Google cycle times: Reading to MKC

gray1404

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Do you find the cycle times given by Google maps to be accurate? I'm thinking of cycling from Reading to either MKC, Hemel Hempstead or a nearer section of the WCML I haven't discovered yet.
 
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telstarbox

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Yes, I find them to be accurate for an "average" cyclist. A road bike user would probably be a bit faster. However there are better routing tools out there - Google Maps will sometimes put you on unsuitable dual carriageways or tortuous paths through housing estates. It also loves canal towpaths even when quiet streets go the same way.

If you use Strava then its "popularity" routing option is good plus it will estimate the ride time based on your own history.
 

dazzler

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6 Apr 2018
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York
I find that I generally cycle between 2 and 5mph faster than Google Maps estimates, depending on terrain, etc., and I am not exactly fast, especially at the moment!

Yes, I find them to be accurate for an "average" cyclist. A road bike user would probably be a bit faster. However there are better routing tools out there - Google Maps will sometimes put you on unsuitable dual carriageways or tortuous paths through housing estates. It also loves canal towpaths even when quiet streets go the same way.
I once mapped out a route from Peterborough to St Neots (weekend block on the ECML south of Peterborough!) on Google Maps - it was so bad it was almost funny. The route took in pretty much every cycle path in south Peterborough, winding around housing and industrial estates to travel about 15 miles for a straight line distance of about 5 miles, then immediately joined the A1 at the junction where the Peterborough bypass A1(M) finished - four lane motorway standard, 70mph and all - for the rest of the trip to St Neots!! o_O o_O :D That was when I switched to Strava for journey planning!

I believe that Google Maps is now a lot better than it was, however, but I would still double-check the route on a different planner when I get the chance.

If you use Strava then its "popularity" routing option is good plus it will estimate the ride time based on your own history.

Both Strava and Ride With GPS are fairly good at journey time estimates once you have "trained" them - you need to upload a few rides at various distances for the algorithm to learn your riding speed. Not sure about Strava (it's a long time since I had a basic Strava account), but journey time estimates are a "premium" feature in RWGPS.
 

telstarbox

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Ultimately a good cycle route planner would account for your preference between "dual carriageway if it does the job" and "the quietest % shared with motorised traffic at all costs"
 

dazzler

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York
Ultimately a good cycle route planner would account for your preference between "dual carriageway if it does the job" and "the quietest % shared with motorised traffic at all costs"
True.

RwGPS seems to do most of what I want, although in places I do need to drag the route away from canal towpaths and multi-lane dual carriageways at opposite ends of the spectrum. The main thing for me with RwGPS is the availability of various base maps, including their own version of Open Street Map (OSM), Google Maps, OSM and Open Cycle Map.
The latest incarnation of the Strava route planner, I just cannot get on with.
Google Maps has improved a lot, although still needs an excess of dragging about to avoid the motorway standard dual carriageways.
Garmin Connect, sometimes it works, sometimes it most definitely doesn't!
CycleStreets can be useful, but is somewhat quirky with its options of "Quiet Route" being "avoid roads at all costs" and "Direct Route" being "as straight as possible, even if it is a pseudo-motorway!" :E

There are other planning websites/apps. Your experience may vary, etc...
 

adamedwards

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Hatfield, Herts
Cycle streets route planner uses Open Street Map. You can choose three levels of busy to quiet and average speeds. Highly recommended.
 

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