The Chainlink

Hey guys,

Please share your favorite map and route sites and tools you currently use.   I know there are former discussions, but technology changes so fast, I wanted to start a new discussion.

This is research for the new website.

Thanks! 

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There is one that allows you to build a route and then download it to put on a device.  I used it before but completely forgetting what the name was. I'll have to dig around and find it again.

Google maps works for me.

MassUp.us of course. "Free multi-function webapp for bicycling."  Now has years of my rides archived.  Commonly criticized as too complicated, just don't overthink it.  I use it every time for directions anywhere, then just follow the line live, frees the brain for other things.  We used it all the way back from Indiana after the Pierogi ride.

Also yes, Google Maps.  But download the app, not just the website.  The app does turn-by-turn bicycle route guidance with voice!  Double awesome with a bluetooth sound system.

For the latest status on Chicago bike lanes: Chicago Bike Guide (unfortunately only available as a smartphone app)

To find the popular routes in an unfamiliar area: Strava Heatmap

To do detailed route planning, including elevation profiles: ridewithgps.com (there are a ton of sites like this, this is just the one I happen to use with features I like)

For years when planning multi-week bike tours, I used offline mapping software (generally DeLorme TopoUSA), but by my last tour, the online tools had advance sufficiently to give me everything I need.

Google Maps... I then use ridewithgps.com to enter the route. This allows me to use my phone to get turn-by-turn based on my choice of routing.


You have to take any mapping with a general idea of where you're going first. I Googled biking from Manitowak Wi. to Ludington Mi. and it told me to take the ferry.
Tom Z said:

Google Maps... I then use ridewithgps.com to enter the route. This allows me to use my phone to get turn-by-turn based on my choice of routing.

I use Google Maps all the time, but I wish it had a feature that let me combine modes of transportation- I do like the Chicago Bike Guide, but it's not as automatic.  I also use Map My Ride to try to keep some data- but I always forget to pause/finish when I reach my destination, and it eats battery too. Google Maps has really improved in the past 12 months for cycling directions, I think.

Are you all using these on a computer before or after your ride and/or WHILE navigating on the bike?

And please keep your answers coming!

I sometimes pull up a route at home or recreated it on the computer, but 90% of the time I use my phone.  I have a cheap Target phone mount on my bike, and can hear the Google Maps lady if I turn up the volume.

I have an android tablet, but without web access while out riding.

What app allows me to make up a route at home, the download it and save it to the tablet, along with voice-directions, later to carry with me on the ride?

google maps lets you save maps for offline use.  Also a recent update added elevation information to bike routes so you can see how much climbing will be involved on a given route.

Bob Kastigar said:

I have an android tablet, but without web access while out riding.

What app allows me to make up a route at home, the download it and save it to the tablet, along with voice-directions, later to carry with me on the ride?

ridewithgps.com allows you to design a route on your PC, and then the 3rd-party Android app Cue Sheet allows you to download it to your mobile device for off-line navigation (the ridewithgps.com Android app only does on-line navigation in its current release, and requires a paid ridewithgps.com membership for voice prompts). Similarly, the base version of Cue Sheet only shows the route and turns visually. You need the Pro version ($4) to add voice prompts. I haven't used the Pro version, so I can't vouch for its functionality, but the base version worked well for me on a multi-week tour on my smartphone when we didn't always have cellular coverage.


Bob Kastigar said:

I have an android tablet, but without web access while out riding.

What app allows me to make up a route at home, the download it and save it to the tablet, along with voice-directions, later to carry with me on the ride?

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