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I had a route question for the Texans or those who have traveled it. Anyone ever take 290 out of Houston rather than I-10? Is it a decent road? Save any time taking 290 rather than staying on I-10? Any benefit to 290 over I-10? Going to be riding across Texas in about 3 weeks and wondered. I've used I-10 a few times. Thanks!!
 

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When I lived in Texas I used Hwy 290 between Houston and Austin all the time. It's a very good road and in several places it's a 4-lane. I don't know if it will save you any time over I-10 though as the traffic flow on 10 is usually going well above the posted limit. It's usually running about 75 to 80 mph. The traffic on 290 flows above the speed limit too, but the LEOs in the towns through which it passes, tend to watch it more closely.

Like has been said, 290 has better scenery, less traffic (especially big-rigs) and, depending on where you are going, will get you there almost as fast as I-10. I'd say it's a toss-up and the deciding factor would be your ultimate destination. If you are headed to Austin or your general direction is NW, then take 290. If you are going to San Antonio or West, then take 10.
 

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:agree:Im on 290 all the time. Decent road to ride.
Kurt :thumbup:
When I lived in Texas I used Hwy 290 between Houston and Austin all the time. It's a very good road and in several places it's a 4-lane. I don't know if it will save you any time over I-10 though as the traffic flow on 10 is usually going well above the posted limit. It's usually running about 75 to 80 mph. The traffic on 290 flows above the speed limit too, but the LEOs in the towns through which it passes, tend to watch it more closely.

Like has been said, 290 has better scenery, less traffic (especially big-rigs) and, depending on where you are going, will get you there almost as fast as I-10. I'd say it's a toss-up and the deciding factor would be your ultimate destination. If you are headed to Austin or your general direction is NW, then take 290. If you are going to San Antonio or West, then take 10.
 

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I'd say it's a toss-up and the deciding factor would be your ultimate destination. If you are headed to Austin or your general direction is NW, then take 290. If you are going to San Antonio or West, then take 10.
This is generally true. However, in my opinion, I-10 west of San Antonio is the most boring stretch of freeway on the planet, all the way to the west coast. And you have to go through El Paso. But it is fast. 290 is OK until you get to Austin. At Austin it comes onto I-35 east of Austin, you have to go through Austin on I-35, then exit on to west 290 on the west side of Austin. Traffic on I-35 in downtown Austin can be a real challenge at times.

If I were going west, I would come up 290 to Brenham, take highway 36 (or 36/190 when it goes through Cameron) from Brenham all the way through Temple to Abilene, then it's highway 83 (I think) up to I-40. You can then go due west on I-40. If you are going northwest, you can keep working your way from I-40 towards the northwest. Most of these highways are 2 and 4 lane, good roads, and 60 - 70 mph. They do go through some small towns, so if speed is your objective, I-10 would be the way to go. If scenic is your thing, then the above would be a better choice. You can do the same thing if you stay on 290, as long as you start looking for more northerly routes before you hit I-10.

Just returned from a trip to Arizona in March, and we did the above route from Caldwell (just outside College Station) to I-40, then jetted on over to Arizona on I-40.
 

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I will say this though the posted speed limit for cars and bikes west of San Antonio is 80mph and west of Midland,on I20 but what ever you do dont travel at night the mule deer out there are abundance and are like hitting a concrete wall. But none the less enjoy the great state of Texas and if you get a chance and your on I10 stop in Sonora,Tx and visit the caverns they are really nice. I was raised out in west texas in a town called Ft Stockton. Enjoy your trip.
 

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...However, in my opinion, I-10 west of San Antonio is the most boring stretch of freeway on the planet, all the way to the west coast. ...
Whoa there Big Boy....don't go dishing I-10 :). Damn I love that road...Jacksonville to San Diego, it doesn't get any better. I know almost every fuel stop, BBQ joint, Gumbo shop, Waffle House, and even a few strip joints along its length and they are all good. It is one of the few roads you can ride coast to coast on no matter what time of the year. I discover new things every time I ride it. No road is boring, there are only boring riders who refuse to "see".
 

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If you're going further west; San Antonio, El Paso, etc. then 290 will not be a good route. If you are going towards the north or northwest then 290 would be the preferred route. Watch your speed in the small towns, especially Elgin and Manor. I drove that road every week for 11 years from Austin to Houston. Traffic is light most of the time and it's four lane all the way now. After leaving the Houston metro area it's about an hour and 30 to 45 min to Austin. Hwy 290 dumps onto I35 in Austin, which is usually a VERY busy road. Get off of 35 as soon as possible.
I've also run I10 from Lafayette to Phoenix and it is a long trip but good roads and you will make the best time just staying on I10. Let us know where you are coming from and going to and we can better answer your question.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I greatly appreciate the answers and advice guys! I'm going to do the Jacksonville to San Diego ride across I-10 as an Ironbutt ride but once I'm in San Diego, I'm going to visit family for a week or so and then take my sister for a bike ride from San Diego to visit friends in Central Florida. Looking for a nice non-hurried, scenic, fun ride back across country to Florida with her. She's always wanted to take a long ride on the bike with me. Thanks for all the input guys!!
 

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290 IN HOUSTON is the most congested freeway. Outside of Cypress westbown it is a nice road better than I-10. Dumps out in north central Austin. Depends where you are going. If you are going through San Antonio consider Hwy 90(lots of little towns and lights though) Straight shot to San Antonio-I-10
 

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I live close to 290 and take it most of the time when going to Arizona as it is a little more convenient. It isn't necessarily faster as where 290 tags back into I10 West of San Antonio is about 30 minutes longer. The scenery is much better on 290.
 

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Just a thought. West of San Antonio, Highway 90 extends to Van Horn. It is a beautiful ride, across the Lake at Del Rio, through Langtry and the Judge Roy Bean Museum, through Marathon (Gage Hotel and a 5 star restaurant-if you can get reservations), and on (unless you want to take a turn South and see Big Bend National Park). It is a wonderful ride if you want to see some of Texas back roads, and the speed limit is 75 west of Del Rio. Sorry, guys. I-10 is just boring! YMMV.
 

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290 is a much nicer scenic ride but I would seriously consider routing around Austin. It's a traffic nightmare pretty much 24/7. Unless of course you like idling along dragging your feet on the ground. Then more power to ya! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the extra information! I may look at 90 off of Van Horn. I want to make it a fun, scenic ride for my sis and get off the freeways a little without going too far north. Thanks again Texans!!
 
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