Google Maps is a great tool which can be used to create a safe route for your bike riding. From city streets to nature trails this app can give you a map of where to ride and directions to get places on your eBike. This ride planning is best done on a laptop or desktop computer and you will be able to send the directions to your phone when complete.
While making a map for your ride may seem silly, it can be very useful for when you are out exploring new areas, travelling to a new city with your bikes, or not wanting to get lost in a confusing neighborhood!
Step 1: Start your route
Start by opening up Google Maps on your computer. Go to https://www.google.com/maps/ and use the search bar to type in the address or location you would like to start from. In this example we are going to start in Saskatoon, the city where Biktrix originates from, at the Remai Modern Art Gallery.
When you are at the location you would like to start from click on “Directions”:
This will open up the route planning features.
Step 2: Switch your maps to to Cycling Mode
The maps interface will now change and you need to turn the directions mode into cycling mode. Click on the cycling button (1) and then click on the up and down arrows (2) to swap the point you selected to your starting point.
Step 3: Enter locations you want to bike to
Type the address or name of the new waypoint of where you want to go.
To add multiple destinations click the “Add destination” button.
You can add as many destinations as you would like. Ensure your last destination is where you started from if you would like to do a full loop. This example has five different waypoints as seen below:
Step 4: Switching to Bicycling view mode
Now you can use Google to view some cycling specific information on the map and fine tune your route. First click the menu button in Google Maps.
Then click on the word “Bicycling”
This will add more biking information to the map. You will have trails, dedicated bike lanes, dirt paths and bike friendly roads highlighted in different colours.
Step 5: Adjusting your route
At this stage you can use the information provided by the previous step to adjust your route. Simply hover your mouse anywhere on your blue route then click and drag the blue route to move it.
Google Maps will adjust it’s distance calculation and other information to your route as you drag and change the route.
Some tips for creating a fun biking route include: going out of the way to explore extra trails, making your route go through parks you haven’t explored before and taking advantage of your e-bike to go where you might not have been able to bike to before!
Step 6: Send the route to your phone
Once your route is complete click “send directions to your phone” and the route will be sent to your phone.
Step 7: Open the route on your phone and ride
Now after you have sent the route to your phone you can open it up on your phone. If the GPS on your phone is turned on it will show you your location and the directions to follow. Now put your phone in a mount on your bike, follow your route and enjoy your ride!
If you see somewhere you want to go that isn't along your route, you can go and explore it still. The mapping app will recalculate the route and give you different directions to your next waypoint; don't let the premade map stop you from further exploration.
If you wish to further log your rides and get statistics on speed, segment times and more there are a few apps out there to do that. A few that we recommend are Strava, MapMyRide and Relive.