Tracking rides on a map

Map of Helsinki

Cycling routes around Helsinki, Finland

One the funnest parts of riding is exploring new roads. By now experiencing new vistas around my home town has become an integral part of the hobby. Obviously you tend to ride the roads you have found suitable (low traffic, nice scenery, some hills to get the blood pumping) the most. It just gets repetitive real fast (how many times can you ride around lake Bodom?) so I have tried to look up new routes all the time. During the last few years I have tried different alternative solutions for keeping track of roads I have already ridden. Initially I started with a simple map ripped from a phone book. Since then I have explored several different more technically advanced solutions.

I really liked SportsTracker on my Lumia phone. The thing is I haven’t found a way to export and overlay the ride data on top of each other. The software also kept crashing if I used Nokia’s excellent offline map instead of the inbuilt Bing map that downloads map data. I have ended up with bunch of training data ending up in the middle of nowhere or jumping between points. I would like to have heart rate data also, but windows mobile Bluetooth interface is not compatible with the sensors. Also I keep forgetting to turn on the app so there is data just for few of all my rides.

So I have wound up using the old paper map again. Looking at the map most of my riding is to the North of the city. I have done some excursions to the East and West, but since the countryside is closest to the North that is where I usually head to. There are few excursions further North as well, but mostly the rides are circles well under 100km. The only thing missing from my old school solution is color coding of the nicest roads around Helsinki. Heart rate data, inclines, average speeds and even power would be cool features to have, but until all that is available I think I will just keep adding to my trusty old map.

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