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25 May 2021

How to plan your journey by bike

One of the joys of riding a bike is exploring the city without being confined to busy congested roads, or being stuck sat in jams. So how do you plan your route to find the best traffic-free roads and quietest corners of the city?

Bike-friendly routes

Most cities now have bike friendly routes designed to move cyclists around, start with these. Tourist Information offices and bike shops can be a good source of bike route maps. Often bike routes are more direct than the motor traffic route and take in a mix of shared use paths, cycle paths and quieter roads.

Look at your city differently

When you are driving through the city in your car, you are insulated from the vibrant life going on around you. Cars confine you to certain routes and a large part of your journey will be spent immobile, stuck in congestion.

Get out a paper map of where you live and try tracing a different route through. Even if there are no designated bike routes to follow, free your mind from following the roads you would normally drive your car on. Look for residential streets that cars avoid, short cuts through parks and (where permitted) paths that inter-connect roads.

Bike route planning apps

With modern technology we all have sophisticated mapping software at our finger-tips and there are a number of cycling specific route planning apps. Even google.maps allows you to determine your type of transport and will give bike routes where they exist.

Another very useful app for city cyclists, especially those exploring new cities, is Strava. This mapping tool makes use of the data from millions of journeys to help suggest the routes most popular with cyclists.

Another fantastic tool for planning your route is Komoot – you can select the type of road or terrain that you want to ride and benefit from the route planning knowledge of other cyclists living in your city.

GPS leads the way

Riding in the city you need to be constantly aware of what is happening around you so having an easy to follow map on a GPS computer, your phone mounted on your handlebars or even audio directions can help keep distractions to a minimum. Just remember, whether it is an old-fashioned paper map or your GPS, if you need to check navigation stop somewhere safe before having a look.

Be free with a bike

By bike you can weave your way through the city discovering new sights that you would never see from the window of the car, or your seat on the bus. You’ll be amazed at how in even the most bustling of cities there are pockets of parkland, peaceful roads and amazing architecture, just waiting for you to discover.

Ready to cycle the city? Find your nearest SHIMANO SERVICE CENTER to arrange a test ride and discover how a bike can help you see the city differently.