Post mortem - Two Far 2018 - Trailing through the Rust Belt - CycleBlaze

Post mortem

Well, we're done with the trip. Before it disappears into the fog of time, here are a few observations about cycling in the rust belt.

  • Biking is better now than in the past, and is still getting better. There are more bike trails than before, and more of them are paved. There are more marked bike routes on roads, with better bike lanes / shoulders.
  • Most car and truck drivers were polite. Most locals were glad to talk to us and tell us about local sights and history.
  • Dogs are much better controlled than in the past. Our stokers carried whistles and electronic noise makers to fend off dogs. Team A never used them, team S only used them once. Years ago dogs running loose were a constant problem, this time we never worried about them. Having said that, I think they are still an issue further south, but not where we were.
  • Shoulders are better in northern tier states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and the corner of Pennsylvania we visited) than in the corn belt (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa). It's especially frustrating when a corn belt road has a wide shoulder that is rendered useless for bicycles by a poorly designed rumble strip.
  • Road conditions are local. Things like rumble strip design change when you come to a county line. That's an opportunity to make a difference. No one intentionally designs roads to be dangerous, they just are not aware of the use of roads by cyclists. Talk to the people planning roads in your local county and let them know that a narrow rumble strip on the left edge of the shoulder works for both motorists and cyclists.
  • We had 7 rain days (8 for team A), more than any other bike trip I can recall. Geoff won the rain prediction contest. Nevertheless our weather was superb overall. We had only a handful of hot days or chilly mornings. It was delightful cycling weather, especially compared to a Florida summer.
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Comment on this entry Comment 2
Dave CardarellaHi Jeanna,

What was your total mileage? I just don't see anywhere where cycleblaze displays that.

Dave
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11 months ago
Jeanna & Kerry SmithWe counted 4512. I see it on the journal home page on the picture of us across the Mississippi River
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11 months ago