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Worst sections of the major ACA routes....

Old 03-28-09, 04:05 PM
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Worst sections of the major ACA routes....

If you've cycled any of the ACA routes, what sections did you find to be the worst, most dangerous, or needing to be re-routed in your opinion?

The ACA routes are wonderful, but things do change quickly in and around roads.

My vote goes for the Globe to Superior, Arizona section of the Southern Tier.
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Old 03-28-09, 05:29 PM
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On the Pacific Coast trail:

Devil's slide just south of Pacifica. Not aware of alternative route.

Highway 1 through Laguna Beach. Very little space between moving and parked cars. Alternative route is to go up one street and wind your way through to South Laguna where Highway 1 is the only alternative.

Ray
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Old 03-28-09, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by raybo
On the Pacific Coast trail:

Devil's slide just south of Pacifica. Not aware of alternative route.

Highway 1 through Laguna Beach. Very little space between moving and parked cars. Alternative route is to go up one street and wind your way through to South Laguna where Highway 1 is the only alternative.

Ray
Thanks Ray,....

I wonder if it's possible to use google earth to show these sections?
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Old 03-28-09, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
If you've cycled any of the ACA routes, what sections did you find to be the worst, most dangerous, or needing to be re-routed in your opinion?

The ACA routes are wonderful, but things do change quickly in and around roads.

My vote goes for the Globe to Superior, Arizona section of the Southern Tier.
Worst traffic ever for me was the section of the ACA Atlantic Coast route between (approximately) Quantico in Virginia, and Reisterstown, MD. Some of that is truly horrible.
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Old 03-29-09, 12:09 AM
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Mobile Alabama Alt Route. Take the Dauphine Island ferry route.

I got lucky between Superior and Globe. There was major construction going so the cars only pulsed every 10 minutes.
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Old 03-29-09, 05:24 AM
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In the words of the proverbial Bill Clinton - -
It depends on the meaning of "worst".

Do you mean the worst traffic and road width?
Does a bad stretch count if there is no convenient paved option?
And what about scenery - does lousy scenery count?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 03-29-09, 07:50 AM
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I generally found all of the TA fine as far as the roads themselves. All in all they did a good job of picking ride-able roads. The exception being long stretches of road construction, I don't think it is reasonable to expect to miss all of that. This is especially true in places where avoiding it would take you hundreds of miles off route.

It did seem that they picked some less interesting roads than necessary at times. The route across Kansas seemed to intentionally avoid the few available points of interest. We were riding with a Kansas native there and followed his advice going off route a bit.

There were a few spots where it seemed like they went out of their way to take you up a big hill with no better scenery. Still overall they did a good job.
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Old 03-29-09, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffL
Worst traffic ever for me was the section of the ACA Atlantic Coast route between (approximately) Quantico in Virginia, and Reisterstown, MD. Some of that is truly horrible.
The MUPs they use are scenic but are twisty, narrow, and crowded through this section. Perhaps they could have a street route or a Washington bypass as an alternative.
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Old 03-29-09, 09:57 AM
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I'm not sure if people at Bikecentennial (now Adventure Cycling) are very Great Plains savvy since they are way out there in Mazzoola. I agree with the post above that the route across Kansas on the Trans Am is just about the most mind-numbing there can be. Same goes for North Dakota on the Northern Tier. Highway 200 has much less traffic than US 2 across eastern Montana and North Dakota. More importantly, it accesses two of the most important and interesting regions of the state - the north unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the historic Mandan villages of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

Still, I cannot understand why Adventure Cycling has two rather boring routes across the Great Plains and has overlooked far more visually stimulating via Nebraska thru the Sandhills and South Dakota via the Badlands and the Black Hills. Different strokes - I guess.
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Old 03-29-09, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
In the words of the supreme fool Bill Clinton - -
It depends on the meaning of "worst".

Do you mean the worst traffic and road width?
Does a bad stretch count if there is no convenient paved option?
And what about scenery - does lousy scenery count?

Inquiring minds want to know.
corrected it for you as they say in Foo

Thread starting to get good. I find it very interesting that Jeff (who definitely would know) didn't say anything about the Northern Tier. Good route across the north I take it?

and to answer your q, I'm interested in all of your analysis....

Originally Posted by jamawani
Same goes for North Dakota on the Northern Tier. Highway 200 has much less traffic than US 2 across eastern Montana and North Dakota. More importantly, it accesses two of the most important and interesting regions of the state - the north unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the historic Mandan villages of the Lewis & Clark expedition.
oops,....

So roads are ok up north just maybe boring?
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Old 03-29-09, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
corrected it for you as they say in Foo

Thread starting to get good. I find it very interesting that Jeff (who definitely would know) didn't say anything about the Northern Tier. Good route across the north I take it?

and to answer your q, I'm interested in all of your analysis....



oops,....

So roads are ok up north just maybe boring?
Regarding the Northern Tier: My favorite state was North Dakota, primarily because everyone I met while camping in the tiny towns was extremely friendly. And I actually liked the scenery. Except for a section under construction between Rugby and Minot, and the big road that takes you out of Minot, traffic was not an issue at all.

