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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-29-07, 07:29 PM   #1
JoeMetal
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How do you plan rides?

How do you guys map out your rides? Do you just go whereever the bike takes you, do you sit down in front of a town map or county map, do you use google maps or www.mapmyride.com/www.bikely.com? I'm just curious.

I really like www.mapmyride.com, so I use that all the time when planning rides as well as logging rides I just took so I can keep track of mileage easier.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:44 PM   #2
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I just logged this early mornings 4 hr ride in mapmyride!

I've been using Gmaps pedometer, but I think I'll be using mmr from now on!
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Old 06-29-07, 07:48 PM   #3
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Plan? Rides?
Very occasionally, we'll plan a mountain bike ride (I live near the Tahoe National Forest). For nearly all road rides and most MB rides, though, we just get on the bike and go or drive to an area we're interested in, then get on the bike and go. It's just local recreation; no point in overthinking it.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:57 PM   #4
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My last ride I planned out on mapmyride.com.. Still got sorta lost and took a big detour though.. Most of the time however I just go wherever the bike takes me. I like this mapmyride thing though, I'm already planning my next big ride.
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Old 06-29-07, 08:00 PM   #5
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Hehe. I've planned a couple "goal rides" that I would like to do by the time winter rolls around. mapmyride.com sure is a great tool!
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Old 06-29-07, 08:01 PM   #6
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Like yourself and others I have been using Mapmyride.com almost exclusively. I am going on there in a few minutes to plan a 30 miler for the morning. When I do not have the time or forget, then I usually just follow a road for a 1/2 hour, turn around, and come back. This way I get to explore a bit of the state, although I must say that occasionally I end up on a road that is busier than I'd like.
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Old 06-29-07, 08:01 PM   #7
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Sometimes I follow the route from organized rides I have been on. They use a marking system called Dan Henry (I think), which is painted on the road and is pretty durable and easy to follow; by durable I mean there are still markings from rides last year. If there was a web site for an organized ride you may be able to find maps of the routes, if they use a marking system it would show you where to pick up the route.

I also have a book called the Atlas and Gazetteer (Mine is for Oklahoma), which is available at Walmart it is pretty accurate although it advertises itself as topographic (which would show elevation changes) and it is not. I scan the applicable page and enlarge and laminate it if I need a good map of the area I am riding.
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Old 06-29-07, 08:03 PM   #8
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One nice thing about mapmyride is that you can search for routes that other people have saved too. That seems to be an alternative to just organized ride routes. (I promise, I am in no way affiliated with mapmyride.com. I just really like it!)
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Old 06-29-07, 08:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JoeMetal
How do you guys map out your rides? Do you just go whereever the bike takes you, do you sit down in front of a town map or county map, do you use google maps or www.mapmyride.com/www.bikely.com? I'm just curious.

I really like www.mapmyride.com, so I use that all the time when planning rides as well as logging rides I just took so I can keep track of mileage easier.
Personally I don't like to be lost, so I plan rides beforehand. Also, my rides are usually local, and with some destination in mind - church, overpriced organic food store, pizza, gym, etc - so I don't need a map more than once, since I remember the route for future trips.
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Old 06-29-07, 08:58 PM   #10
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I typically ride around in the countryside and like to try new roads that I don't know where they go or where they come out. It's real hard to get lost when you don't have anywhere to go. And at least so far, I've always made it back home. I did plan one bike ride on Bikely.com to more or less pre-ride most of this weekend's Queen City Century. We spent a lot of time looking at a map trying to figure out where we were and whether we should turn or if we passed it already. Bikely is based on google maps. Google maps says certain roads connect in certain places that in reality they do not. I was frustrated and will be sticking with ride where I feel like going most of the time.
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Old 06-30-07, 07:48 AM   #11
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I started just riding in my neighborhood, but once I got bored riding 15 miles using .8 miles laps, I then took the streets around my house. I used to ride my bike everywhere as a kid, so riding on the street was not a big deal to me. My wife....she'll never venture out of the hood.

