Strava has just released its new Route Builder feature, which is free to all members. The online route mapping market is a crowded one, but Strava’s trump card is being able to use the millions of activites that have been uploaded to let you see which roads and paths are popular in any area, and include them in your route planning.
A quick poke around reveals it works like any good route mapping tool, it’s easy to use with clear instructions presented when you first sign in. Plotting a route is as easy as dropping waypoints on roads you want to ride. It shows your distance and elevation and, using your average speed from the past four weeks, will calculate a ride time.
But the really neat bit is the Use Popularity function, which overlays the map with the most popular roads ridden by Strava members. It allows you to see which roads are really popular in your local area, so you can plan those into your route. A small leap of imagination sees it being useful for exploring roads away from home, say if you’re visiting another part of the country, or even going on holiday.
There is plenty of other interesting functionally too. A curious one is the Minimise Elevation, which is fairly self explanatory. How about a maximise elevation option Strava?
When you’ve finished building a route, you can download it to a GPS device or share it with your Strava followers, Facebook friends and by email. You can also print cue sheets of your route, which is handy for longer adventures and touring.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.