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Old 08-03-09, 08:30 PM   #1
johndavis
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Is Google Maps good enough?

I'm a first-time tourer who was planning a Trans-Am and Pacific Coast tour.

I ended up modifying my plans, deciding to fly out to Pueblo, and start my tour from there. Now, my circumstances have changed again, and it looks like I might have to head out to Park City and stay there until around the 21st.

I still think I can go ahead with my tour, but I need to find some way to get from Park City to Rawlins, Lander, or some other place in Wyoming that will connect to the Trans America.

I've gone to Google Maps, and got a route using highway 80 that was 278 miles. If I checked the "avoid major highways" option, I added an additional 100 miles.

Is it wise to rely on Google Maps print-outs for this portion of my tour? Do I need to avoid highway 80?
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Old 08-03-09, 08:47 PM   #2
John Nelson
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I use Google maps to plan many of my routes. I try checking "avoid highways" to see what that does. Then I try telling it that I'm walking to see what that does. Normally I find the walking directions to be best. Then I use the street view and/or the greatest magnification of the satellite views to see if the roads are paved or not. The walking directions will occasionally send you on real hiking trails, so you have to watch out for that.

In my opinion, the extra 100 miles would be well worth it to stay off of Interstate 80. The I-80 route would suck big time. If you need to recover some time, try heading directly up to Yellowstone.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:57 PM   #3
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Google Maps is great for planning, not so great for actually following. I find the biggest errors are when it fails to distinguish public from private roads. Sometimes it shows roads that don't exist.

I also use the "walking" directions. The algorithm seems to be: avoid highways/freeways, take the shortest possible route, ignore one-way signs, use walking paths as required. Generally that works well for a bike. It would be great if they'd introduce a "cycling" mode that would use bike paths.

Ditto using streewview.
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Old 08-03-09, 09:19 PM   #4
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It might be legal to cycle I-80 outside of cities in Utah and Wyoming (it is in Colorado and a few other Western states), but it wouldn't be pleasant. There is an amazing amount of truck traffic on that road, all of it moving at 75 mph.
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Old 08-03-09, 10:37 PM   #5
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No, google maps is not a great tool without additional information, and yes you really would be better off not on I80. I've driven that and it would not be fun to ride.

Most states departments of transportation have some bike resources - Wyoming has a very useful map.

http://www.dot.state.wy.us/wydot/saf...strian_bicycle

http://www.dot.state.wy.us/webdav/si...oute%20Map.pdf

You could probably figure it out from these maps, but if you started a thread with a title like "how do i get from Park City to the Transam In Wyoming" and and/or PM'd Jamawani, you might get the 411 from the master of Wyoming routing himself.

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Old 08-03-09, 10:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markf View Post
It might be legal to cycle I-80 outside of cities in Utah and Wyoming (it is in Colorado and a few other Western states), but it wouldn't be pleasant. There is an amazing amount of truck traffic on that road, all of it moving at 95 mph.
fixed that ;D
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Old 08-04-09, 01:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by stevage View Post
Google Maps is great for planning, not so great for actually following. I find the biggest errors are when it fails to distinguish public from private roads. Sometimes it shows roads that don't exist.
My experience is exactly the same as this. I think you're better off buying a paper map when you're in the area and using that.
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