Cycling in Sydney Australia
For a while now I have been planning tours using Google Maps but there are some destinations you put in and you get a dog legged route (for sh!ts and giggles try Canberra to Bundanoon and you will see what I mean). To get around this I have been using the car routes but this has meant I have missed a good alternative (I used old Wingello Road and it was heaven compared to the Highland Way.
I would like a site with the route profile. I would also like to access it using my android tablet or windows computer. Not having to subscribe is also a bonus.
Bikely was of course one of the first but is a bit of a dog now. BikeRouteToaster was good and popular for a while but clearly not enough revenue and the site is broken / unavailable at times and one day might never return. MapMyRide has some interesting features like the "fly the route" but has a bad elevation smoothing algorithm which can smooth out entire hills, not good for your ego.
RideWithGPS seems to be the best currently and the "free" option does not have too many restrictions that cause me a problem so give it a go. Tablet access is good but not so much phone although there are apps (android & apple) but not all the features work on the "free" subscription
They all use the Google Maps API and the same elevation databases but I don't trust them to generate a good route, I plot the route myself or upload a cycle computer generated route recording file (.fit / .gpx etc) and of course you can export existing route files for loading into a garmin / other bike computer
I use RideWithGPS, generally with the OSM Cycle map when creating routes from scratch, which I do a lot for audax, Sydney Night Rides and cycle course purposes. I find it works really well and have had no issues with the RidwWithGPS android app.
haha the google one is a bit odd
I know it is old school, but why not buy and use the topographic maps?
For instance, you will find ways through the Wingello and Penrose state forests to access Bundy.
You may also find rail trails that are yet to be official ;-)
If topo maps are your thing then maps.six.nsw.gov.au is good and their aerial photos are often better and more up to date than Google. Does not have a routing function though. The Sydney 1943 aerial photos are interesting too
Long ago I gave up wasting my time trying to get a decent route plan from the free websites. I spent <$200 and bought OziExplorer and OziExplorer 3D for my PC to do the planning. You can also get a version for your Android. These widely used and respected programs work with a number of raster maps as well as free maps from the internet for OSM, Open Cycling Maps, Google Maps maps+satellite+hybrid and Virtual Earth maps+satellite+hybrid. They allow you to prepare routes or tracks (which I use because they can then provide profiles of the track) as well as a lot of other information. The tracks can be downloaded into a substantial number of GPS's. The program provides free updates on the web, and is a very stable product. Easy to use, well supported, Australian made, receptive to suggestions for improving the product, and cheap as chips!
In addition to that, I use BaseCamp from Garmin because it allows me to rotate the maps so that I can cut and copy strip maps of the track that I had prepared using OziExplorer. BaseCamp comes free with Garmin GPS's.
One advantage of these programs is that you can also load your own data that you may have collected from other sources. I have gpx files of thousands of free quality campsites around Oz, as well as a fairly current copy of "all of the caravan parks" in the country, along with bike shop locations that I've recorded in NSW, VIC, TAS and some of SA. There are often other things that come up that may be useful too.
Hello Darrell. Where did you get your copy of "all of the caravan parks"? Readily available?
Pay your $10 and get the gpx file here.
Usually the decision of where the overnight campsite will be is the first part of the route plan. Once that's been decided, the road/track/path to get from A to B is the next step. In addition to the info mentioned above, I also use this website for a final check for any further potential campsites, either along the way (for unexpected stay) or at the destination.