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Tell me About Cycling in Your City

Old 02-20-16, 11:54 AM
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Tell me About Cycling in Your City

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
I just finished replying to this post on the Touring Forum Where to cycle from Chicago with this comment,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
On a general note, I think it would be a great service by various BF subscribers to provide write-ups for visiting cyclists about their cities.

For example, I wrote a post in reply to a similar query about riding in Boston that I have frequently cited as a “Cyclist’s Guide to Metro Boston.” It’s intended for the visiting cyclist who wants to know where to ride, and how to get around by bike. Mine is mainly written for roadie / tourists, who want to get in a substantial ride in interesting areas.

A sticky on the Touring Forum would be a nice storehouse for such posts.
So I’m starting a thread on the Touring Forum, ”Tell Me About Cycling in …,” to catalog cycling possibilities in various cities. If there is enough interest, I’ll list the cities reviewed, in this opening post. See if we can keep this thread bumped by adding cities.

Cities Reviewed (in order of post numbers) :
  1. Boston, MA
  2. ...
Here’s my rewrite of “A Cyclist’s Guide to Metro Boston,”...
Since the Fifty-Plus Forum is so geographically widespread, I’m posting here to ask for subscribers to reply to that touring thread to tout their towns and inform (or even attract) cycling visitors.
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Old 02-20-16, 12:34 PM
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Boyne City, Michigan. We are in a equidistant triangle with Charlevoix and Petoskey, a major all-season resort area. There are about 6-7 cycling shops in the 3 towns. In Boyne, we are a cycling friendly town. The scenery and multiple small towns in the area make it a special place for riders with major group rides coming through and/or originating in town. Lakes, roadside parks with water, hills, country and town, you really have to search hard to beat the experience.
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Old 02-20-16, 02:30 PM
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Edwardsville, Illinois and the general area is an oasis for cycling. The weather is mild, except for a few weeks during winter. Today it was in the seventies, with near clear skies and mild winds. We have an extensive bike path system: more than 80 miles are paved bikeway, with few intersections and no vehicles. Another 40 miles are gravel. Hundreds of cyclist use the system, but it never seems crowded.
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Old 02-20-16, 03:11 PM
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Tampa, Florida, located in Hillsborough County has an abundant number of areas to ride in, along with numerous rail trails and parks for both on and off pavement cycling. We are part of a bay area network of paved and non-paved cycling trails with connections to other state trails coming in the near future. When the connections are completed, we would be able to ride from Tampa/St Petersburg, on the west coast, across the state to Daytona Beach, on the east coast, without ever leaving a bike trail. The best part is that we have year-round cycling. The worse part is that Florida leads the nation in cycling fatalities and the bay area leads the state in the number of cycling/pedestrian fatalities. Riding in the unincorporated areas of the counties in the bay area are great, you just don't want to have to ride in the cities unless you absolutely have to or you're with a group of cyclist.
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Old 02-20-16, 04:27 PM
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Southern California is so massive, so many different areas it would be hard to describe the cycling in a few words. Much of the area is cycling friendly but there are areas to avoid where drivers don't care if you live or die. From my door I have access to the San Gabriel mountains and can do many different climbing rides from here. Mountain biking is also close but the more popular mtb places involve a bit of driving.
There are several large cycling clubs nearby, I have been a member of one for 26 years.
We ride year-round and if you're a recreational cyclist you can find about anything you want here.
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Old 02-20-16, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
Southern California is so massive, so many different areas it would be hard to describe the cycling in a few words. Much of the area is cycling friendly but there are areas to avoid where drivers don't care if you live or die. From my door I have access to the San Gabriel mountains and can do many different climbing rides from here. Mountain biking is also close but the more popular mtb places involve a bit of driving.
There are several large cycling clubs nearby, I have been a member of one for 26 years.
We ride year-round and if you're a recreational cyclist you can find about anything you want here.
We are also fortunate to have the Orange Line bike path in the San Fernando Valley and many streets have bike lanes.
https://www.traillink.com/trail-maps...bike-path.aspx
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Old 02-20-16, 09:17 PM
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One more for Los Angeles/Southern California. There is a good bike culture here, plenty of bike shops and you can ride year round.

