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  1. #1
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    testing google mymap and looking for route criticism and suggestion

    Just wondering if anybody here have had experience using this mapping site for route planning?
    http://www.google.com/maps, click on the "My Maps" tab next to the "Search Results" Tab.

    I'm currently looking around for the best free route planning online map and being a fan of Google services, I had to try it out first. I have not done much with my map yet (just a starting and finishing pin) only because I'm not exactly sure of where I should go from Colorado Springs, CO to central Alabama then to Virginia (maybe I'll stop by in Fla to visit a friend, not sure).

    I'm currently putting down a theoretical route to see if anybody have any suggestions and info for me to change the route. Click here for my route map

    I also wonder if anybody could point me to any site that had info on the roads along the way cause there are areas that I'm not too sure of riding through such as the roads along the I-25 southbound out of Colorado Springs.

    Check my blog (in sig) for some of the basic info about my plan. (I know that the blog entries is sparse and needs cleaning up, I will be doing that for the afternoon and tomorrow)

  2. #2
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    You might want to take a look at mapmyride.com--there will be routes listed for at least a few of the places where you plan to go.

    I'd also ask questions in the regional forums to get the local opinions as to feasibility. It looks as if you can ride on parallel roads all the way to Virginia, and avoid being on the interstates. You might also want to ask the touring forum folks these questions, as they are the masters of going distant places on bikes!

    How long are you planning for this trip? Do you have enough money? You'll need panniers, etc. There are all sorts of questions which need to be asked, and I don't think I've even scratched the surface!

    Good luck to you!

    East Hill
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  3. #3
    Hooked on Touring
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    Will -

    There are many things that contribute to a good route besides what you can find on Google. In fact, Google is rather limited in my book.

    Paper resources -

    Most public libraries have the DeLorme atlas of their own state. The advantage of this is that you can see a "Big" picture instead of just a little segment.

    Online resources -

    Nealy every state Department of Transportation has two resources online. Traffic volume maps and county road maps. County maps allow you to find back roads. Traffic volume maps allow you to pick out routes that have the least traffic.

    Since you are heading east, it is not as big of a deal - but Topozone.com has topographic maps that allow you to plan a reasonable route thru difficult hilly and/or mountainous terrain.

  4. #4
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of Bikely. Last I checked mapmyride doesn't generate cue sheets. Bikely does, although you have to type in the turns point by point.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiouswill View Post
    Just wondering if anybody here have had experience using this mapping site for route planning?
    http://www.google.com/maps, click on the "My Maps" tab next to the "Search Results" Tab.

    I'm currently looking around for the best free route planning online map and being a fan of Google services, I had to try it out first. I have not done much with my map yet (just a starting and finishing pin) only because I'm not exactly sure of where I should go from Colorado Springs, CO to central Alabama then to Virginia (maybe I'll stop by in Fla to visit a friend, not sure).

    I'm currently putting down a theoretical route to see if anybody have any suggestions and info for me to change the route. Click here for my route map

    I also wonder if anybody could point me to any site that had info on the roads along the way cause there are areas that I'm not too sure of riding through such as the roads along the I-25 southbound out of Colorado Springs.

    Check my blog (in sig) for some of the basic info about my plan. (I know that the blog entries is sparse and needs cleaning up, I will be doing that for the afternoon and tomorrow)
    I-25 is about your only choice south out of Colo Springs. You can follow the trail along Monument Creek to Fountain but south of there, it's the only way to go. Once you get to Pueblo, go east along the TransAmerica Trail or just follow US 50. I'd probably follow US 50 since to there's not a lot from Pueblo to Lamar along CO 96. US50 might have more traffic but at least you'll find food and shelter Additionally, don't drink the tap water from Pueblo east to the state line. Ick!! Buy bottled water because that's what everyone down there does anyway.

