Saturday, March 13, 2010

Google Bike Maps

If you have even one biking friend, you have probably heard that Google Maps has added bike routes. I'm so happy! I've been doing bike routes by using the walking directions and then modifying them when they left the road to stay on the road. It was better than nothing, but not ideal.

So today I had to put my car in the shop and I decided I'd bike home. I used Google Maps to fix my route but I didn't like the route it suggested to me. I rode a similar route before on the bike and I thought theirs was too complicated. I did my best to get the route that I remembered taking and printed it out.

I found that, if I folded the printout in half, lengthwise, that it fit well in my Road Map holder thingie. But the way Google Maps has the info laid out, I could see the miles between each turn and the map of the intersection or I could see the turn by turn directions with estimated times. Since the estimated times are completely meaningless (unless you happen to bike as fast as they assume you will, which is slower than I bike and that's pretty slow), but the miles are not, I wanted to have the miles with the turn-by-turn directions.

But it was okay doing the turn-by-turns without the miles. Not ideal, but okay.

Unfortunately, my changes to the suggested route had me making a few scary left turns and going up a BIG hill. Next time I think I'll stick closer to what Google Maps suggests.

The other bad part was that I had put my new temporary fenders on. It rained the day before and I was afraid the streets would still be wet. Well, apparently there is some sort of art to adjusting those things because no matter what I did, they rubbed. I had to stop numerous times and fix them and they still rubbed.

On and there was also a bad head wind. (And yet, as much as that slowed me down, I still finished faster than Google Maps predicted.) I am getting better at dealing with the wind though and it's good practice for IMAZ.
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