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Do you use Adventure Cycling Association for route maps?

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Do you use Adventure Cycling Association for route maps?

Old 02-19-21, 09:44 AM
  #26  
pdlamb
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
I always got a chuckle out of this ACA diversion. Day 2 of a westbound TransAm at the end of the day when you just want to get to camp in Mineral VA. The ACA map takes you on a "scenic" 15 mile side trip to Lake Anna. You could just stay on rural VA 618 and be in Mineral in 9 miles! In fairness to the ACA mappers there are campgrounds near Lake Anna but most riders are heading for the fire station in Mineral.
I was fresh that day, and didn't mind the route so much. It was fun seeing all the "Do not jump off the bridge" signs -- especially when we heard the back-story.

Sometimes there was a good reason for the extra climbs when the route was designed, but the mapmakers haven't kept up with the changes since then. One example is a 6 mile stretch in Virginia. IIRC back in 1976, I-77(N) and I-81(S) ended in Ft. Chiswell, and four lane, divided U.S. 11(S) and 52(N) carried all the traffic into Wytheville. Harrowing, even in a car, and what was a shoulder? Bikecentennial took the smart way up the ridge to Max Meadows, west and back down the ridge into Wytheville. By 1980 or 1981, though, the interstates were completed and access roads on each side were added. Noisy, yes, but very light traffic, almost flat, and you can almost see the Wytheville exit from Ft. Chiswell. The official bike route hadn't changed in 30 years when I took the access road (and stopped for a very nice second breakfast in Wytheville!).
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Old 02-19-21, 08:03 PM
  #27  
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As many above have stated, the ACA maps provide a lot of good information that the rider can use and make changes to as they see fit. Sometimes I find it easier to read the written map over the screen on my device due to size, rain and glare. It's disappointing that ACA is discontinuing some written maps and going to downloads on some routes. I've never had a paper map run out of battery power.
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Old 02-20-21, 04:40 AM
  #28  
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I did a couple ACA trips where they issued maps to us as part of the trip. But otherwise I have never bought one.

My early tours were on routes with guidebooks, Katy, GAP and C&O, Pacific Coast. We bought the guidebooks instead.

More recent trips were off of ACA routes.

Exception, four years ago (pre-Irma), rode the Florida Keys. I think that Florida Keys is an ACA route but my touring partner lined up the state park campsites on that stretch and I put the grocery store locations into my GPS before the trip from Win Dixie and Publix websites. Thus, did not need the ACA info on that part of that trip.

I can see where ACA might not have much demand for paper maps any more, but pre-internet (I am old enough to remember that), and pre-GPS mapping databases in GPS units, a paper map with services listed would be worth its weight in gold.

I always try to pick up the local road maps on a tour, I like to lay out a map with a lot of area on the picnic table in the evening in the campsite to plan out the next several days of routing. And like to have that in the map case on top of my handlebar bag. Sometimes the local paper map shows a better option than the electronics do.
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Old 02-20-21, 06:21 AM
  #29  
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Another thing to keep in mind is that ACA maps are not always up to date. The addenda rely largely on people reporting things like grocery store and campground closures. There is a form on itís website for that, but people donít always use it.

Also, things can change quickly. One year I was following part of the Great Parks South route in CO. There was a grocery store listed near my chosen campground, but I decided to go off route a bit to a town with a larger, regional chain outlet and carry groceries to camp. When I passed the smaller store near camp I discovered it had burned to the ground the week before.
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Old 02-22-21, 01:25 AM
  #30  
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Lot's of no shoulders, suddenly ending bike lanes, and dangerous on/off ramp interstate junctions and a lot of i40 interstate riding when doing Bicycle route 66 from them. Arizona sucked @$$ the most with that. Twice of that was enough.

