Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From A To B By Bike Powered By Google Maps

When I first got over here, I had a fairly new hybrid in my oversea container. I just started riding a bike again on a regular basis a couple of months prior to my move and wanted to keep up with it... that's why I spent some 500 Euros on the bike in the first place. Once I was here, the easy access to bike friendly roads and trails wasn't given and besides, I was a little pre-occupied with partying to tell the truth. I think, I made it on the bike once or twice before I got serious with exercising again last year and started my weight loss and triathlon journey.

Still, there was no easy access to bike trails, especially if you are used to Europe's bike trail network which basically let's you pedal for miles and miles and miles with hardly traversing roads. But since I was a little more familiar with the area by then and got to know other cyclist that shared their knowledge of the area with me, I finally ventured out on my hybrid on back country roads in the neighborhood. After I got frustrated with the hybrid and upgraded to my road bike, travelling on multi-purpose trails (my then I discovered the Swamp Rabbit Trail and the Hub-City Connector) was out of the question anyways, especially if you want to cover some ground and get a good workout in.
By now I know my way around. There are tons of resources out there to enjoy the road while on a bike in South Carolina. Here are some examples:

Those are all resources that I greatly appreciate and a lot of people put a lot of work into those.

But, what I was always missing was a routing opportunity for bike travel, especially, if you are not familiar with the area. I mean in terms of... I have a long weekend ahead of me, why not ride down to Charleston SC and back? Where do I look for this kind of information? Or if I decided to visit my friend in Lincolton NC over the weekend and would like to go there by bike? How do I find the most cycling friendly route? Or when we were in Tennessee for our summer vacation and had the hardest time to figure out a good route for a two or three hour trip?

Well, good news for us!

Google Maps made an announcement, that they are planning on having a "bike there" option in the future. The wording in the announcement says "soon" and I really hope that soon doesn't mean 2012, but spring 2010... There is no telling. There is also no information on how they make the classification in what is bike friendly or not bike friendly road, but it's a start.... I take it! ;-)

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