Best route through Ohio toward Chicago

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P-Rob
Participant
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Hi, I am hosting two cross country cyclists that are on their way to Chicago. Anyone have suggestions about what route is best through Ohio?


Drewbacca
Participant
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I don’t know a best route, but some things to consider…

Northern or southern route through the state? How open are they to variations in mileage and time? What do they want to see along the way? Will the be camping or finding hotels?

Personally, and without having taken the route, I’d probably do the ACA route across and then maybe cut up into Michigan and take a ferry across Lake Michigan and then ride along the lake front south into Chicago from there.

From northern Indiana into Chicago there are a few routes to check out and they can research those at the chainlink forum to find the safest way to enter Chicago from the south. I could help with that section if necessary.

I could also ask some friends around CLE for tips, but I don’t know off hand. I can ride from Pgh to Cle but I have no ideas beyond that.


jonawebb
Participant
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If you ride northwest from Pittsburgh, more or less following the Beaver River, you’ll get into pretty flat land once you leave the Ohio River watershed and enter northern Ohio. At that point, it’s a pretty straight shot across northern Ohio and Illinois. There is a nice trail up into Cleveland that you can take.
I rode the reverse route from Bowling Green, OH, once and just followed the Google Maps route.


P-Rob
Participant
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Thanks. They are camping and using Warmshowers hosts (like me). They are not interested in Cleveland (ha!). I will take a look at the ACA route. Thanks


paulheckbert
Keymaster
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Turning on “bicycling” in Google Maps, it appears that a route through Columbus, Xenia, and Dayton OH to Richmond, Muncie, and Peru IN might be decent. The only part of that I’ve biked is Xenia to Dayton. That part is an asphalt trail, and nice. But I can’t vouch for Indiana bike trails.

One specific bit of advice: if biking in the West Virginia panhandle: avoid State Route 2 if possible: http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/biking-to-lisbon-ohio/#post-297282


edmonds59
Participant
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Uh, I haven’t checked a map, but in my head Dayton is WAY south of where they want to end up.


Swalfoort
Participant
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I can probably track down the specifics, but the new US BR50 through Ohio was just “announced” a month or so ago.

Several of us from PA were included on the planning calls (the hope is to bring it into PA eventually, but not in this phase for a couple of reasons).

U.S. Bicycle Route 50 in Ohio

Ohio’s newly approved U.S. Bicycle Route 50 begins at the Indiana border on Paint Road in Preble County Ohio, traversing 313 miles and leaving Ohio at the Market Street Bridge to West Virginia. Thirty-nine jurisdictions around Ohio collaborated on the development of USBR 50, and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) coordinated the efforts. Ohio’s segment of USBR 50 is the state’s first USBR designation, and the cross-country route will eventually connect Washington, DC to San Francisco.

Julie Walcoff, ODOT Bicycle Pedestrian and Safe Routes to School Program Manager, said, “The designation of Ohio’s first USBR was truly a collaboration. The Department of Transportation, planning organizations, many advocacy organizations and volunteers all worked together to assure our new route would provide scenery, amenities and a comfortable route as riders take the opportunity to tour our beautiful state.”

The route follows a combination of roadway segments and ten different trails, including the Camp Chase, Wolfe Creek, Great Miami River, Ohio to Eerie, Creekside, Maxtown, Alum Creek, Olentangy Greenway, Scioto Greenway, and the T.J. Evans Panhandle Recreational Trails. These trails provide off-road opportunities to explore Ohio’s natural and agricultural heritage, including woods, creeks, pastures, farmlands, and wildlife, while connecting Ohio’s vibrant urban areas such as Columbus and Dayton. In Columbus, cyclists can stop at the Ohio Stadium, the Short North Arts District for a variety of restaurants, or check out fun events like Community Festival in June, Ohio State Fair in July, Xenia Community Festival in September, and the Highball Halloween in October. In Dayton, home of the Wright Brothers, cyclists can visit a number of historical sites of interest, including the Dayton Aviation Heritage Museum and the original Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Personally, I would just focus on County and low level state routes all the way across. Once into Ohio you get the old range and township system of property distribution, so roads tend to be straighter than in PA, and longer…..

Find something that parallels US/OH 20, or 224, and you should be in good shape, and not too far from accommodations, etc.

Or, check out the Lake Erie Circle Route.

Circle Tour Road Route
Follow the signs! Detroit, Michigan to Cleveland, Ohio
ROUTE: Follow I-75 S to Toledo and take the I-280 exit; just south of Toledo, near Oregon, take the OH-2 exit and follow OH-2; In Sandusky, start following US-6 to Cleveland
MILEAGE: Approximately 180 mi/300 km.

Cleveland, Ohio to Pennsylvania border:
ROUTE: Follow OH-2 E to US-20 to OH 531, then back to US-20 again
MILEAGE: Approximately 70 mi/ 115 km.

Pennsylvania to Buffalo, New York:
ROUTE: PA-5 to NY-5 E
MILEAGE: Approximately 120 mi/200 km.

Buffalo to Detroit, Michigan, via Ontario:
ROUTE: Follow Provincial Highway 3 to Windsor, Ont.; cross the Ambassador Bridge into Detroit, Mich (toll)
MILEAGE: Approximately 290 mi/480 km.


P-Rob
Participant
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Thanks everyone. They were only here for a day of rest and left out yesterday AM. They are on a schedule to make it to Seattle on time.

They wound up taking the Lincoln Highway route referred to on the ACA website. They will also adjust based on the condition of the roads and where their prospective hosts are located.

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