If you want to climb, you can find world class ascents in the San Gabriels. If you like the ocean, you can easily do a century along the beach to either San Diego or Santa Barbara. There are group rides for every ability and style. The city shuts down 10 mile stretches of city streets every few months for a thing called Ciclavia, where cyclists get the entire road. We're getting more bike lanes, but we still have our share of entitled and uneducated drivers. We're not to the level of Portland yet, but we're moving in the right direction.
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Old 02-20-16, 09:29 PM
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Just outside of Seattle. It varies so much that it is hard to describe. There are routes that are extremely well developed with bike lanes and/or MUPs. Then, some of the cities have random bike lanes that you cannot hook together, and the in between streets can be dangerous. We have a strong bike culture here, with Cascade and Evergreen clubs leading the way. We have outstanding MTBing, with Duthie Park being an amazing place to spend a few hours. We do have two things that bother some folks. First, it would be difficult to go anywhere without having to climb some hills. And, we get rain for about 9 months of the year.
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Old 02-21-16, 12:27 AM
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If you come to Fort Worth to ride, there are two things to know:

The Trinity Trails
The Trinity River forks at downtown Fort Worth. After flooding in the 1940s, the river was rechanneled for flood control and several of the service paths along the river have been either paved over or covered in finely crushed limestone, making for great cycling along the Trinity Trails (link to system map). If you start from downtown, you can ride north the Stockyards historic district, northwest to Airfield Falls, or take the most popular and most improved part of the trail to the southwest. You can also go east to Gateway Park which has some interesting wooded trails.

If you take that trail, you'll pass Trinity Park at milemarker 2, which is a gateway to the West 7th district, a recently redeveloped area with lots of bars, restaurants and dessert places. Just south of Trinity Park is the Clearfork Food Truck Park right on the trail, with a beer and wine hut. Continuing on you'll pass The Woodshed Smokehouse adjacent to the trail just past milemarker 3 which is another popular stop. A little further down at milemarker 5 is the Clearfork Trailhead which has a Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop (that's the shop started by Lance Armstrong; the original location is in Austin) and in the same building, the Press Cafe with food, coffee, and a full bar. If you continue on the trail, it ends at Hwy 183 but just before that you can take the low water crossing and get off the trail at Bellaire Drive and follow bike lanes south to where the trail picks up again and go all the way to Lake Benbrook; this last part is pretty heavily wooded. The whole Clearfork section of the trail from downtown to the lake is a little over 20 miles round trip.

The Bike Lanes
Fort Worth has numerous and improving bike lanes in downtown. There are many lanes marked for buses and bikes only (which made me nervous when I first heard about bikes sharing a lane with buses, but it works out fine) in the downtown area. Take one of the two tunnels (under I-30 and the train tracks), either Jennings or Commerce, south out of downtown to get to the Near Southside which is really ground zero for the bike friendly part of Fort Worth. Commerce turns into Main Street (which is interrupted downtown by the convention center). Main south of downtown is currently pretty torn up but within the next year will be Fort Worth's most serious foray into the Complete Streets concept of integrating pedestrian and bicycle traffic into the road design. Immediately south of downtown running just parallel to Main is Bryan Avenue which is quickly becoming a destination for fun, with a vodka distillery, a few bars, and a brewery that will be opening in the spring, all between Vickery Blvd. and Rosedale St. Just a little beyond that is an east-west street called Magnolia Avenue. Between Main and 8th Avenue (which is to the west) is a very cool selection of bars, restaurants and small businesses. Much of the Southside has bike lanes or marked bike routes, and traffic is generally light.

If you go west from downtown on 7th Street you can travel over the new 7th Street bridge to the West 7th area I mentioned earlier. Coming out of downtown you'll see Montgomery Plaza (an old Montgomery Ward warehouse that's been redeveloped) and just beyond that are several bars and restaurants. Or to the left there are more restaurants and stuff, starting primarily after Foch St. This area used to be pretty much all warehouses and industrial, with the sole exception of Fred's Texas Cafe which has been there since the '70s. It's all been pretty much redeveloped into one of the coolest mixed use areas in the city. And, as I mentioned earlier, Foch connects into Trinity Park and the trail system.

