Many people prefer biking to work or school to help the environment, save money, or just enjoy nature. So due to popular demand, Google maps introduced biking directions in March 2010 so that cyclists could more efficiently map out bike trips. The bike directions allow a user to personalize their trips, find bike lanes, and avoid big hills and major traffic zones. Google maps provides a useful tool for those who want to stake out the best routes and get reacquainted with a heart healthy childhood pastime.
In order to find bike trails in your town, type in the city on Google maps. Once you have found the correct city and zoomed in, click “more” on the options at the top of the map. The drag down list includes a “bicycling” option. Once you have selected the bicycling feature, the city map will now include dark green lines which indicate a bike-only trail, light green lines which indicate a bike lane on a road, and dashed green lines which indicate a road is designated as preferred for cyclists but without the specific bike lane.
A cyclist can also type in directions just as if they were trying to get somewhere in a car. The highlighted bike route will try to avoid major intersections and get the cyclist to the destination as safely as possible.
Google has data on over 12,000 miles of trails both in directions and outlined on maps. There is also data for bike lanes and safe streets for 150 cities in the U.S. giving you that extra incentive to participate in Bike to Work Day.
Whether you ride to work, go out and enjoy the scenery, run your errands, or simply exercise on a bike, these trails on Google maps can help you enjoy cycling safely and easily. Cycling is an excellent way to incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your routine, not to mention the benefit of feeling like a kid again.
August 11th, 2011