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Old 10-04-10, 07:02 AM   #1
r32nj
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Bicycle route planning / maps

Can anyone suggest some good websites for planning biking routes? I am in NJ and have found one sites with NJ bike route maps, but they are just static photos and not very user friendly.

Someone told me that Google Maps has bike routes now, but I couldn't seem to find them on the Google Maps site.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:12 AM   #2
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Google maps does have bike routes but you have to do a little extra clicking to see them. On the google maps page click "get directions" at the top left, then click the bike icon in the list of 4 icons, then enter some local addresses in the boxes that appear. You will see a map with a suggested route and all the bike lanes, paths, and routes marked. The suggested route isn't likely to be the very best route for you, but with the map you can work out what you want to try. It's a nice tool.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:27 AM   #3
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ridewithgps.com is a good one. you can draw your route and see the grade of the road. gives you a good idea how many hills you will be conquering.
google maps is cool but not complete yet so sometimes it takes you through areas not bike friendly. it will give you the basics and you tweak it from there.
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Old 10-04-10, 07:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Reynolds View Post
Google maps does have bike routes but you have to do a little extra clicking to see them. On the google maps page click "get directions" at the top left, then click the bike icon in the list of 4 icons, then enter some local addresses in the boxes that appear. You will see a map with a suggested route and all the bike lanes, paths, and routes marked. The suggested route isn't likely to be the very best route for you, but with the map you can work out what you want to try. It's a nice tool.
+1... or click on the more button between the Map and Traffic (if there is one in your area) buttons. This brings up additional map layers you can add, including a check box for "Bicycling"

ridewithgps.com is my other go-to site for mapping routes.

Also of note is that the latest Google Earth has an elevation profile tool for a given path/route. I don't think there's a bike lanes/bike trails overlay for Google Earth yet, though.
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Old 10-04-10, 09:35 AM   #5
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Ride With GPS is OK, started buggy but they keep improving it. They actually use Google data but have better interface and some nifty features like saving and sharing your routes.

Adam
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Old 10-04-10, 09:39 AM   #6
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My problem with ridewithgps is that the gpx tracks I download dont agree with the Garmin maps. The track is often 200 m away from the road and current position shown on my Garmin Edge 705.

Is this a problem in other countries, or just China?

z
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Old 10-04-10, 09:43 AM   #7
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Nothing I know agrees with Garmin maps
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Old 10-04-10, 11:25 AM   #8
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bikely.com
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Old 10-04-10, 12:07 PM   #9
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bikeroutetoaster.com Uses the OpenCycleMap.org or the Google map data. Allows for different speeds on hills, creates routes and waypoints that can be put on to a Garmin device for navigation. Very nice tool. Auto-routing with OpenCycleMap data can be buggy if you want to edit the route. Best to route in small steps.
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Old 10-04-10, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Reynolds View Post
Google maps does have bike routes but you have to do a little extra clicking to see them. On the google maps page click "get directions" at the top left, then click the bike icon in the list of 4 icons, then enter some local addresses in the boxes that appear. You will see a map with a suggested route and all the bike lanes, paths, and routes marked. The suggested route isn't likely to be the very best route for you, but with the map you can work out what you want to try. It's a nice tool.
I use Google maps with reasonable success, but two things that may be helpful:

1) some of the turns just tell you to 'turn left' or 'turn right' with no indication of where you're going. You need to study the street view pictures and/or really know the area. I've had some lengthy detours because I didn't spot a turn onto a trail (which are most of the unnamed turns).

2) you can adjust the directions by dragging the route. I use this pretty regularly because, although google maps looks for bicycle friendly routes, it may not look for the friendliest route, esp. if the alternative is longer. Also, depending on your location, I can't speak to how good the bicycle directions will be. Some are clearly better than others.
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