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  1. #1
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Help me Route my way across America via CA,AZ,UT,CO,KS,MO,IL,IN,OH,WV,MD,PA,NY,CT,NJ

    Hello folks,

    My big summer tour is coming up quick. I'll probably be out of here in 2-3 weeks. Some of you may already know about my tour which is located in the thread titled, "Can my MTB make it from the Pacific to the Atlantic." I think I am on schedule to begin the tour. I essentially have all the supplies I'll need. I'm only missing a few small items. My maps happen to be one of these items. I'm hoping this weekend I will be able to have it all planned and ready to print.

    I hope the mods don't mind me starting this thread seperate of my existing thread. I'll still post on that thread, but I feel many people are turned off by such a long thread. I'd like to get as many people looking at this thread as the topic is crucial to my tour. I'm hoping people that wouldn't read my original thread will read this and offer valuable insight.

    Anyways, here is the point of this thread. I'm going to be riding the RAAM route for the majority of the tour. There are a couple tricky spots I would like advice on though. First is that I am not starting my tour in Oceanside, CA. I'm starting from Phoenix, AZ, heading west to Laguna Beach, CA and then east to Connecticut, and finally south to NJ. So I need to plan a route outside of the RAAM route.

    I'll try and tackle the different sections one at a time.

    So, starting from Phoenix I'll make my way on to I-10 heading west to CA. I should be able to ride I-10 for most of AZ. I found this website that details bike accessible roads in AZ. http://www.azbikeped.org/images/map%...0(3-03-06).pdf It shows I-10 as permitting bikes on it once your're outside center city Phoenix. My first problem comes when I get to CA. I can't find a website such as that one which shows which roads are good for biking. Is it generally accepted that if an interstate road is still only two lanes in each direction that it's bike accessible? I would normally think so, but looking through google maps I see that it still has on and off ramps. I'm not so much worried about cars whizzing by at 80, so long as I have a shoulder, as I am about a cop arresting me for not being allowed on the road.

    Figures as soon as I-10 goes into CA there is city that might prohibit me from riding on I-10. I figure I'll stay on I-10 until I see posted signs saying otherwise. Blythe, CA is a grid city anyways so if I have to get off I can just head west knowing I'll eventually hit the otherside and meet up with I-10 again to keep going in my direction.

    Palm Springs provides a different scenerio. I-10 turns into an 8 lane highway. I most certainly need to get off before there. From looking at google maps, it looks like the best option for me is to exit I-10 and head south on Box Canyon Hwy, which is about 20-40 miles before Palm Springs. It looks like a nice scenic road too. If you're looking for it on a map, it is Box Canyon Hwy south of I-10 and Cottonwood Springs Rd north of I-10.

    Here is what I'll do from Box Canyon Hwy. 111 North to 74 South/West all the way north through Helmet, CA. Take 74 for a longggg time and finally get off of it and head north on Antonio Pkwy about 6-8 miles east of the coast. Antonio Pkwy to Oso Pkwy to Moulton Pkwy, to El Toro Rd., to Laguna Canyon Hwy. End in laguna.

    To summarize the route from Phoenix to the Pacific.

    I-10 - Box Canyon Hwy - 111 North - 74 south/west - Antonio Pkwy - Oso Pkwy - Moulton Pkwy - El Toro Rd. - Laguna Canyon Hwy

    Then I'll just reverse the route to get back on I-10 eventually and meet up with RAAM. RAAM actually takes the Box Canyon Hwy on to I-10. I'm worried about 74 though as it goes through Helmet, Homeland, and Perris, CA. Anyone know if these are bike legal roads?

  2. #2
    Der Irregular Biker ThePizzaBandit's Avatar
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    You are right, you need to get off the 10 when it becomes the wide superfreeway. It is probably illegal, probably filled with broken glass and gravel, and you will have to contend with cars getting on and off the freeway very often. Additionally, there seems to be construction on this freeway all the time, and many times there is no shoulder.

