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Old 05-08-06, 03:35 PM   #1
theritor
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is it safe?

hi all of you. i was wondering if anyone from this area of BF could tell me if riding on a stae highway is a bad or not. to give you a description, its highway 150 running alongside interstate 74 between bloomington il and champaign.
im planning on ridding between the cities fairly often, about twice a month, and i found out it doesnt have a shoulder, at least part of it. the road is also fairly busy.
my question is, does anyone have experience riding in this kind of road or is it the kind to avoid? should i use all i can to be visible? does it even help in daylight?
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Old 05-08-06, 07:39 PM   #2
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I know this very road. I live in Normal. I have the bike maps put out by the Illinois Department of Transportation and they have the majority of route 150 rated as "Not recommended for bicycling". You can order the maps free of charge here.
or just view the maps online.
Map of Region 3 (Bloomington)
Map of Region 5 (Champaign)
Pick a Regional Map (Statewide)

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Old 05-09-06, 11:38 AM   #3
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witte, is there a good way to get to champaign by bike?
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Old 05-09-06, 12:13 PM   #4
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You can get anywhere by bike . I used my IDOT Bike maps to do a route on Gmaps Pedometer. I saved it and here is the link for the route......
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=172865.

If that link doesn't work let me know and I'll try it again. You ought to order the maps. They are nice to have for day rides in the country or longer multiple day tours anywhere in Illinois. Plus they are free.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:27 PM   #5
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That short quarter mile on 150 is the only stretch marked on the IDOT map with red (not recommended), but that is because there is no paved shoulder and occassionaly high traffic levels. Depending on when you ride it, there may very well be little traffic. I took some of this route to go on an overnight to Clinton lake and 150 was dead at the time I got there (10am or so), plus it's only a quarter mile. I can't really say anything about any part of this route west of that point as I haven't been on it. I'm just going by what the IDOT maps say. Obviously your experience and comfort level will play a part in what route you take, which is why you should really order the free maps yourself. When I ordered them, they arrived in less than a week.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:32 PM   #6
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Could you walk the 400 yards on grass or something if you got caught. I crossed some bridges into Montreal that were definetly not recomended for foot or bike traffic, had to walk on a very narrow curb, but I didn't feel I was endangering the motorists, and they certainly weren't a hazard to me unless they left raod.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:38 PM   #7
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There was a gravel and grass "shoulder" on that stretch that was about three or four foot wide - possibly more. I've only been on it once and it was over a week ago so my memory isn't exact. I was a bit unsure of this stretch when looking at the map, but when I got there, I remember thinking that the "shoulder" made this a viable route for crossing 150.
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Old 05-09-06, 01:55 PM   #8
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If it is a busy road, or a four lane road with no shoulder, particularly the latter, you're shooting craps with death, IMHO.
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Old 05-09-06, 02:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoborracho
If it is a busy road, or a four lane road with no shoulder, particularly the latter, you're shooting craps with death, IMHO.
This road is a two lane road in flat farm country that is only busy for the morning and evening commutes. Since this road follows closely to I-74, most drivers take the interstate. I rode that stretch around 10AM on a weekday and did not encounter a single motorized vehicle in either direction. I had a mirror and if a vehicle approached I could have easily gotten off the road with plenty of time to spare. Or, if the traffic is steady, you could walk your bike along in the grass and it will maybe take ten minutes.
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Old 05-09-06, 04:52 PM   #10
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yeah ive already put an order in for those maps. those will help a lot. thanks!
the time i would be riding is during the evening hours of fridays, starting about 6ish. so i dont think that would be the best time to spend 3 hours riding on that road. i just figured that since its the most direct path i would take it but looks like ill be riding the country roads instead. how much time did the ride take you, the google maps path?
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Old 05-09-06, 05:19 PM   #11
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I left Clinton Lake around 8:10 AM and got back to the constitution trail before 11 AM. A little more than 40 miles for the whole trip with a few breaks for photos.
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