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Route Detroit-Toledo

Old 03-19-20, 11:01 AM
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detroitjim
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Route Detroit-Toledo

Looking for anyone with first hand experience riding Detroit to Toledo.

What route did you take? What was traffic like?

Not particularly interested biking on roads where the traffic is whizzing by at 50mph or faster. At least for any significant distances.

I've searched Ride with GPS. There are a few routes listed. They show long stretches utilizing Telegraph,seems way too perilous.

Checked Strava heatmap.. I don't feel confident about their "hot paths" since there are heat trails across the Detroit river.
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Old 03-21-20, 02:08 PM
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If you are only looking for those with specific 1st-hand knowledge, feel free to skip my post, as I've not done this route for the reasons you mention (safety) among others.

Are there any limitations?

-Total round-trip distance: For example: Going on such a ride to Toledo and back in a single day and keeping mileage within a certain range or is it more than a single day?

-Starting/Ending points: I don't recall where you're from or if you've referenced it before (perhaps more on the east side/Pointes). Let us know from whereabouts in Metro Detroit you're starting and if you've a little more specific ending point in mind or if it's just somewhere scenic/resting/visiting.

A lasting note: I've never used Strava much. Maybe I'm used to RWGPS (RideWithGPS.com) but for whatever reason, one is not able to display street names & satellite data at the same time. That makes using Strava for me frustrating, a lot. I suppose a more cumbersome alternative is to have two maps open at the same time for Strava.

I'll see if I can help out more specifically. I must admit, that part of Michigan is a bit of an unknown to me. Just saw recently on TV that more or less, there is a small segment of Michigan claimed to be accessible by road only by traveling into Ohio first & then back north into a segment of Michigan. The general area I'm looking at is quite an expansive area bound roughly by:

1- about 5 miles west of Telegraph as a west boundary,
2-at the north around Girbraltar Rd.
3- along the east shore of Michigan
4- Michigan-OH border at the south (although of course, through and to Toledo is important in this case)


All without much reference/landmarks nor much prior knowledge to keep my place and organize in my head, when using a single monitor as I survey Google Maps.

Last edited by DTownDave22; 03-21-20 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 03-23-20, 03:56 PM
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Yeah man....I've mapped a route . Downtown to downtown is about 60 miles. A round trip would be easily done in one day when our daylight hours get over 12.
It's just that I was hoping to hear from someone that pedaled down to Toledo.
Maybe utilizing their path ,trusting their perception that ,it wasn't excessively perilous.

I suppose that I'll have to drive down that way. Doing recon for a suitable route that I'll be comfortable with in the saddle.
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Old 03-25-20, 06:22 AM
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I don't live there, but I can verify that Telegraph Rd would be extremely unpleasant to ride.
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Old 03-27-20, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by detroitjim View Post
Yeah man....I've mapped a route . Downtown to downtown is about 60 miles. A round trip would be easily done in one day when our daylight hours get over 12.
It's just that I was hoping to hear from someone that pedaled down to Toledo.
Maybe utilizing their path ,trusting their perception that ,it wasn't excessively perilous.

I suppose that I'll have to drive down that way. Doing recon for a suitable route that I'll be comfortable with in the saddle.
Share the route if you don't mind and I'll see if I notice anything that you should consider in the areas I ride in. Due to changes in Google Maps, there's a bit of added path to the Downriver Linked Greenway that is missing and that I would have added by now but now it seems like a mystery in suggesting edits. It basically runs from Elizabeth Park (with a sliver in Wyandotte but definitely a tad bumpier but gets a passing grade) and has a few segments without a path but runs to Lake Erie Metropark. Not sure why Google changed it--not sure where to look up such info as to why but that's another discussion. (edit: humans being humans..like always we find a way to f*** things up. Whether it's the internet or the planet, it's what we do. Smarter, hairless monkeys with shiny toys if you care to read https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/08/go...-editing-tool/).

Taking some basic notes for a longer route in less familiar territory: Unless one has a great memory, it's almost necessary to take notes for making an informed decision, otherwise I find I lose track easily not being familiar with the intersecting roads/lack of landmarks as noted. For example, there are stretches of Telegraph that appear to have 2 lanes. south of Gibraltar. Dixie appears to be a viable option though.

