Touring Cyclists on Google Maps - CycleBlaze

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Touring Cyclists on Google Maps

Karen Cook

Well heck.  I ran across this and feel it would be wrong not to post it. 

Has anyone else come across touring cyclists on google maps?

Click to see Touring Cyclist in Oregon

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2 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Karen Cook

Yes, but only once and, coincidentally, I was on tour myself at the time.  I was scouting out some eastward route options in the Greenfield, MA public library.  I thought it was pretty cool to see a bike tourist, but I didn't take the route he was on because I  found a more direct route to Boston and I thought I knew better than that guy.  In retrospect, the route I chose (Highways 2 and 2A) turned out to be probably the worst possible option.  That was early in my bike touring career and I didn't really give much consideration to things like heavy traffic and disappearing shoulders.  

Another time I saw one of those little Google camera cars at an intersection.  I didn't know what it was at the time and I'll be damned if I can remember exactly where it was. 

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2 months ago
Karen CookTo Gregory Garceau

Believe it or not I see touring cyclists on google maps fairly often.  Probably because I like to scout routes ahead of time for shoulders, traffic patterns, etc. 

I will post more when I see them.

I also get passed regularly by the google car when I am riding.  I have been on google maps before while riding.  Too bad you don't remember where you saw the google car.  If you look about 6 months after you might see yourself, though I have noticed lately that they will erase cyclists/people sometimes.

Thanks for the reply.  If you run across any post them here, we can create a collection.

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2 months ago
John PescatoreTo Karen Cook

Back in 2010 a Danish ham radio friend of mine Tom Andersen started cycling around the world - you can see his adventures here. When he made it to the US, as he was coming up the east coast various ham radio operators would host him and pass the word north. He was going to stay with me, but his timing ended up having him in my area in the middle of the day, so I met him for lunch near Laurel MD.

His route was taking him right up Rt. 1 between Washington and Baltimore, which is nuts. In most places it is a four lane, 50 mph road with no shoulders. Plus, there are parallel routes which add maybe 10% to the distance but are actually pleasant to bike. His only navigation was a cellphone using Google maps. He had done a lot of riding in traffic and had no real problems.

But, by then Tom was I think more 20,000 miles into his adventure and he said "I'm travelling, not touring - if I always took the scenic route I'd still be a few continents back."

I bought him lunch and did convince him to at least start out on a much more cycling friendly route I often ride. He probably started following Google Maps again as soon as he got out of sight....

I've tried using Google Maps for one way rides around here, like from my house to Gettysburg PA and there is always about 10% where I say "no one in their right mind would ride on that road instead of this one." Now, in driving I've found that the other Google application, Waze, is almost always right - because it uses inputs from everyone running Waze - if it had a bike mode I'd be tempted. I guess Strava, RideWithGPS and others are starting to add that kind of smarts in.

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2 months ago
Karen CookTo John Pescatore

Interesting story. 

I like google maps to check out which roads will likely have good shoulders on street view.  I am actually amazed at the number of touring cyclists I see!

I will check out WAZE.  Thanks!

Karen

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2 months ago
Karen CookTo Karen Cook

.....for example

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.5662597,-121.9130204,3a,75y,199.22h,68.57t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siG8ImlF006RnaOd_7P0Z6w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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2 months ago
John PescatoreTo Karen Cook

Hi, Karen - Waze is a driving only app that is also now owned by Google. So, not yet useful for biking but it is awesome for driving - it has shown me driving shortcuts in my own neighborhood I didn't know about and proven that many of my standard driving routes are not the fastest!

I'm planning a 5 day winter ride from Venice FL to Jacksonville FL and using the ACA route as a starting point but using Google maps to do just what you do - check some alternates ways to go for shoulders, etc. 

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2 months ago
John PescatoreTo Karen Cook

That's great! Everyone now and then I check my house on Google Maps and they  caught me mowing the lawn...

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2 months ago