    I'd recommend contacting local bike clubs: the Riverside Bicycle Club, Redlands Bicycle Club, maybe there's one in Perris?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    Figures as soon as I-10 goes into CA there is city that might prohibit me from riding on I-10. I figure I'll stay on I-10 until I see posted signs saying otherwise. Blythe, CA is a grid city anyways so if I have to get off I can just head west knowing I'll eventually hit the otherside and meet up with I-10 again to keep going in my direction.

    Palm Springs provides a different scenerio. I-10 turns into an 8 lane highway. I most certainly need to get off before there. From looking at google maps, it looks like the best option for me is to exit I-10 and head south on Box Canyon Hwy, which is about 20-40 miles before Palm Springs. It looks like a nice scenic road too. If you're looking for it on a map, it is Box Canyon Hwy south of I-10 and Cottonwood Springs Rd north of I-10.

    Here is what I'll do from Box Canyon Hwy. 111 North to 74 South/West all the way north through Helmet, CA. Take 74 for a longggg time and finally get off of it and head north on Antonio Pkwy about 6-8 miles east of the coast. Antonio Pkwy to Oso Pkwy to Moulton Pkwy, to El Toro Rd., to Laguna Canyon Hwy. End in laguna.

    To summarize the route from Phoenix to the Pacific.

    I-10 - Box Canyon Hwy - 111 North - 74 south/west - Antonio Pkwy - Oso Pkwy - Moulton Pkwy - El Toro Rd. - Laguna Canyon Hwy

    Then I'll just reverse the route to get back on I-10 eventually and meet up with RAAM. RAAM actually takes the Box Canyon Hwy on to I-10. I'm worried about 74 though as it goes through Helmet, Homeland, and Perris, CA. Anyone know if these are bike legal roads?
    I have lived in Hemet, Perris, and Riverside so I know this whole area very well.

    Hwy 74 through Idylwild will be some climbing so get ready for that but it's very scenic and the weather should be pretty nice.

    I would not rec. taking 74 all the way to Jamboree, the Ortega mountains are a death trap if you ride your bike through there. It is very notorious for alot of auto/motorcycle deaths. They are also doing construction right now so it's all jacked up anyways. I have a much funner route for you to get to the beach. This route will be the most scenic way from Hemet to the beach.

    From Idylwild stay on 74 and go all the way to Hemet. I would take 74 all the way through most of Hemet, old town Hemet between San Jacinto and State st have some cool shops to check out. There's a cool music shop on the south side of 74 called Hungry Heart that is worth stopping at if you're into music. There's also a bike shop near here on 74. There's a sporting goods store down the street some as well.

    From Hemet your objective from here would be to get to Corona where you can take the Santa Ana River Trail all the way to Huntington beach. This is a VERY nice ride, no cars to deal with because it is a bike path ALL the way there! You'll see lots of other bicyclists and joggers. You'll also skip the death trap and climbing of the Ortega Mountains(Hwy 74).

    Santa Ana River Trail is pretty much downhill all of the way with the wind at your back to the beach, then when you get to the beach, you'll have the wind at your back all the way south.

    To get from Hemet to Corona, there is a bunch of differnet ways. Since you're taking a Tour, I'll post the route that I feel is the most Scenic and fun(and safe).

    Take Florida(74) down to Sanderson Ave. You'll pass Hemet Mall in case you want to do some shopping. When you get to Sanderson take a right and take that down to Cottonwood, make a left. Make a right on Warner. Take Warner down to Ramona Expwy, head west on Ramona Expwy.

    Take Ramona Expressway all the way down to Bernasconi Rd. This is going to take you into Lake Perris where you can ride around the lake to the right on a nice bike path and then get on Moreno Beach Drive which will take you into the nice part of Moreno Valley. You can also camp here at Lake Perris, they have showers and a market at the Marina.

    Take Moreno Beach drive to Iris and make a left. Very wide shoulder(I think a bike lane).Take Iris down to Perris Blvd and make a right. Go up Perris until you get to Alessandro and make a left. Take Allessandro all the way down to Arlington and make a left(west). From Arlington make a left onto Magnolia. Take Magnolia all the way down to 6th street.

    This is where I get tired of typing, but I did make a detailed Routeslip for you. The blue dots will tell you where to turn.

    http://www.routeslip.com/routes/30555

    Trust me on this route, any other way and you'll run into trouble.

