Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    cherry hill, nj
    Posts
    5,906
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Paths versus Roads

    I am not asking this question from a safety stand point.

    What are your feelings about touring on roads versus paths (like C&O or GAP for example)? Do you find that paths are less interesting versus roads? Or????

    A lot of people here ride (not tour) a bike path in Philly. I like to see it at different times of the year but find it comes somewhat mindless. One way, one direction, once choice.

    Whats your thoughts?
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    74
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would ride paths if I had them!

  3. #3
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,810
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Depends on the path and the road. Riding the path can bring you closer to nature if that's your thing and many roads, think central Illinois or eastern Colorado can be very boring. Just depends on the particulars, but overall, I like the rail to trails and such.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seville, Spain
    My Bikes
    Brompton M6R and mountain bikes equipped for touring.
    Posts
    2,948
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I like both paths and country roads with little traffic, like these, from my latest tour:

    7d4d7c6cb9d211e1989612313815112c_7.jpg

    48819d40b9f711e180c9123138016265_7.jpg

  5. #5
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,250
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I typically prefer to ride on the roads, but there are some nice paths that I have used, like one along the river in Denver and the ones in the Frisco Breckenridge area. The notion of a tour all on a bike path like the GAP, Katy, or similar does not especially appeal to me and I definitely do not go out of my way to ride them when on road tours. Bike packing with a mountain bike on dirt roads and trails is fun though.

    That is all purely personal preference though.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    15,847
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Both depending on the situation.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pearland, Texas
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
    Posts
    5,103
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    chefisaac, Paths are few and far in between in my area. For the most part those that we have are a bit more interesting scenery wise compared to a developed road. While my touring bike works just fine along most unpaved paths, there are a couple of unmaintained paths that my rack equipped mountain bike is the better choice.

    My opinion is if there are paths along a route, they should be considered. On the other hand it's often impossible for someone in unfamiliar settings to know how suitable the path could be.

    Brad

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    35,674
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This spring in Belgium they run a race from Ghent, to Wavelgem , near Kortrijk.

    but I followed a Navigational canal that nearly connected the 2, starting in Kortrijk,
    and it was a casual cruise between them.
    tow path was also much shorter

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,017
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    I am not asking this question from a safety stand point.

    What are your feelings about touring on roads versus paths (like C&O or GAP for example)? Do you find that paths are less interesting versus roads? Or????

    A lot of people here ride (not tour) a bike path in Philly. I like to see it at different times of the year but find it comes somewhat mindless. One way, one direction, once choice.

    Whats your thoughts?
    You might be over-thinking this. Local paths that you use often are very different from something that you've never ridden before. I use local paths on a regular basis and they have become more of a means to an end rather than a destination. On tour, it's very different. A path or a road are something I've never seen before. They have their own air of excitement and are, thus, less mindless.

    That said, paths tend to have their issues. Most of them are off the beaten path so finding food and lodging services are more difficult. In the age of the stupid smart phone , that is less an issue to find them than it was 5 to 10 years ago. Lodging and food may, however be several miles off the path which presents its own problem.

    I will also say that there are certain roads that can become mindless in their own right. The Natchez Trace comes to mind. It's lovely for about 50 miles. But after I've seen a million trees, my prairie developed sense of space starts to rebel and I want to see a vista...any vista. But all you can see is trees...with the occasional sign that says something like "Johnson's Corner Store was built on the site in 1797 but burned to the ground in 1815 and the foundation was carried off by locals." All that is left is trees.

    Because the Trace is a national park, it has no advertising for nearby services. There could be towns within feet of the road and you'd never know. It's only when you get off the Trace that stuff gets interesting. From what little I've ridden of the C&O (out to the Great Falls of the Potomac), it's very similar. Carry a smart phone
    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'.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,250
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    But after I've seen a million trees, my prairie developed sense of space starts to rebel and I want to see a vista...any vista. But all you can see is trees...
    That is kind of funny to me since I tend to be the opposite. I get really happy when I get back to trees and mountain streams. I know that the three of us on the Trans America all got a big lift when we got to ride in wooded areas after a stretch of open country. It is especially bad for me when in addition to there being no trees everything is brown. I have to say I hated most of the scenery on the southern tier and the parts I remember being nice were wooded and/or wetter. I try to just enjoy the food and the people when the scenery doesn't suit me, but it was a harder to do on the ST.

    For me if there aren't trees or streams with water in them, it does help if there are at least mountains.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    3,420
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  12. #12
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In The Wind
    Posts
    24,290
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    chefisaac, Paths are few and far in between in my area. For the most part those that we have are a bit more interesting scenery wise compared to a developed road. While my touring bike works just fine along most unpaved paths, there are a couple of unmaintained paths that my rack equipped mountain bike is the better choice. My opinion is if there are paths along a route, they should be considered. On the other hand it's often impossible for someone in unfamiliar settings to know how suitable the path could be. Brad
    Texas Path:

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Elevation 666m Edmonton Canada
    My Bikes
    2013 Custom SA5w Tourster 2003 Specializerd Crossroads Comp
    Posts
    449
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ^^^^
    The guy in front is going to get clobbered by a wide load semi.

    +1 All trees is boring. ie Northern Michigan in June.

  14. #14
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Montréal, Québec, Canada
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Alpin Pro, Surly LHT
    Posts
    1,951
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I like both. There are many paths here, some better than others. Some are boring straight lines through tree tunnels but the roads close by aren't any more interesting so I'll choose the paths as they're more quiet. Engine noise drives me nuts sometimes. Some paths go where roads don't. I also like that it makes more people bike.

