Author Topic: Anyone planning Adventure Cycling Route Tour?  (Read 386 times)

pavel

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Anyone planning Adventure Cycling Route Tour?
« on: June 02, 2017, 06:59:54 PM »
Is there anyone planning to do any of the Adventure Cycling Association's cross country routes this year?  ( https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/interactive-network-map/ )

I'm tempted to do the Southern Tier in September perhaps, but the Underground Railroad as well as the Lewis and Clark exert a lot of pull.  Just wondering if anyone else is planning something similar states-side. It'd be quite nice to meet or even pass another Thorn Owner.

mickeg

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Re: Anyone planning Adventure Cycling Route Tour?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 10:07:30 PM »
A friend of mine is doing Northern Tier, he leaves for west coast next week.  He does not have a Thorn, rides an older Cannondale.

I did Glacier Waterton loop with them in 2012, but I have no plans to do any other trips with them.

pavel

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Re: Anyone planning Adventure Cycling Route Tour?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2017, 12:14:18 AM »
Did you find any flaw with them or the maps Mickg?  I planned my own way with nice remote roads through North Carolina and Virginia but found it a terrible idea because there were no services. It was kind of sad to cycle by so many gas stations and small stores that had been closed for what looked like since the 60's and seventies.  We had a hard time getting watter.  Then at Pulaski, Virginia we met up with the Trans America Route  and  instantly all changed for the better.  People were also used to the idea of cyclists so stealth camping and camping in city parks felt much more acceptable.

So I told myself than in the future I'd buy and use their maps.  I joined this year and still have not bought any maps though I will once I decide I am really going to go and which route.  I get their monthly magazine - and it turns me off the organization so much I may not re-join once the year membership is up, even though I believe that supporting cycling organizations is a good idea.

What they do really gets under my skin.  They have thirty pages of all these nice photographs of cyclists living the touring life - and not in any single photo do you find ONE single case of messy hair. No cyclists EVER has ANY sweat on them.  The clothes are fresh and spotless as are the roads.  What kind of image are they showing? I feel like their are trying to hide what cycle touring is all about, as if they were embarrassed by the reality of it. The cover for June is somewhere in the Himalayan mountains hundreds of miles from civilization.  The girl on the cover and her gear have obviously been flow in. Not a speck of dust or dirk on her or her bike.  Man, that makes my blood boil.  Or am I too curmudgeonly? Could be :) but I wish this epic lifestyle advertising approach didn't ignore what we are and how we really roll.

Still, great maps - though pricey.

John Saxby

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Re: Anyone planning Adventure Cycling Route Tour?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2017, 03:15:40 AM »
Pavel, "NSA" is the preferred mode -- No Scruffiness Allowed ;)

On the ACA maps, though:  I used the first section of the Northern Tier maps for my ride west from Kettle Falls WA to the coast last summer. The map was helpful, esp as I got closer to the coast, and had to contend with towns and peri-urban traffic. I had to work out the elevation/distance/% grade profiles myself, though, as the visuals on the maps so exaggerated the grades of the passes as to make them ridiculous. At several points, the maps routed me onto parallel back roads, avoiding roads with heavier motor traffic.

I also used Google maps to check on food stores, etc., in areas where I might be stopping for the night. And, of course, asked people on the street for their recommendations.

Cheers, John

mickeg

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Re: Anyone planning Adventure Cycling Route Tour?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2017, 11:52:01 AM »
You have messy hair?  And dirty clothes?  You bring shame on the rest of us civilized cyclists.  I suppose you even take photos on rainy days, such days that the rest of us purge from our memories, ... ... if we ever experienced such days, I do not recall.   How uncouth you must be.  I suspect your chain is even dirty.  <Insert chuckle here.>  Just joking, no accusations intended here.

I almost never looked at the adventure cycling maps for the one trip I had with them.  They issued the maps to us so we knew the route, but they had also posted the GPS routes on their website.  Before I did the trip with them I downloaded the GPS routes and put them in my GPS, thus did not need to look at the paper version.  At that time I had no GPS base map in Canada, but having the route in the GPS was adequate, as when I needed to make a turn there was always a road that magically appeared for me to turn on to.  So, can't really comment on the maps.

My past self-planned bike tours in USA were on popular cycle routes, some of which had guidebooks available.  For example, I have the guidebooks for the GAP and C&O, Katy, Pacific Coast, etc.  Thus, did not buy the maps for those routes either.  On Katy and on GAP and C&O I had planned where we would stop (hostels or campgrounds) before we left home.  Pacific Coast, I put all the Oregon and California state parks with hiker biker sites into my tablet mapping app so we could plan how far we wanted to go each day.

I use Mapsource GPS software on my computer.  Garmin abandoned that software years ago and no longer supports it, but it works and I know how to use it so I keep using it to make routes, enter waypoints for campgrounds, grocery stores, etc.

This past February I biked Everglades and Florida Keys.  For those I planned it on Google Maps and used my new GPS that had routing capability.  And I used lots of google searches to plan where I wanted to camp while I was still at home.  I also (thanks to Google) learned that there were two major grocery store chains in the area, I put all of their stores into my GPS (manually entered them in Mapsource) so I would know how far we were from grocery stores any time we needed to know.  Adventure Cycling also had a route along the Florida Keys, but I never looked at their maps on that trip either.  But, I did download from their website the GPS route.

In USA, other than the Florida Everglades, I have never planned a bike route that is somewhere that is not a known popular bike route.  So, I have minimal advice. 

That friend of mine that is getting ready to go cross country again, he wanted to do a short trip here in Wisconsin to test his gear (new tent, new dynohub wheel, new Luxos U with USB charger, new saddle, new Microshift bar end shifters, etc.)  And I built up a new touring bike and had a new tent so I of course was interested in a short tour to test my new bike and new tent too.  He planned a route that used three state parks for camping and one private campground for a fourth night.  He is retired, but we both used to work for the state agency that runs the state parks so he knew staff at every park we went too, during his working career he probably drove most of the roads we rode on.  He also planned the route, I suspect on Google maps and put together GPX files that I could put in my GPS. (Although I worked for that state agency, I was in part of it that had no connection with the parks, so I was ignorant of a lot of the information that he knew.) We started out from our homes with two days of food, we knew where a grocery store was to stock up later, planned on a few restaurants for lunches when convenient, etc.  The route, the plan, his bike, my tent, almost everything worked great.  (Too many rainy days however.)  My bike, I had a mechanical (a screw came loose) and a slight shimmy (new fork expected to arrive next week).

So, can't offer much help.  But maybe some of what I said above might provide some ideas for your future planning.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2017, 11:54:09 AM by mickeg »