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Old 10-05-09, 12:32 PM   #1
Recycle
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Cross Iowa Route Suggestions

I am resuming an interrupted credit card tour from near Millersburg, IA to Lincoln NE and had a few questions about my planned route.

Is there any reason to prefer one of these MO river crossings to the others:

1) Rte 34 at Plattsmouth
2) Rte 370 at Bellevue
3) Rte 92/275 just south of Omaha

Are there any red flags about bad roads, bridges, or anything else for this route?
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...88&ie=UTF8&z=8

Are there any suggestions for a better or more scenic route?

TIA

Larry
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Old 10-05-09, 02:12 PM   #2
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Why do you use Millersburg? It ain't Manhattan. It ain't even Muscatine.
Took me a while to find it - west of Iowa City.

None of those bridges is particularly good.
They are all old, narrow, and without shoulders.

3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_O...emorial_Bridge
22 feet wide.

** Actually, the Veterans Bridge is now closed awaiting completion of a new bridge next year.
http://www.omaha.com/article/20090826/NEWS01/908269991

2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellevue_Bridge
Only 20 feet wide - Daily Traffic Volume - 2785

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plattsmouth_Bridge
Only 20 feet wide - Daily Traffic Volume - 1345
This bridge was renovated recently - but still very narrow.

These are EXTREMELY narrow widths for such long bridges.
There is a new bike/ped bridge across the Missouri in Omaha - -
But there are not any good routes out of town towards Lincoln.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ker...estrian_Bridge

The best bridge is the fairly new Highway 2 bridge at Nebraska City.
It is four lanes with a small shoulder and moderate traffic.
Traffic is light enough for cars to get into left lane.
Check it out on GoogleEarth.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_City_Bridge

You can then head north on US 75 and west on US 34 to Lincoln.
Both roads have paved shoulders - rare in Iowa and Nebraska.
(You could also do Hwy 2 - but it is a busy 4-lane highway.)
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Old 10-05-09, 02:27 PM   #3
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PS -

Do you have a copy of the Iowa Bike Map?
Here's the online version that you can blow-up and print sections of.
http://www.iowadotmaps.com/msp/pdf/bikemappdf.html
The county roads in purple are paved and have very low traffic.
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Old 10-05-09, 03:23 PM   #4
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Ditto on the Iowa Bike Map. It's color coded for traffic count.

I live near Atlantic so am familiar with most of the roads west of I35. Hiway 92 is a pain from Greenfield on. Rough and very busy.West of Treynor, there a couple bridges out too. Avoid Hiway 6; it's way too busy. There are many county roads to get there, though, that are very good roads and low traffic. That Iowa map will show those well. The only thing on that map are paved roads so if you follow those, you won't have gravel. The bridge at Bellevue is a toll bridge and really isn't that busy unless you get there at typical rush hour times. Just over that bridge is a trail that goes south around Offut Air Force Base. Hiway 92 bridge from Council Bluffs to Omaha is currently under construction. It may be close to being open, but that is VERY busy. I would cross the new Kerry Pedestrian bridge further north in CB before I would take that.

Hiway 34 that you've mapped is also very busy. Again, get that Iowa map and find the back roads, but plan for your food and water since there's not much out there.
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Old 10-05-09, 05:24 PM   #5
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i agree, get the iowa map for bicyclists, it is a small piece of awesome... and its free too!
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Old 10-05-09, 05:32 PM   #6
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"Both roads have paved shoulders - rare in Iowa and Nebraska."

When was the last time you toured in Nebraska? the 1800's?

I live is Omaha Nebraska and have ridden the Bike Ride Across Nebraska (BRAN) 7 times rarely have I ridden on a road without a shoulder. Granted this is a route that is selected for an organized tour. But I distract from the OP.

http://www.omahatrails.com/OmahaTrailsMap.html
http://www.dor.state.ne.us/docs/bikeguide.pdf

The Bellevue bridge crosses into Bellevue Nebraska. After you cross into Nebraska, Hayworth Park get on the Keystone trail heading southwest. Taking Highway 75 south to highway 34 going west. this will take you into Lincoln. The Nebraska bike map shows that Highway 75 is a highly compatible route but I think that it has a lot of traffic. This is still a relatively safe route.

If going through Omaha via the pedestrian bridge I would take some side streets and get on the Field Club Trail go south the end of the trail continue south to L Street, going west on L Street has a nice shoulder west of 60th Street. Take L St to highway 50 (132nd St) go south to highway 34 right turn straight to Lincoln.
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Old 10-05-09, 11:19 PM   #7
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I thoroughly enjoyed the new pedestrian bridge in Omaha. Very nice, but out of the way if you don't want to go through Omaha. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Omaha as well, so it comes highly recommended.

As for route suggestions? Go through Minnesota.

Ok! Ok! Put down your corn, I'm just kidding. My experience out of many just happened to be negative. All I can suggest is NOT the Western half of 92 and the Eastern half of 6. Although the Amana Colonies are nice. They have a huge rocking chair.

Although Nebraska comes highly recommended. Route 30 (that parallells the interstate) was most pleasant. HUGE shoulder. I second cyclist2000's post.

Good luck!
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Old 10-06-09, 10:13 AM   #8
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Thank you, all, for the feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Why do you use Millersburg? It ain't Manhattan. It ain't even Muscatine.
Took me a while to find it - west of Iowa City.
That's where I bailed out of a trip earlier in the year ... got tired of getting rained on every day. It just seemed 'proper' to resume from the place where I left off.

The original plan was to ride from Chicago to Omaha or Lincoln this year, then into WY and CO next year. Lincoln is where I have to make a route decision about next year's trip that I'm not ready to make yet.

I do have that excellent Iowa Bike map. The two hard decisions were where to cross the MO and how to get around Lake Red Rock and Des Moines. It looked like riding south of I80 was easier and more direct than going north of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by one_beatnik View Post
Hiway 92 is a pain from Greenfield on. Rough and very busy.West of Treynor, there a couple bridges out too. Avoid Hiway 6; it's way too busy. There are many county roads to get there, though, that are very good roads and low traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9 View Post
All I can suggest is NOT the Western half of 92 and the Eastern half of 6.
...
Good luck!
I see some quiet country roads cutting south near Winterset (p71, g61, p33) to Creston, then paralleling US Rte 34 (h24,h34) to Red Oak, or maybe north towards Elliot (m53) or south to Nebraska City. Still trying to decide where to cross the MO.

Thank you again for the suggestions.

Last edited by Recycle; 10-06-09 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Added Nebraska City to the options
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