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What tools do you use to plan your route?

Old 03-05-17, 11:20 AM
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What tools do you use to plan your route?

I'm trying to figure out how to get from Atlanta to the east coast (around Richmond Hill, Ga). There are so many different routes I could take. Trying to figure out which cities to go through is hard enough - then to figure out which roads to take to each city. I tried google maps bicycle option, but it puts me on some major roads that I think I need to avoid.

I found a Ga bicycle map here but it doesn't have lots of smaller roads on it - the ones I like to take (with less traffic)

https://georgiabikes.org/index.php/r...-route-network

What other options are there as far as maps go that I can use? Or how do you guys plan?

Thanks
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Old 03-05-17, 11:31 AM
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I find google maps good for European planning, perhaps the cycle infrastructure in America is different though.
I also use cycle.travel and opencyclemap.org to get an idea of potential routes.
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Old 03-05-17, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Brittney
I find google maps good for European planning, perhaps the cycle infrastructure in America is different though.
I also use cycle.travel and opencyclemap.org to get an idea of potential routes.
Thank you, I'll check out those sites also
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Old 03-05-17, 11:52 AM
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if you don't mind paper,

https://www.amazon.com/Georgia-Atlas.../dp/0899332536

might could find a copy in your local library....
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Old 03-05-17, 01:15 PM
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Try Strava Heat Maps which shows you route popularity/density among other [Strava] cyclists but keep in mind sheer rider volume might still lean toward major roads despite being less pleasant to ride. Then use google Street View to have a look at the actual road/shoulder layout, and maybe Satelitte View to gauge traffic (although highly dependent upon time of Sat. pix).
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Old 03-05-17, 01:17 PM
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Not a Computer terminal worker with a phone Addiction,


I Bought Paper Maps, and chose my route reading the map. I generally knew the place I was going, just sorted out the details, daily.

Universities have Map Libraries ..

Europe had better maps than USA does, since they hike and sight see and have historic heritage places to highlight.

I bought a new one in a book seller as I rode off the edge of the proor map.

Like many States Oregon has State Bike maps, they also publish one for the very popular coast route.





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-06-17 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 03-05-17, 01:19 PM
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Georgia State Bike Map - Maplets

try this.
I went to the Maplet website and searched "georgia bike"

Available Maps - Maplets

I use these maps on my Iphone 6+

The good thing about them is that you don't have to have a cell tower connection to use the map on your phone. The GPS within your phone shows a dot on the map to let you know your location.
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Old 03-05-17, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by reppans
Try Strava Heat Maps which shows you route popularity/density among other [Strava] cyclists but keep in mind sheer rider volume might still lean toward major roads despite being less pleasant to ride. Then use google Street View to have a look at the actual road/shoulder layout, and maybe Satelitte View to gauge traffic (although highly dependent upon time of Sat. pix).
+1

Note that Germany and Austria don't allow street view, so some of the roads have to be taken on faith.

Once I have a rough outline, I contact people on warmshowers.org who live in the area I will be riding through and ask them about the roads I've chosen. Often, this results in offers of hospitality, as well.
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Old 03-05-17, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer
Georgia State Bike Map - Maplets

try this.
I went to the Maplet website and searched "georgia bike"

Available Maps - Maplets

I use these maps on my Iphone 6+

The good thing about them is that you don't have to have a cell tower connection to use the map on your phone. The GPS within your phone shows a dot on the map to let you know your location.
So I downloaded this app and the GA State bike map. While viewing the map, I found a "State Route Network (Route 35)" that runs all the way from Atlanta to Savannah, which is the exact route I was looking for. I'm assuming this would be the safest, or one of the safest routes because its state designated, is that correct? Thanks again
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Old 03-05-17, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by raybo
+1

Note that Germany and Austria don't allow street view, so some of the roads have to be taken on faith.

Once I have a rough outline, I contact people on warmshowers.org who live in the area I will be riding through and ask them about the roads I've chosen. Often, this results in offers of hospitality, as well.
GREAT idea about contacting the locals, thanks
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Old 03-05-17, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bosco500
So I downloaded this app and the GA State bike map. While viewing the map, I found a "State Route Network (Route 35)" that runs all the way from Atlanta to Savannah, which is the exact route I was looking for. I'm assuming this would be the safest, or one of the safest routes because its state designated, is that correct? Thanks again
I have no idea about Georgia.
I've had success with this app in many other states that have their state bicycle map available for download.
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Old 03-05-17, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer
I have no idea about Georgia.
I've had success with this app in many other states that have their state bicycle map available for download.
Sounds good thanks again
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Old 03-05-17, 09:21 PM
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I don't know why I find this so amusing, but:

The designation of these routes is primarily for planning purposes. Few, if any, of the designated state bike routes are actually bicycle friendly as of today.
Then why the **** even put it on a website?

