Bike Route Toaster: Online Course Creator

The Bottom Line

Bike Route Toaster is a free online utility that lets you quickly point-and-click your way around a map to create a cycling or running route. Once created, you may save your maps, view them in Google Earth (the 3D elevation view is great) or export them to popular GPS file formats, including .gpx, .tcx (Training Center version 2), and .mbcrs.

Pros

  • Quick and free.
  • Route line automatically tracks roads.
  • Exports files to standard GPS formats.

Cons

  • Interface a little quirky. Takes some practice.
  • Automatically generated cue sheet (list of directions) requires extensive editing.

Description

  • Create and save courses.
  • Pan and zoom on map powered by Google Maps.
  • Create a route summary including elevation graph.
  • Route summary shows distance, estimated time, total ascent and descent, start elevation, and more.

Guide Review - Bike Route Toaster: Online Course Creator

 

It's easy to capture route data from your fitness GPS and view and save it for later reference. But what about a route you've never ridden? It's easy to explore and plan new routes and get complete GPS data and stats on them with the Bike Route Toaster free online service.

The Bike Route Toaster's strength is its point-and-click ease of use. Simply click on its "map" tab, zoom and pan the map to your start location, and then point-and-click your way around the route.

The Toaster has a good tracking utility that keeps your blue route line on the roads. For example, you can click two points that are miles apart, and as long as they are on the same road, the blue route line will track automatically. Just insert "course points" at intersections and insert turn instructions.

Two tips: register (under the "courses" tab) and log in before you start. You may save your work only if you're registered. Also, when you finish your route, don't click on "courses" or you will lose your work. Click on the "summary" tab and name and save your course.

Here's how the company describes its product: "BikeRouteToaster.com is a course creation application primarily aimed at Garmin Edge/Forerunner owners although other users without a GPS may also find it useful for planning rides."

Bike Route Toaster's interface can be a bit quirky, and I lost my work a couple of times before determining how to save routes, but its speed, simplicity, and export features make it worth using.

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