    I'd probably just stick with US50 across Kansas too. Not a bad road. Aim towards Wichita. From Wichita, you'll need to find some place to cross the Mississippi. You can do it at St. Louis (way north) or Memphis (way south). Cape Girardeau and Cairo are about the only other places to cross in between. It looks like either would be suitable. Cape Girardeau is on the Great Rivers Trail from Adventure Cycle as a place to cross.

    That's about the limit of my knowledge.
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    You might want to take a look at mapmyride.com--there will be routes listed for at least a few of the places where you plan to go.

    I'd also ask questions in the regional forums to get the local opinions as to feasibility. It looks as if you can ride on parallel roads all the way to Virginia, and avoid being on the interstates. You might also want to ask the touring forum folks these questions, as they are the masters of going distant places on bikes!

    How long are you planning for this trip? Do you have enough money? You'll need panniers, etc. There are all sorts of questions which need to be asked, and I don't think I've even scratched the surface!

    Good luck to you!

    East Hill
    I know that there are a lot of things that I do need to go over. I've already got a BOB Ibex Trailer and baggages for the trip. The biggest issue right now is planning the route and then researching the land around the route a little to figure out what I would need to take with me.

    I tried the mapmyride.com and didn't like the way that the route line kept looping back for like 30-40 miles every time I put down a new point in the route. So far the google My Map is pretty good (only for general route planning)

    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    Will -

    There are many things that contribute to a good route besides what you can find on Google. In fact, Google is rather limited in my book.

    Paper resources -

    Most public libraries have the DeLorme atlas of their own state. The advantage of this is that you can see a "Big" picture instead of just a little segment.

    Online resources -

    Nealy every state Department of Transportation has two resources online. Traffic volume maps and county road maps. County maps allow you to find back roads. Traffic volume maps allow you to pick out routes that have the least traffic.

    Since you are heading east, it is not as big of a deal - but Topozone.com has topographic maps that allow you to plan a reasonable route thru difficult hilly and/or mountainous terrain.
    Thank you for the info I know that the Google My Maps is limited compared to other sites but the other sites seemed cluttery and have too much stuffs in the way. Right now I'm only doing a general route planning. Once I figure out the general route, I'll use these maps that you have mentioned to tweak it more throughly .

    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    I'm a fan of Bikely. Last I checked mapmyride doesn't generate cue sheets. Bikely does, although you have to type in the turns point by point.
    I'm checking out the Bikely.com site right now. I'll let you know if it seems better for me or not so far it does seems pretty user friendly for me. (except for the fact that the "Follow the Road" option doesn't work as well as I would like, it stopped doing that after a few points in the route)

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I-25 is about your only choice south out of Colo Springs. You can follow the trail along Monument Creek to Fountain but south of there, it's the only way to go. Once you get to Pueblo, go east along the TransAmerica Trail or just follow US 50. I'd probably follow US 50 since to there's not a lot from Pueblo to Lamar along CO 96. US50 might have more traffic but at least you'll find food and shelter Additionally, don't drink the tap water from Pueblo east to the state line. Ick!! Buy bottled water because that's what everyone down there does anyway.

    I'd probably just stick with US50 across Kansas too. Not a bad road. Aim towards Wichita. From Wichita, you'll need to find some place to cross the Mississippi. You can do it at St. Louis (way north) or Memphis (way south). Cape Girardeau and Cairo are about the only other places to cross in between. It looks like either would be suitable. Cape Girardeau is on the Great Rivers Trail from Adventure Cycle as a place to cross.

    That's about the limit of my knowledge.
    That route suggestion seem to work really well with my general heading toward central Alabama
    The main differences is that I go east on US50 and when I get to Dodge City, KS I turn off to US400 since it has a more direct route to Wichita. From Wichita I'll go to Memphis since it is directly on the way to central Alabama. So far I've mapped the route nearly to Wichita. Today, I'll try to get to memphis.

    [LINK TO MAP]

  7. #7
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    If it were me I'd start dropping down to the I-40 corridor somewhere around Wichita and aiming for either Oklahoma City or Tulsa. From there I'd make my way to Fort Smith and pick up the route noted on the Arkansas tourism website (http://arkansas.com/outdoors/biking/east-west.asp). I'd cross the river at Helena since Memphis is a nightmare then meander across Mississippi and Alabama.

