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Bicycle across Pa.

Old 06-19-17, 12:00 PM
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Bicycle across Pa.

I'm interested in biking east to west across Pa. From looking at BikePa.com it appears Route Y or S would be the logical selections. Route Y is basically Rt. 6 and Route S is, well, I haven't any idea what the roads are used in Route S. I've tried clicking on the numbers on Route S on the BikePa.com site and nothing happens. Supposedly a detailed map is supposed to appear.

Does anyone have a detailed routing of Route S?? Or maybe a deviated routing of there own route across Pa?

TIA, Tony
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Old 06-19-17, 12:13 PM
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try Pennsylvania Highways: Bike Routes
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Old 06-19-17, 12:46 PM
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Gee, the Route S map is quite unusual. You can click each of the numbered segments on the pdf, and it loads a new map.

So I clicked on segments 29, 28, and 27. Starting near Valley Forge, west to New Holland.

Mapping with Strava Route Builder:

On Strava Route Builder, with the Heat Map turned on, most of Route S is quite popular with riders, but there's lots of alternative roads to take. (I looked for town names along the way on the PDF, and clicked to go there -- I sometimes had to drag the results to different roads to follow the Route S. You'd likely want a GPS device to follow a Strava route, since it can have lots of turns.

This Strava Route Builder Route S example map.

You need a free Strava login to use the route builder. I always turn on the Heat Map when drawing a route. The dark red roads are the most popular with cyclists that uploaded their GPS recordings to strava. And I pay close attention to faint blue roads with red roads nearby -- cyclists are avoiding those blue roads! You can see some areas on the map example that would be difficult to cross -- all faint blue.

The route builder drawing screen. You can drag the route to different roads, normally picking red ones, and see the elevation chart and mileage changes.



...

And the full size image:



Last edited by rm -rf; 06-19-17 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 06-19-17, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by at_hiker59
The link worked good...but when I found the desired route I clicked on the "map" choice and the page came up as "Hmmm, we can't reach this page." But they do list the counties involved with the route so I should be able to figure it out by that. Thanks.
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Old 06-19-17, 12:59 PM
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Strava Route Builder
Here's the route builder default by clicking near Valley Forge, then at Lancaster PA (which is on Route S).
I would normally use their default as a starting point, then drag sections to new roads to see if it had different hills or went through a town I wanted to see or use as a food stop, etc.

It takes a much different route than Route S.
Valley Forge to Lancaster, default route.

Originally Posted by mattbur
The link worked good...but when I found the desired route I clicked on the "map" choice and the page came up as "Hmmm, we can't reach this page." But they do list the counties involved with the route so I should be able to figure it out by that. Thanks.
Yeah, that link is dead. Use my pdf link, then click each circled segment number inside the pdf to get a detailed map. (or change the detail URL's map number.) Weird design!

For example, here's page 26:
www.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/bikes/Bike_S_26.PDF

Other PA routes:
I edited the URL, changing "S" to "J" and it showed Route J.
www.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/bikes/state_mapJ.pdf

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-19-17 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 06-19-17, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
Gee, the Route S map is quite unusual. You can click each of the numbered segments on the pdf, and it loads a new map.

So I clicked on segments 29, 28, and 27. Starting near Valley Forge, west to New Holland.

Mapping with Strava Route Builder:

On Strava Route Builder, with the Heat Map turned on, most of Route S is quite popular with riders, but there's lots of alternative roads to take. (I looked for town names along the way on the PDF, and clicked to go there -- I sometimes had to drag the results to different roads to follow the Route S. You'd likely want a GPS device to follow a Strava route, since it can have lots of turns.

This Strava Route Builder Route S example map.

You need a free Strava login to use the route builder. I always turn on the Heat Map when drawing a route. The dark red roads are the most popular with cyclists that uploaded their GPS recordings to strava. And I pay close attention to faint blue roads with red roads nearby -- cyclists are avoiding those blue roads! You can see some areas on the map example that would be difficult to cross -- all faint blue.

The route builder drawing screen. You can drag the route to different roads, normally picking red ones, and see the elevation chart and mileage changes.



...

And the full size image:


I'll look at that site. I've been to Ride with GPS and the Garmin site but never Strava. You apparently are able to do a lot of different things on the Strava site. I'll give it a go. Thanks.
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Old 06-19-17, 02:15 PM
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Do you know about Route V in the middle of the state?

https://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/pd...state_mapV.pdf

The stretch west of Lewisburg is some of the nicest riding in the East.
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Old 06-19-17, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
Do you know about Route V in the middle of the state?

https://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/pd...state_mapV.pdf

The stretch west of Lewisburg is some of the nicest riding in the East.
That's page 19, 18, etc.