    Instead of backtracking to get to the 10 again, I would keep going down the coast into Oceanside and follow the RAAM route from there.

  4. #4
    Hooked on Touring
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    I am totally baffled why someone would WANT to bike on I-10 if there were other options. I also do not believe that most, if not all, of the road map programs are appropriate for cyclists. They were designed for cars. Regardless of how much money you have or don't have, you can always use library computers to get good information about appropriate cycling routes. Nearly every state has a bike/pedestrian page on its state DOT website. Most have state published bike maps. Most also have good traffic volume data. Roads that might look good on a map - like US 54 going diagonally across the Plains - can be very dangerous for cyclists - i.e. narrow, heavy traffic, with lots of trucks. Coming into Connecticut from the southwest is very tricky since it implies heading thru a brutal urban zone. You should consider heading up the Delaware River Gap and over at Newburgh or Poughkeepsie.

    The Katy Trail would be ideal for your route.
    http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/index.html

    People have biked cross country on a three-speed and on ridiculously busy highways, but I am concerned by what seems to be your lack of geographic and route knowledge. It's one thing for inexperienced cyclists to light out using the Adventure Cycling maps or to be in a group like RAAM. But for you to be doing this on your own with limited funds and a fuzzy idea of where to go isn't great. Sadly, the United States is no longer the country of Jack Kerouac. The risks are greater, the tolerance of someone doing something out of the ordinary less, and the cars are faster and thicker.
    Last edited by jamawani; 04-07-07 at 08:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    Critique of RAAM Route

    First Off -
    RAAM is an event with many riders, support vehicles, and press coverage.
    They often have escorts and signs for motorists about the event.
    Those won't apply to you as an individual cyclist.
    Plus,there are some pretty bad sections.

    Section by Section:

    #1 - Stretches on I-10 and I-40 not the greatest, but relatively safe.

    #2 - US 89 north of Flag is a death trap.
    US 160 in southern Colorado not a good route - esp. around Durango and Alamosa.

    #3 - US 160 in eastern Colo very remote, 100-mile section lacking services.
    US 56; US 400 around Dodge City has high traffic.

    #4 - US 54 across Kansas a very bad choice.

    #5 - US 54 even worse in Missouri, totally insane.
    Hwy 140 awful in Illinois, Old US 40 varies considerably from O.K. to bad.

    #6 - The RAAM maps show you on I-70 and I-465 around Indy - which is illegal for solo cyclists.
    There is the four-lane US 40, but it is a pathetic choice thru Indy and Dayton.

    #7 - US 50 is busy four-lane - but the North Fork Trail is great.
    Most southeast Penna routes are narrow and busy.
    They have you crossing the Delaware Mem Bridge - again, illegal for solo cyclists.

    Remember, the RAAM Route is for an event - not for solo riders.
    They get things like an escort across the toll bridge.
    You will get a gruff, "No bicycles allowed!"

  6. #6
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    This is going to take much longer to reply to everyone. I really appreciate the help so far though. I'll have to use the routeslip website to make it easier for all of you to see where I plan to depart from RAAM.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    First Off -
    RAAM is an event with many riders, support vehicles, and press coverage.
    They often have escorts and signs for motorists about the event.
    Those won't apply to you as an individual cyclist.
    Plus,there are some pretty bad sections.

    Section by Section:

    #1 - Stretches on I-10 and I-40 not the greatest, but relatively safe.
    Yea I understand I-10 isn't always the best road to take. If you can tell me a better way to get out of Phoenix and in to CA, let me know. I would be adding many miles to take state routes. Even then, I-10 is the only road into CA from Phoenix without having to add a lot of miles just to get to Laguna. As far as I can tell from the RAAM website, they're only on I-10 and I-40 when outside of major cities. Thus, they're bike accessible, and even then they're not on for long stretches of it.

    #2 - US 89 north of Flag is a death trap.
    US 160 in southern Colorado not a good route - esp. around Durango and Alamosa.

    #3 - US 160 in eastern Colo very remote, 100-mile section lacking services.
    US 56; US 400 around Dodge City has high traffic.
    I will be carrying lots of water and my own food. I should be able to handle/survive a 100 mile section on my supplies.

