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Cycling across America, east to west, 2014, rails-to-trails

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Cycling across America, east to west, 2014, rails-to-trails

Old 11-06-13, 05:01 PM
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(If you go to Google Maps, and click Bicycling on the maps pulldown list, bike trails are in dark green. They start showing up when you zoom in to about the county level. Pick one, zoom way in, and it's name is repeated down the green line.)


Ohio to Indiana:
For camping and scenic travel, here's a few ideas. I only know the roads for a hundred miles around Cincinnati OH, so I just picked out what seem to be non-major highways otherwise.

Example 1: Marietta, across SE Ohio, passing many state forests. It's hilly! I'm just guessing on the route here, with no personal experience.

Then south to the Ohio River, following the TOSRV annual bike ride route to Portsmouth OH.

Route 52 along the Ohio is sort of rideable, but it has quite a bit of traffic, compared to the Kentucky side. (The newer KY-9 highway takes most of the traffic, leaving KY-8 along the river quite quiet.)

Portsmouth OH to Vanceburg KY to Maysville KY is very rural, no stores and just scattered small farms along the valleys ( and probably lot of farm dogs?)
Maysville is an interesting old river town, and Augusta KY is another small river town.

Then head inland to Kinkaid Lake St Park, and across N Kentucky to the Ohio River again. This part is very hilly and rural.

Cross over at Madison IN. Another interesting river town, and Clifty Falls St Park.

Here's the route on ridewithgps.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Or: less climbing and not as rural:

Ohio's Little Miami Bike Trail. This is a part of a network of trails that all merge at Xenia Ohio. It's a very nice paved rail trail, following the Little Miami River, with lots of woods and water.

The mapped route follows the new trail sections from Chillicothe to Xenia. I don't know these at all, and I think at least part of them just parallel a highway along farmland. The Xenia to Milford section is the good part. In April, on weekdays, the trail shouldn't be busy at all. The southern part gets a lot of walkers, kids on bikes, etc, on the weekends.

Cross over to Kentucky at downtown Cincinnati, and the route takes a fairly low traffic and pretty rural route. I don't have any good ideas for the last part, from Big Bone State Park (referencing mammoth and buffalo bones that were found there) to Madison IN. Some of those roads are fairly busy.

I don't know which side of the river is better at the 200 mile mark, near Vevay IN. I think both sides get a fair amount of traffic.

Here's the route link.

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Old 11-06-13, 06:00 PM
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Weather, temperatures and wind:

weatherspark.com has interesting yearly average pages.

For instance, Cincinnati OH

The average highs and lows, with percentile bands in pink and blue:



Wind directions. The white part is calm days. Here in Ohio, there's a lot more south, southwest, and northeast winds than direct west winds. (and very little east, southeast, or northwest winds.)

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Old 11-06-13, 06:48 PM
  #28  
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the John Wayne Pioneer Trail might be out of your way a bit. I rode the western part of it going to Seattle. It was very well kept, in great shape and totally enjoyable to ride. I heard the eastern section is rough.

https://www.parks.wa.gov/publications...er%20Trail.pdf
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Old 11-06-13, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ees2112 View Post
Cycling across America, east to west, 2014, rails-to-trails

1. Knit together as many rails-to-trails as possible. The entire C&O Canal and GAP, and Katy trails are a must. Also, the Burr Road in Utah.
2. Camp as much as possible, to save $$ and also to
3. see as much awesome natural beauty as possible.

Start DC, C&O Canal Towpath
GAP
follow entire Ohio river along RTE 52 etc (big question mark here)
Cut across tip of ILL to STL
Katy trail
Cross KS
Cross CO at Wolf Creek Pass, Durango etc
Burr road
HWY 12 UT, cut across to
HWY 6 NV (Area 51 )
RTE 120 CA, thru YOS and home.

I am aware that, due to wind and hill grades, it is easier to head west to east. But I thought that for psychological reasons it might be better to cycle towards home (California).
This route might help get you to central Colorado. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/mikeandsharon08
We swung northwest from there to finish in Oregon.
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Old 11-10-13, 02:21 AM
  #30  
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Just want to thank everyone for all the great replies. I haven't found the time yet to go over all the suggestions. But I definitely plan to, probably once the semester winds down. This forum seems to rock very very much.
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Old 11-10-13, 06:20 AM
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I do not know how you plan to get to the east coast, but Amtrak goes there. It would be a VERY long ride from CA however, so you might prefer airline.