What do you like about it?
I did a little random Google Street View on Rt 192, and saw rolling hills, brick farmhouses, and views of distant hillsides. Some nice wooded areas farther west, too.

Should be low traffic? But there's limited alternate routes going east-west, which might make more traffic on the few roads? Fairly straight roads should allow cars to pass easily.
It mostly follows the folded hill's valleys, instead of crossing them north to south?
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Old 06-19-17, 04:23 PM
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From State College (off route but easy detour) to Lewisburg -
Gorgeous farm and mountain scenery, low traffic, moderate grade, Winter State Park w/ camping.
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Old 06-19-17, 05:56 PM
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I have ridden the S Route from NJ to near Gettysburg one time, and various parts of it between NJ and Lancaster several times. It's mostly pretty nice.

As i understand it, these BikePA routes are state routes and state roads. Sometimes there is a better road, but if it's not a state road, the BikePA route won't use it.
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Old 06-19-17, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
Do you know about Route V in the middle of the state?

https://www.dot.state.pa.us/public/pd...state_mapV.pdf

The stretch west of Lewisburg is some of the nicest riding in the East.
I did not know about route V. It looks like it might be a bit flatter too. Thanks
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Old 06-19-17, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
I have ridden the S Route from NJ to near Gettysburg one time, and various parts of it between NJ and Lancaster several times. It's mostly pretty nice.

As i understand it, these BikePA routes are state routes and state roads. Sometimes there is a better road, but if it's not a state road, the BikePA route won't use it.
I did read that also. If it wasn't state road they didn't use it. I think "V" looks like a keeper for my needs. As I lay this out I'll look at some roads that I might be able to change up a bit to make the route more cohesive. Also, looking at Strava and Ride with GPS I might be able to pick apart some other cyclists routes to streamline mine a bit. Maybe.

Thanks all, Tony
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Old 06-20-17, 03:51 PM
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Anyplace in Eastern PA while on tour (except in winter), watch out for lyme disease. Due to climate change & more deer, the US disease incidence rate per 100,000 people has increased 100% in the past 25 years.
Many Christians, like me, are taking steps to slow down climate change:
*reduce/reuse/recycle
*vote for environmental justice & responsibility
*replace car miles with bicycle miles
*...
However, if humanity wants to avoid the worst effects, including huge lyme disease outbreaks, everybody needs to change their lifestyles & voting.
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Old 06-21-17, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by hartlean
Anyplace in Eastern PA while on tour (except in winter), watch out for lyme disease. Due to climate change & more deer, the US disease incidence rate per 100,000 people has increased 100% in the past 25 years.
Many Christians, like me, are taking steps to slow down climate change:
*reduce/reuse/recycle
*vote for environmental justice & responsibility
*replace car miles with bicycle miles
*...
However, if humanity wants to avoid the worst effects, including huge lyme disease outbreaks, everybody needs to change their lifestyles & voting.
Some good points. Being a hunter and avid outdoorsman I'm very aware of the tick problem. It's not something I think too much about while biking but the threat would certainly be present while camping on my trip.

Up in NW Pa. we had a very mild winter this past winter. Not sure but I think the more harsh winters have an affect on the tick population. Never the less, I'll be mindful of those little buggers.

Thanks Tony
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Old 06-22-17, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by hartlean
Anyplace in Eastern PA while on tour (except in winter), watch out for lyme disease. Due to climate change & more deer, the US disease incidence rate per 100,000 people has increased 100% in the past 25 years.

<Blatant political rant removed>

.

Post was nothing but an excuse to post politics in a non political thread. Please keep your blatant political rants for P&R. Why not just warn folks about lyme disease and end it?

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Old 06-22-17, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mattbur
Route Y is basically Rt. 6
TIA, Tony


I rode basically route 6 across PA twice several decades ago. Beautiful farms, and views, and traffic was very reasonable.
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Old 06-23-17, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mantelclock
I rode basically route 6 across PA twice several decades ago. Beautiful farms, and views, and traffic was very reasonable.
How did you find the terrain and road surface quality on your RT 6 trip across PA?
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Old 06-23-17, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by hfbill
How did you find the terrain and road surface quality on your RT 6 trip across PA?
I rode west to east both times. The terrain through most of northern PA consisted of long, but reasonable climbs, the most noteworthy being the climb out of the Kinzua reservoir. In the northeast, especially along the Susquehanna River there were quite a few shorter but steeper climbs. Of course, by the time we got to that part of the trip we were in pretty good shape so the hills did not really bother us.