    #4 - US 54 across Kansas a very bad choice.

    #5 - US 54 even worse in Missouri, totally insane.
    Hwy 140 awful in Illinois, Old US 40 varies considerably from O.K. to bad.
    As far as I can tell they're only on 140 for a few miles and it doesn't look to be anything serious. A 4 line highway in rural area.

    #6 - The RAAM maps show you on I-70 and I-465 around Indy - which is illegal for solo cyclists.
    There is the four-lane US 40, but it is a pathetic choice thru Indy and Dayton.
    I think you're either looking at the general RAAM route or a past route. The current RAAM route does not take I-70 or 465. Here are links to the pdf written directions for the guide into, in, and out of indianapolis. 40 is the actual road they're mainly on.

    http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/fil...tions/ts39.pdf
    http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/fil...tions/ts40.pdf
    http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/fil...tions/ts41.pdf


    #7 - US 50 is busy four-lane - but the North Fork Trail is great.
    Most southeast Penna routes are narrow and busy.
    They have you crossing the Delaware Mem Bridge - again, illegal for solo cyclists.

    I'm not going to be on the RAAM route for that portion of the ride. I'll be on my way to CT long before getting to the water gap.

    Remember, the RAAM Route is for an event - not for solo riders.
    They get things like an escort across the toll bridge.
    You will get a gruff, "No bicycles allowed!"

    What do you suggest I do? There are no adventure cycling routes in the direction I'd like to go. I don't think I should avoid the RAAM route because it takes me on some major roads around cities. It should be expected that eventually I'm going to hit a city and it's going to be less than favorable riding. From what I see a lot of the roads you mention as terrible do have their bad sections around the cities. Much of the time spent on those specific roads does include rural areas where they're only 2 lane highways through farmland and such. Is it really worth avoiding them?

  7. #7
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_ca
    Instead of backtracking to get to the 10 again, I would keep going down the coast into Oceanside and follow the RAAM route from there.
    Thanks for the routeslip. I'll definently take a closer look and probably follow your suggestions. How would you get down to Oceanside from Laguna Beach? I see route 1 ends and eventually all that follows the coast us I-5. There is a military access rd, some dirt roads I presume, and Old Pcf Hwy. OPH doesn't make it all the way though. It seems like a lot of odd roads I may not even be able to get on to just to get down to Oceanside. If I have to head inland to then head south I might as well just backtrack to hit the RAAM route back near I-10 anyways. Agree or disagree?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    Is it really worth avoiding them?
    In short - Yes.

    Remember, the RAAM Route was designed for a sporting event with large numbers of participants, escorts, flag cars, media attention, etc., etc. It's like a sailboat and the aircraft carrier Nimitz. There's nothing wrong with a sailboat, it's just a very different boat with different purposes.

    Take Missouri, for example. Over at crazyguyonabike, the current poll has Missouri leading for worst drivers. I know from experience - I've never had more stuff thrown at me or cars intentionally coming as close as possible. Just call it redneck sports. Still the fewer cars you have to deal with, the better. These types of drivers are less likely to use slow, country roads - and NO cars are on the Katy Trail. US 54 in Missouri will be a nightmare, trust me. Since the eastern end of the Missouri section of the RAAM Route is in St. Louis - as is the eastern end of the Katy - why not use the Katy? If you're going to bike cross-country, why not enjoy it?

    Same goes for Colorado & Kansas. There are much better routes than US 160 in Southern Colo and US 54 in Kansas. US 64 in northern New Mexico from Tierra Amarilla thru Taos to Raton has much less traffic than US 160. Plus, you get two mountain passes and the incredible Taos Pueblo. Same goes for many other sections whether in California, Indiana, or Pennsulvania. I'll be glad to offer suggestions. I've biked cross-country a half dozen times on my own routes - plus 10 or so 3000-5000 mile trips in the West and Canada. I know quite a few options that are much better and far more pleasant.

    Send me an e-mail if you are interested since it is easier to include things like attachments that way.
    johnegan-at-vcn-dot-com

  9. #9
    Hooked on Touring
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    PS -

    Here's a car-oriented website for San Diego County roads with pix:
    http://www.efgh.com/trans/#automobile
    Bikes:
    http://www.efgh.com/trans/#bicycle


    This is what you will have to climb up out of Palm Springs heading west.
    http://www.efgh.com/trans/c74f.jpg

  10. #10
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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  11. #11
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex
    Sorry but I can't use adventure cycling. They all seem to stay to the north, south, east, or west. They don't have any diagonal routes that would get me from Southern CA to CT. Thanks for the links though. I'm sure they'll help others.

  12. #12
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    PS -

    This is what you will have to climb up out of Palm Springs heading west.
    http://www.efgh.com/trans/c74f.jpg
    To be honest that looks like loads of fun. I can't wait for roads like that.

  13. #13
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    In short - Yes.

    Remember, the RAAM Route was designed for a sporting event with large numbers of participants, escorts, flag cars, media attention, etc., etc. It's like a sailboat and the aircraft carrier Nimitz. There's nothing wrong with a sailboat, it's just a very different boat with different purposes.

    Take Missouri, for example. Over at crazyguyonabike, the current poll has Missouri leading for worst drivers. I know from experience - I've never had more stuff thrown at me or cars intentionally coming as close as possible. Just call it redneck sports. Still the fewer cars you have to deal with, the better. These types of drivers are less likely to use slow, country roads - and NO cars are on the Katy Trail. US 54 in Missouri will be a nightmare, trust me. Since the eastern end of the Missouri section of the RAAM Route is in St. Louis - as is the eastern end of the Katy - why not use the Katy? If you're going to bike cross-country, why not enjoy it?

    Same goes for Colorado & Kansas. There are much better routes than US 160 in Southern Colo and US 54 in Kansas. US 64 in northern New Mexico from Tierra Amarilla thru Taos to Raton has much less traffic than US 160. Plus, you get two mountain passes and the incredible Taos Pueblo. Same goes for many other sections whether in California, Indiana, or Pennsulvania. I'll be glad to offer suggestions. I've biked cross-country a half dozen times on my own routes - plus 10 or so 3000-5000 mile trips in the West and Canada. I know quite a few options that are much better and far more pleasant.

    Send me an e-mail if you are interested since it is easier to include things like attachments that way.
    johnegan-at-vcn-dot-com

    I'll have to take a closer look at the Katy Trail. I really want to avoid ditching the RAAM route. They have great detailed maps with landmarks that make it easy to know you're on the right track. If RAAM runs into the Katy trail and then is easy to get back on the RAAM then sure I wouldn't mind detouring. You say that it does. I will certainly give it a more thorough look tonight. From speaking with the RAAM coordinators they say many places are RAAM biker friendly and would be more than willing to help me if I need it.

    Check your email btw.

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    I rode that road unloaded as part of a supported tour (HI-USA San Diego Hostel Christmas Trip - you mght call them for maps?) - and it was fantastic. There's a yummy restaurant on top. The descent into Hemet is sweeeet.


    Robert in ca "will be some climbing " that's funny. like, 5000 feet of climbing.
    ...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    To be honest that looks like loads of fun. I can't wait for roads like that.
    That's about 5,000 feet of climbing in 22 miles. The first 4,000' over 14 miles. Impossible? No. Fun for someone who's never toured when the average May temperature is in the 90's and the bike and gear weigh 60-70lbs? We'll see.

    You never want to take any advice you solicit. You still haven't done a shakedown tour despite the suggestion from at least 5 others in your other thread, and from what I can tell, don't intend to. You wanted to ignore all the advice to get a new bike or new frame, you didn't want to spend $500 for a good, built used tourer, but cobbled together an untested bike which probably got close to $500 by time you added in accessories and bike mechanic services. You ignored the bungee advice only to find later it wasn't as perfect as hoped. There are other examples in the other thread as well. Now you want to ignore jamawani's advice, and he has more touring miles traveled domestically than probably 95% of riders on this forum. I bet dollars to donuts people have not bothered to post some advice because they assumed you'd probably ignore it or refute it anyway.

