May 19, 2017
Adventure Cycling is excited to announce the release of the Chicago to New York City Bicycle Route maps!
Maps are now available for the Chicago to New York City Bicycle Route (CNYC), Adventure Cycling’s newest long-distance route. The 1,161-mile route from the Windy City to the Big Apple is covered in a four-map set, plus two for the Philadelphia Alternate, allowing cyclists to tour the whole thing or ride a few preferred sections. From Chicago to New York City, the new route passes through Indianapolis, Indiana, Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If you take advantage of the Philadelphia Alternate, you’ll add only 13 miles overall and enjoy peaceful riding on the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal.
The maps feature turn-by-turn directions, detailed navigational instructions, elevation profiles, and services cyclists will need along the route. Combined with Bicycle Route 66, the CNYC gives cyclists a fourth option to cross the United States, this time from New York City’s Battery Park all the way to Santa Monica, taking in the three largest cities in the nation along its length.
“This new route, similar to Bicycle Route 66, is a departure from our traditional philosophy of mapping rural routes and avoiding large cities,” said Carla Majernik, Adventure Cycling’s Routes & Mapping Director. “It links a number of cities and uses many more miles of separate paths and rail trails than ever before on our routes. You’ll still traverse rural America; the bonus is enjoying the attractions only big cities have to offer.”
We know you’re as excited as we are to get out and ride CNYC. To help with your planning, here are a few things to consider when preparing for your tour:
Give yourself a minimum of one month to cycle CNYC
You’re riding nearly halfway across the United States — if you rush, you’ll miss some incredible sites! There are many museums, great places to eat, and historically significant spots, not to mention the endless side journeys you can take to see things just a short distance off the route. Any day spent on the CNYC can be incredibly rich.
Best time to ride
The route hovers due north of the Mason-Dixon Line and the 45th parallel, so November through March will likely be cold and snowy in parts. Any other time of the year is fair game, but expect heat and humidity in eastern mid-Atlantic states in summer.
You will be challenged by the steep grades of the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania, as well as a short section in the Hudson River Valley. As with most long tours, we recommend starting with shorter days and building up to longer ones as your body adjusts to riding multiple days in a row.
Be sure to talk to locals
Take the time to stop and visit with the locals. The people along CNYC are as diverse as the route itself, and their stories will fuel your experience while touring and lead you to discover funky out-of-the-way places.
Bring extra food, water, and rain gear
Don’t forget, CNYC crosses nearly half of America, and the weather can vary depending on where you are. Be sure to bring rain gear, and if you’re going in the height of summer, carry extra water and protect yourself from the sun. It will ease your mind to bring an extra half-day’s worth of water and snacks when riding the steep Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania.
Plan to visit a few of these iconic locations
To celebrate the release of our newest route, we’ll be giving away four complete CNYC map sets. For a chance to win a map set, simply comment on this blog post and tell us why you are excited about the new Chicago to New York City Bicycle Route — or share with us any adventures you’ve had on the route. Feel free to include your favorite restaurants, scenic spots, or historic sites on the route as well! We’ll draw four winners at random on May 31. The winners will be contacted via email. Thank you!