British Cycling the governing body of cycle sport in the UK has launched a free application you can download to plan new rides, find approved routes from a growing library of over 300 already stored as well as find out the favourite rides of "some of the stars of the GB Cycling Team," according to their launch announcement today.
The new downloadable British Cycling Mapping programme allows users to create, edit, save, upload, rate and share their cycle routes. As well as being able to view routes in Google Maps, British Cycling members can also use Ordnance Survey maps with much more detail, including the 1:25 scale maps off-roaders prefer.
Lizzie Armitstead has already logged a favourite lap around her Yorkshire roots and Emma Pooley has shared her favourite route which takes in the North Norfolk coastline but you can just as easily plot routes from scratch using auto-routing with fastest and quickest options and a number of search terms that are categorised by distance, bike suitability, elevation, topography and difficulty level.
Gavin Finch, Membership Marketing Manager at British Cycling, says, "Over the past few years we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of people riding their bikes. In line with the sustained growth of the organisation and the sport as a whole, British Cycling Mapping will help continue that popularity, with people enjoying their cycling even more.
"It's another fantastic benefit for our members. Whether it's commuting, going on a club run, or racing on and off road – British Cycling Mapping enables every member to plan their favourite routes as and when they want. As well as all that, it will also help us build on our relationships with event organisers, who can use it in conjunction with our online event calendar to plan their events."
Here's a summary of the three available options:
Taster: Available to everyone. Comes with a sample of British Cycling Approved routes available to view but not amend, whilst routes can be mapped but not published, saved or printed.
Standard: Available to all British Cycling members – access to Google and Ordnance Survey (1:50 scale) maps. All British Cycling Approved routes can be accessed along with the favourite routes of some GB riders, and users can map their own routes, download to GPX, publish, rate, edit, save and print.
Premium: Upgrade available to British Cycling members for £20-£25 with all of the above plus access to Ordnance Survey 1:25 scale maps providing a more detailed view which is ideal for off-road cyclists and event organisers.
Needless to say, it's a further incentive to join British Cycling which starting at £24 per year can give all sorts of other benefits as well. Insurance, both third party and optional for theft is a big one but there's also legal advice, training courses for adults and kids, plus you can sign up for the famous British Cycling Racing License if you want to emulate Messrs Cavendish, Wiggins and Thomas.