Initial thoughts on route planning

I’m starting to route plan.  Its going to take a long time, and is a real labour of love.

Useful tools are

  • rideWithGps, with terrain on – main route mapping tool, terrain on helps see the mountains.  A->B route selection is adequate, but it can make some strange choices.
  • google streetmap option is essential.  It means I can see if the road looks ok, looks like an A road or is a dual carriageway.  Satellite view is also useful to spot dual carriageways when there is no street view.
  • Strava heatmaps – great for seeing the best roads cyclists use.  Things can go wrong though as I don’t want to follow a route that lots of mountain bikers use.
  • Komoot.  Very good A->B route choices, but very poor at allowing selection of preferred roads.  Can be cycle route centric, but generally pretty good.
  • open cycle  maps of all the cycle routes across Europe.  useful for Germany, as there is no google street view there

My ideal set up is 2 a pc / mac with 2 large monitors – ride with GPS on one, strava heatmaps on the other.

I use Komoot to plan large sections of route, then do detailed route planning in rideWithGps, validating route choice with strava heatmaps / google street view.
I split routes into separate 200k sections.  This used to be because Garmins failed with longer routes, and this is no longer relevant for me as I’ve swapped to using Wahoos.  However, the separate sections are easier to manipulate (smaller file sizes) and also its great to tick off sections as you do the ride – it gives a sense of progress as you complete section after section.

This is my initial thoughts on the check points, and outline routes / distances and climbs between them – Route for tcr#6

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