24 votes

Is 17 miles (27km) each way a lot for a newbie cyclist?

As a one-off, that should be completely doable. Your fitness from running and the gym should be plenty enough, especially as the route is pretty flat. Bear in mind that it will be tiring, since ...
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17 votes

Choosing parallel side or main road when route mapping

This is a difficult question to answer with anything other than "It depends." but I will give my criteria for choosing between alternative routes, and then the example of my typical ...
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  • 16k
16 votes

How to mitigate the risk of riding on highways

Google is probably not the best tool for this, it's not tailored to the needs of cyclists. I would always use BRouter, here is the route it produces when I ask it to give me a safe route. The route is ...
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14 votes

Is 17 miles (27km) each way a lot for a newbie cyclist?

Man, just do it! There isn't much that can go wrong. If you feel tired, turn around midway. Take a mobile phone with you in case something happens, look up the weather forecast, take something to eat ...
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12 votes

How to find routes

For Germany, the go-to answer is to buy the ADFC-Radtourenkarte for your region, and use that to get ideas where nice bike routes are located. The advantages of these cards are numerous: They use a ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Roads that look uphill feel flat and flat looking roads feel uphill. Possible causes?

Our sense of gravity/balance is not very precise on its own and it is combined in the brain with visual clues and other information. For example, it is really difficult to hang a picture straight on a ...
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10 votes

How to mitigate the risk of riding on highways

If you go to OpenStreetMap ("Cycle Map" layer), there appears to be some kind of cycle lane for the roads heading down the east coast. I did some quick checks with Google Street View and ...
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  • 21.4k
10 votes

Choosing parallel side or main road when route mapping

I would add to Gary.Ray's excellent answer the following thoughts: If you're entering an area on a main road and will be exiting it on the same road, it rarely makes sense to detour onto a side road ...
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  • 24.5k
9 votes
Accepted

App to find the shortest route with the least amount of climbs?

Strava has this feature in the route planning tool. In the header, you can see it has toggle switches for popularity (pretty nifty if the area is new to you), min-elevation (what you're looking for), ...
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  • 596
9 votes
Accepted

Which mapping/route planning source should I trust for elevation?

The people at Audax UK have given this some thought. They regard the gold standard as counting contours on an Ordnance Survey map (for those not in the UK, the output of our national mapping agency ...
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  • 47.2k
9 votes
Accepted

How to find routes

You could use Komoot, which is an app and a website which can give you recommended rides around your area and you can plan your own. On the discover page of Komoot you can search routes in your area ...
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  • 158
8 votes
Accepted

is biking lower wacker drive in Chicago a good/feasable idea?

Answer (tl;dr) Find another route. I checked around using google street view to get the image in the question. Some observations... There are no cyclists visible anywhere. There are also no ...
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  • 101k
8 votes

Is 17 miles (27km) each way a lot for a newbie cyclist?

Nope - go for it. Here are two suggested routes from Strava, which were generated at https://www.strava.com/routes/new and then clicking a start and end point, and changing some options. This first ...
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  • 101k
8 votes

How to find routes

An approach that works well if you have a good memory. Just go out and ride. Memorize the route while riding. When you feel like you don't want to ride more than the same distance again, just turn ...
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  • 13.1k
8 votes

How to find routes

I don't know about Germany specifically, but I used to use Strava for finding places to ride. If you have an account, you can go to Explore and select Segment Explore. You can move around the map and ...
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  • 369
7 votes

How rideable is the Long Island Expressway service road?

I would avoid the LIE Service Road At all costs during rush hour. A couple of friends of mine have actually been issued tickets for riding on the service road. It seems to be illegal according to the ...
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7 votes

Which mapping/route planning source should I trust for elevation?

None of them will be "right" Strava may throw away your elevation data depending on the device used to record it. So for any phone-based app the height is ignored, and your track is placed on a ...
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  • 101k
7 votes

Choosing parallel side or main road when route mapping

I think this depends on a ton of factors. Even if statistics would show that one type is safer than the other: I’m not sure it would apply to your individual case since a whole lot depends on the ...
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  • 20.4k
6 votes

Are there any online bike route planning options that allow 5-10 mile incriments?

In general, I don't think there is a tool right now that does exactly what you want, but you can get close. It sounds like you tried Google Maps, and hopefully when you did you clicked on the Bike ...
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  • 16k
6 votes

Roads that look uphill feel flat and flat looking roads feel uphill. Possible causes?

The most common cause in my vicinity is headwind / tailwind. However, there are places where the background gives subtle clues indicating an inclination (or lack thereof) at odds with gravity. This is ...
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  • 595
6 votes
Accepted

I generally commute along four-lane 30 mph [50 km/h] main streets. Is this wise?

You need to exercise judgment based on your circumstances. I generally agree with the advice to ride on arterial roads rather than side streets. But in my own town, there are some arterials I'll ...
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  • 24.5k
6 votes

How to find routes

I would like to add CyclOSM to the recommendations: https://www.cyclosm.org/ This layer for Open Street Maps will show you a lot of useful information for planning your own bike tours. If you also ...
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  • 161
5 votes

Finding better routes than bicycle apps suggest

This is an impossible question for the mapping sites to answer. They come up with heuristics about what makes a good route, that will do a pretty good job, but there is fine detail they do not and ...
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  • 41k
5 votes
Accepted

From Delft to Rotterdam - Hard?

This obviously depends entirely on your fitness level and your experience on a bike. I will say that of all typical 15km rides, the ride between Delft and Rotterdam would likely be in the bottom 5% ...
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5 votes

is biking lower wacker drive in Chicago a good/feasable idea?

No, it's not a good idea If you said that you see many cyclists every time you drive there, then that would be a route to consider. But you see only a few cyclists. The Wikipedia page says the ...
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  • 17.1k
5 votes

How to mitigate the risk of riding on highways

There usually is a way to avoid major highways, but it will just take longer. However, it usually is worth it to avoid really unsafe roads or major highways. The best pieces of advice that has worked ...
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5 votes

How to mitigate the risk of riding on highways

I've actually ridden in Florida on numerous roads built very similarly to the stretch of US 192 you're concerned about, in addition to thousands of miles of sometimes very busy highway and even ...
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5 votes
Accepted

"Private" roads in Virginia

The "not publicly maintained" part of the sign is interesting. Who is the intended audience? If it's for the owner and the owner's friends, there wouldn't be a need to tell themselves that, ...
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5 votes

Choosing parallel side or main road when route mapping

It depends on the ride you want to do, and when you want to do it. I've found Strava's heatmaps near cities to show a lot of use on main roads. That's probably selection bias: commuters who log with ...
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  • 47.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Are there any online bike route planning options that allow 5-10 mile incriments?

Like Gary said, finding something that does exactly what you want may be difficult. However, I like to use ridewithgps.com to plan my routes. It's optimized for cycling routes (so keeps you off ...
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  • 241

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