This past May I finished up my GAP and C&O ride with two days of sightseeing in the Smithsonian. Stayed at an HI hostel in DC, very affordable. (They had a second night free coupon if you bought a membership, thus my second night was quite affordable.) Hostel is a short bike ride from Amtrak Union Station where I left from to go back home.

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Old 11-10-13, 11:15 AM
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Nice work! And awesome advice. I adore hostelling it, mostly for the social aspect, but the price is nice, too.

I actually lived in Farifax, VA for a while, and have a friend with a place in VA we will be shoving off from. And I happened to have just enough airline miles for a free one-way. So we are setting off in style!
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Old 11-10-13, 01:36 PM
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Afaik , the rail lines over the Cascades Sierras are still in use by freight and Amtrak.

only little spurs may have been dropped from use ..
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Old 11-10-13, 04:08 PM
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you might want to look into the Burr Trail more thoroughly and try to speak with someone that has actually ridden it on a bicycle.

i have done it on a motorcycle and i'll be honest, it was touch and go. OTOH probably the most dramatic scenery in the CONUS.

i suppose one of these days they'll spoil it with pavement, but not for now. sand and gravel and absolutely nothing but the most spectacular and largest boulder formations i have ever seen. it was awe inspiring.
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Old 11-13-13, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
you might want to look into the Burr Trail more thoroughly and try to speak with someone that has actually ridden it on a bicycle.

i have done it on a motorcycle and i'll be honest, it was touch and go. OTOH probably the most dramatic scenery in the CONUS.

i suppose one of these days they'll spoil it with pavement, but not for now. sand and gravel and absolutely nothing but the most spectacular and largest boulder formations i have ever seen. it was awe inspiring.
I would love some suggestions on where to find more info. I haven't found any info on doing it by bike, but would love to get in touch with someone who has.

I had read in some guidebook that one doesn't even really need a 4WD for the Burr road. So I was imagining a fire road.. dirt and gravel. Is there quite a lot of sand? What would your opinion be of trying it by bike? I don't understand your acronyms.
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Old 11-13-13, 07:10 PM
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Have you checked crazyguyonabike.com? I'm sure someone on there has done that Route and has written it down in a Journal....
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Old 11-13-13, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ees2112 View Post
I would love some suggestions on where to find more info. I haven't found any info on doing it by bike, but would love to get in touch with someone who has.

I had read in some guidebook that one doesn't even really need a 4WD for the Burr road. So I was imagining a fire road.. dirt and gravel. Is there quite a lot of sand? What would your opinion be of trying it by bike? I don't understand your acronyms.
CONUS = continental United States

i think my route from the Colorado river to Boulder Utah was about 60 miles (?). it took four hours on my V-Star 1100 bagger. much of it at less than 10 MPH due to sand and washboard surface. i saw two automobiles. yes, the best description would be fire road, but think Mohave desert fireroad.

to be safe, i would think that one would have to be prepared to carry 2-3 days of water and be prepared to walk from time to time due to the road conitions. of course if water/food caches could be arranged, then it could be a breeze...
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Old 11-13-13, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ees2112 View Post
I would love some suggestions on where to find more info. I haven't found any info on doing it by bike, but would love to get in touch with someone who has.

I had read in some guidebook that one doesn't even really need a 4WD for the Burr road. So I was imagining a fire road.. dirt and gravel. Is there quite a lot of sand? What would your opinion be of trying it by bike? I don't understand your acronyms.
CONUS = continental United States

i think my route from the Colorado river to Boulder Utah was about 60 miles (?). it took four hours on my V-Star 1100 bagger. much of it at less than 10 MPH due to sand and washboard surface. i saw two automobiles. yes, the best description would be fire road, but think Mohave desert fireroad.

... time passes....

i just read/skimmed the Crazybuyonabike's journal entry. just read that. i'm sure it will be of more use to you than some guy on a motorcycle who did it in half a day. so i guess it's doable, but i wouldn't describe it as mostly paved though. although i think it was paved a 20-30 years ago.

BTW, it's the exact reverse route that i took from Bullfrog (didn't know that was the name of the Marina on lake Powell) to Boulder.
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