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Crossing PA on Bike Route V

Hello All: I'm trying to get a little information from someone / anyone a bit familiar with PA Bike Route V.  (I have the clickable PDFs and following them is no problem.)  I have biked down through Pennsylvania's Ridge and Valley country twice from NYC, heading to Western N.C., but have never crossed the state east-west along with its formidable ridges. (Heading southwest, I was able to make use of the southwest-trending terrain and only occasionally have to 'hop' over the more or less 800-1000' high ridges.) I'm 66 years young, in pretty good shape, will be riding solo and camping most of the way.  None of that is a problem. What I want to know specifically is if by crossing PA in this manner, with a heavily packed bike, I'm going to be facing major elevation changes daily, or if by more or less paralleling the interstate, the route might be a bit more forgiving (for example, by making use of river valleys or lower elevation passes.) If anyone has the time, they could email me directly with advice at or call me at 718 344 8685.  I want to try this, but just need a bit of a 'heads up.' Kind thanks, Victor Jaroslaw, Brooklyn NY.        
2017-05-08 14:05:38
I'd be surprised if anybody on here's done the V route -- it's fairly common for folks to cross the state using the S route, further south, since it uses the GAP trail that runs right outta Pittsburgh.  If you find an elevation profile of the route online anywhere, I would love to see it too! My guess is that you're still gonna have to go up and over the mountains -- the S route, while paralleling the turnpike for a lot of the route, doesn't have the tunnel options that a major highway does, for the most part. But even so, central PA mountains aren't impassable, especially if you're not in a hurry! Good luck, and link a trip report if you do it! yay! My love for central PA grows and grows with every passing year.
2017-05-08 14:53:22
One thing you could do to figure this out is use RideWithGPS to input the route, then look at the elevation profile. I searched on the site and didn't see the route already entered. But it would be a nice thing to do, anyway. My feeling after looking at the route briefly is you're going to have some nice, enjoyable climbs, and will probably end the ride in much better shape than you're starting out. Also that you'll wish someone with more understanding of the kinds of roads cyclists like had planned it. Good luck!
2017-05-08 14:54:06
That's interesting that you are looking at V.  I've been looking over Y and would like to do it this June.  I'm still studying places to stay and transportation to the start and home from Milford.  This map may help you.  I used it in conjunction with building a Strava map to get the elevation changes.  You  can also use Google Street view to check the width of the berms.  I've ridden the piece Clintonville, to Grove City and was comfortable.  Mercer County should be enjoyable - less dodging the Amish cart bombs.   If you are willing to amend the route, you'll find a bike trail in Jim Thorpe that heads north.  That'll add 14 mile, but the route is less steep.  The route system does a pretty good job of limiting the sharp climbs ~ just not eliminating them.
2017-05-08 16:13:43
If someone is really bored I bet they could make an overlay for Google maps with all of the PA bike routes on them (if it doesn't already exist)
2017-05-08 22:12:25
Looks like this guy has mapped routes Y, L, and E on Bikely. Someone could download these in .kml format to get a head start on making a complete set of Google overlay maps. Here's the westernmost 69 miles of route V, and here's route S and route J (though I'm not sure there's any way to download that map into a standard format). Emailing PennDOT for the actual data files they used to create their map might work, if you're just not sufficiently bored, at present, to manually recreate all their data, but you still want to display the route using a site that shows elevation graphs and such. :-)
2017-05-08 23:43:18
Can see. Can only export as a logged-in user, 'cos that's how Strava is. 24,000 feet, huh? ;^)
2017-05-09 14:55:04
The forum doesn't allow me to upload the tcx or gpx file.
2017-05-09 15:00:43
Works for me. Thanks! I don't know if I just can't see the labels, but maybe you should label it with BicyclePA and other things you think might help people find it.
2017-05-09 15:10:49
BLESS YOU, o map nerds of the world! I love you so!!!! This is awesome!!!!!
2017-05-09 17:10:45
wow, I'm super surprised that the highest part is as far west as it is, in the southern part of Moshannon state forest. really thought the parts closer to the center of the state would be higher. this is awesome.
2017-05-09 17:13:42