Ride Start Date: 2021-03-03
Author: Mark Riley
Bike route mapping software is important to cyclists. We use them to find the best/safest/quickest/passing_the_most_bakeries route between points. The club uses ridewithgps.com for ROs to plan, edit, and present the routes of Audax rides to members in a form that can be downloaded to bike computers and/or printed as cue sheets. Audax Australia has a club account that contains a large library of routes (currently 2710 and growing!) from all over Australia. It’s excellent.
There are many bike route mapping software sites around, usually free to use with a paid premium membership. Many gravelleurs use komoot.com (gives the road surface). A lot of MTBers use trailforks.com. Audax Club Parisien have been using openrunner.com to give the official route of last few Paris-Brest-Paris rides. Everyone uses strava.com. Even though these have different angles you can sense they are all competing, all trying to expand. You can imagine that not all will survive and they will start swallowing each other. After all, where’s the money in it? (Although it is not that long ago that someone informed me that Amazon wouldn’t last, it had never turned a profit…)
Remember the early route mapping software sites? Bikely.com was one of the first (starting 2006) and was the most popular such site for a while. Back in the day before bike computers, I remember planning routes on bikely.com then printing a screenshot of the map to carry with me on rides.
While Audax Australia uses ridewithgps.com almost exclusively, there are historical events in the past buried in our website that have links to bikely.com routes. These came up recently in a web search by people investigating the fate of bikely.com. Which is now no more. They contacted me in case their article was of interest. It is and you can find it here: cyrusher.com/en/m/blog/what-happened-to-bikely-com
After I started with bikely.com, I changed to bikeroutetoaster.com. It had great maps and was pretty slick for the day. And what’s not to like about a one-person operation from the Principality of Liechtenstein? It has disappeared as well. What was your earliest use of bike route planners?