As the world gets crowded and polluted by its bigger cousins, the alleycat or the trail biker, or even the racer knows that getting on the right bike path is half the fun. Bike path maps help a cyclist to chart out the route even before the wheels hit the tarmac. You can go back into few of the resources we have covered earlier to see some of the better bike map path apps out there. Searched out here are a few new ones.
At first glance this website on bike paths doesn’t seem impressive, but that’s just scratching the surface. The site houses 155,000+ bike path maps (on Google Maps) shared by bikers from around the world. Although, the majority of the routes are centered on North America and Europe. If you want to see what bike paths are around your location, try out the advanced search to pinpoint one. You can even filter the bike route by distance. If you discover a route, it’s easy to log-in and share it with the community (see directory mention).
MapMyRide.com has a bunch of free tools along with the paid ones. The Routes tool is completely free and you can use it to plan out your bike or mountain bike rides. The map is a stylized Google Map with features like a distance filter which lets you search within a radius of 200km. One of the best cues you can use for an advanced search is by using “˜tags’ which lets you search bike paths by difficulty, area, terrain, surface, surroundings, and contour. Elevation data is also nicely rendered on the bike path maps.
Threading your way through the concrete pathways of an urban city takes planning. That’s where this Geocoding bike map website for some major cities around the world comes in. Also, uniquely the site displays roads that are meant for biking by keeping to the use of bike lanes, bike paths, greenways, and other bike-friendly streets. You can also switch on the map layers for more data like bike shops and bike parking. Don’t miss the weather update on the top-right.
Veloroutes.com is a comparatively simpler bike path website that allows you to create, share, and find bicycle data added with elevation profiles for any given location. You can use a keyword to do your location search. You can also quite easily export a route to your GPS device or to formats like to GPX, KML, TCX, and CSV. Also useful is the cuesheet for any route that gives you turn-by-turn directions towards a location.
The bike trail website lists 368,084 Bike routes worldwide with a total length of 19,891,520 miles. Check out the Most Popular Places with Bike Routes and the countries covered mentions below the Google Map. You can export routes to your GPS device. Also provided are details like vertical climb, inclination, surface, and the kind of cycling the route is suited for.
The site is very much Europe-centric but covers the US too. New biking trails get continuously added by passionate bicyclists and you can add your own too. You can use the dropdown to select the country and the region to discover cycle routes or go alphabetically through the list of bike paths. With a login, you can give your weight information and also get the calories you might burn along the route. The information on the state of the bike path and landmarks that will fall along the way should be a great help.
The mountain biking community has a long list of reviews of trails around the world. The US dominates the list but expect to find some great trails in the lesser known parts of the world tool. A well voiced forum has also come up around mountain biking trails. Trail reviews use Google Maps, photos, and first person accounts to give you an insight before you start pedaling. Thanks to the terrain, trails aren’t well represented on the map, but one can assume that a intrepid trail biker can get the route from the directions given.
When every other bike path site uses Google Maps, it’s expected that there should be something similar on Google Maps itself. Still in beta, the bike routes data is more than useful if you happen to be in the United States. Type in the directions and click the last icon for bicycles. You can switch the bicycling layer on and off and even change the direction.
Finding new bike paths and navigating through them is now just a matter of going to any of these websites, plotting out the route, and maybe downloading the data to your GPS device. Apart from these eight, cycling websites like Bicycling Magazine, Pedaling.com, and Bike Radar have their own route finder tools too. It’s also a good idea to be a part of the many forums found on these websites for hint drops on new trails and bike paths.
What’s your hint for bike enthusiasts when it comes to discovering new bike paths?
Image Credit: Shutterstock