eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Ride Logs and MapMyRide

with 5 comments



I was just looking over my old ride logs from the 80s and remembering when I thought 10 miles was a long ride. My routes were different and I felt very differently about cycling. I hadn’t yet learned how to relax on a bicycle and enjoy the ride. Bicycle commuting was changing my ideas about cycling.

In those days I got a new calendar book every year.  The book had 2 days per page and I  logged my rides: the weather, where I rode, how long, how fast (average speed), and how I felt. As the year went on I kept a tabulation of milage by day, week to date miles and year to date mileage. Those logs help keep me motivated and documented how I was changing as a rider.

I haven’t used log books for quite a while except while touring. For the last 10 years, I’ve  just plopped my numbers into an Excel spreadsheet. It is quick, easy, and flexible.

This year, after a few years of not riding very much and not wanting to know, I am feeling like I am back … so it is time to start a Ride Log again. I decided to do some checking and see what may have developed on line since I last looked.

MapMyRide looks very interesting, lots of powerful tools for mapping routes and logging rides. I was not able to successfully create a route because most of my routes include some unmapped but paved bike paths. I suspect that I am just not using the tool properly and there is a way (by turning off the follow road option). However, I’d say that MapMyRide is cumbersome to use as a bike log unless you want to share routes. I find it harder to use than Garmin’s MapSource  but I have a lot more experience with MapSource.

My conclusion is that for a personal Bicycling Log, an Excel Spreadsheet is still hard to beat, it is quick, easy, and flexible. But if you want to share rides MapMyRide looks useful if a little tedious. BTW, that most of that tediousness is not MapMyRides fault, creating a route map is a very detailed process unless you take it from a GPS log.

I’ll play with MapMyRide some more and see if I change my mind about it.

Please, share with us how you log your rides and why?


Written by Roland

April 20, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Posted in Training

5 Responses

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  1. Bryan

    April 21, 2009 at 7:23 am

    • Thanks Bryan – have you tried them? What did you think of them?


      April 21, 2009 at 9:31 am

  2. They all have their pros and cons. IIRC, VeloRoutes is decent on the route input end but your routes aren’t saved in your account (i.e. associated with you) and are editable by anyone. It’s the youngest of the three. You can download several flavors of GPS files to use on your device.

    Bikely has a similar interface (all three do really, since they are all Google Maps based) and you have an account so your route is saved for you and you can easily pull up routes you’ve submitted. No downloading of GPS files from Bikely though. Bikely is the middle site age wise.

    Edit: Actually, I was nosing around a bit more and noticed that Bikely does have a GPX download feature though I haven’t tried it yet.

    Gmap-Pedometer is the granddaddy of Google Maps based route sharing websites and I think it was made for runners. Not account based so if you lose the link to the route map you have to enter it again. They have a GPX download link but it takes you to another website to complete that transaction.

    UPLOAD – Bikely lets you upload your route, the other two don’t.

    I plan on checking out the MapMyRide site more in the next week or so and seeing if I like it better. I don’t have strong preferences for any particular site (or even computer based software) since none of them seem to do all that I want in every situation. So I tend to have a mish-mash system that varies over time.


    April 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    • Great Post Bryan … Thanks for all that information. I think I am close to where you are .. I still like what I can do with Excel and the flexibility it gives me. Looks like I will soon be able to take Excel files with me on my iPod Touch.

      One area I am watching closely … applications that have both Mac and iPod Touch version that automatically sync with each other. There are Grocery List apps that do that now .. how far away can a bike log be? {I am a long time PC guy who has recently gone over to the dark side because of disgust with the wreck Microsoft has become).


      April 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  3. http://www.bikemap.net .. try it .. think you will loike it!


    April 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm

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