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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Your other two wheels

Google Maps has just added a new feature that is really exciting. You could previously get directions for driving, walking, or public transportation. Now it will also provide a bicycle friendly map to your destination. When I first heard about this a couple of weeks ago I have to admit that I yawned. "Another feature for urban elitists", I thought. Supposedly it mapped out a route that avoided busy streets in favor of a cycle friendly path. I don't know if it goes over hills or around them.

However, I was not giving Google enough credit (a subtle way of admitting that I was wrong). I was looking for the directions to a local state park and on a whim clicked the bicycle option. Wow. It took me down the hill but then jogged me over to the Rails-To-Trails path and even knew about the new extension that was recently opened. From there it was back to public roads but smaller less traveled ones that would have fewer cars. On the map above you can see where it parallels Rt 85 but is actually 1/2 mile away wandering through the woods.

The total distance was not too far off the distance for a car. Getting away from the public roads is certainly nice. The big bonus is that I have another way to get out of the cage and onto two wheels. And the view from the rear will certainly improve with some pedaling on my part! Just because it doesn't have a motor doesn't mean it's not fun.