I avoid 1-lane/higher speed roads generally but traffic volume/how aggressive they are likely to drive is a key variable of course. Going through with Google Maps street view and surveying Telegraph & X Road: to Telegraph & Y Road has 2 lanes (# miles/ speed limit) and take some notes on paper or Microsoft Word. Not as feasible for a bike tour of course unless you have a lot of time to do so.

Speeds
I do notice one note--speed limits signs seem like bigfoot! On some of the roads I had looked at a few days ago as I've been curious about riding down south before! I don't know if people are scrapping them (unlikely), hitting them, or if I'm missing them when surveying on Google Maps but I sure as hell don't see too many and it's odd. I know generally on such a road in lesser developed/main roads, the speed limit is almost always going to be 45MPH and above, but I'll take 45 over 55 any day.

Construction
There is of course the perpetual construction season--that can be a true PITA so just be aware. Also, if you were at all interested in going off the beaten path and riding on Grosse Ile at all (there is a bike path), even if only southbound or northbound, the free bridge (southern most bridge) is scheduled to be closed starting about May 1, 2020. You said >12 hours daylight and that is coming soon I believe. The toll bridge is free to cyclists but definitely is not something I'd be crazy about riding on a weekday outside of off-hours if the free bridge is close for construction. Otherwise, the pay bridge is fairly light to moderate on traffic when I travel, which is kind of funny considering G.I. is > avg. household income.

MDOT's online map didn't have any construction shown for Michigan Ave. I think one lane was closed for a good 1-3 miles (possibly more) at least one way, this past summer for however many weeks. I do a bit of work before/check in on what's changed and so on, periodically during orange barrel season and it's usually accurate but not always.

Last edited by DTownDave22; 03-28-20 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 05-30-20, 09:14 PM
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Can't help you. I have not biked the route, but I have traveled it often using back roads (sports car and motorcycle) and I don't think you'll find anything with significant distances posted under 55 mph. That is the default speed limit for Michigan. (Used to be 65 until Carter's gas crunch.)
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Old 06-05-20, 02:43 PM
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The heat maps are very good, and obviously they get distorted by group rides with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of riders (hence the one day a year when you can run/ride across the canada looks like it gets a lot of use).

Personally, I would put my bike on the train and go that way. That doesn't look like it will be a fun ride. It is flat though, but most of those roads are going to be hot, exposed to the sun and fairly swift traffic.

I posted this last year, but I've never biked south of that. there was a discussion here on something similar if you can find that.

https://www.strava.com/routes/11731367
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Old 06-09-20, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by detroitjim View Post
Looking for anyone with first hand experience riding Detroit to Toledo.

What route did you take? What was traffic like?
Did you find your route?
I've biked to Toledo a couple of times, but slightly further to the west from the Plymouth area. Mostly on the dirt roads to keep out of traffic (but not good if you've got rain....).
I've also biked to the Sterling State Rec area for a a bike/camping trip, then headed back into Ypsi area.
There's a couple of spots to see along the way: Crosswinds Marsh is a nice hiking stop. Pointe Mouillee State game area is a nice "gravel path" ride outside of hunting season.
- the gravel can get a little deep in a few spots, and turn into baby-heads along some Lake Erie sections - so when I say "gravel", I mean rocks that are about less than 2 inches in diameter. I do NOT mean "smooth brown pavement" like lots of people mean when the use the word "gravel" (man a-live i hate the phrase "gravel grinder" -- a "gravel grinder" is not a bike or a bike ride - it's a machine that takes boulders and makes them rocks less than 2.5 inches in diameter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravel {end mini-rant} )

There's also several small bake shops and a dairy you could work in.
Let me know if you're still working on a route (3 months later.....). (shrug)

Last edited by mrv; 06-09-20 at 06:46 AM. Reason: annoyed old man rant about rampant stupidity
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Old 06-12-20, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mrv View Post
Did you find your route?
I have a few but haven't had the opportunity to mash them. They range from 62 to 73 miles. Those mileages seem like something I'd be capable of doing in one day.

The starting point is near downtown so having to go west instead of south would probably add too much distance than I'm capable of .

