There are immutable things in the world. In winter, it travels to the Canaries, because only there is warmth. In Teide, Teide, Gran Canaria, Pico de las Nieves, and in the spring, go to Calpe to throw photos of Col de Rates. Summer gives you a bit more possibilities, but you probably will not do without the Alps, and like the Alps it's Stelvio and Mortirolo. We know it and it seems obvious to us. What if, however, we are going somewhere longer or as a young padawan of cycling, we have not yet managed to find out where to go? How do you find the best cycling routes by going into the unknown?


"ABOUT! Have you done a nice tour and you've been to ...? "

You know how it is - you go on 3 days in advance, enter Stelvio, do some epic photos, and under them the first comment is: "nice driveway, but on the other hand was much more interesting" and consternation. Possibly, "Stelvio is cool, but a bit further is a very nice and not very popular driveway." Well, if this comment appeared two days earlier, maybe it could be checked. The whole trip in ruins, because it remains a disgust, or maybe you missed something great, which you can not check. Alternatively you live in Bormio, from where you have the best and best-known epic routes at your fingertips, and when you come back you hear for the first time about Lago di Cancano, about which no one has ever mentioned, and you had 10 km to it. In the age of the Internet, a thousand blogs and bicycle portals, hundreds of applications and hundreds of thousands of hours of movies with bikes in the main role, such situations seem unlikely, but still.

The internet is like my sock drawer. There's a billion socks in there, I know most of them have a pair, but when it comes down to it, I lose 20 minutes to find it. How to deal with these difficult times of chaos and flood of junk information. In times when instead of the information about the loop traveled, my head in the picture or note where to stop for coffee is more important. Here are some tips.


1. Strava

Strava is a bad tool, at least from the point of view of a very ambitious tourist. However, this does not matter, because as they say in the corpo: how there is a lot of content, the rest will be done by itself - there is content, there are clients, there is data, there is the question of presenting them properly. In this case, the app gives the body the entire line, but there are several ways to deal with it.



If we are going to one of the 12 most popular cities in the world, the matter is simple. Go to Local, choose a town, type of activity (bike or run) and jump out some of the mandatory loops with photos and a short description. The perfect solution - I dream about such websites.


Strava Segments

Coming to a new place, I almost always start by looking at the segments in the area. I mark "cycling" and limit myself to those marked as "1" and "HC" (or less so if the flat area ... just why would someone go somewhere where it is flat?). Having several segments, you can think about combining this into meaningful loops. It would be nice if such a segment had the opportunity to add any comment or at least tag it whether it is road or off-road. The way to circumvent this is to review some of the best times on it and quickly verify if you have been driven by road or mtb (checking the activity during which the result was tightened).


Route builder


If we have already found segments that we want to connect in loops with the help of the Strava Route Builder comes. The tool is useful because of the "Use popularity" option, which draws on the most frequented roads. However, there are places where field activities predominate and the vast majority of routes will be dragged along tourist trails. For example, in Gran Canaria: the option makes practically every road route thus designated impassable. And I do not mean "impassable, but it can be", and simply "impassable."


Strava routes
google: site: nazwa_trasy


The biggest problem with Stravy is that despite the 304 million activities thrown in in 2016, but it does not give us anything. There is a search engine, which in a given area and given criteria (distance, time, overrun) returns to us all activities, but it's a bit like throwing all of our previously mentioned socks on the ground. If it could be sorted after some evaluation or to take photos on the screen with search results, it would be a lot easier. Of course, the easiest way would be if people would call their activities properly, not "base, thirty-day day: 4 x 76% FTP x 5min". Strava, however, DOES NOT OFFER the search for ready routes instead of activities, which is a shameful thing to me. However, it is not very convenient for this!

For searching, we can take advantage of the fact that pages with routes are indexed by Google and that's how we can find them. No additional criteria, but sometimes it is enough. If you want, for example, to find the route of the Tatry Tour (or the entire Tatra Mountains tour), go to Google and enter: site: tatry tour. Badam-tss, the first result is that. It's the same with other races and popular routes: Cyklogdynia, Gran Fondo Stelvio, etc.




If the search engine does not give us the expected results, there is one more clever way to check how people are traveling around - the flybys function. After the first ride in a new place, we can check who we passed and how he was driving. We are opening a few to a dozen or so random activities and hoping that the routes have been meaningfully named, we can look for this one, only one. 


Global Heatmap:

Heatmapa is a tool placed here a bit by force. With its help, we can see which routes are most frequented in the area. With a bit of constipation, around Warsaw you can see the most popular cycling routes such as the half of Kampinos, along the Vistula to the Blue Bridge, or the legendary Góra Kalwaria.


2. Ride with GPS

The search engine is a bit similar to the one from Strava - based on the given place, the minimum length and the minimum elevation it looks for the route. The difference is one and it is crucial: RwG shows the route and not the activity. What's more, on the list of results are immediately photos, a short description and a map - everything we need. To be funny, I test the results for Warsaw and most of them are really good (and created by people I know, or at least I know).


3. Map My Ride

Such Ride with GPS, only worse due to a much smaller base for our neighborhoods and a much less extensive list with search results. In addition, the site has a "Route Genius" function, which generates one matching route based on given criteria.


4. Altimeter

The basis of every Polish cyclist-extremist. Base of driveways, both domestic and foreign. Each of them contains a description and detailed data. Not only that, everything is divided beautifully into regions and grouped in various types of rankings. Are you going to the Tatras? Are you looking for this category and "bach!" You are the longest, the hardest, the highest, the steepest, with the highest elevation in the area. Then you just connect them to some loop and ride.


5. Google Maps

and Google Street View. Mandatory tools for every tourist and emergency rescue when all else fails. You do not know if there is asphalt or is the road nice? You fire Street View or simply a map with the view of the satellite and the maximum zoom. In addition, thanks to the panoramas more often placed on the Internet, it is often possible to shoot a place for which it is worth leaving the asphalt for several hundred meters and entering the escarpment or rock ledge from which a great view stretches. Sometimes, by throwing a man in random places, one can come across a perfect place by accident. Especially if you are doing it in places where the road turns suspiciously a large number of times into a suspiciously short episode.


6. Bike Map

Quite a good tool, with a lot of routes (apparently over 3 million), with a very friendly interface and the most important search criteria: length, altitude, location and type of bike. Generally, all that we can need, and even more ... and here the problem arises. More, because over 3 million - if I search for the best routes in Tenerife, I really do not care that the service would offer me 173 different possibilities. I would like to see 5 ... maybe 10 such top-tops. Well, how can I know which one of these hundreds I should choose? It comes out the same as randomly setting on a paper map. Too many possibilities makes us return to the beginning of the entry.


6. Internet

Amazing, right? ;) It turns out that almost every question that comes to our mind, someone has already answered somewhere on the internet. Even if we can not find it, the question can be repeated on any of the hundreds of cycling groups on the Internet and someone will surely link us with a ready response with attention to use googles. On the blog, I get an average of 3 questions a day, which I can find answers to in the first minute of the search. Unfortunately, more and more blogs and websites, instead of describing cool routes, are focused more on coaching and philosophical arguments on how to live to be happy. Still, however, entering "best cycling routes in < > "We will find forums where people advise dozens of places.


7. Lokalsi

Classic, eager to help, Slovak lokalsi


And when all digital inventions fail, we still have a classic, twentieth-century way - such a lame, analogue. Stop at the seaside (or near the highest peak in the neighborhood) cafes and catch the rider there. You know, such cafes are a bit like forest pastures for deer. No one can recommend good routes as well as an older, best-retired guest on trekking. If you can not find one, simply go to the nearest bicycle service and ask.