Most maps available on-line are generic and bland looking and don’t necessarily give a nice overview of the actual course, and almost none are available as a custom downloadable map files for Garmin Edge units, so I decided to create custom cycling maps of my favorite road and mountain bike trails.
You will find a variety of maps for each ride including profiles and route overviews, ride descriptions, and downloadable trips optimized for Garmin GPS units (specifically the Edge 800). If you like printing your own maps, hi-res maps are available in PDF form.
I used a similar rating system used by the Tour de France for hills and gaps (i.e. Cols) but it is more of a subjective evaluation based on perceived effort rather than by specific distances or gradients. I also tried to keep ratings relative between countries and regions, but if you really disagree with a particular evaluation, add a comment to the map page and if enough people reach a consensus I’ll make a correction 🙂
I have ridden and verified all the files and maps myself so they should work for you as well – please let me know if you encounter any technical difficulties. If you enjoy the maps and find them useful spread the word to your cycling friends and feel free to donate to keep this site up and running!
How to use the maps
The KML files available for download (globe icon) are custom maps optimized for the Garmin Edge 800. Once installed, they appear as graphic overlays over the default (bland) Garmin maps. These calibrated maps will show your relative position on the map but will not give you Turn-by-Turn directions. For Turn-by-Turn directions, you should use them in conjunction with one of the corresponding TCX file and a suitable routable map from Garmin or OpenStreetMaps.
TCX files of mountain biking trails will NOT provide Turn-by-Turn directions as most maps do not contain routeable trail data. However, they are highly accurate and will clearly show where you are 🙂 but they must be used ‘manually’ (i.e. using your eyes).
TCX files contain elevation data that has been manually calibrated by referencing local topographic information. They also contain custom cue sheet entries with indications for Food, Descents, upcoming Turns (~100 meter warning), etc. (Note: The current versions do not contain cue sheet info – coming soon!). These TCX files should be copied to your NewFiles directory on your Garmin GPS (Garmin will automatically convert the file to a .fit equivalent). A GPX version will also available for download without any of the cuesheet information.