Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ride Every Road: It's now a "thing" #RER

This is the kind of RER GPS track you get in the burbs

Tricia has always enjoyed adding a few highly randomized, explore-the-neighborhood rides to our cycling outings. We'd done so many goofball routes that I started wondering what it would be like to ride every road in the city of Antioch, where we live.

Little did I realize that it was becoming a "thing." But then I saw a post on Richard Masoner's cyclelicious where he wrote about other folks with the same goal in their cities.  and realized I hadn't had a unique idea at all. But it did give us a bit of impetus to actually see if we could do it.

We aren't killing ourselves to do this, and we have no serious plan. We don't even have a time frame to completion. Mostly we try to "pick off" a few subdivisions when we're out on a ride.

Already we've noticed a lot in our silly attempt. I'll write about sociology, urban planning,  litter, landscaping, architecture and automobiles later. For now I'll stick with a few bike riding observations.

This is harder cycling than it looks like it would be. There's no rhythm to be had. Instead, it's endless turns after short distances. And courts. Oh my dizzy head there are courts. Zillions. And we're trying to hit every one. The constant slowing for a tight semi-circle followed by getting back up to speed is a lot more tiring than just maintaining a constant pace. And of course, drafting is out of the question.

On the North side of the city the streets are in a very tidy grid. We haven't started them yet, but I expect the experience to be quite different from the clever-yet-annoying loops and swirls on the south side. Sometimes we think we've hit every street, only to Strava the ride and discover that, nope, we missed something.

The other part of this that's hard is the documentation. Strava and my Ascent for Mac program show routes on a map for each ride, but don't show every ride. Strava has a "heat map" feature, but it's to show where you ride a lot. Roads ridden only once are hard to see. I'd love to take all my GPS files, combine them and have my tracks show up on a map. I tried to in Ascent, but after many hours of churning, trying to combine 18 months of files, my poor Mac just choked.

If you, gentle reader, have any idea how I might accomplish my GPS mapping goal, please let me know!
I can hardly see the light blue lines. I want more drama!


  1. Anonymous7:34 PM

    When I was a girl growing up in Antioch, I knew the name of every single street, and I had walked on most at least once. Then I moved to Walnut Creek in 1979. When I came back in 1988, Antioch had tripled in size. I no longer know the name of most streets. It's pretty sad when you'd get lost in the town your great-grandparents settled in 1900 and that your grandfather and mother grew up in. mariel

  2. 1. Download the GPS data from each ride (.gpx file) - take a minute to figure out the html tags (pretty simple), and paste them all together. You might run in to some problems with timing because Strava won't let you be in two places at once and they might not let you count multiple days as a single ride, but it's worth a shot.

    2. It's kind of like the Google car I saw driving around my neighborhood last week.

  3. For those who may be looking to map a Ride Every Road effort. Here are some tips:

    1) Use Strava or something similar to track rides and check breadcrumb trails while you ride.

    2) Download ride from Strava and upload to custom Google map. This way you can see the aggregate of all your rides. I would also upload and theme an City boundary file to the custom map.

    3) If you need to merge rides or reduce ride file sizes, you can use online tools to do so. I use the following:

  4. I do this same kind of riding. I've been trying to ride every road in Guadalajara, Mexico. I have been riding here for just over a year and have just over half done. I did the same in Southern Spain when we lived there for 4 years and more or less the same in Portland, Oregon where I grew up. Gotta have goals...


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