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Route Planning

If you know me, you know I get lost – A LOT. Or, as I’d prefer to call it, I exhibit a wide range of exploratory movements in a previously unknown environment to affect the development of an internal cognitive map. (Can you tell what my PhD topic is on? Ironic, isn’t it….)

When I’m not getting lost, it’s usually thanks to Komoot these days.

Click below for the track for “Riding Solo“:

Berlin – Nordkapp (via ferry crossing to Trelleborg)

And once more for the ones who did not click the picture: https://www.komoot.com/tour/314807822

If you don’t know Komoot yet, it finds paths and ways to get around the world by tracking its users (anonymously). The paths they use are fed into the app. Information on how often a path is used, how fast people cycle/run/walk on that path, how much vertical they gain … is then collected. The collected data is then used to generate the best tour for you, depending on how you want to move, how hard the tour is allowed to be, etc. It’s mostly great – but I have found myself weed-whacking through the underbrush a few times. Sometimes old paths aren’t kicked out as fast as they could/should be. ^^ So use with caution and reason.

Komoot has a Premium version, which I was given for a year as a birthday present. Premium allows you to access maps and areas for the entire world (downloadable in one fell swoop), and a few more gizmos within the app environment (e.g. sorting your tours into collections). I’m currently a free user, and don’t miss the extras too much.

Full disclosure: the easier tours I’ll just whack into Google Maps and see what happens. I’ve found myself scrambling over fences of closed-off ports this way, but that’s what adventure is all about, no? 😉

I could, of course, use real paper maps. They have the tendency not to lose power mid-way through a trip. Maybe one day I will. But so far………… #ExploratoryMovementForTheWin!

Last but not least: FastestKnownTime.com and (bike-)packing/touring blogs (sometimes) have their own paths available for download as GPX files on to their blogs. If someone you know did a tour you’d like to try, it’s worth a shot to ask them for their track files.

Happy exploring!