Expensive bike computers do some wonderful things: track your miles, average speed, maximum speed, heart rate, calories burned and provide a GPS tracking of your route. All of this information can then be uploaded to a web-based application so the data can be viewed any way you want it. All for a price, of course.
For Christmas my son got me this Schwinn bike computer. I love it. Data and bicycling combined. It didn’t break his bank account either. Of course I imediately set up a spreadsheet to track my daily rides. Equations for calories burned per hour based on weight and average MPH are easily found on the web. They may not be completely acurate, but give you a good idea of how you’re doing. But, what about the cool GPS maps of my routes? Enter Veloroutes.
Veloroutes is a Google Maps mash-up that allows you to draw your route on a Google Map and add extras like photos, videos, warnings, live webcam locations. At the top of the screen you’ll find elevations and distance travelled along with a chart with the estimated time it will take based on various MPH’s.
I tested it out recently by creating a route for my son and I to take for a weekend ride to a coffee shop. Very easy, just zoom in and start clicking out the route. One of the things I really liked was the ability to use Google’s satellite images; that meant I could create a route for the bike path I ride instead of the roads that are close by.
It isn’t perfect; the front page shows my route is in Elmhurst, KS instead of Overland Park – but, hey, it’s free. Now I supose all I need now is a heart-rate monitor…