If you're just visiting and new to the area, that should give you plenty to explore from the saddle of a bike.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-21-16, 12:32 AM
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Oh, one more thing: Fort Worth is flat compared to many areas, but there is a bluff along the Trinity River that makes for a pretty tough climb when you're returning to downtown from the West 7th area. Probably the easiest climb is to take 7th Street. It's still a climb but it's not as severe as climbing up from the trail. (At the north end of downtown, Taylor Street is considered a rite of passage kind of climb; newer cyclists aren't gonna make it without walking.) There are ways up from the trail at 5th and 10th streets that aren't as challenging, but still significant climbs.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-21-16, 12:15 PM
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Ditto, Doohickie's tips on Fort Worth. I'm on the far west end and usually find it easier to head west for exercise. Highway 580 (formerly Hwy 80 W, extending from Camp Bowie Blvd) offers a nice ride once you get west of the intersection with West Loop 820. I ride through that intersection but it can be a bit tricky near rush hour, with drivers wanting to get over to the right turn only lane, so I'll merge over to what seems like the "center" lane, but is actually the rightmost lane going straight through to 580.

Once you've navigated that bit of vehicular trickery, it's a nice peaceful ride west toward Aledo, merging into the frontage road for I-20. For now, at least, the frontage road sees very little traffic and has a wide shoulder in good condition if you're not comfortable riding the road. The shoulder is best with puncture resistant tires, due to the seasonal goat head grass burrs, broken glass, etc.

That's a smooth quiet ride until you approach Hwy 1187/3325, which can be a bit tricky at rush hour -- but so far I've had no difficulties with vehicles giving me enough space to merge leftward across the right-turn-only lane in order to keep heading straight west.

From there it's another easy ride toward Willow Park where you'll find some fast food places, restaurants, etc. Depending on time and how I'm feeling I'll turn around somewhere in Willow Park or Hudson Oaks. I'm gradually working my way up to a 40 mile round trip between my place near White Settlement and Weatherford, then on to Mineral Wells. For now, Hudson Oaks and back is about the limits of my conditioning.

There's a KOA campground near Weatherford and I might try an overnight or weekend bike-camping jaunt this year.
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Old 02-21-16, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
On a general note, I think it would be a great service by various BF subscribers to provide write-ups for visiting cyclists about their cities...

So I’m starting a thread on the Touring Forum, ”Tell Me About Cycling in …,” to catalog cycling possibilities in various cities.
If there is enough interest, I’ll list the cities reviewed, in this opening post. See if we can keep this thread bumped by adding cities…
Since the Fifty-Plus Forum is so geographically widespread, I’m posting here to ask for subscribers to reply to that touring thread to tout their towns and inform (or even attract) cycling visitors.
Thanks everybody for your replies; I posted them all as your quotes onto that thread on the Touring Forum, ”Tell Me About Cycling in …”. For any further descriptions, please feel free to post directly on that thread.

When I visit a new city to bike I have always studied a map prior especially of my immediate environment there. So when I arrive, either with my bike or having located a bike rental, my immediate question is “ Where do I go?,” and the intent of my thread is to give a general answer to that question. I’d rather hear from a local cyclist, who knows what it’s like to really ride a bike (for distance, with confidence riding in traffic, hills, etc.) than a hotel concierge.

BTW, @OldsCOOL, back in the mid-80s, my wife and I did a loop around the tip of Michigan from Cheboygan to Mackinac through Petoskey and Traverse City back to Cheboygan, credit card style. Even though I’m a native of Detroit I never visited the Lake Michigan shore until then, though I had been to Mackinac in high school. I particularly recall the town of Harbor Springs, reminding me of a resort town on Cape Cod. Also I recall passing Douglas Lake, where the University of Michigan had a natural resource station I heard about when in school there.

And, @John_V, back in 2012 I went to a wedding in Tampa and spent a weekend to include some riding on a bike from a place in the downtown. We stayed in Ybor City, and rode in the vicinity, including a long ride out Bayshore Road (elegant) then into South Tampa I think, and back up To Kennedy Blvd (busy urban, though on a Saturday). The visit was in May, and by the time I got back to Kennedy, the sun was scorching. Fortunately the wedding party included sunscreen in the “goodie bags” they gave the guests.