After I rode those streets a while then I decided to venture a little further away and would pre-ride the route in my car, I know......., to look at road surfaces, debris in the bike lanes, traffic, mileage, ect. Yes, some call me Mr. OCD, others just call me anal, but since I ride at night most of the time, I like to know what I am getting myself into. I would then build a map of my route and give it to my wife in case I had to be rescued for one reason or another. I eventually named them, printed them out and put them in a binder on my shelf. If the rescue call comes, I can tell her I am between mile 23 and 24 on UNF. It has come in handy several times, last Sunday was the latest example. She can look at the map for the distance markers and know right where I am. Creating the maps was easy, I just did a screen print of my ride data into PowerPoint and put reference marks on it as well, gas stations, stores, ect.

Welcome to my little OCD world.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:14 AM   #12
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That's definitely extreme. A couple times when I've had to go across town and it was too far to ride, or had to pick up something that I couldn't bring home on the bike, I would go the long way to get there to try to discover new roads that I would take.
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Old 06-30-07, 09:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr
I eventually named them, printed them out and put them in a binder on my shelf. If the rescue call comes, I can tell her I am between mile 23 and 24 on UNF. It has come in handy several times, last Sunday was the latest example. She can look at the map for the distance markers and know right where I am. Creating the maps was easy, I just did a screen print of my ride data into PowerPoint and put reference marks on it as well, gas stations, stores, ect.

Welcome to my little OCD world.
And I thought I was bad.

I usually ride my same route with some variations. I have 5, 12, 16, 20 and 25 mile routes along basically the same bike path. Lately I have been looking at the Florida Trails website. Once I find a nice trail I use Google Earth to pinpoint it and check out the route.
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Old 06-30-07, 02:11 PM   #14
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I'm mostly a trail rider (except for commuting)....I usually head out and go as far as I feel comfortable before turning around.

I'm beginning to realize loop rides would be better though.....there's something psychological about going and coming back the same route....you automatically feel drained because you know you are on the return journey. I think if I planned a loop I would always feel like I'm "going" and not feel winded like I do on return.
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Old 06-30-07, 02:34 PM   #15
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That Map My Ride looks pretty cool. As I get more comfortable on th eroad, I will take a better look at it.

Right now, my rides are mapped out with my bike path map for the trails a little north of here. http://www.mcttrails.org/viewer.htm.
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Old 06-30-07, 02:50 PM   #16
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For me, I dont plan for nothin. Just get out and ride. Other than a pre-concieved idea of where I'm going, I dont much worry about it. I dont pack anything extra either. Just a little bit of money, a few water bottles, and thats about it. I ride like a tourist, making a day of it, enjoying the sun, the wind, and even the rain, and the outdoor air, stopping ever so often for some cold gatorade or a burrito. Sometimes I ride for over 50 miles like that, just enjoying the bike and being on it.

~ just keep it simple.
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Old 06-30-07, 03:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I'm mostly a trail rider (except for commuting)....I usually head out and go as far as I feel comfortable before turning around.

I'm beginning to realize loop rides would be better though.....there's something psychological about going and coming back the same route....you automatically feel drained because you know you are on the return journey. I think if I planned a loop I would always feel like I'm "going" and not feel winded like I do on return.
I did the Upper Tampa Trail last week. I am planning to do the Pinellas and Withlacoochee when I get in better shape, as they are pushing 90 miles round-trip. Have you ridden part or all of those trails?

Did I make you homesick? (LOL!)
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Old 06-30-07, 03:28 PM   #18
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I'm beginning to realize loop rides would be better though.....there's something psychological about going and coming back the same route....you automatically feel drained because you know you are on the return journey. I think if I planned a loop I would always feel like I'm "going" and not feel winded like I do on return.
+1

The best rides are one way trips when it can be arranged. My favorite are train station to train station or rides that wind up at friends houses.
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Old 06-30-07, 03:50 PM   #19
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I did the Upper Tampa Trail last week. I am planning to do the Pinellas and Withlacoochee when I get in better shape, as they are pushing 90 miles round-trip. Have you ridden part or all of those trails?

Did I make you homesick? (LOL!)
I've ridden ALL of them.