    I suggest using the Adv Cycling routes as much as you can, and where they don't meet your needs, most state department of transportation web sites have road traffic counts and/or bicycling maps that you can either download or view online or order. Kind of like this guy suggested to you back in January:
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    I'm not aware of any pre-planned diagonal routes like that. But if you adjust your route slightly, you can use several Adventure Cycling routes:

    1) Southern Tier #1, Tempe AZ to San Diego CA.
    2) Take Route 1 / PCH up. Find your own route to Pueblo, CO. (Or, go all the way up to San Francisco and use the Western Express maps to Pueblo.)
    3) Pick up the TransAmerica route to Yorktown, VA.
    4) Take the Atlantic route up to NJ, hit the beach.
    5) Continue up to CT.

    Check [url=http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/network.cfm]this page to see the existing AC routes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    I'll have to take a closer look at the Katy Trail. I really want to avoid ditching the RAAM route. They have great detailed maps with landmarks that make it easy to know you're on the right track. If RAAM runs into the Katy trail and then is easy to get back on the RAAM then sure I wouldn't mind detouring. You say that it does. I will certainly give it a more thorough look tonight. From speaking with the RAAM coordinators they say many places are RAAM biker friendly and would be more than willing to help me if I need it.

    Check your email btw.
    I rode The Katy on my way out to Kansas two years ago,WELL worth going a few miles out of your way to ride!! It does Three things for you...
    1. It Makes Missouri flat,(Acuatlly slighty downhill west to east) those constant rolling hills in Mo.get VERY old!!
    2 It keeps the cars well away!!! Mo. Roads SUCK!!!!!! The drivers aer WORSE!!!!!! I know,I live in Ks.
    3 You won't find a better Rail to Trail anywhere! Great senery,Great Ride!

    Heres a few tasty pics....
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    To be honest, I think you need to settle down.

    1. I don't think ignoring the bungee advice was really a big deal. So I spent $10 to try bungee so it would be more useful and could carry more gear. Now that I realize I dont need to carry all the gear on top it's not as useful. So I picked up some $5 straps at my hardware store, big woop.

    2. I eventually followed everyones advice and got the larger frame. Ignoring the advice for a larger frame didn't mean I wasted $200. I tried it out for free, saw that the advice was correct and took your suggestions. Can you really blame me for trying out an option for free before putting down cash?

    Do I think I spent $500 on the bike? NO! Have I spent $500 or more already? Yes. The difference is that to get to just the point of having a bike I spent less than $500. Getting the stuff I would need such as panniers, camping gear, clothing, supplies, spares, tools, and other supplies put me over $500. On the bike though I didn't spend much. $40 for a frame, $40 on a new front deraillieur, $40 on a new fork, $13 for handlebars, and $80-100 for the LBS to build the bike and some other small parts like cables and brake pads. So that is only $226 for a bike that is essentially new. I think I did pretty well. The major components are tested as I have been riding them for years, and I have no lack of trust in the new deraillieur. What would $226 bucks get me used? It would probably get me an older bike that would still need some new parts and plenty of servicing.

    I'm sorry if I'm not in the position to throw money away and buy something because someone on a forum told me so. Yes, I do pick and choose what advice I listen to. That's why it's advice and not an order. Do I plan on doing a shake down tour? No. I am riding up until I leave and I am noticing problems and adjustments that need to be corrected. I have no doubt that when I leave I will have solved the majority of the issues that need to be addressed. The rest will just be road experiences that a shake down tour wouldn't have found since it'll be random. Will my chain break in the first 100 miles, 1000 miles, or never? When will I break a spoke? I am going through the motions of packing gear, setting up camp, etc..

    3. I never said I was ignoring jamawani. In fact I think I acknowledged that I am taking his advice. Here are two responses that are in this thread I posted to jamawani. "I'll definently take a closer look and probably follow your suggestions." "... I wouldn't mind detouring. You say that it does. I will certainly give it a more thorough look tonight."

    4. I still don't see the need to use the Adventure cycling routes. As I see on the link the other poster provided all the routes are faily perpendicular to one another. To take those routes would be adding hundreds of miles on to my trip that are unnecessary. Just calculate pythagorean triples and it's easy to see how much distance is added when compared to a diagonal route. There are certainly trouble spots on the RAAM route, which is why this thread was started. So far I've gotten some great advice on how to head into Laguna from Palm Springs. I will certainly follow that route since it is not adding much distance, if any, and he says he rides there often and knows that to be a better route. I will ignore the advice of others telling me to circumnavigate whole states however.





