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Has anyone actually used the ACA's Bicycle Route 66 Map from Chicago to Los angeles?

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Has anyone actually used the ACA's Bicycle Route 66 Map from Chicago to Los angeles?

Old 04-28-17, 08:42 PM
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jrbrandt97
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Has anyone actually used the ACA's Bicycle Route 66 Map from Chicago to Los angeles?

I'm thinking about buying it and wondering what your experiences have been like if anyone has actually used it.

Thanks
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Old 04-28-17, 08:49 PM
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chrisx
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Travel towards the pacific = strongest head winds you can think of all day.
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Old 04-29-17, 07:02 AM
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A very good friend was the ACA's tour leader last year on the route's first association tour. But he's 2 weeks away from finishing the Southern Tier tour so I can't ask him anything yet. Brian lead the East bound group, did the mountains and waste lands of the SW first. He has mentioned about a few long stretches of no services. https://www.adventurecycling.org/res...road-route-66/ Is the link to a story of this tour. Andy (Who works on Brian's bikes sometimes)
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Old 04-29-17, 07:15 AM
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I'm taking Route 66 from Santa Monica to Missouri this summer as part of my cross country ride. I bought sections 3,4,5 and 6 and though I haven't used them on the ride itself, looking over them I can see they are going to be a big help.
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Old 04-30-17, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jrbrandt97 View Post
I'm thinking about buying it and wondering what your experiences have been like if anyone has actually used it.

Thanks
I have done Amarillo to Chicago in three different one week rides going west to east. Used ACA maps for Amarillo to St. Louis. The maps worked well once we got used to reading them backwards. The default direction of the maps is east to west. The directions west to east are just as detailed as east to west but you read map numbers in descending order. My riding partner planned the St. Louis to Chicago ride on the internet before the ACA maps came out. I believe there is an IL Bike Route 66 that he was able to find and it was excellent. It did have some signage but not enough to rely on. I have never checked to see how the IL route we rode matches up to the ACA maps. We've sort of decided to pass on the remaining portion of the route as it appears there is quite a bit of interstate riding. I have a full set of 2015 maps I could part with.

Oops, we used ACA maps from Amarillo to Quapaw, OK. Other two rides pre-dated my maps so we must have planned the MO segment ourselves as well as the IL segment.

Last edited by L134; 04-30-17 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 04-30-17, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
Travel towards the pacific = strongest head winds you can think of all day.
Agreed. ACA seems to be oblivious to this thing called "wind". Most of their horizontally-oriented routes tell you to go west.

Considering wind is possibly the single most important variable, it's questionable if anyone at ACA has been on a bike tour before.
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Old 04-30-17, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BlarneyHammer View Post
Agreed. ACA seems to be oblivious to this thing called "wind". Most of their horizontally-oriented routes tell you to go west.

Considering wind is possibly the single most important variable, it's questionable if anyone at ACA has been on a bike tour before.
Who do you think where the first folks to ride ACA's TransAM route? I've met several ACA led tours on the road.

In my experience going west to east across the U.S. the winds are still a crap shoot. We had days of pedaling hard to get up to 10 mph going downhill.
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Old 05-01-17, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BlarneyHammer View Post
...Considering wind is possibly the single most important variable, it's questionable if anyone at ACA has been on a bike tour before.
I've led the TransAm tour four times now for ACA. Every leader updates the route notes in detail for the next leader. There have likely been well over 100 leaders from ACA who have ridden that route plus those who mapped it originally. Thousands of other members have also provided feedback. ACA's Mac MaCoy rode, drove and mapped every inch of the Great Divide Trail you rode last summer!

https://www.adventurecycling.org/res...-great-divide/

The original "Bikecentennial" tour in 1976 was west to east. When they began to continue with the guided tour it was offered in both directions. Over the years east to west became the preferred direction due to a combination of milder Spring weather in the south, earlier start, open passes later out west and the general psychology of "Westward Bound!" Just last year ACA again offered an eastbound TransAm. I believe it didn't fill and was cancelled. Whatever say the wind had, eastbound travel was largely out voted by "Westward Ho!" That said, the Northern and Southern Tier routes are commonly ridden in either direction.

As many on BF have posted before and have documented with maps the jet stream is high aloft. Ground winds are generally from the south in the middle of the country. You'll probably have a side wind west bound from Eureka to Rosalia KS. When you take the right turn north to Cassoday it will be right at your back. I led a group in the 80s when we sailed 110 miles from Tribune KS to Eads CO in a day with a strong easterly tail wind. Yes, you may well have a head wind in Wyoming. You may have one from Chicago to LA or you may not. Each day will be unique, it's a toss up.

Last edited by BobG; 05-04-17 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 05-01-17, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BlarneyHammer View Post
Considering wind is possibly the single most important variable, it's questionable if anyone at ACA has been on a bike tour before.
A. Wind is not the most important variable as BobG, one of my ACA tour leaders back in '99, has explained. Our group had plenty of days of headwinds going west to east.

