Sci Fi novel near the big crunch

I’m looking for the title of a sci-fi novel - I don’t know when it was written, but I read it in '80 or '81. As the universe grows more crowded due to its collapse, character(s) land on the planet of an extinct civilization …motives uncertain, but I seem to recall a certain urgency. More people are met on the planet, and they are all forced to walk a very long way (for months maybe) in order to leave the planet(?). If memory serves, the roads on this planet were orange and had lasted for so long because they were stretchy and flexible, like a dense rubber.

Something is making me think of Orbitsville by Bob Shaw - there’s certainly a lot of walking in it on the inside of a dyson sphere. There’s nothing about the universe collapsing though.

I’ve read Orbitsville (and its sequel, Orbitsville DEparture), and there’s nothing at all similar. The point of Orbitsville, in fact, is that there’s too much room. – a Dyson Sphere of this sort (not the kind Dyson actually described) is said to be a “civilization killer”. Maybe that’s why I’ve never read a decent Dyson sphere story.
In any case, I have no idea what the OP is talking about. The description rings no bells.

That sounds a bit like Dark is the Sun by Philip Jose Farmer. They didn’t travel to another planet, it was an ancient Earth, but it was two humans and several other alien species on an Earth near the Big Crunch trying to find a gateway to a new universe.

Two novels that involve the Big Crunch and/or the Big Bounce (although neither of them sounds right for your description) are Tau Zero by Poul Anderson and Spaceship Earth by Tom Schwartz:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_Zero

https://sfbook.com/spaceship-earth.htm

It’s possible that parts of the Xeelee Sequence by Stephen Baxter happen during the Big Crunch, but I’m not sure and it doesn’t really sound quite like your description. It’s possible that parts of the Cities in Flight series by James Blish happen during the Big Crunch, but again I’m not sure and it doesn’t sound right.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Cloud

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_in_Flight

As it happens, Isaac Asimov’s classic 1956 short story “The Last Question” deals with the the Big Crunch, although not by that name, IIRC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Question

Fair enough. I was connecting Orbitsville to the OP’s memory of a very long travel time by foot (which certainly is an aspect of traveling in Orbitsville).

The road thing rings a bell. What little I can recall of the story I read is that it is billions of years in the future, man was gone and bears had evolved into the top intelligence. The roads were still in place and somehow dim light was being delivered by solar energy panels in the light poles. There is also a angry biped the size of a redwood that looks like a flayed man has to be killed with lasers.

Sorry … the more I write I now realize this could not be your story.

Why would it be a civilization killer?

Shaw’s premise was that civilization is a response to scarcity – people group together to pool their labor for big projects without which they can’t survive. His fertile Dysonworld is a veritable garden of Eden, in that there’s plenty of room, plenty of food, plenty of water. So people can simply gather what they need. Without scarcity, they don’t need to band together to fight. The World is jusy so damned big that people could keep expanding to fill it for a very long time. (True of Larry Niven’s Ringworld, too – it’s so big it has a full-size model of the Earth’s continents on it. It would take a HUGE time to fill Ringworld. To fill a Dysonsphere as Shae describes it would take a huge time squared.)
I don’t completely buy his thesis – people can always find a reason to oppress each other or fight – but , as I said, I’ve never read a gppd Dyson Sphere story. And I’ve read a few of them.

And, I note, a “Dyson sphere” with built-in away-from-the-sun gravity isn’t what Dyson described. It’s fantasy. Niven’s Ringworld, with its centrifugal gravity, makes more sense (although it needs absurdly strong materials, and, as fans pointed out, something to maintain position, since it’s gravcitationally unstable.)

Oh, I see now.

Lasers? I’m pretty sure the vulnerable spot is at the nape of the neck.