    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp
    That's about 5,000 feet of climbing in 22 miles. The first 4,000' over 14 miles. Impossible? No. Fun for someone who's never toured when the average May temperature is in the 90's and the bike and gear weigh 60-70lbs? We'll see.

    You never want to take any advice you solicit. You still haven't done a shakedown tour despite the suggestion from at least 5 others in your other thread, and from what I can tell, don't intend to. You wanted to ignore all the advice to get a new bike or new frame, you didn't want to spend $500 for a good, built used tourer, but cobbled together an untested bike which probably got close to $500 by time you added in accessories and bike mechanic services. You ignored the bungee advice only to find later it wasn't as perfect as hoped. There are other examples in the other thread as well. Now you want to ignore jamawani's advice, and he has more touring miles traveled domestically than probably 95% of riders on this forum. I bet dollars to donuts people have not bothered to post some advice because they assumed you'd probably ignore it or refute it anyway.

    I suggest using the Adv Cycling routes as much as you can, and where they don't meet your needs, most state department of transportation web sites have road traffic counts and/or bicycling maps that you can either download or view online or order. Kind of like this guy suggested to you back in January:

  18. #18
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Figment
    I rode The Katy on my way out to Kansas two years ago,WELL worth going a few miles out of your way to ride!! It does Three things for you...
    1. It Makes Missouri flat,(Acuatlly slighty downhill west to east) those constant rolling hills in Mo.get VERY old!!
    2 It keeps the cars well away!!! Mo. Roads SUCK!!!!!! The drivers aer WORSE!!!!!! I know,I live in Ks.
    3 You won't find a better Rail to Trail anywhere! Great senery,Great Ride!

    Heres a few tasty pics....

    Those are some nice pics. I see now why there would be fewer cars. I'd just be worried about my tires on gravel, loose sand, and so forth. Apparently the sidewall protection on the Panaracer TG's is lacking some.

  19. #19
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    Those are some nice pics. I see now why there would be fewer cars. I'd just be worried about my tires on gravel, loose sand, and so forth. Apparently the sidewall protection on the Panaracer TG's is lacking some.
    I used Cheap Beach Cruser Tires for that part of my trip (2.25x26 Mijer store,Think Swag-Mart) the Trail is mostly packed dirt....almost any tire will handle it,the only tire I would not use is something like a 23mm racing tire,Your Panracers will be just fine!!
    Fewer Cars?? how about NO CARS! for 225 Miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Heres a coupla links fer ya!

    Katy Trail http://www.bikekatytrail.com/

    Erie Canal Trail http://www.nycanal.com/recreation/hikebikemain.html Nice way across upstate NY

    Little Mimai River Trail http://www.miamivalleytrails.org/miami.htm 75 miles of PAVED MUP right thru the middle of Ohio

    I used all three of these going from Boston To Kansas if you route yourself right these would make the trip MUCH more enjoyable!!! They are going right where you are going Why Not??

    P.S. You are giong right thru my neck of the woods,The Hot Shower,Real Homecooked Meal and a bit of rest offer still stands...just let me know when you get close! I mean it you wont be far from my house,in fact if you take US 54 or US 254 outta Wichita you will be 6 Blocks away! That is if you can put up with a couple of Deadhead/Hippies for a nite or two!
    Last edited by The Figment; 04-07-07 at 05:47 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    Thanks for the routeslip. I'll definently take a closer look and probably follow your suggestions. How would you get down to Oceanside from Laguna Beach? I see route 1 ends and eventually all that follows the coast us I-5. There is a military access rd, some dirt roads I presume, and Old Pcf Hwy. OPH doesn't make it all the way though. It seems like a lot of odd roads I may not even be able to get on to just to get down to Oceanside. If I have to head inland to then head south I might as well just backtrack to hit the RAAM route back near I-10 anyways. Agree or disagree?
    As mentioned before, Adventure Cycling Maps/Bicycling the Pacific Coast Book are your best friend for this section. If you just follow your nose down the coast, you'll eventually make it to Oceanside, but I guarantee you're going to wish you had a bicycling specific map.

