You might think that a group that loves the outdoors would be complete luddites. Far from it - we embrace technology. If we didn’t, why would we be blogging about it? In fact, we have completely shunned rubbing sticks together to make fire. We now use a stove with a piezo lighter. Well, except for Clyde. He still uses a lighter with his Pocket Rocket, but hey - the lighter is a step above matches. But what does all this have to do with planning the route? Nothing. So let’s get into the meat of the article.
The Glacier Bandits chose MapMyRide.com to plan their 6-day bike route from Boston to Bar Harbor. Sure, we could have used Google Maps (or Bing Maps) and planned the route, and then printed out loads and loads of maps. But seriously? We are in the internet age, suckerfishes! Let’s use that technology, baby!
But here’s a secret we are going to share with you, the reader (and anyone else who accesses this site) - the routes sync with an iPhone app allowing you to dynamically track your route as you pedal through the mapped directions. So cool. The thought is we can completely ditch our Garmin and use the iPhone as our primary navigational device. Printed maps of the area will be our backup (don’t need batteries to run printed maps).
Here are some of the issues we worked through when using this technique.Google Maps is awesome (wait! - didn’t you just say you used MapMyRide?) Yes, I did. But here’s the cool thing about Google maps. There’s an option on their mapping software allowing you to choose a bicycle as the routing option. This does two things. It changes the routing to bicycle-friendly routing on the map, and displays bike paths in green. So, you can see where the paths start and end. Now how do you get this into MapMyRide? You have to switch between the apps, but you build your route clicking on waypoints and the app creates the routing between those. So, you may have 15-20 waypoints on your 60 mile ride. We used Google Maps to get a basic routing, and then we chose our waypoints to customize the route.
You’ll notice below the expanded view of the route. The view shows a rolling count of the mileage, elevation, and the waypoints set by the user. The MapMyRide view shows Google’s interface, with the green bike routes and bike-friendly streets.
So far, it looks like a good system, and we’ll test the ability of it to deliver come our trip in August. Here are the links to the routes day by day: