Cycling directions with hill gradient guide

About two months ago I bought a road bike on the cycle to work scheme and have thoroughly enjoyed it. My route to work is really short so I’ve been working on distance rides at the weekend. So far my longest ride is 20 miles, but as that seemed a bit of a doddle, I’m aiming for 40 this weekend. :s

As a newbie to cycling I like to plan my routes in advance and know what I’m up against, especially giant hills! I was excited to see Google has released cycling directions for the US, hopefully it’ll hit the UK soon too. The maps team must have been real busy, because they’ve also released an elevation API.

Until cycling directions hit the UK I thought this was a great chance for a little mashup. I’ve used the google maps, directions and elevation APIs to create a little tool for planning cycling routes. What makes it special? It plots the cycle route with gradient information, allowing you to foresee any giant climbs!

It needs more work but I wanted to get a prototype online. Check it out at http://www.arronwoods.com/bikemap/ – there is a todo list on there that should outline the vision I have for it. For now you should be able to enter a route and have it display inclines in red and declines in green along the route.

Feedback appreciated, just comment below.