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Hal?

by Warren T

Expensive bike computers do some wonderful things: track your miles, average speed, maximum speed, heart rate, calories burned and provide a GPS tracking of your route. All of this information can then be uploaded to a web-based application so the data can be viewed any way you want it. All for a price, of course.

Bike Computer

For Christmas my son got me this Schwinn bike computer. I love it. Data and bicycling combined. It didn’t break his bank account either. Of course I imediately set up a spreadsheet to track my daily rides. Equations for calories burned per hour based on weight and average MPH are easily found on the web. They may not be completely acurate, but give you a good idea of how you’re doing. But, what about the cool GPS maps of my routes? Enter Veloroutes.

Veloroutes is a Google Maps mash-up that allows you to draw your route on a Google Map and add extras like photos, videos, warnings, live webcam locations. At the top of the screen you’ll find elevations and distance travelled along with a chart with the estimated time it will take based on various MPH’s.

I tested it out recently by creating a route for my son and I to take for a weekend ride to a coffee shop. Very easy, just zoom in and start clicking out the route. One of the things I really liked was the ability to use Google’s satellite images; that meant I could create a route for the bike path I ride instead of the roads that are close by.

It isn’t perfect; the front page shows my route is in Elmhurst, KS instead of Overland Park – but, hey, it’s free. Now I supose all I need now is a heart-rate monitor…

 
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3 Responses to “Hal?”

  1. Steve says:

    I have a bike mounted GPS that has maps and a my commute route in its memory. It tracks each trip’s date, time, and speed. I can upload it to my computer and see how long each trip took, where along my route I went slower or faster and all sorts of other data. I use to monitor this a lot but I got out of the habit. It will be interesting when it is warmer out and I can compare my speeds to last summer when I first started my current route.

    But the feature on my GPS that I really like is that it has my estimated time of arrival. It has been pretty accurate considering how much stop and go I have through the city streets.

    Bikely.com is another bike routing site similar to Veloroutes.org. I haven’t checked it out in a while but it has some of the same features as Veloroutes but in a different format; a Coke/Pepsi kind of thing.

  2. steve says:

    If you’re using a GPS, consider uploading your tracks to OpenStreetMap; they’re working on a map of the world based on free data sources (including GPS traces). If you’re really interested, you can help create the tracks as well – see the Wiki for more details.

  3. [...] we’ve noted in the past HERE and HERE, there are other tools available as well. We would encourage you to try them and share some cool [...]

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