I detoured at joplin though and took a lot of country backroutes going to and from Des Moines, Iowa though. Amazingly beautiful cycling territory and nature around Iowa. Still got the little flag on my wall. Oh I miss 2014/2015.
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Old 02-22-21, 02:28 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by NeedARealBike View Post
Lot's of no shoulders, suddenly ending bike lanes, and dangerous on/off ramp interstate junctions and a lot of i40 interstate riding when doing Bicycle route 66 from them. Arizona sucked @$$ the most with that. Twice of that was enough.
.
I disagreed with the entire premise of Bike Route 66 - - precisely for the reasons you mentioned & more.
The US Highway 66 of song and lore hasn't existed for 50 years.
US 66, more than most US highways has been overlaid with Interstates - lacking good backroad options.

Since highways - old & new - tend to connect urban areas,
Bike Route 66 has more urban riding than most other ACA routes.
Chicago, St. Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles.
But also mid-sized cities like two Springfields, Normal, Joplin, and Flagstaff.
That's a lot of urban, challenging riding.

In Illinois, you are often right up against I-55 with scenic service roads
In Missouri, I-44 was build on top of US 66 making for more service roads and tough links.
Oklahoma has some of the better stretches of the old highway - busy, at times.
In the Texas panhandle it's more service roads - with interstate traffic 50 feet away.
New Mexico is where you have to do a lot of cycling on I-40 itself.
Arizona has lots of I-40 riding, but also one of the best old stretches.
California has the wonderful Needles to Barstow stretch, but there are almost no services.

Of all of the ACA route, Bike Route 66 is the worst - -
Worst if you want quiet roads and scenic vistas, small towns and daydreams.
There are ways to approximate the feel of a Southwest tour 80 years ago.
But it means sacrificing the need to dogmatically follow a line on a map.
For example, one can cycle from in NM and AZ just north of I-40 -
from Cuba to Crownpoint to Gallup to WIndow Rock to Tuba City to the Grand Canyon.
No. This was not Route 66, but you get the feel of the wide-open West far more.

Just my 2c.


Empty Road Heading to Crownpoint
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Old 02-22-21, 08:29 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Bike Route 66 has more urban riding than most other ACA routes.
Chicago, St. Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles.
But also mid-sized cities like two Springfields, Normal, Joplin, and Flagstaff.
Don't forget Winona!
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Old 02-22-21, 07:59 PM
  #33  
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I would say ACA maps are a very good resource. If I'm riding one of their routes I would definitely have the maps. For me personally my first tour was an ACA route (Transamerica Trail) and having used their maps on this tour it was a good introduction to what sort of information I may want to have on hand when I started making my own route choices (i.e. what elevation profiles look like, where campgrounds are at).
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Old 02-22-21, 09:02 PM
  #34  
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I'm sure ACA maps had their time and place. Especially if you've never toured before and need some assurance. Especially if you live in a major metro or out east.
However, in the age of Google maps on your phone that shows all food supplies, state parks, private campgrounds, etc... I fail to see it's current usefulness.
I've been amazed to find that Google maps, satellite view, has found me stealth camping. Oh, the age I live in!!!!

I've never used an ACA map so I might not be considering some other unknown utility.
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Old 02-23-21, 04:47 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
I've never used an ACA map so I might not be considering some other unknown utility.
They make great windbreakers. Stuff one inside your jersey for those long descents when youíre sweaty from climbs.
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Old 02-23-21, 09:34 AM
  #36  
pdlamb
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
I'm sure ACA maps had their time and place. Especially if you've never toured before and need some assurance. Especially if you live in a major metro or out east.
However, in the age of Google maps on your phone that shows all food supplies, state parks, private campgrounds, etc... I fail to see it's current usefulness.
I've been amazed to find that Google maps, satellite view, has found me stealth camping. Oh, the age I live in!!!!

I've never used an ACA map so I might not be considering some other unknown utility.
It would be interesting to see a google maps only user trying to cross eastern Kentucky. Even assuming you always had cell coverage. The roads remind me of the old Adventure computer game: you are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
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