B. Employees of ACA are actually given time to take bike trips as part of their compensation package, and it's a good amount of time. Indeed, someone there with whom I have had dealings will be riding across the U.S.--east to west-- starting this spring.

Hope that clears up your confusion.
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Old 05-03-17, 10:53 PM
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chrisx
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Originally Posted by BlarneyHammer View Post
Agreed. ACA seems to be oblivious to this thing called "wind". Most of their horizontally-oriented routes tell you to go west.

Considering wind is possibly the single most important variable, it's questionable if anyone at ACA has been on a bike tour before.
They sell maps $100 to cross the country.

How did the town of Needles California come to exist? Well, over a hundred years ago, some wagon trains stopped there to wait for the wind to ease. (Still waiting.) I heard them say, I know this is true, I am one of the descendents.

If you like 40 and 50 mile an hour head winds go east on 66.
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Old 05-03-17, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

B. Employees of ACA are actually given time to take bike trips as part of their compensation package, and it's a good amount of time.

Hope that clears up your confusion.
Given unpaid leave? No year round work?


The wind on the souther teir comes ouot of the west and blows towards the east. From the Pacifc too most of the way into Texas.

The wind, in easteren California, on 66 is strong, blowing from west to east. Perhaps in july it would only be 30 mph instead of 40 or 50.
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Old 05-04-17, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
Given unpaid leave? No year round work?
Nope. As stated above it is "part of their compensation package."

Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
The wind, in easteren California, on 66 is strong, blowing from west to east. Perhaps in july it would only be 30 mph instead of 40 or 50.
Not that bad today in Needles CA except quite hot at 106. That could be more of a travel concern than the wind. Todays's Accuweather forcast says winds from the SSE at 7 mph. No westerlies until tonight at 7 mph. Gusts to 10.

from https://weatherspark.com/y/2288/Aver...-United-States...

"The windier part of the year lasts for 8.1 months, from November 6 to July 10, with average wind speeds of more than 4.3 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 3, with an average hourly wind speed of 4.9 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 3.9 months, from July 10 to November 6. The calmest day of the year is September 5, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.7 miles per hour.

The predominant average hourly wind direction in Needles varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the south for 5.3 months, from April 24 to October 2, with a peak percentage of 67% on July 20. The wind is most often from the north for 6.7 months, from October 2 to April 24, with a peak percentage of 65% on January."

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Old 05-04-17, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
Given unpaid leave? No year round work?
No. They are given additional vacation time to take bike trips.
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Old 05-04-17, 07:34 PM
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well in 2008; those statistics were wrong. Florida was not that bad, they had a record freeze to kill the bugs. Other than Pensacola, where the aca route passes through an un safe ghetto. In Louisana it rained for five days non stop. the wind was not that bad. Until. Was it bastrop state park in Texas, where the trees ran out? Each day I peddled west into a 30 mph head wind. I had to use my stove in drains for water pass under the road. No other wind break. In New Mexico there were trees for a couple of days. seven days to cross Arizona. Litttle wind. Worst drivers in the USA. I cut up to Lake havasu. A semi truck pulled along side of me and pushed me off the road. From Needles west The wind was blowing 50 miles an hour for days on end. Water was 29 miles apart or so. In the distance I could see the 66 station. I had plenty of water. I splashed it around like it was free or something. Washed up, took a shower, used it all, knowing there was more a mile up the road. Guess what? They did not have any. I got 2 half liter bottles, thats all. 29 miles west to the next water. 29 miles into a 50 mile an hour head wind. About 8 hours later, I chanced upon a midget selling bees wax or honey or something. He gave me a half liter bottle of water. Stop and think about this, Mohave desert, half liter, 50 mph head wind. I made it to the next station around sunset. The pregnant lady working, asked me if I was dehydrated? I guess my ramblings were crazy. She will make a good mother, she wanted to mother me, thanks. I have to say, Lake havasu to Lake Isabella is the worst ride I have ever been on. It was no longer fun after the trees ran out. It got worse in California on route 66. It was, I have to make it. I wanted to cross the country ocean to ocean on my own, no help. I did. Now I find nicer places to ride.

do not be afraid to take the bus, cycle touring should be fun, not an endurance test.
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/11...ve-desert.html

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Old 05-05-17, 06:40 PM
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Yes, winter and spring in the desert southwest can be very windy at times, and those will generally be have some large westerly component--that is, a tailwind from the east would be extremely freakish.

For what it's worth, a big heat wave out here in California is just breaking today, and we are supposed to get an unusual cutoff low in SoCal the next few days with SW winds screaming across the desert and much cooler than normal temperatures. If someone was crossing the Mohave from the west, the next couple weeks look good--the large scale jet stream pattern has an amplified wave situation, and is going to be quasi-stationary, so the West looks to have cool, windy, and unsettled weather for the next couple weeks at least. I wonder what that couple heading up through the Rockies on the tandem are going to get?

There's a CGOAB Route 66 journal where a westbound rider found the heat in May getting too much, even at altitude, and caught the bus in St. George to LA.

Last edited by stevepusser; 05-05-17 at 06:45 PM.
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