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PixelPaul 04-08-20 10:11 AM

Akron, OH bike routes
I'm new to the Akron, Ohio area (actually in Portage Lakes) and looking for some safer areas for some training road rides. Any suggestions?

JDandy 04-09-20 08:55 AM

This link is a good place to start:
it has a map of Summit and Portage Counties as well as links to maps from surrounding counties. You may find hard copies of this map at local bike shops.

rm -rf 04-14-20 04:55 AM

Nice map. I like how the busier highways are labeled "Advanced or Expert" instead of "don't ride".

It's astounding how quiet the country roads are in SW Ohio and N KY. And the drivers seem to be nicer too! I liked to travel to a few local routes that were out of the way, with very few cars and nice scenery. Now that's the description of every country road ride.

Some local counties have main country roads with feeder roads that are often dead end. (It's hilly there, and difficult to put a road down into the valleys.) These areas are annoying to ride, since there's a lot more traffic on the few through roads. The areas with more of a grid of country roads is much better. Drivers are spread thin, with very few cars when we ride. That's what the NE Ohio area looks like -- good.

Strava Heat Map
When I'm in an unfamiliar area, I use the Strava Heat Map to pick roads that are popular with cyclists. And the main benefit is to avoid those roads that have little or no popularity -- they are likely busy or unpaved, etc. Click the "Labels" button to show town and street names on the map.

Strava colors in the roads based in two years of rider GPS uploads. That's 700 million miles a year, just in the USA! The "hot" coloring ranges from gray: zero activity, to dim red: little activity, to white hot: very popular. As you zoom in, it rebalances the colors to show locally popular roads as white hot. Cities have more cyclists, so they are bright when zoomed way out.

The URL changes as you zoom and pan, so you can bookmark that view.

Here's the Akron / Portage area. The Ohio to Erie trail shows in bright white, of course. A lot of it is crushed stone, not optimal for road bikes. And I want more distance to other riders and walkers so I'm staying off bike trails now.

PixelPaul 04-14-20 06:25 AM

Thanks for the posts, very helpful!

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