The road surface was quite good, and the shoulders were wide, but I can't say what the conditions are like today. It's been a long time since I rode there.
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Old 07-03-17, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mattbur
Does anyone have a detailed routing of Route S?? Or maybe a deviated routing of there own route across Pa?
I have crossed PA twice west to east. Just got back from a tour out west so I am catching up on things, but I will say now that the first time I rode the GAPO trail from Pittsburgh to its end in Cumberland, MD then took U.S. 220 and 220 (Bus.)
to Bedford., From there, I rode Route S (with a detour to ride the abandoned section of the PA Turnpike) to Lancaster County, where I got off Route S for a bit and then returned to it. Eventually made my way to the Schuykill River Trail and rode that home to Philly.

The second trip started near Warren, OH and went into PA on the first at Franklin. From there, I took the wonderful (and paved) Allegheny River Trail to Emlenton where I picked up PA Route V all the way to Bloomsburgh. From there, I followed my own route home to Philly.

The second route was, by a good amount, nicer. I probably have maps and/or cue sheets for both route, but they will be west to east.

BTW..Check out Adventure Cycling Association's web site. They just put up for sale maps for their new Chicago to NYC route. It crosses PA in two ways.

O.K. Time to get ready for my first day at work in over 2 weeks.
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Old 07-03-17, 01:57 PM
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mantleclock and Indyfabz,

Appreciate the input. This is a bigger undertaking than I first thought. There's a lot to look at for sure. Indyfabz, are any of your maps or cue sheets on Strava or RWGBS?

Thanks guys, Tony
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Old 07-04-17, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mattbur
This is a bigger undertaking than I first thought. There's a lot to look at for sure. Indyfabz, are any of your maps or cue sheets on Strava or RWGBS?
It's not as big as you might imagine. The first logistical hurdle is transportation to/from the start/end. Pittsburgh is nice since you can get one-way car rentals there. As noted, I picked Warren, OH for the second trip because I could drop off a car there. Also used Avis to PGH for my first trip. Living in Philly also helped with car rental logistics.

While I haven't ridden Y, one problem I have heard is increased traffic in some areas (e.g. Tioga County) due to fracking activity. That may have cooled down somewhat more recently.

I will have to check, but I am pretty sure I have RWGPS maps for each day of my OH to Philly trip that lead to each campground I utilized. Not sure about the PGH to Philly trip.

I have also been toying with an Erie to Philly trip and have started to map it out. It picks up route Y east of Erie and follows it to Ansonia, where it picks up the Pine Creek Gorge Trail to Jersey Shore. From there, the route ends up on the D&L trail system as much as possible (including the Lehigh Gorge Trail) to Easton and then down the river to Lambertville, NJ/New Hope, PA. From there, it goes to Philly via a tried and true route that I have ridden many times.
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Old 07-06-17, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
It's not as big as you might imagine. The first logistical hurdle is transportation to/from the start/end. Pittsburgh is nice since you can get one-way car rentals there. As noted, I picked Warren, OH for the second trip because I could drop off a car there. Also used Avis to PGH for my first trip. Living in Philly also helped with car rental logistics.

While I haven't ridden Y, one problem I have heard is increased traffic in some areas (e.g. Tioga County) due to fracking activity. That may have cooled down somewhat more recently.

I will have to check, but I am pretty sure I have RWGPS maps for each day of my OH to Philly trip that lead to each campground I utilized. Not sure about the PGH to Philly trip.

I have also been toying with an Erie to Philly trip and have started to map it out. It picks up route Y east of Erie and follows it to Ansonia, where it picks up the Pine Creek Gorge Trail to Jersey Shore. From there, the route ends up on the D&L trail system as much as possible (including the Lehigh Gorge Trail) to Easton and then down the river to Lambertville, NJ/New Hope, PA. From there, it goes to Philly via a tried and true route that I have ridden many times.



I guess what I meant by "This is a bigger undertaking than I first thought" was locating camp grounds along my route previous to the trip. I ride with a local group and a few of the riders have done bicycle touring. The one fella did a cross country trip on his bicycle and didn't seem to have any trouble asking at peoples houses to camp on their property. I don't see myself doing that, I'm not that forward a person.

The transportation thing was my next concern. I thought maybe a Greyhound bus could be used to transport me back home when I'm done. I never thought of a one-way rental. That is a good idea. I also gave the direction of travel more thought and will definitely go west to east due to the prevailing winds. I'm near Erie Pa. so some sort of transportation shouldn't be a problem.

