I have found out that several stretches of the interstates in AZ, NM and CA allow bicycles on them. Does anyone know any website that gives specific information on this. I am looking to do a stretch from Gila Bend (AZ) to around Yuma (AZ) and would like to confirm if this is legal.
There are Arizona Interstate routes that prohibit bike riding (primarily Phoenix/Tucson urban areas), but I am quite sure that you can legally ride the Gila Bend-to-Yuma leg. The following link provides map and "contact us" links for the Arizona Department of Transportation Cycling group.
ADOT site: http://www.azbikeped.org/maps.htm
I have taken a look at the link and the cycling map suggests that I-8 is usable (hence the placing of rest-stops along that route).
And I dont really want to cycle on the interstate just that for that stretch, there are no paved roads to travel Westwards that far south, so will just do that stretch.
ADOT has closed several of the state's rest stops due to budget cuts. Best to verify which ones are open. There are not too many sources of water between Gila Bend and Yuma ... or between I-8/I-10 interchange and Gila Bend (other than the gas station at exit 151). Fortunately the weather is cool, so your water consumption will not be that great.
You will be fine legally on the interstate. However, if you have not ridden on the interstate please know that it is noisey and a real challenge to your concentration and serenity. Lots of semi-trucks (with the accompanying noise and draft gusts) and almost continuous high speed vehicle traffic of all kinds. You are right about the lack of paved roads efficiently going west. If you use Google maps you can find some sections however, where you can be off the interstate and paralles on paved roads for some sections. However, you will find these roads lacking in shoulder width.
I-8 is CLOSED to cyclists WEST of Yuma. Haven't determined exactly where the closure starts and stops, but it is not possible to get to Yuma from El Centro on the I-8!
I wanted to add to this as this old post helped me out recently. You are TOTALLY allowed to ride I-8 from Gila Bend to Yuma, AZ - west of there is California and it strictly prohibits bicycles and pedestrians. The frontage roads are horrible and difficult to find.
But yes, in AZ you can, in CA you cannot.