I grew EXTREMELY weary of the hundreds of miles of US 2 across eastern Montana, which, despite the presence of the awesome Glacier National Park, was my least favorite of the 20+ states I rode through last summer. For whatever reason, I found people in Montana much less friendly than in North Dakota. Maybe it's the difference in the "cowboy" attitudes there vs. the friendly old farmers in North Dakota? Also, while Glacier National Park is amazing, of course, I loathed the overpriced tourist traps on the east and west sides of the park - specifically Babb and Whitefish, which are best avoided.

Thre is some pretty bad traffic in Ohio, mostly around the town of Mentor, but the route through Cleveland itself was really, really good. Not what I expected at all.

I was surprised by how nice the ACA routes in the Northeast were. The Atlantic Coast route was great once I got into the northern part of Maryland, and away from the sprawl around DC. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine - All were very enjoyable. (Well, except for the infamous 25 miles or so through Norristown, PA).

In fact, the northern section of the Atlantic Coast route has much gentler traffic than the southern portion. I suspect that North Carolina has experienced such a boom in the last decade or so that the routing through what used to be peaceful countryside is probably unrecognizable now.
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Old 03-29-09, 11:51 AM
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great stuff, Jeff, thank you.

Ever wish you had kept going?

Pacific Coast is now calling your name.
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Old 03-29-09, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffL
Regarding the Northern Tier: My favorite state was North Dakota, primarily because everyone I met while camping in the tiny towns was extremely friendly. And I actually liked the scenery. Except for a section under construction between Rugby and Minot, and the big road that takes you out of Minot, traffic was not an issue at all.

I grew EXTREMELY weary of the hundreds of miles of US 2 across eastern Montana, which, despite the presence of the awesome Glacier National Park, was my least favorite of the 20+ states I rode through last summer. For whatever reason, I found people in Montana much less friendly than in North Dakota. Maybe it's the difference in the "cowboy" attitudes there vs. the friendly old farmers in North Dakota? Also, while Glacier National Park is amazing, of course, I loathed the overpriced tourist traps on the east and west sides of the park - specifically Babb and Whitefish, which are best avoided.

Thre is some pretty bad traffic in Ohio, mostly around the town of Mentor, but the route through Cleveland itself was really, really good. Not what I expected at all.

I was surprised by how nice the ACA routes in the Northeast were. The Atlantic Coast route was great once I got into the northern part of Maryland, and away from the sprawl around DC. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine - All were very enjoyable. (Well, except for the infamous 25 miles or so through Norristown, PA).

In fact, the northern section of the Atlantic Coast route has much gentler traffic than the southern portion. I suspect that North Carolina has experienced such a boom in the last decade or so that the routing through what used to be peaceful countryside is probably unrecognizable now.
Montana also those rumble strips from hell that are placed in such a way that you are forced to ride either on them or right along side hwy 2. From Browning onward it did so suck on Hwy 2. 70+ mph big rigs and rv's just inches from you. Not a shade tree in sight forever.


Last summers Northern Tier trip for me was a great experience. Eastern Montana though was hard at times to find something all that exciting about.
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Old 03-29-09, 12:11 PM
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I'm thinking about developing a "Bill & Hillary Clinton Memorial Bike Trail" -
Maybe from Hope, Arkansas thru Greenville, South Carolina to Washington, DC.
It will be the bestest bike route ever - no bad sections at all.
Would you like to get involved?
;-) ;-) ;-)
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Old 03-29-09, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
great stuff, Jeff, thank you.

Ever wish you had kept going?

Pacific Coast is now calling your name.
Well, I'll be closer to the Pacific Coast, because I'm moving from Kentucky, where I've lived my entire life, to Utah this summer.

This thread reminds me that I really need to finish my CGoaB journal. There is a surprise happy ending, which I need to write...
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Old 03-29-09, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
I'm thinking about developing a "Bill & Hillary Clinton Memorial Bike Trail" -
Maybe from Hope, Arkansas thru Greenville, South Carolina to Washington, DC.
It will be the bestest bike route ever - no bad sections at all.
Would you like to get involved?
;-) ;-) ;-)
It wont make it to Greenville, my friend. There are more people here in Greenville than just Airwick who would string you up by the "professors".
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Old 03-29-09, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffL
Well, I'll be closer to the Pacific Coast, because I'm moving from Kentucky, where I've lived my entire life, to Utah this summer.

This thread reminds me that I really need to finish my @3546 journal. There is a surprise happy ending, which I need to write...

Is there a woman involved?
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Old 03-29-09, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
Is there a woman involved?
Yes there is
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Old 03-29-09, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffL
Regarding the Northern Tier:
Also, while Glacier National Park is amazing, of course, I loathed the overpriced tourist traps on the east and west sides of the park - specifically Babb and Whitefish, which are best avoided.

(Well, except for the infamous 25 miles or so through Norristown, PA).
And that goes x2 for the towns just outside Zion. The Western Express passes by The Great Basin Nation Park, the only time I've not felt "taken advantage of" at an entrance town.

Dude Norristown was sketchy.
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Old 03-29-09, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Airwick
Is there a woman involved?
Originally Posted by JeffL
Yes there is
See, Airwick smarter than the average bear. Details man, details. jamawani can keep this thread on track as far as bad routes and you spill the beans.
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