Your Erie to Philly trip sounds like a winner. Seems you already have it planned out to a point where you've got the main points laid out. My wife and I did the Pine Creek Trail this past May. Real nice trip with a great inn half way thru named Hotel Manor. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

Under normal riding conditions, how many miles a day do you ride while touring??

Good luck with your plans and trip.

Tony
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Old 07-06-17, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mattbur
Your Erie to Philly trip sounds like a winner. Seems you already have it planned out to a point where you've got the main points laid out. My wife and I did the Pine Creek Trail this past May. Real nice trip with a great inn half way thru named Hotel Manor. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

Under normal riding conditions, how many miles a day do you ride while touring??
Last time I checked, Avis had one-way rentals from Philly to Erie.


I will check my RWGPS maps this weekend to see what I have plotted so far for that route.


One way to find campgrounds is by searching Google Maps. Once you have a general idea of the route, pick towns that are reasonable riding distances from each other and then search Google Maps for "Campgrounds near [name of day's destination town]". For example, for my tour which just ended my plan was to head west from Missoula, MT for a few days. The town of St. Regis was at the outer limit of my desired range so I searched for "Campgrounds near St. Regis, MT". The search returned two campgrounds in the immediate vicinity. The next logical stop was Wallace, ID. A search returned a campground right in town and just off the trail that would take me into town.


If your search doesn't return anything close, pan out to broaden the results. Your searches my show state parks but will not indicate whether they allow camping. You will have to check the parks' websites to see if they allow camping. BTW...This search method also works well with "grocery stores near".



How far I ride each days depends largely on terrain. During my recent trip, the first day ended up being around 90 miles, but it wasn't that hilly. In contrast, I had about a 60 mile day that had three mountain passes. In general, I like to keep the days in the upper 50s to mid-60s range.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mattbur

Your Erie to Philly trip sounds like a winner. Seems you already have it planned out to a point where you've got the main points laid out.
Getting back to this....
I have mapped out more than I thought I had. The first map is Erie to Milford, NJ using the Pine Creek and Lehigh Gorge Trails:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6605807

This is the connector from Erie to Route Y at Union City that I came up with:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6743896

Unfortunately, I didn't note the camping locations, but they might not be too difficult to recreate. I know there is a campground in White Haven just before the start of the Lehigh Gorge Trail. I envisioned camping along Pine Creek one night (permit required). The second map currently ends at Dogwood Haven Campground. I have stayed there several times. It's dated, but quiet (nearly all mature seasonal campers) and totally shaded. The owner is a really nice guy who charges cyclists only $10. He doesn't even make me register. I just flip him some cash and all is good. You can make Philly from there. I can easily extend the map. I just didn't bother because I know the route like the back of my hand.

South of Easton I chose the roads on the NJ side, but you could stay on the D&L canal path right to the Dogwood Haven. I happen to like the NJ roads better. Carpentersville to Milford is very scenic with very light traffic. The trail can get monotonous, and the last time I rode it (last year) my bike and legs got covered with white dust from the crushed stone surface.
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Old 07-19-17, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Getting back to this....
I have mapped out more than I thought I had. The first map is Erie to Milford, NJ using the Pine Creek and Lehigh Gorge Trails:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6605807

This is the connector from Erie to Route Y at Union City that I came up with:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6743896

Unfortunately, I didn't note the camping locations, but they might not be too difficult to recreate. I know there is a campground in White Haven just before the start of the Lehigh Gorge Trail. I envisioned camping along Pine Creek one night (permit required). The second map currently ends at Dogwood Haven Campground. I have stayed there several times. It's dated, but quiet (nearly all mature seasonal campers) and totally shaded. The owner is a really nice guy who charges cyclists only $10. He doesn't even make me register. I just flip him some cash and all is good. You can make Philly from there. I can easily extend the map. I just didn't bother because I know the route like the back of my hand.

South of Easton I chose the roads on the NJ side, but you could stay on the D&L canal path right to the Dogwood Haven. I happen to like the NJ roads better. Carpentersville to Milford is very scenic with very light traffic. The trail can get monotonous, and the last time I rode it (last year) my bike and legs got covered with white dust from the crushed stone surface.



The trail can get monotonous, and the last time I rode it (last year) my bike and legs got covered with white dust from the crushed stone surface.

Kinda made me chuckle on that one. The wife and I came back this afternoon from riding the Ohio/Erie Canal Towpath today with our legs covered with white stone dust and our sneakers filled with small bits of stones from the crushed stone surface. lol

Thanks for the links to the RWGPS site. It looks very interesting.

Thanks for all the help, Tony
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