Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Merge ACA routes or make my own?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Merge ACA routes or make my own?

Old 09-15-13, 03:49 PM
  #1  
HerrHerron
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 2

Bikes: Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Merge ACA routes or make my own?

Hi everyone,

I'll be touring from GA to OR next year, and I'm looking at some options. I could take the ACA Atlantic Coast trail up to the TransAmerica, but that seems pretty out-of-the-way...
Alternatively I could create my own route west through AL, TN, and meet up with the TransAm somewhere around western KY. This would avoid the climbs of the eastern TransAm, and shave off possibly 500 miles. But I've never used ACA maps, for all I know they're good enough to be worth the long route. Anyone have any advice?
I don't have any time constraints (at all!) besides weather/season. It's my first tour, and I'm also pretty new to cycling in general, which I guess is why I'm not too confident in my own routing abilities...
HerrHerron is offline  
Old 09-15-13, 04:07 PM
  #2  
jamawani 
Hooked on Touring
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,667
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 52 Times in 36 Posts
HH -

Depends on a lot of thing - -
Do you want to go coast to coast? Atlantic to Pacific?
If so, then you will have to head east from Augusta - Tybee Island, Charleston, not Myrtle Beach, please.

Also, when do you plan on doing this?
Riding thru Georgia and Alabama in July is different than in April or May.
And if you don't have a timeframe or limits that impact an extra 500 miles does it matter?
Not to mention that you can always hop on an Amtrak and start in Virginia the next day.

If you are from Georgia, it may have greater meaning starting from one of the Sea Islands.
There will still be some smaller, but sharp climbs in the Cumberland region.
GA, AL, TN, and KY all have county maps available online.
Plus they generally have traffic data - at least for state highways.

One possibility is to include the paved Silver Comet Trail -
Then zig northwest across northern Alabama.
The area immediately east of the Tennessee River in central Tenn is very quiet.
Then you could ride up thru Land Between the Lakes before connecting with the TransAm.

If you do a little footwork beforehand, there is no reason you cannot do your own route.
If you want to meet up with other riders right from the start - heading up to Yorktown, VA makes sense.
jamawani is offline  
Old 09-16-13, 01:06 PM
  #3  
HerrHerron
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 2

Bikes: Surly LHT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Amtrak! Hadn't considered that. I guess if I'm doing the full TransAm there's not real point in biking to VA. So it's either full TransAm or meet up with it in KY.
Still leaning toward the southern route though. Thank you for your great suggestions, I've already used them to make a route on RideWithGPS. Do you have any advice for choosing roads? I basically just try to use Google Street View whenever possible.
Ill definitely start at the coast, if it's down here I was thinking Savannah or Charleston. Starting early April, but that's flexible.
HerrHerron is offline  
Old 09-22-13, 09:13 AM
  #4  
Yumadons
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 117
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We rode from the Oregon coast to Hilton Head Island, taking the TransAm as far as the Katy trail. After crossing the Mississippi, we had barely a hill. Katy >> Mississippi River Trail >> forged our own route to
Chief Ladiga / Silver Comet >> Atlanta >> forged our own route to Hilton Head. 4,000 miles without camping gear, averaging 43 mpd. All lodging / prices are documented here:

https://bicyclelife.topicwise.com/doc/Yumadons1
Yumadons is offline  
Old 09-22-13, 10:25 PM
  #5  
Fullcount
Interested Backpacker
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Hampton, Va
Posts: 262

Bikes: 88 Peugot US Express, 2001 Trek 520 Slate Pearl, MayaCycle Trailer, 2104 Trek Domane, Sun EZ Sport Recumbent

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Try Google Maps. They now have a routing program that gives you directions for bikes. Just place your start and stop, look at the top right corner and Change the car icon to a bike....and Whala, you have the start to your bike route. Want to divert to a stop along the way? Just drag the mid point to another location and the program recalculated the bike route. Keep in mind, this new bike routing option is in beta, so you have to be smarter than the computer.

I have checked the routing here in my local area and the chosen bike routes are 95% spot on. Good luck on your trip.
Fullcount is offline  
Old 09-23-13, 05:05 AM
  #6  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 29,463
Mentioned: 198 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12883 Post(s)
Liked 5,248 Times in 2,697 Posts
Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
Try Google Maps. They now have a routing program that gives you directions for bikes. Just place your start and stop, look at the top right corner and Change the car icon to a bike....and Whala, you have the start to your bike route.
Sometimes the logic routes you over unpaved roads. If those roads are not available on Street View, you won't be able to see if they are paved or not. It can also pick roads that are not really roads (some have reported the logic picking hiking trails) or roads that have been abandoned.

OP: Try to get any available state bike maps. The ACA maps are very helpful since they show services like campgrounds, motels and grocery stores, but you can find these on your own. For example, come up with a rough route and pick locations that, from a daily mileage perspective, look like possible overnight locations. Then search in Google for something like "campgrounds near [insert name of town]." I nothing shows up, widen your viewing area to see if something pops up.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 09-23-13, 06:29 AM
  #7  
Cyclebum
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Posts: 2,766

Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Depends on your inclination for a guided tour v DIY.

The ACA maps are popular for good reasons. Lots of local trivia, no route planning needed, and if camping, may save you more money than they cost.

OTOH, there's something special about planning your own tour, winging it, the 'surprise' factor, the challenge. More of a personal accomplishment.

You could, should test DIY with a local mini-tour in an area not familiar, then decide.
Cyclebum is offline  
Old 09-23-13, 08:47 PM
  #8  
Fullcount
Interested Backpacker
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Hampton, Va
Posts: 262

Bikes: 88 Peugot US Express, 2001 Trek 520 Slate Pearl, MayaCycle Trailer, 2104 Trek Domane, Sun EZ Sport Recumbent

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Sometimes the logic routes you over unpaved roads. If those roads are not available on Street View, you won't be able to see if they are paved or not. It can also pick roads that are not really roads (some have reported the logic picking hiking trails) or roads that have been abandoned.

OP: Try to get any available state bike maps. The ACA maps are very helpful since they show services like campgrounds, motels and grocery stores, but you can find these on your own. For example, come up with a rough route and pick locations that, from a daily mileage perspective, look like possible overnight locations. Then search in Google for something like "campgrounds near [insert name of town]." I nothing shows up, widen your viewing area to see if something pops up.
For campgrounds in a vicinity, check out the app, AllStays Camp & Tent. This app has a large database of local coampgrounds, Corps of engineering, vamps, city parks, KOAs, etc.... If you get a route chosen, you can check a location and the app will find the campground nearest your intended stop.
Fullcount is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
perspiration
Northeast
31
12-07-13 04:26 PM
DerrickD
Touring
2
11-01-13 08:36 PM
bastian
Touring
18
06-06-13 10:48 AM
concentriq
Touring
4
02-26-13 06:11 PM
jscotkey
Touring
2
05-13-10 05:42 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.