Bridging the Gap: Paper Maps and the New Bicycle Route Navigator App

March 5, 2018 - Maxton Caplanides is Adventure Cycling's Sales and Shipping Specialist and photographer for the Open Road Gallery.

Maybe you’ve heard by now — the bicycle touring community is buzzing after the release of Bicycle Route Navigator, Adventure Cycling’s new mobile app, available for iPhone and Android, and ready to help you pilot your journey along the 52,047-mile Adventure Cycling Route Network. No subscriptions or complex file conversions are necessary — just download the free app, purchase a route section(s) from within the app, yours for life, and start riding with confidence.

Bicycle Route Navigator is a great companion to be used with our paper maps, or as a stand-alone system, and comes packed with features that help you tackle the logistics of your ride. There are some really cool components such as real-time wind and weather data, and my personal favorite, the ability to click on different points on the route and get a concise elevation profile for that section.

Like its paper counterpart, the app features all of the listed services that make Adventure Cycling’s maps the most comprehensive tool for planning your tour. With just one tap you can call ahead for a campsite, check lodging availability, connect with nearby bike shops, or use the embedded Google search for even more services and reviews. The app’s map works when out of cell service as well, if you download the basemap for later use  when you do have service.

If you do decide to step into the realm of digital navigation, taking a paper map as a backup is never a bad idea. You can’t know when a device might fail due to a dead battery or any other number of reasons, and you don’t want to be left without a clue. We strongly encourage you to consider pairing the two, and you’ll find yourself enjoying the convenience of having our cartographers’ wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, wherever the road may take you. 

For all of you die-hard GPS device users, we will continue to support our GPX data for sale directly through the Cyclosource store.

Click here if you need help deciding between using the app or the GPX data. And of course, if you need help or more clarification, never hesitate to give us a call at (800) 755-2453. 

And if you missed our introductory blog from our Routes and Mapping Department, here’s the link to One App to Rule Our Routes: Bicycle Route Navigator. It has a lot of great question-and-answer information in the comments.

Happy cycling!


CYCLO NOTES is brought to you by Adventure Cycling’s Cyclosource team—Teri, Max, and Maxton.

Our Cyclosource store brings you some of the finest bicycling maps and gear available, and all proceeds from Cyclosource support Adventure Cycling’s mission to “inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle.”


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