Route GuidesRoutes City GuidesCities Map Log in

Pages

Route-planner help
The map
Advanced features
On your phone
GPS
Find places to stay
Organise your routes
How cycle.travel is different
Under the hood

FAQ

Are there any options to customise the route?

Yes! cycle.travel has five route options:

However, the fast speed of the route-planner means that it isn’t feasible to add lots more options. Basically, the speed comes from precalculating all the best routes. Adding more options means precalculating more routes, which requires more memory, which means more expensive servers.

Unfortunately that rules out adding fine-tuning options like “no hills” or “don’t mind traffic” or “very little traffic”. Instead, cycle.travel aims to make it easy for you to adjust the route (by dragging) if there are sections you want to avoid. Alternatively, you can turn the route-planner off between any two points, by clicking the first of the points and choosing ‘Go direct’ to the next one. This means you can plan a short stretch on a busy road even if cycle.travel doesn’t recommend it.

(If you want to read up on the maths behind cycle.travel’s super-fast routing algorithm, it’s known as Contraction Hierarchies.)

Why is the total climb different from my GPS or some other site?

Calculating the total climb of a ride is notoriously difficult.

cycle.travel, like most route-planners, uses a worldwide grid of elevation data. When it’s calculating the elevation for a route, it looks up each point on a grid, and works it out by averaging the nearest points. It then calculates out the amount you’ll climb over the course of your ride by looking at the elevation difference between points.

Sounds simple? If only. On its own, this method leads to a lot of little fluctuations that aren’t reflected in the road/path you’ll ride. It doesn’t take any account of tunnels or bridges, where you’re not riding at ground level. And in areas where the road follows a steep-sided valleys, like the Alps, it can sometimes appear that the road is further up the hill than it actually is – causing lots of little ups and downs that aren’t there.

cycle.travel does a lot of extra calculation to minimise these effects and make the total figure more accurate. We think our figures are among the most accurate there are. But because different route-planners (and GPS units) use their own calculation methods, comparing figures from two sites will invariably result in a discrepancy. We’d suggest that you use the total climb as a guide to determining which of two cycle.travel routes will be the hilliest, rather than as a gospel fact.

My old route changed when I added a via point – why?

When you add a via point to a route, cycle.travel recalculates the entire route from start to finish.

If you’re editing an old route, then it’s possible that the base map might have changed since you first created it. There might be new cycleways, a closed bridge, a surface change – something that leads cycle.travel to choose a different route from when you originally planned it. I do also aim to continually improve cycle.travel’s routing choices, which can lead to a different route choice.

So if you’re adjusting a route you saved a while ago, do keep an eye out for accidental changes. You can usually work around this by adding a via point in the place that cycle.travel is no longer routing you through, to “pin” the route into going a particular way.

(This also applies to showing turn-by-turn directions and the elevation graph for an old route: in both cases the route will be recalculated.)

Can you add more countries?

As explained above, the fast speed of the route-planner is very hardware-intensive. In other words, adding more countries means renting more expensive servers! It also means fine-tuning the routing rules for each country to reflect road characteristics and traffic behaviour.

cycle.travel launched as UK-only; since then, coverage has gradually expanded to include the rest of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Although more countries are added gradually, long rides across Asia or Africa aren’t currently a priority.

Why has Garmin Connect stopped working?

Garmin Connect can sometimes refuse to accept routes even when it was working previously. The equivalent of “turning it on and off again” usually fixes this.

Go to your profile page and click ‘Remove Garmin Connect link’ at the bottom left. This will break the link between cycle.travel and Garmin Connect. Then go back to the map page and try to send a route to Garmin Connect. You will be prompted to link the two once more, and hopefully this should fix it.

Can I send routes to my Wahoo GPS?

Unfortunately Wahoo don’t yet provide a upload facility like Garmin Connect. Until they make that available, you can download a GPX or TCX file using the ‘GPS’ button, then manually transfer the file using the Wahoo app on your smartphone.

Does cycle.travel have a mobile app?

Yes! You can now get cycle.travel on your iPhone or Android phone.

Does cycle.travel have an API?

cycle.travel’s costs are covered by support from users and a little commission from hotel bookings, so there’s no free routing API. However, if you do want to use cycle.travel’s mapping and routing, drop me a line and we can chat.

How can I support cycle.travel?

Thank you! You can make a donation via Patreon or in the app. But you can also help by spreading the word about cycle.travel to your fellow cyclists.

Unlike many other route-planners, cycle.travel doesn’t have external funding from venture capitalists or investors – it’s entirely independent. So your support makes a big difference.

I’ve found a bug!

Post at our forum and I’ll try to fix it!

Please say what the route is where the bug or unexpected behaviour is happening. You can copy and paste the address from your browser (e.g. “https://cycle.travel/map/?journey=310586”). Please make sure the route is public, not private, or I won’t be able to see it.