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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 08-16-10, 08:10 PM   #1
dbikingman
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Finding bike routes

What do you do when you want to find a new bike route? I am aware of bikely.com and map my ride, not sure which is better or more complete.

What do you use when you want to find a new route or go to a new area? I know in my local area I can make up many of my own rides, but sometimes I worry about running into a gravel road or somehting that might not be shown on a map.

thanks
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Old 08-16-10, 08:34 PM   #2
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I generally scout my new rides using the satellite maps and birds eye views on Google maps and Bing maps before I ride them to get a feeling for the trail. It is really handy to be able to rotate the maps and see the trails from different angles. You often can see the trails at different times of the year depending on when the imagery is taken.

It does not help if the trail is brand new but if it has been around for a few years, you can get a lot of information from that method.
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Old 08-17-10, 12:03 AM   #3
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Eazy, Googie bike maps Spokane, WA. I did and came up with
http://www.srtc.org/Spokane%20Region...cle%20Map.html
And
http://www.srtc.org/bike_ped_maps.html
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Old 08-17-10, 12:30 AM   #4
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if you want to ride a certain # of miles starting from a particular destination, routeloops.com is a way-cool tool
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Old 08-17-10, 12:30 AM   #5
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I get bigger tires and ride the gravel. You could wind up with my problem which is google just likes to put roads in that don't exist. I just roll with it, backtrack and find a way out or carry through. This is one instance where a smart phone with a data plan comes in handy. Otherwise you can just print the are around you planned ride and carry it with you unless you want to drive it before you ride it.
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Old 08-17-10, 05:06 AM   #6
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Biking maps! They're almost impossible to find and published by a variety of different groups, but I've seen them for most of Wisconsin and portions of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

They're worth digging up as they're very cool. They color code roads by traffic volume and usually list things like shoulder width and availability along with surface condition.

That and local knowledge. I usually seek out the dirt and gravel routes, so I'll often discuss these with others I know who do that sort of riding...
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Old 08-17-10, 09:57 AM   #7
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Local bike clubs often post routes they use on their website - often ranked by difficulty, too.

Some of my best rides have been when I just wonder, "Hey, what's down that road?", and then go find out.

JB
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Old 08-17-10, 10:02 AM   #8
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I got a city map, and put it up on my bedroom door at home, then I took a highlighter, and marked every road in Seattle I'm sure I've biked over. That left a bunch of streets that I need to explore. So, I'll try to hit one or two of these on each ride.

It's pretty difficult. The roads I haven't biked on by now are all extremely hilly.
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Old 08-18-10, 03:53 AM   #9
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I use Ride with GPS they will give you turn by turn directions and can be downloades to your GPS unit

http://ridewithgps.com/

I used it to map Tour de France Mountain stages based on Team HTC web page
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Old 08-18-10, 12:24 PM   #10
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How accurate is the ridewithgps on hill inclines? Can some of you test this against what you already know and give me any thoughts?
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Old 08-18-10, 02:25 PM   #11
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How accurate is the ridewithgps on hill inclines? Can some of you test this against what you already know and give me any thoughts?
All mapping software uses some form of the USGS data set for elevation. These elevation points are fairly spread apart so fine-grain elevation measurement is typically a shot in the dark while average climb gradients are going to be more accurate. Ridewithgps uses a better algorithm than other SW but it has issues with crossing a bridge over a canyon. In those cases it tends to follow the ground contours. I know the owners/developers are working on a fix for this issue. You do not want to look at a specific point on the route and assume that the listed gradient is correct.

A GPS with altimeter is always going to be your most accurate option.
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Old 08-18-10, 05:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
All mapping software uses some form of the USGS data set for elevation. T.
Except where they've chosen to just make **** up, which is the state of the maps around where I am. There's no commercial market for the data, so it's not processed, even though the 7.5 minute USGS maps are pretty good. a few reference points have elevation information, and everything in between is interpolated. Since the points that are defined are miles apart, whole sets of hills simply disappear. I suspect lots of rural US is in the same situation.
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Old 08-18-10, 05:59 PM   #13
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garmin connect use the explore feature, very useful, filter on mtb or road bike zoomed into your area.
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Old 08-18-10, 06:00 PM   #14
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Garmin Connect Explore is another decent way to find routes. It gives you elevations, and maps. All you need is the town name, or zip to use it. Sometimes the rider that did the original ride will leave comments on road conditions.
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Old 08-18-10, 06:43 PM   #15
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MapMyRide is one of my favourites.
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Old 08-18-10, 08:37 PM   #16
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Garmin Connect Explore is another decent way to find routes. It gives you elevations, and maps. All you need is the town name, or zip to use it. Sometimes the rider that did the original ride will leave comments on road conditions.
+1
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Old 08-19-10, 07:17 AM   #17
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The most enjoyable rides I've had were those where I didn't have a route in mind when I rolled out of the driveway. Even if I'm just headed out for 10 or 12 miles in the evening before settling down for the night I carry what I need for a couple of hours on the bike, just in case the mood takes me and I wind up someplace I wasn't expecting to be.
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