Planning a trip by bike
Most cyclists want a direct route, but would prefer not to share a busy arterial road with fast-moving traffic. Here are two online services which will suggest how to get from here to there by bike. Please be aware that the route plans are suggestions - you may want to choose other streets based on the traffic conditions you encounter.
TriMet's Map Trip Planner
TriMet's Trip Planner lets you plan trips by bike, by transit, by foot, or a combination of modes.
For bike trips you can specify your preference for quickest route, flattest route, or most bike-friendly (this last choice is recommended by the programmers). You'll see the distance of the trip, get an elevation profile of the route, and you can print turn-by-turn directions.
You can also plan a trip with a maximum amount of bike travel (say, 3 miles) and the Planner will find the best transit connections to complete the journey.
- Go to the Map Trip Planner
- Type in your start point and final destination (you can also right-click and mark starting and ending points on the map with your mouse)
- Choose your "Travel By" method from the drop-down menu
- If traveling by bike only, use the triangle adjuster to indicate your preference of quickest, flattest, most bike-friendly (you can include some percentage of all these variables); if traveling by bike and transit, choose the maximum amount you want to bicycle
- Click "Plan Your Trip"
- You can automatically plan a return trip by clicking the "Reverse" button; you can edit your trip with the "Edit" button; and you can print the map and turn cues using the "Print" button
Google Maps Bike Trip Planner. Based on the popular Google maps tool, this is still in Beta version. With feedback from users the program is improving over time.
- In Google Maps, click "Get Directions" and then the Bike symbol. Input your starting and ending address.
- Gives total distance, approximate travel time, turn cues, and map. May offer several distinct routes to choose from.
- You can click a point on the route map line and drag it to change the suggested route to better reflect your preference.
- By zooming in you can also find TriMet transit points, if you want to combine a bike ride with bus or light rail.
Ride the City
Ride The City is a bike trip planning tool with pages for several cities across the nation, including New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.
- Enter the starting and ending address; alternately, you can drag the "bike" icon and "stop" icon to the starting and ending points on the map. Choose "Safer," "Safe," or "Direct" route type.
- Gives total distance, estimated travel time, elevation gain, turn cues (with symbols for the type of roadway - shared low-traffic street, bikelane, or multi-use path), and map.
- Click the "Map Layers" button in the top-right corner to turn on symbols for bike shops and/or bike parking on the map.
- You can also Print the Route, e-mail a link, send the route turn-cues to your cell phone, and rate the route (to help improve the site).
- - Also available - Ride the City app for iPhone or Android smartphones.
A clever app for iPhone or iPad that uses maps from local providers (all of Portland's Bike maps are included, plus many other municipalities and regions) and adds GPS to help you find where you are. Does not suggest a route, but lets you plan one, make notes on your map, etc. (small fee to download)
Post a query here and local cyclists respond with their suggestions. Not an instant answer like the automated trip planners, but backed by riders' experience on the road.
Bike Maps from City of Portland
Choose the neighborhood Bike/Walk maps for local trips or the Citywide commuter map for cross-town journeys.