Upper Tampabay Trail - 7 miles long. Very nice layout, but WAAAAAAY too many people on it (who don't know trail etiquette), IMO.

Pinellas Trail - 34 miles long, IIRC, and lots of stops going south. The north end is much nicer...start in Dunedin and go north to Tarpon Springs, or the end (not much past Tarpon Springs). That will give about 30 miles.

Suncoast Trail - 41 miles long. Better than pinellas because so few road crossings. Try going to Starkey Park, ride through park (6.5 miles) and pick up trail there. Head north, because you are pretty far south on trail at Starkey Park.

Withalacoochee Trail - 46 miles long. Best trail yet, too bad its so far north and out of the way. My family lives in Brooksville just about 5 miles from trail (kinda near south end). There are few crossings, you aren't beside major highway (like Suncoast), so you aren't sucking exhaust fumes. It's very shaded. Although you aren't near a major highway, you aren't in the middle of nowhere with no civilization if you have a problem either. I've only ridden this trail twice, but it was definitely my favorite. There are a few people on it, but you're in redneck country up there, so they are not big trail users. It's not that crowded (at least the two times I went on it).


You don't have to ride the whole trails...just try them out and ride your comfortable distance.

Not making me too homesick.....I like the trails out here too (my ride this morning was between 54 and 62 degrees, how were YOUR temps? ). One thing I'm really impressed with is that the trails are designed to have few road crossings (from what I see) and they are functional. You can actually use them to get around all over. The Tampa area trails aren't bad, but aren't that functional either. Pinellas is only one that really could take you anywhere, and it only goes north/south on the far west end of pinellas county.
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Old 06-30-07, 03:51 PM   #20
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+1

The best rides are one way trips when it can be arranged. My favorite are train station to train station or rides that wind up at friends houses.
That sounds like a cool scenario. If I can work up to the distances/hills of this area, I can start riding over to Seattle or other cool places.
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Old 06-30-07, 03:57 PM   #21
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And I thought I was bad.

I usually ride my same route with some variations. I have 5, 12, 16, 20 and 25 mile routes along basically the same bike path. Lately I have been looking at the Florida Trails website. Once I find a nice trail I use Google Earth to pinpoint it and check out the route.
Yea, but nothing says OCD, like making notes where the worst road clutter is. . I have looked at that as well. I really wish they would pave the trail around Lake Okeechobee as that would be a great century \ double metric ride.
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Old 06-30-07, 03:58 PM   #22
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On my Sunday, Wednesday group rides, i am the caboose. On my own, i normally just go where the handlebars tell me to go. Sorta fun that way.
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Old 06-30-07, 04:07 PM   #23
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Withalacoochee Trail - 46 miles long. Best trail yet, too bad its so far north and out of the way. My family lives in Brooksville just about 5 miles from trail (kinda near south end). There are few crossings, you aren't beside major highway (like Suncoast), so you aren't sucking exhaust fumes. It's very shaded. Although you aren't near a major highway, you aren't in the middle of nowhere with no civilization if you have a problem either. I've only ridden this trail twice, but it was definitely my favorite. There are a few people on it, but you're in redneck country up there, so they are not big trail users. It's not that crowded (at least the two times I went on it).
I would love to ride that, but would need to have a reason to travel 3 hrs to ride it. Maybe I an take the wife and kids to one of the springs in the area and let them swim and I can ride.
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Old 06-30-07, 04:12 PM   #24
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I would love to ride that, but would need to have a reason to travel 3 hrs to ride it. Maybe I an take the wife and kids to one of the springs in the area and let them swim and I can ride.
Do they like camping? You could camp at Silver Lake and are very close to trail from there.

Maybe they could drive up to Dunellon and do the tube run (3 hours) at the Rainbow Springs KP Hole, or swim at Rainbow Springs park.
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Old 06-30-07, 04:20 PM   #25
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Do they like camping? You could camp at Silver Lake and are very close to trail from there.

Maybe they could drive up to Dunellon and do the tube run (3 hours) at the Rainbow Springs KP Hole, or swim at Rainbow Springs park.
My wife loves to camp, me, not so much. I have to check into that. Thanks for the heads up.
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