipedia like project to map the world. One of its strengths compared to a site like google maps is that it has many bike paths on the site. Furthermore, if they are not there, it is reasonably easy to add them.

  22. #22
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    Part of the section the OP asked about is incorrect on this map. The section of BR1 indicated as Coalfield Rd south of Midlothian turnpike in Chesterfield Co., VA actually follows Charter Colony (parallel to the west). Coalfield doesn't cross under 288--it ends in dead ends on either side of it.

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    Thanks for the note. I have changed the map and the new path should show up sometime this week when the map is rerendered.

  24. #24
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigah View Post
    Thanks for the note. I have changed the map and the new path should show up sometime this week when the map is rerendered.
    The map is yours?
    Here's the route I've been recommending. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3108361
    It doesn't follow BR1 until it joins at Aden, near Quantico. Uses W&OD instead of the Mount Vernon Trail, which is nice but not as spectacular, but if avoids Fort Belvoir, route 1 and Minnieville. Someone I gave the route to rode it a couple of months ago as was very pleased.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigah View Post
    Thanks for the note. I have changed the map and the new path should show up sometime this week when the map is rerendered.
    Isn't modern technology wonderful?

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