Otherwise, we passed through St. Louis MO on our cross-country honeymoon from Los Angeles to DC in 1977. We started at Laguna Beach and stopped at San Juan Capistrano, and our first night stop was a campground at Lake Elsinore. We rode the Ortega highway that first day, our very first experience of a mountain pass since we were from Michigan originally.

Sometimes when I encounter a BF subscriber from a location I have ridden through, I'll send them a PM just to reminisce and say "Hi."

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-21-16 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 02-21-16, 05:23 PM
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@Jim from Boston Harbor Springs is where I grew up and graduated high school. Definately has the quaint resort feel to it. It does resemble the Cape area. My first love of biking and travelling town to town was developed in this area.
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Old 02-21-16, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...BTW, @OldsCOOL, back in the mid-80s, my wife and I did a loop around the tip of Michigan from Cheboygan to Mackinac through Petoskey and Traverse City back to Cheboygan, credit card style....I particularly recall the town of Harbor Springs, reminding me of a resort town on Cape Cod.

Originally Posted by OldsCOOL
@Jim from Boston Harbor Springs is where I grew up and graduated high school. Definately has the quaint resort feel to it. It does resemble the Cape area. My first love of biking and travelling town to town was developed in this area.
...Sometimes when I encounter a BF subscriber from a location I have ridden through, I'll send them a PM just to reminisce and say "Hi."
@OldsCOOL, I think we have corresponded in the past via PM, and I might have likely mentioned that trip, though probably not Harbor Springs.

I have occasionally posted to BF that it seems that cyclists (outside of BF and cycling) always seem to connect. Even more so, I have posted that Michiganians (on or off BF) similarly seem to find each other.

PS: While I am now a long-time resident of Boston, I too developed my cycling lifestyle in autocentric Detroit and Southeastern Michigan (Ann Arbor). I wrote in my Introduction to Bike Forums,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
… Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture. In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario…

Originally Posted by Maelochs
What a coincidence that your wife and girlfriend both ride the same bikes. Do they ride together?

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-21-16 at 08:08 PM. Reason: added PS
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Old 02-21-16, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
[MENTION=13284]Even more so, I have posted that Michiganians (on or off BF) similarly seem to find each other.
That is the delightful truth.
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Old 02-22-16, 10:17 AM
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I am a Los Angeles CA native and UCLA alumnus whose home for the past 35 years has been Encinitas CA, a delightful beach community of 65,000 people in northern San Diego County, City of Encinitas : Home. Overall, we are a bicycle-and-pedestrian-friendly city, with a very active local advocacy group, Bike Walk Encinitas Home - Bike Walk Encinitas. We have very few Class I multiuse paths within the city, but lots of very good Class II bike lanes.

In San Diego County as a whole, the bicycle-friendly facilities scenario is mixed, with everything from truly good Class I and Class II facilities and streets in which one can confidently and safely take the lane to some disaster-waiting-to-happen high speed unions, merges, diverges, and free right turns, notably -- but not exclusively -- where freeway onramps and offramps meet the street grid.

What I miss most about bicycling in west Los Angeles is its well-connected street grid. As a UCLA student in the 1970s, I could almost always chart a route on quiet residential streets, something I cannot do in San Diego County, with its disjointed mesa-and-valley topography.

My concerns, primarily drunk, inattentive, or aggressive motorists, are more national than local.
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Old 02-22-16, 11:25 AM
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Because its a Town Not a Major City , the post head count of those who even read this site may Be ME .

Hundreds of Bikes Touring the Pacific Coast on US 101 every summer, at least pass thru the western tip of this town

after braving the 4 mile 2 lane Bridge across the River from Washington state ,

That Opened in 1966. Before then You waited to take a Ferry across the River..

There still is a small connecting Ferry on the eastern edge of the county, from Puget Island WA.

