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Old 04-14-16, 08:08 AM   #1
Randy19064
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Traveling Route 1

Hello all;
I am new at this so I apologize in advance for any mistakes...
I am planning a road trip cycling the East Coast in Spring/Summer of 2018. Seemed like a good way to celebrate turning 60. I have been looking at the Atlantic Coast route and the East coast Greenway routeing. But I was wondering about following US Route 1. I would be very grateful for any feedback about traveling this particular route both good and bad. I am not so much interested it the sight seeing aspect as much as doing it just for the sake of making the cycle trip.As I said I would be grateful for any info offered....Thanks in advance
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Old 04-14-16, 08:40 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum!
I don't know about other parts of US 1, but I wouldn't ride it in CT. While it does go through some beautiful historic communities, for the most part it is commercial and not particularly attractive. It is also not particularly bike friendly either. Since you have quite a bit of time to prepare, I would suggest driving parts of it, or at the very least, study your route with google maps in satellite mode.
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Old 04-14-16, 09:02 AM   #3
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Route 1 would be awful for a bike tour. In the mid-Atlantic area, it generally has heavy traffic and the scenery is a concentration of decaying strip malls.
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Old 04-14-16, 09:26 AM   #4
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In Florida... there are stretches of US1 north of Vero Beach up to FL/GA border that are not "commercialized", i.e. strip mall mania, so it would be a decent ride. Even though you say scenery isn't a priority, US1 runs parallel to the Indian River, so great scenic riding in the mornings with sunrises. Only downfall is that it is 55 mph in large stretches. I have seen lots of tourers on US 1 in my neck of the woods (east central FL), so people do it.
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Old 04-14-16, 09:30 AM   #5
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For most of it's length, route 1 is a heavily traveled truck and auto route running through the commercial centers of the towns it runs through. If I had to name the poorest choice for a bicycle route, route 1 might take the prize.
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Old 04-14-16, 09:31 AM   #6
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I came down from New Brunswick Province & picked up US 1 At the Maine border , but I was Hitch Hiking and It was the late 70's
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Old 04-14-16, 09:32 AM   #7
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Forget it. You'd likely be road kill in many places. Just the other day a motorist plunged off U.S. 1 in Philly and ended up dead in the river. There are frequent vehicle and pedestrian accidents. People drive like maniacs. In Central NJ (e.g., the Princeton area), U.S. 1 is incredible busy. It also crosses the Conowingo Dam across the Susquehanna River. Tow narrow lanes with no shoulder or walkway. It can be done on the right day at the right time, but it's not worth it to me.

BTW...In PA and DE, the ECG is more a theory that a reality. There is very little off rood mileage, and much of the road mileage is not very nice. For example, south of Philly, it uses PA 291, which is called Industrial Highway. That ought to tell you something.

Of the three options you have mentioned, I would stick to the ACA Atlantic Coast route.
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Old 04-14-16, 10:21 AM   #8
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Thanks. I'm familiar with your area. 25 years driving a truck in north east. Seems to me I have been stuck up there on the wrong side of the "tracks" literally.Anyway. yes I'm leaving from Phila. area. and I plan on making a scout trip hopefully this summer. Didn't think of the google maps idea though..thank you..all help is much appreciated...
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Old 04-14-16, 10:23 AM   #9
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and that's why I was wondering why I have never heard of anyone doing it. Thanks for the heads up...
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Old 04-14-16, 10:27 AM   #10
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You should look at US Bike Route 1, that might be a bit safer.

https://www.adventurecycling.org/rou...teractive-map/
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Old 04-14-16, 10:28 AM   #11
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I agree with you about 1 in the North East. My starting point is just south of Phila. You are also correct about ECG around here its mostly trail. Hoping to take some time this summer and scout it out farther south. Once below Richmond it's not as bad as it is here.Thats why I have started working on this well in advance....Thank you for the info..
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Old 04-14-16, 10:32 AM   #12
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It turns up on both ECGW and Atlantic coast route when in your neck of the woods. That's kinda what started me thinking about it as an option. Starting point is just outside of Phila here it's not as nice. Still have plenty of time to wortk on it. Thanks..
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Old 04-14-16, 10:33 AM   #13
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Adventure cycling Atlantic coast route is how this whole adventure started..just started wondering about options...Thank you
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Old 04-14-16, 03:06 PM   #14
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Rode both Trenton-Newark(before jumping up to Bear Mtn) and then again Providence up to Brunswick, ME. Yes plenty of traffic, but I survived it.

It comes down to what YOU want to do, not what everyone else thinks you should do. Can it be ridden. ABSOLUTELY, and it can be done safely. I would agree timing is quite important in several areas, namely just north of you. Weekends would be best through NJ. I did it on a Sunday. I could only imagine the amount of traffic through NJ on US1 on a weekday. Boston is the same way. I did ride it on a weekday heading north out of town 4-5PM time frame and still felt fine other than the one goof I made of trying to merge back onto US1 from the left instead of from the right. BAD goof on my part. Hopefully that is a lesson I won't repeat again.
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Old 04-14-16, 04:02 PM   #15
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....
.... Can it be ridden. ABSOLUTELY, and it can be done safely. .....
The question isn't whether US-1 CAN be ridden. Of course it can, as you pointed out.

The question is whether it's a smart choice among the alternatives. US-1 runs through a very densely populated corridor (at least between Portland ME and Richmond, VA), and draws plenty of traffic. However that density means that there are plenty of close alternatives that will be more scenic and less crowded, and therefore make for a much more enjoyable ride.

I used to ride from NYC to Phila on a fairly regular basis, and would only use US-1 for a mile or two here and there, using various parallels on either side.

An easy and much nicer alternative is NJ-27 running from Elizabeth to Trenton, then there are plenty of options for continuing to Phila, such as old 13. NJ-27 doesn't add any miles and is basically a straight line a few miles west of US-1. There are others which add some miles including the Deleware and Raritan Canal trail.

Likewise south of Phila, and North of NYC, plenty of nice options, some of which are nice enough to be pleasure rides in their own right, even if it wasn't about getting from city to city. Riding from NYC to DC, we used NJ-27 and others to Phila, then rode west to Coatsville PA, and picked up an angle down to the Susquehanna River and on to Baltimore, and finally Paralleled US-1 to DC. The detour to Coatsville added some miles but they were pretty miles as was the stretch south to Baltimore, and had the added bonus of avoiding the miserable corridor between Phila and Wilmington.

So, CAN you ride US-1? Sure, but why on earth would anybody want to.
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Old 04-14-16, 04:14 PM   #16
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So, CAN you ride US-1? sure, but why on earth would anybody want to.
Welllllll......

I guess it depends on the situation you are in at the time when you are riding.

During my trip last summer I found myself on US301 down in South Carolina wishing I had traffic. It was 85-90 degrees out, no wind, no traffic(yes, a 4 lane divided highway with no traffic on it on Sunday 4th of July weekend...DEAD...and supposedly according to the women manning the rest stop just into Georgia there was more traffic than normal on the road that day). The problem was I was falling asleep at the handlebars at 11AM. Traffic like I saw on US1 in NJ or around Boston would have SWEET. It would have helped to keep me awake by giving me something else to do rather than just fall asleep at the handlebars.

I'll take traffic any day to not having traffic as it gives you something else to do than to look straight ahead at the road in front of you. That helps to keep you awake instead of putting you to sleep.

US1 in NJ and up north and south of Boston was much nicer than US301 by an extreme long shot.

Like I said, I guess it just depends on the situation you are in at the time in question as to whether you would like riding on US1 or absolutely hate it. For me most of the time I would much rather ride the interstate highways than ride the back roads.
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Old 04-14-16, 04:20 PM   #17
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....

I'll take traffic any day to not having traffic as it gives you something else to do than to look straight ahead at the road in front of you. That helps to keep you awake instead of putting you to sleep......
For my part, I've never felt at risk of falling asleep on a bicycle. There's too much to see as you ride, and the problem isn't lack of interest, but staying focused enough on the road.