    Some freebies:

    http://www.routeslip.com/routes/16703

    http://www.efgh.com/bike/old101.htm

    http://www.ridelink.org/Commuter_Ser...ikeMap_Web.pdf

    http://www.pendleton.usmc.mil/scout/...vise/cycle.asp

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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    Thanks for the routeslip. I'll definently take a closer look and probably follow your suggestions. How would you get down to Oceanside from Laguna Beach? I see route 1 ends and eventually all that follows the coast us I-5. There is a military access rd, some dirt roads I presume, and Old Pcf Hwy. OPH doesn't make it all the way though. It seems like a lot of odd roads I may not even be able to get on to just to get down to Oceanside. If I have to head inland to then head south I might as well just backtrack to hit the RAAM route back near I-10 anyways. Agree or disagree?
    You are allowed to ride on the 5 freeway where PCH ends there.

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    US 160 in southern Colorado not a good route - esp. around Durango and Alamosa.

    #3 - US 160 in eastern Colo very remote, 100-mile section lacking services.
    US 56; US 400 around Dodge City has high traffic.
    The RAAM route skips the worst of US160 around Durango by going down to Ignacio. I would agree that US160 east of Durango over to Pagosa Springs is probably no the best bicycle riding...it's rather narrow and curvy with narrow shoulders. However, the rest of US160 through southwestern Colorado is a nice road with good shoulders. Wolf Creek Pass is almost a superhighway now. There may be construction on the east side where they are widening it but that's going to be on the downhill side and traffic won't be able to go through the construction zone that fast anyway. From South Fork to La Veta, the road is wide with wide shoulders and shouldn't be bad at all.

    For the section from La Veta to Dodge City, KS, I'd suggest detouring towards La Junta on CO10 and following US50 east to Dodge City. US160 across southern Colorado is an extremely lonely road. Kim and Springfield are about the only places to get water or food out there. Best person to ask about conditions out there is Countrydirt. Here's a thread he started. He lives in Branson which is in that area.
    Stuart Black
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    The one place you should exercise caution is crossing Cucharas Pass out of La Veta. It's a pretty pass but it is very narrow. Once you hit the top it's very steep down to Stone Wall but also very twisty. Exercise care since there isn't much in the way of cycling traffic on this road and the motorists aren't expecting you.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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    And if you should come upon Cucaracha Pass -
    I'd be VERY careful - especially in your tent at night.

  25. #25
    Occasional poster countrydirt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    The one place you should exercise caution is crossing Cucharas Pass out of La Veta. It's a pretty pass but it is very narrow. Once you hit the top it's very steep down to Stone Wall but also very twisty. Exercise care since there isn't much in the way of cycling traffic on this road and the motorists aren't expecting you.
    From Stonewall to Trinidad, expect very heavy truck traffic due to coal bed methane activity in the area. However, it has been repaved in several sections, so it will be smooth. It will be completely downhill, but at times narrow with impatient local traffic. From Trinidad east to Kansas and on into Kansas, the waterstops are few and far between. Most of the road is fairly rough chipseal, so your wider tires should help a little in taking some of the chatter out of your backside. The prevailing winds seem to flow from south to north so you will deal with crosswinds for over 200 miles. Long stretches of treeless, fenced private property so stealth camping may not be a good option. However, alot of the route from Trinidad to Kansas is dotted with the Commanche National Grasslands. There should be some wild camping possibilities, but you may want to contact the Grasslands office in Springfield before you head out about camping regulations.

    A better option might be as cycocommute suggests and cut across CO 350 from Trinidad to LaJunta and then catch the Adventure Cycling route on either CO 96 or down US 50. CO 350 is an 80 mile stretch with absolutely no services and very little traffic after the first 20 miles (past the state prison and Pinon Canyon Army Manuever Site) Fill all your water containers and then ride!

    PM me if you are going to come through this way and I will meet you with water and food and maybe can ride with you for a few miles.
    Last edited by countrydirt; 04-08-07 at 08:41 PM.

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