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Old 02-22-16, 11:50 AM
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My "city" is Lebanon, CT, aka: the "Heartbeat of the Revolution." It is 55.2 sq. mi. with 7300 residents. We have a town green that is 1 mi. around and we have one traffic light. It's a blinking light. Lebanon was incorporated in 1700 and has the largest % of it's land in agriculture of any town in CT. My house (ca 1770) is in an area called Liberty Hill and riding anywhere from here is riding off the ridge. Rides here are pastural and somewhat hilly. Always beautiful scenery with few cars. Oh, and usually windy. All in all, I love this place.
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Old 02-22-16, 04:51 PM
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I am, I hope, temporarily in Benton, Ar. So far riding in this city appears to be for the suicidal. I am still looking for safe roads. There is one with a bike lane but drivers seem to have no problem driving right on the bike lane line. I realize now Abilene Tx was safer than I thought..
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Old 02-22-16, 05:43 PM
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I live in Atlanta GA and have nice bike trails to ride.
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Old 02-22-16, 11:41 PM
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Tourism photos.

First: NEW BIKE LANE!!!! Westcreek Drive used to be two, two-way streets on either side of the the creek. But this week they made each side one-way and marked off bike lanes. Frankly I don't think this was needed; Westcreek (on either side of the creek) was already a good bike route, but I appreciate the effort. (Ha! I just noticed they left the Two-Way traffic sign up.... oops!)


The Hulen Street bridge, which goes over a tollway which goes over a train yard, with a lovely view of downtown a few miles off.


The ZEN TAXI. Don't worry, I don't know what this means either.


The top of West 7th Street looking down toward downtown.


The West 7th Street bridge into downtown at the bottom of the hill. From the top to the bottom = 160 ft. descent = WHEEEEEEEEE!


Don't worry, I'll never cross the bridge like this:
The cop at the end of the bridge let him off with a warning (seriously).
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Old 02-23-16, 01:44 PM
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Hi fellow kids,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
When I visit a new city to bike I have always studied a map prior especially of my immediate environment there. So when I arrive, either with my bike or having located a bike rental, my immediate question is "Where do I go?," and the intent of my [Touring Forum] thread is to give a general answer to that question. I’d rather hear from a local cyclist, who knows what it’s like to really ride a bike (for distance, with confidence riding in traffic, hills, etc.) than a hotel concierge.

...Since the Fifty-Plus Forum is so geographically widespread, I’m posting here to ask for subscribers to reply to that touring thread

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Thanks everybody [posts #2 to 11. and following] for your replies; I posted them all as your quotes onto that thread on the Touring Forum, ”Tell Me About Cycling in …”. For any further descriptions, please feel free to post directly on that thread.
This is a recent post on my touring thread, ”Tell Me About Cycling in …”.

Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Whatever the merits of the thread, posting it in multiple forums is considered spamming and is prohibited. Basic Guidelines [Spamming is the multiple posting of an identical or similar post on one or more of our Forums.]

Why don't you ask a mod to delete however many multiples you have of this?

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Good point. I had asked the various contributors above to post directly to this Touring Forum, but they all posted on Fifty-Plus, so I quoted here. The Moderators are free to delete whatever they want...
My thread is still not deleted as of today (2/24/16), but for all subsequent descriptions, please post directly to that thread; I’m not sure I could even not spam by just linking from that thread to your post here. Sorry for the confusion.

I had planned to extend this invitation on the Commuter Forum, and Living Car Free, but I guess that would be considered spamming.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-23-16 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 02-23-16, 04:44 PM
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Well yes, it would be. Have you asked the mods to merge the threads?
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Old 02-24-16, 02:55 PM
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Spamming a thread to another sub-forum is not spamming. IMHO

And to contribute to the City thing; I have lived in several cities on Left Coast USA. From San Diego to Seattle and several in betwixt = all terrible cycling spots. Do not plan on moving here to retire. Don't sign up early for our Gran Fondos, state tours, and major events so we miss out. It's grey skies in the PNW, fog on the coasts, and that sun in LA/SD - well, it just gets in your eyes. So please, the best spots are east of the Sierras & Cascades. Thank you.
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Old 02-28-16, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
Edwardsville, Illinois and the general area is an oasis for cycling. The weather is mild, except for a few weeks during winter. Today it was in the seventies, with near clear skies and mild winds. We have an extensive bike path system: more than 80 miles are paved bikeway, with few intersections and no vehicles. Another 40 miles are gravel. Hundreds of cyclist use the system, but it never seems crowded.
Sounds like a hidden gem in southern Illinois. I'll have to put it on my weekend "to do" list.
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