We're excited! We've just bought a new toy: Bikely.com.
Or rather, the Management has bought it for us. As of this week, Bikely is part of the Future Publishing family of magazines and websites, along with Mountain Biking UK, Cycling Plus, What MTB and Procycling.
Bikely provides a really easy-to-use way for all types of riders to share routes. You can either trace a route directly on a map using your mouse to click and create waypoints, or you can upload a file from your GPS unit.
Bikely was created by a cyclist called Jules Szemere from Melbourne Australia, and although it's only been in existence for a year, it already has over 12,000 routes all over the world. There are over 1,000 in the UK, including the route of the first stage of the 2007 Tour de France and mountain bike classics like the Skyline trail at Afan Forest.
On Bikely you can see the elevation profile of a ride (under 'Show') and - if the person who created it has added enough detail - get a cue sheet so you can follow the route. You can download a file of the route to enter into your GPS, and set a route as a favourite so you can easily find the routes you use often.
Jules intended Bikely for commuting cyclists to share back-road routes through cities, but it's turned out to be far more useful than that. We're already using it to share routes round the office, and it's great for bragging rights: "My ride to work has more climbing than yours!"
We have big plans for Bikely, not least the obvious one of using it to provide downloadable versions of routes that we publish in the magazines - look out for those in the next few months. In the meantime, please nip over to www.bikely.com and check it out.