I'd like the idea of low traffic ,so dirt /gravel doesn't bother me. You can pass along your route . I wouldn't mind seeing it anyhow.
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Old 06-16-20, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by detroitjim View Post
I have a few but haven't had the opportunity to mash them. They range from 62 to 73 miles. Those mileages seem like something I'd be capable of doing in one day.

The starting point is near downtown so having to go west instead of south would probably add too much distance than I'm capable of .

I'd like the idea of low traffic ,so dirt /gravel doesn't bother me. You can pass along your route . I wouldn't mind seeing it anyhow.
- hi Jim - I couldn't edit the map as I used GPX data from STRAVA. I'm only going to leave the link up temporarily
This route has quite a bit of dirt until it crosses Telegraph.

Here's some other routes. The eastern route goes through Pointe Mouille.
The western route goes by Crosswinds Marsh and past a weekend-bakery just to the north of it.

Last edited by mrv; 06-22-20 at 05:41 AM. Reason: I was posting temporarily, as I do not want permanent links of maps to my house posted.
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Old 06-29-20, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mrv View Post
- hi Jim - I couldn't edit the map as I used GPX data from STRAVA. I'm only going to leave the link up temporarily
This route has quite a bit of dirt until it crosses Telegraph.

Here's some other routes. The eastern route goes through Pointe Mouille.
The western route goes by Crosswinds Marsh and past a weekend-bakery just to the north of it.
can you provide the links one more time? got interested
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Old 07-13-20, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MadKaw View Post
Can't help you. I have not biked the route, but I have traveled it often using back roads (sports car and motorcycle) and I don't think you'll find anything with significant distances posted under 55 mph. That is the default speed limit for Michigan. (Used to be 65 until Carter's gas crunch.)
Sorry, MadKaw, but nonsense: you can get run over doing 55 in many areas -especially since Carter . This is the motor state, and 70mph is the usual limit, with 75 available from mid-Michigan to the North. And that's posted: people do 80 routinely on most of the many interstate routes, and there are fewer speed traps here than in most states, including neighboring states (except in and through Livonia, a serious speed-RISK zone). Moreover, there is not a single toll road in the state, unlike every neighboring state, except Wisconsin. Bridges and tunnels are the only places you'll pay tolls: Mackinaw to the upper peninsula, and to and from Canada.

I drive to Toledo often, down I-23, but I've never ridden my bike there, or even part of that; so, I can't help the OP.
BTW, you cannot do 80 to Toledo, from anywhere.
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Old 07-14-20, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BiciMan View Post
Sorry, MadKaw, but nonsense: you can get run over doing 55 in many areas -especially since Carter . This is the motor state, and 70mph is the usual limit, with 75 available from mid-Michigan to the North. And that's posted: people do 80 routinely on most of the many interstate routes, and there are fewer speed traps here than in most states, including neighboring states (except in and through Livonia, a serious speed-RISK zone). Moreover, there is not a single toll road in the state, unlike every neighboring state, except Wisconsin. Bridges and tunnels are the only places you'll pay tolls: Mackinaw to the upper peninsula, and to and from Canada.

I drive to Toledo often, down I-23, but I've never ridden my bike there, or even part of that; so, I can't help the OP.
BTW, you cannot do 80 to Toledo, from anywhere.
How do you figure that what I said is nonsense? I said you'll not find significant sections of road posted under 55 mph. While there are some disconnected sections of road in the Tecumseh area posted 45, you're not going to make a route going anywhere out of them. Apparently you are talking about the speeds people drive—and Michigan is famous for speeding—wasn't the original question, nor was that addressed in my comment.
Please read more carefully before calling "nonsense".
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Old 07-15-20, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by detroitjim View Post
Yeah man....I've mapped a route . Downtown to downtown is about 60 miles. A round trip would be easily done in one day when our daylight hours get over 12.
It's just that I was hoping to hear from someone that pedaled down to Toledo.
Maybe utilizing their path ,trusting their perception that ,it wasn't excessively perilous.

I suppose that I'll have to drive down that way. Doing recon for a suitable route that I'll be comfortable with in the saddle.
Do you know anyone in the Wolverines Club? fair chance someone there has done the ride over the years. You might send a query to the Downriver Cycling Club and the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society. Now there is also a randonneuring club in Detroit - another place to inquire. Finally, League of Michigan Bicyclists?
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