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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-22-04, 03:03 AM   #1
born2drv
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Way to "mapquest" bike routes?

Is there a way to get driving directions that are bike-friendly? Or at least avoid highways? Every single one I've tried puts me on a highway and I want to know what streets I would take. Or do I have to whip out an actual paper map?

Thanks a lot
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Old 10-22-04, 03:14 AM   #2
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They used to have the option to avoid highways, but it's not there anymore. I don't know why they took it off.

I'd be willing to bet that a site that listed 'non-car' routes or stuck mainly to bike friendly roads would end up getting a lot of hits...
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Old 10-22-04, 05:29 AM   #3
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Check out Map24. Pretty cool.
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Old 10-22-04, 06:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dobber
Check out Map24. Pretty cool.
Ah man, sweet! Being a bit of a GIS geek, that is way too cool! It provided a (slightly funky) route between my two test locations, but it worked fairly well at avoiding highways... And, it's a neat alternative to MapQuest...which has been getting worse instead of better (the loss of the "avoid highways" feature is one example). I think I have a new fav!
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Old 10-22-04, 06:51 AM   #5
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It's an improvement over mapquest, but still, getting a mapping CD is better. You avoid the damn ads, and it's faster, and the maps are more detailed.
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Old 10-22-04, 07:07 AM   #6
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www.mapsonus.com has an "avoid major hiways" option.

Dan
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Old 10-22-04, 08:09 AM   #7
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If you live in the LA area, go to www.bikemetro.com
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Old 10-22-04, 08:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by brentj
If you live in the LA area, go to www.bikemetro.com
Mapquest used to provide longitude and lattitude coordinations. I really don't need these but for those who have a GPS with no map software, it could really come in handly. Does anyone know if Mapquest has a premium service or any online service that gives longitude and lattitude coordinates?
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Old 10-22-04, 08:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by born2drv
Is there a way to get driving directions that are bike-friendly? Or at least avoid highways? Every single one I've tried puts me on a highway and I want to know what streets I would take. Or do I have to whip out an actual paper map?

Thanks a lot
Get a used copy of Microsoft Streets and Trips. It has an option where you can set the maximum speed of travel to 5 mph!
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Old 10-22-04, 08:32 AM   #10
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I use Mappoint, which despite being run by Microsoft is pretty decent. It doesn't have the "avoid highways" option, but you can choose "quickest route" or "shortest route", and the latter generally avoids most highways.

I've been toying with the idea of writing a bike-focused map site. Route-finding is not a terribly difficult problem, and the basic data is freely available. The tricky part would be identifying "bike-friendly" roads.

Last edited by elbows; 10-22-04 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 10-22-04, 10:05 AM   #11
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err... Beware of Mapppoint. Many of the maps have errors on one layer (like when you zoom) and not on another. I've found that parks and some streets tend to be incorrectly named or old.
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Old 10-22-04, 10:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
err... Beware of Mapppoint. Many of the maps have errors on one layer (like when you zoom) and not on another. I've found that parks and some streets tend to be incorrectly named or old.
I can confirm that. MapPoint got me lost in a town I didn't know so well by incorrectly labelling a road on the wrong side of the highway from where I wanted to go. I'll never trust it again for important travelling.

MS Streets and Trips however is much, much better. I easily navigated towns and highways in OR and WA with S&T data downloaded to my PDA. I think the only time the paper map came out was when planning large distances and the PDA screen was
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Old 10-22-04, 10:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
err... Beware of Mapppoint. Many of the maps have errors on one layer (like when you zoom) and not on another. I've found that parks and some streets tend to be incorrectly named or old.
Hmm, I'll keep that in mind. I have noticed that things like subway stations appear and disappear at random as I zoom in/out. Other than that I haven't had much trouble, except that it can't locate the address of my office
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Old 10-22-04, 10:59 AM   #14
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I use Delorme TopoUSA extensively for route planning. Having topographic data to use for route planning is a great tool. You can customize the routing tool to favor or avoid various types of roads and set your own waypoiints mid-route if you want to force the software to use certain roads in a route.
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Old 10-22-04, 11:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by supcom
I use Delorme TopoUSA extensively for route planning. Having topographic data to use for route planning is a great tool. You can customize the routing tool to favor or avoid various types of roads and set your own waypoiints mid-route if you want to force the software to use certain roads in a route.
Will this Delorme TopoUSA create printed maps that are UTF compliant? In other words, will it create maps that have longititude and lattitude lines across the screne?
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Old 10-22-04, 12:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFromDetroit
www.mapsonus.com has an "avoid major hiways" option.

Dan
wow...that site is pretty good, you can even have it print a small map for every turn.

I usually use maps.yahoo.com and i just map my starting point, then just look at the map to find roads that'll get me to the right place.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:02 PM   #17
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For those in Minnesota,

I was given a set of maps for Minnesota that indicates the traffic volume (low, medium, high, heavy) and the existence of shoulders.

The maps I have were produced in 2001 and for additional copies:
Minnesota's bookstore
117 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 297-3000
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Old 10-22-04, 01:28 PM   #18
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I found this one for arizona. It was too big to post. Just scroll down and look for "Arizona Bicycle Routes Map". Boy, these would be quite a resource if we could find many states...

http://www.mapathon.com/az.html
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Old 10-22-04, 01:42 PM   #19
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Hey guys... thanks for the pointers... MapsOnUs works pretty well... Map24 was cool but even with the no-highways thing on it put me on a highway.

But I have to admit that website bikemetro.com is awesome.... I happen to live in the LA area... this thing even gives you an elevation distribution along your ride and lets you pick out a route which doesn't have as many hills and will even calculate for you how many calories the average commuter would burn taking that route. I'm very impressed Looks like I'll be climbing 348 feet over a 9 mile stretch every day commuting back home.. yikes
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Old 10-22-04, 09:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Will this Delorme TopoUSA create printed maps that are UTF compliant? In other words, will it create maps that have longititude and lattitude lines across the screne?
Yes, you can turn a lat/lon grid on or off as you wish.
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Old 10-23-04, 02:14 AM   #21
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A friend of mine uses MapPoint to map some of our Saturday rides. We've run into a couple of issues, new roads not shown and some unpaved roads. Here is a link to a page of some Tucson routes: http://psy1.psych.arizona.edu/cgi-bin/megahurtz
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Old 10-25-04, 09:24 AM   #22
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wmButler---

Thanks for that link. I don't ride road much (other than a 20 miles rt commute), but some of those rides look pretty good!

PS: I did do Mt Lemmon once, pulling a trailer all the way to the very top to camp that night. It was a long day.
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Old 10-25-04, 11:29 AM   #23
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Neither worked well for me in CO.


Mapsonus gave less detail, even with "more detail" selected.
Map24 gave more detail, but still didn't show parks, etc. However it did allow setting mph to 10-15 mph range to give you a ball park os commute times.

Both failed to show bikeway underpass under highway and to show the parks in industrial park. One of the parks is terminus of bikeway underpass.

Huff
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Old 10-25-04, 11:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by super-douper
wow...that site is pretty good, you can even have it print a small map for every turn.
Also, before I got a cycle computer, I used mapsonus.com to get approximate distances for a route I already rode. All you have to do is enter enough intermediate destinations to force application to map the route you ride.
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Old 10-25-04, 03:23 PM   #25
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Mapsonus doesnt do Canada
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