How to Map a Cycling Route

Finding new bike rides and routes in your local area can be intimidating for beginner road cyclists. Lucky for modern road cyclists, gone are the days of pre-driving an unkown route to get a feel for the mileage, elevation or conditions; gone are the days of stalking other local riders to learn new climbs, shortcuts or scenic routes.


With today’s satellite imagery, mapping technology and gps devices, cyclists can plan routes down to the 1/10 of a mile and exact elevation profile before ever clicking into their pedals. Further, today’s cycling websites have brought a social aspect to the somewhat soloist sport that allows riders to see where, what and how others are riding. So what are you waiting for? Crank up that modem, dial-in to AOL and jump on the world wide web!


Here are our top websites for gathering ride intel. These sites go beyond just mapping rides and begin to help cyclists understand their performance, and others’ performance and facilitate the exchange of data, information and socialization the likes of which road cycling has never seen.


Strava - The ultimate in ride/data logging, Strava has developed a community based not only on tracking rides/routes, but also on tracking/comparing the data behind the ride.  Utilize the “explore” and “activity search” functionality, you can find rides based on similar datapoints utilized by connect.garmin and go one step further to search by competitive features such as KOM (King of the Mountain, or fastest climb).


Garmin Connect - You don’t need a Garmin device to utilize Garmin’s online community.  Similar to mapmyride, connect.garmin allows users to “explore” rides and routes posted by other community members based on activity type, dates, distances, keywords, georgraphy, elevation gain etc.


Map My Ride - Map my ride allows you to not only log your gpx. and .tcx files/rides but also allows users to “draw” or “map” rides on streets and paths. Further, the “search” feature allows you to search by geography, keyword, distance, etc and find other community members’ ride files and mapped rides.