How to find new cycling routes?

Location
London
I don't have garmin or wahoo or any of those GPS devices.
yes, i was suggesting you use some sort of backup.
To a route on a phone with a built-in battery.
If that dies you have problems.
And phones are handy for phoning.
your choice.
 
OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
yes, i was suggesting you use some sort of backup.
To a route on a phone with a built-in battery.
If that dies you have problems.
And phones are handy for phoning.
your choice.
I would buy one of those devices if I had the money. Maybe if there is a nice discount on boxing day I'll buy one. And I always go with a fully charged phone, I've done 100km routes on my phone and it lasts.
 

Moodyman

Guru
And if s/he only rides two hours then s/he will probably not go far enough from home to get lost, in which case, there is no need for a phone for navigating.

There you go, Oreo, you've got a solution. Now just get out there and ride.
 
OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
And if s/he only rides two hours then s/he will probably not go far enough from home to get lost, in which case, there is no need for a phone for navigating.

There you go, Oreo, you've got a solution. Now just get out there and ride.
But I don't know my area at all- all I know is how to get to uni, aldi, the big tesco and I know the 45km loop route that my uni cycling club uses. I get lost in the country lanes if I don't use a route. I can go out for 2 hours in London, even 5 hours without a problem because I know the area so well, but Nottingham- after 1 year I still don't know where anything is!
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Presumably you’ve Googled cycling routes around Nottingham, and saw this for example?
https://www.komoot.com/guide/9025/road-cycling-routes-around-nottingham
 
OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
I did but it says this on most of the routes: . Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

I cannot be going down any unpaved gravel roads or I'll puncture my road bike tyres
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I did but it says this on most of the routes: . Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

I cannot be going down any unpaved gravel roads or I'll puncture my road bike tyres
No you won’t, and you can always get off and push the bike if the path is too tricky (that link is for road routes so most of the way will be for road bikes)
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Here's what I'd do. (However I do realise that you may not share my love of maps)

Look at OS maps of the area (you can get these on maps.bing.com or streetmap.co.uk). Find something interesting to visit a suitable distance away. A windmill or monument or an interesting looking village or something. Maybe (Covid rules permitting) find a cafe to visit. Spend a bit of time figuring out a good way to get there, according to your preferences (I avoid big junctions and try to stick to yellow B roads, your preferences may differ).

Create a GPX route to the thing going out and back along the same route. Use ridewithgps.com You'll need an account, but a free account will be fine. Premium is not needed. The maps on RWGPS will be different looking to the OS maps, and this will help fix the route in your mind. I'm not saying the rwgps route planner is best, because I haven't tried lots of others, but it's definitely good. Others may be fine.

Load the GPX to your navigation device (phone). I use a garmin so I can't help you there. Take a charge bank with you on your ride to allay any worries about running out of battery.

When you ride your out and back route stop periodically and look back, especially after junctions. This way you'll recognise the junction when coming back and reduce your chances of getting lost on the return leg. Keep an eye out for landmarks to recognise on the way back.

This is just the first step. Once you've ridden your route a couple of times you can add and change bits and gradually build up knowledge.
 
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Well, you've got quite the dilemma!
No sense of direction, no map reading skills and no gps!

I'm not sure how you could use a new route short of someone cycling it with you, probably a few times.

So, with that in mind, how about contacting your cycling club, and its members, and asking for that? A buddy to take you out on a new route?

Since this is (almost) the darkest part of the year your options are limited. However, once into the Spring, I'd be suggesting at least one day of "exploratory" cycling a week. No speed measurements, no targets other than to get familiar with the area, early morning departure so there's no daylight pressures. Don a different head.

As mentioned upthread, cycle.travel does round trips from any start point of a distance of your choosing. It's routes are invariably good in my experience, but no online planner can be trusted 100%.

OSMand has been my back up navigation app for years. Not the easiest to learn, but reliable and works offline. A great way to get used to maps and will plan a route home in emergency. It will also use gpx files downloaded from elsewhere.

I used to hate getting lost. A feeling of failure. Embarassment. Stress. Then I turned it around. I may not know where I am, I may not know how to get to where I want to be. But I'm not lost. I'm exploring. Exploring is a lot more fun than being lost!^_^

Finally, there are always people. You can always ask for directions.

Good luck!
 
OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
Here's what I'd do. (However I do realise that you may not share my love of maps)

Look at OS maps of the area (you can get these on maps.bing.com or streetmap.co.uk). Find something interesting to visit a suitable distance away. A windmill or monument or an interesting looking village or something. Maybe (Covid rules permitting) find a cafe to visit. Spend a bit of time figuring out a good way to get there, according to your preferences (I avoid big junctions and try to stick to yellow B roads, your preferences may differ).

Create a GPX route to the thing going out and back along the same route. Use ridewithgps.com You'll need an account, but a free account will be fine. Premium is not needed. The maps on RWGPS will be different looking to the OS maps, and this will help fix the route in your mind. I'm not saying the rwgps route planner is best, because I haven't tried lots of others, but it's definitely good. Others may be fine.

Load the GPX to your navigation device (phone). I use a garmin so I can't help you there. Take a charge bank with you on your ride to allay any worries about running out of battery.

When you ride your out and back route stop periodically and look back, especially after junctions. This way you'll recognise the junction when coming back and reduce your chances of getting lost on the return leg. Keep an eye out for landmarks to recognise on the way back.

This is just the first step. Once you've ridden your route a couple of times you can add and change bits and gradually build up knowledge.
I have created my own routes before on strava. I knew where I wanted to go and I just tried to plot the route along B roads and asked people on what areas are best to cycle through to get to that destination. I have been looking at Google maps where things are and at different roads.
 
OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
Well, you've got quite the dilemma!
No sense of direction, no map reading skills and no gps!

I'm not sure how you could use a new route short of someone cycling it with you, probably a few times.

So, with that in mind, how about contacting your cycling club, and its members, and asking for that? A buddy to take you out on a new route?

Since this is (almost) the darkest part of the year your options are limited. However, once into the Spring, I'd be suggesting at least one day of "exploratory" cycling a week. No speed measurements, no targets other than to get familiar with the area, early morning departure so there's no daylight pressures. Don a different head.

As mentioned upthread, cycle.travel does round trips from any start point of a distance of your choosing. It's routes are invariably good in my experience, but no online planner can be trusted 100%.

OSMand has been my back up navigation app for years. Not the easiest to learn, but reliable and works offline. A great way to get used to maps and will plan a route home in emergency. It will also use gpx files downloaded from elsewhere.

I used to hate getting lost. A feeling of failure. Embarassment. Stress. Then I turned it around. I may not know where I am, I may not know how to get to where I want to be. But I'm not lost. I'm exploring. Exploring is a lot more fun than being lost!^_^

Finally, there are always people. You can always ask for directions.

Good luck!
I am part of the cycling club at uni, that's how I know the 45km loop route that I do every time, but all activity is suspended during lockdown. My cycling buddy went back home.

I have cycled back home without navigation by just following the A606 home. But could never just cycle on B roads without navigation. But I don't enjoy A roads.
 
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