    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  15. #15
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,678
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It depends. Roads are usually more direct, so if you want to get where you're going faster, you're better off on the road. You also have more of a chance of finding stores and restaurants, if you're on the road.
    Paths are nice, more relaxing, pretty, no traffic to deal with. But usually meander more, and the surface may not be consistant. I like to do a mix of both, if possible.

  16. #16
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,678
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
    I like both. There are many paths here, some better than others. Some are boring straight lines through tree tunnels but the roads close by aren't any more interesting so I'll choose the paths as they're more quiet. Engine noise drives me nuts sometimes. Some paths go where roads don't. I also like that it makes more people bike.

    Are all of those photos from the same trip, Eric? Looks great! Quebec really is amazing for cycling.

  17. #17
    Garlic
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Golden, CO
    My Bikes
    Old REI touring bike
    Posts
    438
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    'It depends' for me, too. Some paths, say in urban areas on a nice weekend, seem more dangerous than nearby roads due to kids, dogs, etc. When I lived in Seattle, I would avoid the Burke-Gilman trail, for instance. When touring in an unknown area, I often avoid the paths if the road is OK. I've had to backtrack because of bridge washouts, deep fords, soft gravel, downed trees, failed surfaces, etc. The path maintenance is not always as good as on the roads. But I loved cycling the Erie Canal trail on my recent Northern Tier ride. It was a highlight.

  18. #18
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    1,532
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I find that paths such as the GAP C&O and the portion of the Erie Canal that I rode to be great to ride on. These trail towns (for the most part) are numerous and have plenty of food/lodging opportunities and points of interest. I've rode from Cleveland to Cinci twice for charity and I saw a lot of corn.

    The GAP has some awesome vistas and camping/lodging is near the trail.
    The C&O is full of history and camping is free all along the trail. The towns are right on these trails as the GAP is a rail trail and the C&O a canal.
    We just came back from a combined road/trail ride in NY and I will say it was easier to get food and a cold beer while riding the trail.

    I have no problem riding on the road, most of my shorter trips have been on road but it is nice to be away from cars. I would definitely avoid the weekender fitness type trails though. Do some research and you can find some great trail riding.

    I highly recommend the GAPCO, I've done it a couple of times.

  19. #19
    One legged rider
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Moraga, CA
    My Bikes
    Kuota Kharma, Surly LHT, CAAD9, Bianchi fg/ss
    Posts
    1,389
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    That is kind of funny to me since I tend to be the opposite. I get really happy when I get back to trees and mountain streams. I know that the three of us on the Trans America all got a big lift when we got to ride in wooded areas after a stretch of open country. It is especially bad for me when in addition to there being no trees everything is brown. I have to say I hated most of the scenery on the southern tier and the parts I remember being nice were wooded and/or wetter. I try to just enjoy the food and the people when the scenery doesn't suit me, but it was a harder to do on the ST.

    For me if there aren't trees or streams with water in them, it does help if there are at least mountains.
    I'm the same. I grew up in the dense forests of the Deep South and I get a bit "agoraphobic" in too much open space.

  20. #20
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Montréal, Québec, Canada
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Alpin Pro, Surly LHT
    Posts
    1,951
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lucille View Post
    Are all of those photos from the same trip, Eric? Looks great! Quebec really is amazing for cycling.
    All different trips although the first two are in the same area.

    I've had the idea of making a 900km continuous trip on paths (mostly). I doubt it'll never happen since I've biked all of them and will bike some again on shorter trips.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  21. #21
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,678
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
    All different trips although the first two are in the same area.

    I've had the idea of making a 900km continuous trip on paths (mostly). I doubt it'll never happen since I've biked all of them and will bike some again on shorter trips.
    Cool!

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    36,653
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I grew up riding roads, and whenever available, shoulders on roads. And that is still my preference. Give me a quiet road with wide shoulders and that's just perfect. But a very quiet road out in the middle of the country, even without shoulders, is good too.

    And having ridden MUPs in various parts of Canada, I developed a strong dislike of MUPs ... too many things going on ... pedestrians, roller bladers, dogs, children, elderly people just standing in the middle of the path ...


    However, we have ridden some paths in Europe and some of them have been quite good. The tow path up the Marne canal/river in France was lovely. The bit of the path that we rode along the Moselle was very nice. Parts of the Rhine route were good. And the Velodyssey route, up the west coast of France, was great.



    So I guess the answer is ... it depends.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Madison, WI
    My Bikes
    2004 LHT, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 1961 Ideor, 1972 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, Perfekt 3 Speed of unknown age.
    Posts
    1,051
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Paths often have more trees which are better wind shelter on windy days. If they are along an old rail route, flatter but not all trails stay on an old rail route and some trails can have very steep segments.

    IMG_4935.jpg

    Roads, some have good shoulders and some have shoulders that are pretty narrow. Also, roads have ubiquitous broken glass and little bits of wire make me more nervous about how long I will still have air in my tires.

    20IMGP3534.jpg

    I have ridden some roads with almost no traffic that were very pleasant, but some roads have the kind of traffic that raise my stress and blood pressure.

  24. #24
    Bike rider alexaschwanden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Palo Alto
    My Bikes
    2013 Felt 960, 2013 Raleigh Revenio 2.0
    Posts
    2,059
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I enjoy paths and roads but i prefer paths if possible.
    2013 Felt 960 29er MTB. 1,090.4 miles
    2013 Raleigh Revenio 2.0. 178.5 miles

  25. #25
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
    Posts
    7,532
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I'm with Machka. Here, give me roads. Over there, I'll take it if it isn't gravel. The European tertiary roads we've ridden were great. They pave everything except for a few bike paths over there. It's great. No potholes that I saw, just well maintained and clean roads. I found the tendency to lay cobblestones in intersections to be a little strange, but otherwise biking was great. Here, I can see why some people flee to the MUPs, but I also think them too dangerous. I want roads with rules.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •