May is National Bike Month! All across the country people are celebrating by riding their bikes more often than usual. You can spot them on trails, events, competitions and on their commute to work. Maybe you’d like to participate as well, but are unsure where to ride. You might be asking, “Where are the trails near me? What are some safe routes I can use for my commute?” Being unsure of what routes to use can put a hold on your goals and keep you from getting started. Below are four interactive map resources you can use to find trails near you. Some are also available as apps you can download for free and incorporate as part of your day to day routine. When better to get a jump on your biking goals than Bike Month! Smart Trips Austin is rooting for you!
1. Ride Report
Ride Report is a free app available on iPhone and Android that lets users track their routes and rate them according to comfort levels. There have been 153, 479 rides recorded as of May 7, 2019. The color scale goes from more comfortable (green) to more stressful (red) with orange being somewhere in between. Add your own routes and help keep the count rising!
Learn more about Ride Report here.
2. Urban Trails
“The Austin Urban Trails Program promotes non-motorized pathways for recreation and active transportation. These trails are designed for users of all ages and abilities! Currently there are approximately 30 miles of urban trails in Austin.” – City of Austin Urban Trails
These trails are designed for both pedestrians and bicycle users, so you can always check it out first during an afternoon walk and plan for a bike ride another day after you’ve scoped out the trail and know what to expect.
If you’re interested in learning more about Austin’s Urban Trails program and see a full list of current projects you can read more here.
3. Strava Global Heat Map
The Strava Global Heat Map uses data gathered from its app users to show areas with high activity in the form of “heat”. The map is updated monthly and it is the largest dataset of its kind.
This is a great resource for finding new routes both near and far from you. Viewing the map is free but you will need to create an account to zoom in on individual streets. Use the Labels layers to see street names.
You can also use the Strava app to track your own rides. It’s free and available for iPhones and Androids. The app also lets you see how you rank among other riders via their scoreboards. You can see who has the fastest time of the year or of all time. This can be a great motivator to keep working toward your bike goals.
4. Austin Bike Map
Similar to the Ride Report, but this map allows you to view routes in Austin by comfort levels ranging from extremely low to high. It also offers an address box where you can input your starting point and easily pin point it on the map.
If you have any feedback on adjustments needed or routes that need to be updated you can provide it here.
We hope these tools will be easy for you to use and help you further your goals of exploring more of this wonderful city on the weekends and with time, on your daily commute as well! We’d love to see more Austinites participating in Bike Month on their new favorite trail/route and being a part of this nation wide celebration. It’s important to remember that getting comfortable on your bike takes time and practice. So don’t give up and we’ll see you out there!