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A mapping website that works a treat on your phone and allows you to save routes and download the GPX files for future reference...

What is it? 

Ok, so it's not an app as such... but BikeRoll is optimised to work on mobile and it's a pretty hand navigational tool that's definitely worth looking into. Just go onto Bikeroll.net and if you allow it to access your location, it will simply create a random bike route for you straight away to start things off. To map and plan routes, use the start and end points in the search bar by typing in postcodes or locations and you will get a real-time tracker so you don't get lost. 

Cycling app of the week: Beanhunter
Cycling app of the week: Kappo! 

You can choose road or MTB routes, and you get instant weather forecasts on-screen while you ride. BikeRoll also shows you the elevation along your route using a colour code: blue = flat, black = over 48% which means you'll probably have to get off your bike! 

 

How can it help me? 

Although BikeRoll doesn't give turn-by-turn navigation, it makes sure you don't get lost by always plotting your location using a red circular key - in this sense, it may be a good site to use if you just want to get back on track. A really nifty feature is that you can also download GPX or PDF summary files of routes you've rode or just routes BikeRoll has generated from typing in start and end points; that's something you have to pay for on Strava Premium, so using BikeRoll is a handy way of downloading routes for free. 
 

Bikeroll.jpg

Bikeroll.jpg

 

What makes it unique? 

BikeRoll is free to use, with no ads or no user plans to disrupt your user experience - that's pretty rare in this day and age. The colour code for elevation makes it easy to see the difficulty of your ride, and everything is there on one page to make using BikeRoll nice and simple. If you prefer an old-school alternative just in case you get a flat phone battery mid-ride, BikeRoll also allows you to save a PDF summary of your route to print off. 

 

Where can I get it? 

Just head to bikeroll.net on your browser and go from there! We're not aware of any plans for BikeRoll to become a downloadable app any time soon, but as mentioned before it's perfectly functional on mobile. 

 

 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

3 comments

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DaveE128 [981 posts] 4 months ago
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I like the coloured gradient graph. However, I prefer the routes that cyclestreets.net comes up with.

It seems very keen to send you on 70mph dual carriageways if you're on a road bike!

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janusz0 [84 posts] 4 months ago
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I have to agree that I much prefer CycleStreets' routing.
BikeRoll presumes that I want to ride down the A11 if I choose a road bike!
Unlike Cyclestreets, this uses Google maps, which are pretty clueless about cycling and cycling infrastructure.
More information here: https://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/bikeroll-a-bike-route-ma...
It's only plus point, as far as I'm concerned is that I can edit the route it suggests by adding "midpoints". CycleStreets would be perfect, for me, if that was added. BikeRoll then loses my vote, for immediately ignoring the scaling I've chosen by reverting to it's chosen scaling whenever I add a midpoint. This website would be a good effort for a student project, but completely lacks the underlying algorithms of Cyclestreets.
For the rest of the world, or where you need to be able to tailor the route, I'd recommend 'www.bikemap.net'. BikeMap also maps the elevation graph to your route.

All in all, I think it's time to crowdfund another update for CycleStreets. (I'm not knocking Botond Bócsi, I just think that maybe he should get recruited by CycleStreets or BikeMap. -There's no need to reinvent wheels, improve them instead,)

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jimbo2112 [94 posts] 4 months ago
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Yup, just tried this and it routed me along the A40 for a few miles. Totally unsuitable.