Commuting by bicycle in a major city can sometimes be a hair raising experience, with bicycles often having to share the road with trucks, busses, speeding cars and other motorized vehicles. One solution to this is to use Brouter that gives you alternative routes which are usually much safer and more pleasant than direct routes. I will give an example of
First you need to go to the Brouter web interface at http://brouter.de/brouter-web/ where you will find the following screen:
Click on “layers” and choose “opencyclemaps” this will give you a map that contains visual elements that are important to cyclists such as shelters and walkways.
Now, for the sake of our example, we will be cycling from Victory Monument, Bangkok to the Government Complex, Nonthaburi, which is usually a nightmare, 4 lanes wide and generally quite inappropriate for cycling.
To do a search, click on the search icon, enter “Victory Monument, Bangkok” and press enter
Sometimes it doesn’t work very well, so you may need to find the city or district then browse to the location you want to be looking for.
Now press “esc” or “q” to disable drawing and start browsing the map until you get to the government complex, and press “d” to start drawing again, drop a pin where you want to finish your journey. You will see that Brouter has drawn a route from start to finish using mostly smaller side roads. Here is an example of one such road from safety mode (from Google StreetView):
Much better, isn’t it?
One may try playing around with the options on the left, change “trekking” to “safety” if you want Brouter to give you roads that is deemed to be even safer, but can add more distance to the journey. This is usually the option I choose as I find it to be the most pleasant.
Finally, to get it one’s device, on the left there is an option to Download as GPX or KML which you can then import to any application that supports those file formats such as Strava or Mapmyride. Have fun!
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