The Adventure Cycling blog covers bicycle-travel news, touring tips and gear, bicycle routes, organizational news, membership highlights, guided tours, and more. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates.
Photo by Adam Coppola
Cycling season is construction season for highway departments. Now is the time to check Department of Transportation (DOT) websites for construction projects in the states on your intended route. Read more for alerts in Idaho, construction related travel resources, and ways to share construction information with your fellow bicycle travelers.
We have more time to push for and negotiate changes in proposed rumble strip applications on the Northern Tier and TransAm in Montana – well over 1,000 people contacted Montana DOT and made a BIG difference – we will keep pressing for change and may need your help again in the near future.
In April 2015, Adventure Cycling's Jenn Milyko traveled to New Mexico, "Land of Enchantment," for business and a look at Bicycle Route 66.
In the summer of 2014 we conducted a test of digital data on one of the routes in the Adventure Cycling Route Network. Over the winter we combed through the feedback and distilled it to new downloadable products released on April 27, 2015.
Last week we sent out an unusual alert about pending rumble strip applications on the Northern Tier and TransAm cycling routes. Based on your feedback, we are clarifying our message to "Wrong Way on Rumble Strips." While we fully understand the value and importance of rumble strips, these proposed rumble strips could force cyclists into high speed travel lanes with trucks and other motor traffic. We look forward to hearing from the Montana Department of Transportation but until we do, please keep contacting them.
Many state Departments of Transportation use rumble strips as a way to improve safety on highways with high numbers of run-off-the-road crashes. Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is in the process of updating their rumble strip guidance policy, and while they are working with us and Bike Walk Montana to ensure that bicyclists are represented, when it comes to actual implementation of rumble strips they are not taking cyclists’ needs and safety into account.
Besides all the nostalgia and scenery encompassed by Bicycle Route 66, another of my favorite features of this route are the multiple entry and exit points. While the main route beginning and endpoints of Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California are well covered by convenient entry points of, there are many others scattered at reasonable distances all along Bicycle Route 66.
A benefit of adding the newly minted Bicycle Route 66 maps to our existing route network is its intersections with that network. This post lays out three examples.
We are happy to announce that our conversations with District 8 of Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) regarding the use of I-40 for Bicycle Route 66 have reached a successful conclusion!
Over the next few days we are sending the Bicycle Route 66 maps to the printer. Unfortunately, we still do not have a satisfactory resolution with District 8 of Caltrans over access to the stretch of Interstate 40 between Needles and Barstow, California, where it is illegal to ride a bicycle.
In November 2014, I wrote about the conversation we were conducting with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) regarding the use of Interstate 40 east of Barstow, California, for our soon-to-be-released Bicycle Route 66 maps. This entry is a follow-up on the situation.
From the moment in November 2012 when we first announced the timeline for our next big route, Bicycle Route 66, we have been working to create a world-class bicycle route following the legendary Route 66 travel corridor. Over the course of doing route research, a trouble spot was uncovered in California where we had hoped to use the National Trails Highway (NTH).
While Travel Initiatives staff Ginny Sullivan and Saara Snow had five two-wheeled reasons to visit Pittsburgh this September, Routes & Mapping staff had a cartographic one in October.
It's that time of year when things are winding down for the cycling season and getting even busier in the Routes & Mapping department. We've got four bigs things on our plates right now.
Having worked at Adventure Cycling for a couple of years now, I have heard a few complaints about Adventure Cycling route maps being expensive, and how you could just create your own route in Google Maps — and find services there, too. I’ve gotta say, I used to totally agree with these thoughts.
As you might imagine, we get a fairly steady stream of map and route related questions. Usually they are variations on the same themes.
The Barn Bicycle Camping area in the Methow Valley in Washington State is located on three of our mapped routes: the Northern Tier, Sierra Cascades and Washington Parks. The services they offer fall into our unique service category of Cyclists Only Camping.
Small towns dot our route network from sea to sea and border to border. With a population of 50 people, the tightly knit community of Ovando sits on Montana Highway 200 in the midst of ranch country at the intersection of two of our routes, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) and the Lewis & Clark Bicycle Trail. Ovando embraces the cyclists who trickle through their town every summer with great enthusiasm. In 2012 the number exceeded 400 cyclists.
Going to the Sun Road and Logan Pass are jewels found on two Adventure Cycling routes — the Northern Tier and Great Parks North. I have long encouraged cyclists to be sure to time their trips on those routes to include this climb. Most years the pass is only fully open from about mid-June until mid-September so the window is pretty wide but does require some planning.
GPS data for our newest route, the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route (IHSMBR) is now available. This release continues the trend the paper map started. Where the paper map is a peek at what a redesigned Great Divide Mountain Bike Route map might look like, the GPS data is an iteration of what future GPS data might look like.
The entire Routes & Mapping staff took to the road to visit our map printer in Great Falls, Montana, and learn what the printing process was all about.
We regularly get a variation of the question, "can I use my old [insert name of route] map on tour this year?" The answer: it depends. There are many factors that go into making this decision.
In December 2013, I had the opportunity to talk to Alex Phillips, Bicycle Recreation Specialist at Oregon Parks & Recreation Department. She told me about the 2012 Travel Oregon survey distributed to users of hiker/biker campsites in the state.
One of the items on the Routes & Mapping team's To Do list has been to improve our offerings for mobile navigation.
In the midst of our recent map reprint, we not only updated services and made minor route changes, we also altered this batch of maps to show where the Adventure Cycling Route Network coincides with the U.S. Bicycle Route System.