Route Planning with GPS / OSM for Riding and Touring

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  • I would like to make a new thread devoted to route planning for trips with GPS. I've struggled in the past but found some really useful websites recently I'd like to share.

  • For an overview: Waymarked Trails. Shows cycle paths and everything else the closer you zoom. They have a walking companion map too.

    OpenCycleMap is nice too, although the zoom never works quite right for me.

  • Then, to plot a route for the first time, I like to use OpenRouteService. Particularly handy are the maps showing you what type of surface (paved/unpaved/asphalt/other) you'll be riding on, and the way type (road/street/path/track/footpath). For a normal ride, set it to bike/mtb, if you want some adventure, put it on hiking mode!

  • There's also BRouter, which offers modifiable "profiles" for everything from velomobiles to mountain-averse hikers. Quite something to dig through.

  • When it gets really tough, comparing maps is super helpful. Luckily there are two really useful tools for this.

    Where's The Path has OS 1:25k, the most useful thing for thorny singletrack. It also has loads of other types, and you can even route directly. Worth digging (don't know why there's a blank square on my screenshot)

    MapCompare gives you four to choose from!

  • Want to explore more on OS 1:25k? An unlikely source, Bing Maps, has you covered - switch the map types on the dropdown (note: this doesn't always work with all browsers, try a few and you'll get one that works). Unlike the OS official site this is free.

    And for gravel-istas, there's the worldwide Gravel Map. Not many segments in the UK just yet but plenty overseas and more being added soon, I'm sure.

  • This is all powered by Open Street Map (OSM) and their wonderful contributors. A million thanks to them for making such lovely on- and off-road adventures possible.

  • OK, hope some people find this helpful! Let me know if you have any other favourite sites/methods I might not have come across...thanks!

  • This is great, thanks - didn't know about half of these, so am going to go and have a play and dream of tours...

  • cool, have fun!

  • Thanks for posting this - really useful!

  • Super useful!
    Thanks @platypus

  • No plans yet, so I don't know when I'll be coming back to this but thanks in advance, very useful!

  • Good stuff, bookmarked.

  • This sounds interesting. I hated finding myself 'off road' during last year's TCR.

    I've got a pretty shit route for this year's but it would be good to eliminate dirt from it so I'll give this a look. Eliminating 'no cycling' roads would be another thing I'd look for.

  • Doesn't like 600k routes.

    "Code 204: Request parameters exceed the server configuration limits. The specified number of waypoints must not be greater than 50."

    It does alright if you just throw in Muur to Schloss Lichtenstein though.

    94% Asphalt doesn't fill me with confidence :)

  • Ah, well I never tried it for that far, sadly. Maybe BRouter will work for that, and you could code a custom "TCR" profile for your road surface and climbing preferences!

  • Cheers @platypus great stuff

  • Ooh, that gave me a shorter route straight out of the box! I wonder how much of it is gravel though.

    Be cool if I could pass the output of BRouter straight to ORS to check for suitability.

  • ok, so if you select the "vm-forum-velomobil-schnell" profile.

    then scroll down to the code box.

    look at these values for the penalties for various surfaces. you can then change them and recalculate the route (and the three alternatives BR always gives you). but these are a good default as they're for velomobiles!

  • I used "fastbike" and it gave me 602k/4456m (592k/5910m in RWGPS) which is better than all my other route attempts!

    Someone else's routes was 606.2 km +6289 m which is also better than all my attempts but I don't know how they routed so it could be all bike paths or gravel or whatever.

    Google's Cycle route was 671k/4383m

    Using vm-forum-velomobil-schnell gives much longer route with less climb:
    Length: 685.1 km
    Ascent filtered: 2850 m

    I think "fastbike" is better but I might see if I can change it to avoid gravel, paths, etc.

  • I tried changing them but didn't see any difference. Is there a reprocess button or something I'm missing? When I swapped to velomobile it redrew the route automatically.

    Use the following switches to change behaviour

    (1=yes, 0=no):

    assign consider_elevation 1 # set to 0 to ignore elevation in routing
    assign allow_steps 0 # set to 0 to disallow steps
    assign allow_ferries 0 # set to 0 to disallow ferries
    assign ignore_cycleroutes 1 # set to 1 for better elevation results
    assign stick_to_cycleroutes 0 # set to 1 to just follow cycleroutes
    assign avoid_unsafe 0 # set to 1 to avoid standard highways
    assign turnInstructionMode 1 # 0=none, 1=auto-choose, 2=locus-style, 3=osmand-style

  • change the parameters, then press "upload"

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Route Planning with GPS / OSM for Riding and Touring

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