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

So there's a clear choice for the OP and anyone riding up or down the eastern corridor. Readers can decide for themselves what they prefer, and who's point of view best reflects their own.
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Old 04-14-16, 04:33 PM   #18
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For my part, I've never felt at risk of falling asleep on a bicycle. There's too much to see as you ride, and the problem isn't lack of interest, but staying focused enough on the road.
But there is one more thing you aren't taking into account. No two people are alike. For me I know my mind is always active. I always have thoughts going through my mind all the time. When my mind drops quiet I know I have 10-15 minutes and I will quickly start falling asleep. I learnt that from doing overnight drives and I have seen the same exact thing occur while riding the bike even mid to late morning.

I know another person who always has a nice quiet mind and when his mind starts to get 'talkative' he is about to fall asleep.

So you are right...to each his own. One big thing is to know yourself and you respond to different stimuli or lack thereof.

Yep, one big thing every human being needs to learn is what makes them tick and what bores the living crap out of them. The things that bore the crap out you won't leave you interested and can quickly put you to sleep and that can have quite unpleasant consequences.
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Old 04-14-16, 04:35 PM   #19
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Well my intent is to head south. I'm planning on making the trip to Key West...Really don't like 1 heading north so I salute you for your courage..Thanks for the advise...
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Old 04-14-16, 04:40 PM   #20
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I am inclined to agree with you. I love to ride but I am not much for sight seeing I've done enough of that in my life. I very much enjoy the training that goes into a trip of this size and there is a certain sense of accomplishment that will be nothing like it.It's kinda like climbing a mountain because it's there...
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Old 04-14-16, 08:35 PM   #21
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Route 1 would be awful for a bike tour. In the mid-Atlantic area, it generally has heavy traffic and the scenery is a concentration of decaying strip malls.
In Maine it is horrendous. Never again.
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Old 04-14-16, 08:42 PM   #22
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It's kinda like climbing a mountain because it's there...
blue ridge parkway? it's there.
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Old 04-14-16, 09:58 PM   #23
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Well my intent is to head south. I'm planning on making the trip to Key West...Really don't like 1 heading north so I salute you for your courage..Thanks for the advise...

Depending on your goals and preferences you have a number of options, which I'll break down in to 3 rough categories.

1- parallel US-1, probably to it's west to avoid the densest congestion, working to Baltimore and DC, then swinging east of Richmond to the shore and running that to Florida.

2-Swing west out of Phila and out to Lancaster and York, then dropping into the Shenandoah Valley, and riding that south to Roanoke then over the mtn and it's downhill to Charlotte then smooth sailing south to Florida. This would be my first choice because it has the potential to be a great trip with nice rolling terrain except for a few serious climbs, especially coming back out of the Shenandoah Valley.

3- swing west starting out the same as the route above, except not as far, and working south to the east side of the Blue Ridge, through Frederick, MD, staying about 50 miles or so west of DC and running the east slopes of the Blue Ridge through Leesburg and on south through Lynchburg then on to Florida.

Obviously the devil will be in the details, but you can use resources like Google Maps, which also show the climbs,

Or you can jump on US-1 and ride with the traffic.
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Old 04-14-16, 10:01 PM   #24
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I live near Rt 1 so I've always wondered about the idea of a long-distance tour on it. A few years ago I read about a guy who biked from DC to Florida on Rt 1.: Definitely not for the faint of heart but OTOH could have it's attractions. A) you won't get lost & B) gives a real "slice of life" experience. Some sections are pretty scary with no shoulders but many areas quite tolerable & perhaps even safer than some of the more bucolic roads. Perhaps one could detour around the worst bits. I have a local ride that uses Rt 1 for a 3-mile 45 mph stretch: little/no shoulder & somewhat hilly but on the weekends drivers seem fairly polite.
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Old 04-14-16, 10:02 PM   #25
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In Maine it is horrendous. Never again.
I really miss the old Esso (Exxon) maps produced by Rand McNally. Besides being free, they told you at a glance which roads you didn't want to take. Riute 1 clearly marked in bright reds screamed out "not for you"
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