Monday, March 15, 2010

Genius: Bikely.com

The other weekend, I was determined to get in some base miles, but with my days full of other non-cycling things, scheduling was going to be too cumbersome to incorporate any kind of group ride. I don't mind sucking wind by myself, but my own repetoire of known routes is a little scant.

Which is why Bikely.com is my new hero!

With my new GPS (thanks again DAD!!!) I'm well-equipped to handle solo missions, inspired by Bikley. All I have to do is visit the site, enter some geographic key words and a list of routes posted by my two-wheeled colleagues appears. There are routes available all over THE WORLD, so the sky's the limit!

If you have a GPS unit of your own, it's even better.

How about a tour?

First stop: the homepage! It's nothing fancy, but it's easy to navigate. For this little tour, I entered "Forks of the Credit" as a sample. It's definitely one of my favourite places to ride, but I've always been a little intimidated by the seemingly endless network of roads. Now I can ride with confidence I'll be able to find my way back!


So, once you've entered your home town/destination/cottage/whatever! a list appears showing where riders have rode before you. You can see from this one how some users even add helpful tags for even narrower searching in the "advanced" section on the header!


For our sample, I chose the route posted by "eaves". This is what pops up: a google map of the entire route (totally zoomable as well).

And finally, if you have a GPS unit, click on the share tab to access the drop down menu. Choose "download .gpx" to your computer. That file can be read by your Garmin GPS (probably others too, but I'll stick to what I know!) as a "saved ride" and will give you turn-by-turn directions while you're out completing your workout.

To do that, just plug your garmin into the computer and access the unit's memory drive. Mine pops up automatically as an external "F" drive. In that drive's folder, there's a sub folder called "GPX". Drag and drop your route file, disconnect, and you're ready to go!


So whether you have a Garmin or not, now that the great weather has cancelled an extended trainer season, try out Bikely to find a new and exciting route. My username is klake, and I'll be posting up routes soon!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Kris, going to try this on the weekend.

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  2. Awesome, let me know if you find a good one :)

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