Tech & Wearables

Ride With GPS adds Surface Types to route planning tool

The newly added feature in the cycling route creation tool allows users to specify and view different types of road and trail surfaces.

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Ride With GPS added Surface Types to its route designing tool for both desktop and mobile users. The new feature allows users to see which sections of a route are paved, unpaved, or on trails as they design a course.

“Our mission is to help users go on better rides, more often. Knowing the surface type doesn’t just help route planners, it provides a better riding experience for everyone, and encourages folks to discover more places to ride,” said Ride with GPS founder Zack Ham.

Strava has a similar feature in its Route Builder.

Also read: Strava makes Beacon live-tracking free for all users

When designing a route with the tool, you can specify if you want to only use certain types of surfaces. You can also view surface types of a previously created route.

The Surface Types feature lets you select from three surface options:

  • Paved surfaces: shown as a solid line and include asphalt, concrete, and chip-and-seal
  • Unpaved surfaces: shown as a dashed line and include gravel, dirt, and natural/unimproved trails
  • Unknown surfaces: shown as an outlined white line when insufficient data is available about a surface on a route
Ride With GPS users can specify Surface Types when designing a route.
Ride With GPS users can specify Surface Types when designing a route, and the surface breakdown is shown as a percentage of the total route, as well as in a visual representation. (Photo: Ride With GPS)

User-sourced route info

Ride With GPS claims it is the first route-planning tool that lets users manually edit the type of surface on their routes. The web-based mapping and route creation tool relies on surface type data from OpenStreetMap (“OSM”), a worldwide, open-source mapping service. Where some surface type information in Ride with GPS is incomplete (e.g., “unknown surface”) users will have the option to contribute updates to specify a surface type for segments with the “unknown” label.

On the desktop browser view, the Surface Types feature will display percentages of the total route planned along with a matching visual representation along with the elevation profile and route line.

Mobile users will find Surface Types information when navigating a route with the mobile view. When navigating, surface-type transitions are shown in sections. You can toggle ahead between changing surface sections to explore what’s ahead, and what surfaces are included on a route.

If you don’t find the Surface Types a useful feature, it can be disabled.