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  1. #1
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    plotting routes what do you use

    Wondering if anyone has any handy apps or websites they use to plot their routes out with??

  2. #2
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Google Maps. There is a Bicycling option, you know. It includes bike trails, marks bike routes and bike lanes, and if you use "Report a Problem" by right clicking on a map, it will add trails you suggest. For instance, a common commute route includes a short "off-road" portion between a freeway access road and another street here; Google Maps shows that as a bike trail now. Also, there is a park I cut through frequently (which cuts a mile or so off my route); the sidewalk that runs through the park is now shown as a bike route.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  3. #3
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    i'm lucky here in Eugene: both the city and the county produce maps (paper and PDF) for bicyclists that mark designated bike routes, lanes, and safe options based on traffic data. i think Google integrated this data, but nothing beats a real map produced by people actually living and bike in the area in question.

    but for answering this question when no such resources exist: ask other local cyclists how they get from (a) to (b)---what are the safest/fastest/smoothest routes? this often also leads to other useful information, such as where to find the bike parking at a location, etc.
    No slogans, just 14 facts.

  4. #4
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwdeegan View Post
    i think Google integrated this data, but nothing beats a real map produced by people actually living and bike in the area in question.
    Google is as good as the info that feeds it. They typically respond within 2 months when a Problem Report is sent. All my favorite little wormholes are now documented in Google Maps.

    but for answering this question when no such resources exist: ask other local cyclists how they get from (a) to (b)---what are the safest/fastest/smoothest routes? this often also leads to other useful information, such as where to find the bike parking at a location, etc.
    Local tribal knowledge trumps all.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  5. #5
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    I live in a little town. About 6-7 miles of mup here. Was looking for a way to lay out a rec course that I could see how far it'd be before hand and show others so I don't always hafta lead.

  6. #6
    Senior Member matimeo's Avatar
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    +3 google maps. They have been good about adding stuff when brought to their attention.
    El secreto, por lo demás, no vale lo que valen los caminos que me condujeron a él. Esos caminos hay que andarlos. Jorge Luis Borges, El Etnógrafo

  7. #7
    No, not really. Mr. Cranky's Avatar
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    +4 google maps. When mapping routes on unfamiliar roads, I love that you can quickly get a street view and get a really good feel for things like how wide the shoulder is or look for landmarks to help you navigate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomccorkle View Post
    I live in a little town. About 6-7 miles of mup here. Was looking for a way to lay out a rec course that I could see how far it'd be before hand and show others so I don't always hafta lead.
    I use google or, really more often, AAA regional maps. I live in Reno, and there's one, for instance, that shows the area from east of here to the coast, north and south from about Redding to Bakersfield, yet with enough detail to be useful for bikes.
    By preference, though, I often just go out and ride around and explore. I think you can miss a lot when you set out to go 38.7 miles at an average speed of 19.2 or whatever. The leader is whoever's in front, and the ride goes where he or she turns.we've found a lot of cool routes that way.

  9. #9
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    Also google maps, and sometimes mapmyride, you can create a route street by street, quite easy to use

  10. #10
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    My local club has an archive of area route maps online as PDF's. They also have some links to downloadable GPS maps for some of them. Those led me to Mapmyride.com, which I recently used to find a good route for a trip to Galveston. Haven't actually tried their downloadable maps yet, though they do make an Android app that I may try out sometime. I'm rather partial to the convenience of old fashioned printed maps.


  11. #11
    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    As others have mentioned, I've used google maps (you can click on the map and rejoin different parts of the route to make it a better route), googled my area & put in bike maps, driven the route (using odometer) & here's another online source that hasn't been mentioned yet: http://www.traillink.com/

  12. #12
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    Just go out and ride around. Especially if you're a riding-to-see-whatever's-out-there type rider, like me.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  13. #13
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    Mapmyride is very good for out of town types of things.
    Dan in SW Iowa...
    life is lethal; none of us gets out alive!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Malemute_Kid's Avatar
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    i like "ridewithgps", better than mapmyride IMHO. you dont need a gps to use it, i dont have one.

  15. #15
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Guess I'm outdated. I still like detailed paper maps for initially planning anything.
    Last edited by Burton; 02-11-12 at 04:25 PM.

  16. #16
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malemute_Kid View Post
    i like "ridewithgps", better than mapmyride IMHO. you dont need a gps to use it, i dont have one.
    Yes, ridewithgps.com is the best I've found for planning bike routes. It's free to set up an account there.

    Google Maps is good, but for actually deciding where to ride, ridewithgps has a lot of advantages.

    Starting point: I can enter a starting town, or just drag the map over there. I zoom in, and click the starting point on the map. It's easier than google maps.

    History: It keeps a list of my routes, I give each one a title, so I can find them later. The list can be sorted by title or by date, or by distance.
    I can browse for other rider's routes in my area, too.

    Grades: I pull down the top right corner Map list and checkmark the Terrain option. Zooming all the way in, the map shows shaded contours and contour lines every 40 feet. As I draw a route by clicking on a road, it immediately updates the distance and elevation graph at the bottom of the screen. I can hover the cursor over the graph and see the elevation and grade at that spot. Or select one hill by dragging along the red elevation graph, even while editing a route. It shows the total elevation gain, and the distance for that hill.

    Edits: I can click Undo to back out part of the route and try a different path. It's fast and easy. Or Redo to put it back again.

    Cue sheets: They recently improved this. I can click the tan flag at a turn and edit the cue sheet entry directly.

    Street View: Now street view works here, but it's not as good as google maps' version. I can't jump down the road in Street View, so I'll close the street view display and drag the little icon to a different location if needed. It's good enough. If I really don't know anything about the area, I'll use google maps and it's Street View to get an idea of what the roads are like, before starting to draw a route with ridewithgps.
    EDIT--now Street View works very much like Google Maps. I can click far down the road to move the view there. The only thing missing is the small overview map in the corner of the photo, to show the direction of the current viewpoint.

    GPS: it exports in various formats for my Garmin.

    Here's an example route to view. Pull down the Map list and checkmark Terrain. Note that the elevation chart makes steep looking climbs, but this first climb is actually moderate, mostly a 3-4% grade. Hover over the graph to see it's location on the map.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 10-12-12 at 09:12 PM.

  17. #17
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    Google Maps with Satellite View and Street View, although nothing is better than starting your meticulously-planned ride and realizing that it was a very bad plan once it's too late, so nothing beats simply riding around!

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