Mapping Distance Rides

Hey, I just wrote a little thing on some mapping servicesover here. It covers two services: MapMyRide and Gmaps Pedometer. Personally I’ve found these tools quite useful in the past, expecially in planing qualifying rides for Ride the Lobster. Do you like to get stats on your distance rides? If so, what tool(s) do you use?

I use Memory Map if I need to plan out things, it is a UK based digital map. I use it with my GPS to record tracklogs. You can follow your route, finding out your speed at each point on your route. If you want, you can plan out and upload a route onto your GPS. The GPS works so well along with digital mapping.


I use a Garmin eTrex Vista to track all my unicycle rides. It has an old type receiver which is not that sensitive so I usually have it on top of my helmet. I’m eyeing a Vista HCx to replace this unit, which I can probably carry in my backpack or maybe even a fanny pack and still track good.

At home I load the data onto the PC, then into an Excel spreadsheet. It does some calculations for me and then plots (in a single plot) versus date:

  • momentaneous max speed (from the trip computer)
  • realistic max speed (highest track point speed disregarding spurious points)
  • sustained max speed (highest point of a running median-7 filter)
  • cruising speed (complicated calculation, something like the most common speed in the track file)
  • median speed (median value of the tracked speed points)
  • moving avg speed (from the trip computer)
  • overall avg speed (from the trip computer)
This order is usually from high to low. I judge any development by just eyeballing this composite plot.

Having the data in Excel gives me full control of plotting and manipulating, more so than any internet site. E.g. I have a thingie in there to estimate the time lost at some interference, like a upd or a closed railroad. I plan to correlate climbing with heart rate, just for fun. One con, however: there is no integration with a mapping utility like Google Maps.

Lately I started using iMapMyRide with the free iPhone app they give you. It works quite nice! The website is: ie, yesterday’s ride: Braille trail, in Santa Cruz, CA.

Before that, I was copying stats down from my cycle computer and writing them on my blog to keep track of things. (click on the Logbook category). I’ll probably still continue to do that, as it is kind of neat to have a log of what I did.


Those who use Garmin gps units can check out Motion Based, too, which allows you to upload your data and it produces all kinds of interesting info. I don’t know about this from a user’s perspective (don’t have a gps), but lots of riders on post links to their rides, and I’ve found the data pretty helpful in figuring out which trails I’d like to ride (and which look too steep or too flat or …)

i use a piece of freeware called sportTracks to link to a garmin forerunner 205

I look up at the mountain, point and say “Wow! I was all the way up there.”:stuck_out_tongue:


I just bought a forerunner 305. How does sportTracks compare to the Garmin Training Center that comes with the device?

If you have a nokia mobile phone with GPS, you can use nokia sportstracker. It is really neat - it can record all your rides, and it can upload them to the web directly from the phone. It is free too which is nice.

For example, here is the last ride I did in 2008

It is just so simple and easy to use, and has pretty much all the features you need.

Nokia phones can also run viewranger, which for UK users gives you fantastic topographical maps and various other useful things. Worth its weight in gold, great piece of software. Costs money though.

The really neat thing about this solution is that it’s something you always have with you, so you can record everything, commutes, quick rides into town to the shops, without having to have any extra piece of kit with you or having to charge another gadget.


My wife uses eCoach with her GPS device. has a good gmaps-based utility that allows you to plan, create, and save your routes with your account profile.

apparently sportTracks is much better