Biking should be an activity full of pleasure - not full of honking cars and busy traffic. It's hard to avoid busy streets unless you know where you're going, though. Thanks to Google, knowing where you're going just got a whole lot easier.
Bicycle routes via Google Maps is now available in many different European countries. Google has updated bicycle maps for routes in Germany, Poland, France, Luxembourg, Ireland, and some other spots. These routes are not only accurate, they are also some of the safest bicycle routes around.
How to Use Bicycle Maps
When entering a point A to point B route into Google Maps, some users will now have the option to choose bicycle paths in lieu of busy streets. Google has worked with many partners throughout various European cities to create maps filled with the safest routes and paths for cyclists to take. The maps that appear after plugging in a destination are always the safest, and this means a better ride.
In addition to safe routes, the new bicycle maps also provides elevation and road information, so you know if you're about to take a steep climb on a dirt path or if its asphalt all the way. You can also see whether or not a route includes lot of auto traffic. All of this (in addition to turn-by-turn directions) makes for a more pleasant bicycle trip.
Already in the US and Canada
Google Maps for cyclists is already available in the United States and Canada, but the European upgrades are what many have been waiting for. Not only will the new routes help out people that live in certain countries, but tourists seeking a nice bicycle ride don't have to navigate European highways in order to reach a destination.
As always, Google Maps is completely free for everyone. The next time you want to go somewhere in Europe on a bicycle, don't pull out the paper map and make the most of those busy streets. Use Google Maps for European bicycle destinations, and find your way to that location safely.
Even though the newest Google Maps feature is great, make sure that you check out a route before you leave that starting point. Sometimes, Google Maps can be slightly confusing (especially if you are just staring at the map portion of the app), and it's hard to read the map, follow the lines, and end up in the right spot (and not in a ditch!). Also, please do not look at your phone while riding your bicycle - that's how accidents happen.
Cyclists and motorists can share a route, sure. But, that route has to be clearly marked, safe for cyclists, and (I have to say this, folks) cyclists really need to obey traffic laws just as much as motorists do. If you run red lights on your bicycle because you can, you can't blame Google Maps for sending you in the wrong direction. If you're headed on a European road trip (of the bike sort), bring Google Maps with you.