bike paths in real-time

neat piece from today’s tribune . . . i have used to gauge run/bike distances but this is pretty neat as well:
Imagine if…we could Mapquest bike routes

“The bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon.” –Bill Strickland, The Quotable Cyclist.

They’re not fantasizing about a bike mapping tool in New York City; it exists. Ride the City, a much-needed Web site helps riders find the safest bike route between any two points in the five boroughs.

“The concept is pretty simple. Just like MapQuest, Google, Microsoft, and other mapping programs, Ride the City finds the shortest distance between two points. But there are two major differences. First, RTC excludes roads that aren’t meant for biking…Second, RTC tries to locate routes that maximize the use of bike lanes and greenways.”

I e-mailed the developers to find out when they’d be coming to Chicago. Programmer Jordan Anderson, an ex-Chicagoan, said he just needs “some local support to help with data cleanup.” You can e-mail him at

Stay tuned!

(If you live in Portland, Oregon or Milwaukee, Wisconsin, provides a bike routing service in those cities. You can also check out Google Maps ‘Bike There’ for other similar initiatives in other cities, according to the Ride the City FAQs section on its Web site.)

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