Anyway, Google Maps, Strava, and RideWithGPS are your best friends. I remember being frustrated with GA's state websites when I was planning my coast-to-coast route. I think I used some of the state routes and some of my own stuff. (Here's the route I used.) Your instincts are correct from what I remember of GA. Highways won't have much shoulder, but the quiet country roads are pretty awesome.
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Old 03-05-17, 09:23 PM
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Choosing cities to go through may be one issue. Perhaps start a topic under the Regional subforums asking for routes and ideas. Sleeping and bike facilities might be part of the answer.

On a recent ride, I was only heading about 150 miles each way. Mostly outside of cities. So, I used a combination of paper maps, and Google Maps to choose an approximate route. Oh, also read the internet about camping.

The biggest issue was that I chose a mountain pass that I think I had driven 30 years ago. My maps showed it as a secondary road, but didn't specify road surface. Nobody I talked to could remember if the road was paved or gravel.

I ended going to the local Forest Service office. Unfortunately it was the wrong ranger district, so they didn't have any first hand knowledge of the road and current conditions. But, they sold me a very detailed map that covered most of my ride, and answered the question of gravel vs paved. It turned out to be about 20 miles of steep, winding one-lane paved road. Very low traffic. While I wasn't quite ready for riding the steep hill loaded, I'd love to head back there again, maybe with a lighter load.

I did create a Strava Route, but unfortunately it tried to choose a narrow busy road for part of the ride, when I already knew of a parallel alternative with much lower traffic.
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Old 03-05-17, 09:26 PM
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My favorite tools are a hammer and screwdriver.

(couldn't resist)

Anyway, I have a long history of planning routes where I've never been. This is during the era before the internet. I found McMillan to be most useful, because their road code system gave me a decent idea of road width and importance (traffic). Then things like rivers helped figure the overall terrain.

It's McMillan that gave rise to the phrase "blue highways" meaning the secondary roads through all town America, and I've done tons of riding on those blue highways. Frankly I miss those quality paper maps, and these days rely of Google Maps as a starting reference. Then I look for parallel connectors figuring that most people will take the shortest route preferably on an interstate. The rest is just playing hunches, or using whatever other info will give me a sense of what the area I like.

One nice feature of Google Maps, is you can sample the dog's eye views of sections of any route you're considering, seeing the pavement quality, lane width, shoulder or not, etc. This will help avoid mistakes where you might have chosen a road that looked good otherwise.

BTW - while others plan routes and stick with them, I tend to wing it. I carry decent maps, and if I find myself on a road I don't like, I'll find an opportunity to shift over to an alternative, working my way to the destination however I can.
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Old 03-06-17, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bosco500
What other options are there as far as maps go that I can use? Or how do you guys plan?
I use a combination of Google Maps (turn on the Bicycle feature from the menu and select the little bicycle icon) + Ride with GPS + the occasional paper map.


You might also look to see if there are any randonneur/audax clubs in the area. If there are, no doubt they've cycled a lot of the roads you're considering and can give you some advice.
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Old 03-06-17, 03:31 AM
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Another vote for RideWithGPS. I frequently use it with OpenCycleMaps enabled.
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Old 03-06-17, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bosco500
I'm assuming this would be the safest, or one of the safest routes because its state designated, is that correct?
If GA is anything like PA, that's not a safe assumption. I have ridden some of the signed PA bike routes. There are safer alternatives to some of the sections I have ridden. Some sections were downright hairy.
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Old 03-06-17, 09:13 AM
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I mostly use Google Maps for planning. I'll use the normal view, bike view, street view and search within the map. On tour, I'll add paper maps if needed.
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Old 03-06-17, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Aushiker
Another vote for RideWithGPS. I frequently use it with OpenCycleMaps enabled.
One note with RWGPS is that you have to pay to use their route feature real-time, although they do have nice printable cue sheets.

Strava routes allow real-time GPS following of your course, or for longer rides, I've run Strava in the background, and just turned it on to verify critical intersections and turns.
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Old 03-06-17, 12:05 PM
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Check out Delorme, paper maps. Topos for the entire state. Contour lines and stuff like forest and camping areas too. Also map my ride.
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Old 03-06-17, 08:22 PM
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I find Google Maps to be just fine for planning routes. When I am not sure about a certain road, I "street view" it and I can see exactly what type of traffic to expect, how wide the shoulders are, etc.

The only problem with doing it this way is that, by the time I am done planning, I feel like I have already taken the ride!
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Old 03-06-17, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
One note with RWGPS is that you have to pay to use their route feature real-time, although they do have nice printable cue sheets.
I simply download the maps to my Garmin ... no need for the paid membership to do that. That said I have the paid membership because of the additional route editing features.
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Old 03-07-17, 01:00 AM
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I find one of the best sources for route selections are Crazy Guy on a Bike Journals Crazy Guy on a Bike Journals[/url]. Many have detailed maps of routes actually ridden with detailed description of road conditions and amenities along the way. Neil the web designer has built a good search feature to narrow your search.
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Old 03-07-17, 10:39 AM
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I would check the ACA website and see if they have any routes that work.
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