How To Plan A Cycle Route On Google Maps

Google Maps is an excellent online mapping tool that has many uses and one of those uses is to plan a new cycle route. Whether you want to take a leisurely ride or test yourself upon steep inclines, below is our guide on how to plan a cycle route.

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How To Plan A Cycle Route On Google Maps
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As you can see from the above Google Maps cycle route, it takes you from the Darimo UK office to the famous Castle Coch. However, from the map, you can see that it’s calculated the route based upon riding a bicycle. This is a key feature for any cyclists that wants to navigate through new cycling routes and within this article, we show you how to plan a cycle route as well as other functions upon Google Maps that can be very beneficial.

How To Display Cycle Routes On Google Maps

1. Enter Your Current Location & Destination

As you would do normally when using Google Maps, enter your current location or a location you will be cycling from (i.e. Darimo UK office) and the destination you are cycling to (i.e. Castle Coch).

2. Click On The Bicycle Icon

After entering your location details, change the method of transport to “cycling“. Most of the time, Google Maps sets the default mode of transport to a car but you can set this to cycling in order to avoid this step for future cycle route planning.

Once the transport mode has been changed, the map should update to reflect the transport.

google maps cycle routes

3. Select The Cycling Map View

With the mode of transport updated, switch the map view to “Cycling”. This is a relatively new feature that displays all the different roads, lanes and trails upon your cycling route.
how to show cycle routes on google maps

As you can see from the map below, all of the cycle routes have been highlighted in green.
how to find cycle routes on google maps

4. Analyse The Cycling Lanes, Road & Trails

After you have selected the destination and set Google Maps to show the cycle routes, it’s advised that you analyse the terrains before going straight out on your bike. We advise that you do this because certain cycling routes may not be suitable for standard road bikes.

As you can see in the image, Google Maps displays the terrain by the type of line (i.e. dedicated cycle lanes are displayed as a solid green line).

how to add cycle routes to google maps

5. Display Additional Details

If you wish to learn more about the cycle route on Google Maps, you can do so by expanding the “details” section of the route. This will give you step by step directions to ensure you don’t get lost during the new cycle route.
plan a cycle route on google maps

How Does Google Work Out The Speed?

Once you’ve selected your cycle route upon Google Maps, you may notice that it gives you an estimated time of arrival along with the distance. Although this can be useful, it’s advised that you take the ETA as an approximation because Google assumes that you’ll cycle at a speed of 10 MPH (16 KMH). Of course, this won’t be the same for every cyclist because some people may cycle a lot faster or slower than other cyclists. It also doesn’t account for any stops that you may take (i.e. checking directions, cycle route terrains, traffic lights, stopping for water and so on).

Alternative Methods To Plan A Cycle Route

As well as using Google Maps to plan a new cycle route, there are many other applications you can use too. For example, we would recommend the five alternatives to Google Maps:

Although the alternatives aren’t as user friendly as planning cycle routes on Google Maps, they still provide multiple suggested routes that you may wish to explore.


Hopefully the above guide on how to plan a cycle route on Google Maps will allow you to explore somewhere new. Depending upon whether or not you have a GPS bike computer, you may be able to link the data from the map to the computer to ensure you don’t get lost on the new route. If after reading the above tutorial you are still struggling to plan a cycle route, feel free to get in touch and we will try to help out where possible.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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