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Old 01-14-18, 11:10 AM
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
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Location: N. KY
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Originally Posted by mohamilton View Post
This is perfect! Thank you! North of Xenia gets pretty very boring - strait route, surrounded by fields. I'll be biking up to columbus a few times this summer so some rides will be 1 day there 1 day back and others may be a few day tour to change it up. I have family up there so i'd like to bike up more instead of driving.
Heat Map
I use the Strava Heat Map when I want to ride in unfamiliar areas. It colors in roads based on how many riders use the road, from strava ride recordings.
Here's the SW Ohio area. Click Labels to see town and road names. The bike trail glows bright white, lots of riders!
SW Ohio heat map
It's really good for avoiding busy roads, the ones that are much dimmer than nearby roads.

There's less activity way out of the cities, so those areas are dimmer. The colors readjust as you zoom in more.

Route Builder
To make a route using the heat map, I like Strava's Route Builder. Click Settings, then turn on the Heat Map to see your alternative choices. (free strava login required)
The route builder will pick the most popular roads, skipping the more direct, busy roads.
In some areas, it'll route on popular gravel roads or on mountain bike trails. But those are rare in this area.

Before I started doing cycle club rides, I assumed the roads east of Cincinnati would be boring -- just cornfields to the horizon. But they aren't boring at all. Over many years, riders have picked the best cycling roads, very quiet, often scenic.

The same thing is probably true closer to Columbus!
An example from Xenia, using the Route Builder. I had to click along the way or drag part of the route to different roads. It kept trying to use the very popular bike trails, of course.

I zoomed in and saw road names like "Old Clifton Road", and "Old Columbus Road" -- those are often very good, with traffic switched to the "new" road. Roads following creeks are usually very nice, too.
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xenia sample rt.JPG (129.9 KB, 43 views)

Last edited by rm -rf; 01-14-18 at 09:47 PM.
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