    I've found the traffic count maps are indispensable for this planning and would also recommend the Delorme atlases since they show public and private campgrounds.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Flyover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I-25 is about your only choice south out of Colo Springs.
    It was my understanding that you could not ride on the interstate highways??

  9. #9
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiouswill View Post
    I'm checking out the Bikely.com site right now. I'll let you know if it seems better for me or not so far it does seems pretty user friendly for me. (except for the fact that the "Follow the Road" option doesn't work as well as I would like, it stopped doing that after a few points in the route)
    I leave that function turned off. It's irritating that it's on by default.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkmartin View Post
    If it were me I'd start dropping down to the I-40 corridor somewhere around Wichita and aiming for either Oklahoma City or Tulsa. From there I'd make my way to Fort Smith and pick up the route noted on the Arkansas tourism website (http://arkansas.com/outdoors/biking/east-west.asp). I'd cross the river at Helena since Memphis is a nightmare then meander across Mississippi and Alabama.

    I've found the traffic count maps are indispensable for this planning and would also recommend the Delorme atlases since they show public and private campgrounds.
    Thanks for the warning about memphis I've bookmarked the link you provided and will look through it soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyover View Post
    It was my understanding that you could not ride on the interstate highways??
    it is illegal unless there are no alternative route for bikes along the way. I have a Colorado Bike based map and it showed that part of the I-25 is legal to ride on from Colorado springs to Pueblo.

    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    I leave that function turned off. It's irritating that it's on by default.
    Yeah I have it turned off, at least it have a clearer view of the map than the Google my maps. I wonder if there is any embed code that I can use for my blog from bikely?

  11. #11
    Enjoy the Ride
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    I'm not sure if it works for your route but the Natchez Trace Trail is a beautiful road. I haven't ridden the whole trail but the section I did ride was great. Enjoy your travels.

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkmartin View Post
    If it were me I'd start dropping down to the I-40 corridor somewhere around Wichita and aiming for either Oklahoma City or Tulsa. From there I'd make my way to Fort Smith and pick up the route noted on the Arkansas tourism website (http://arkansas.com/outdoors/biking/east-west.asp). I'd cross the river at Helena since Memphis is a nightmare then meander across Mississippi and Alabama.

    I've found the traffic count maps are indispensable for this planning and would also recommend the Delorme atlases since they show public and private campgrounds.
    Greenville might be better for crossing. More direct than curving north to Helena. I was going to tour around that area this fall until life got in the way. Fort Smith to Hot Springs and Pine Bluff should be gorgeous!

    Something to add for the Colorado part, make sure you got to Bent's Fort outside of La Junta. Worth the side trip. The CO 194 connects up to US50 just outside of Las Animas so it's still on the way.

    And yes, you can ride on Interstates if not other alternative is available. Not the most pleasant of riding because of traffic noise but at least all of Colorado's interstates have 11 foot shoulders.
    Stuart Black
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  13. #13
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    www.toporoute.com is good. It uses the google maps interface, and you can save routes and look at elevation charts of your route.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  14. #14
    Junior Member Flyover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiouswill View Post
    it is illegal unless there are no alternative route for bikes along the way. I have a Colorado Bike based map and it showed that part of the I-25 is legal to ride on from Colorado springs to Pueblo.
    Didn't know that... guess I've learned my new thing for the day. Would have to agree that it doesn't sound like the most pleasant ride.

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyover View Post
    It was my understanding that you could not ride on the interstate highways??
    There's lots of places where this happens. It's not too bad. The worst place where bicycles are allowed but the road is too damned narrow are section of the interstate through the Columbia Gorge. Just outside of The Dalles, the road crosses a bridge and goes to about 3 feet wide on the shoulder which is really scary and it happens again past Hood River. Both are very nasty and the closest I've ever come to jumping off a bridge to save my life. An 11 foot shoulder is nothing
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    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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