One App to Rule Our Routes: Bicycle Route Navigator

February 15, 2018 - Jennifer Milyko is Adventure Cycling's Routes & Mapping Assistant Director

Bicycle Route Navigator release cyclists

Cyclists have been asking us to bring our Adventure Cycling Route Network maps to an app for some time now, and we’ve been working with Steve Resnick an Adventure Cycling Member since late 2015 to do this very thing. As of today, we are happy to announce the release of this new, one-stop-shop app for Android and iPhone, Bicycle Route Navigator by Adventure Cycling, powered by FrontPack.

Bicycle Route Navigator Splash Screen
Opening splash screen, left, and catalog page in Bicycle Route Navigator.

Bicycle Route Navigator

In March 2016, we introduced our first three route-specific apps for the TransAmerica Trail, Pacific Coast, and Bicycle Route 66 routes. Since then, we listened to user feedback, made needed refinements and additions, and now we bring you this “one app to rule them all.”

You may now purchase any map section of any route* within our 47,283-mile network, all from within one app — mix and match routes and sections as you see fit. (*minus the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route which will be available with the new maps in mid-June)

Bicycle Route Navigator Services
Our Service Directory brought to your device! See locations of many services from our paper maps displayed on your phone, left. Choose which types of services you are interested in showing. 

What You Get with Bicycle Route Navigator

All the same cycling-specific features you’ve come to know in our paper maps, now on your phone:

  • Bike shop locations

  • Sources for food

  • Riding conditions

  • Overnight accommodations, from camping to hotels to cyclists-only locations

  • Elevation profiles

Plus, App-Only Features

  • Calculating distances between two points on the fly

  • Real time wind and weather data including severe weather warnings for thunderstorms, floods, and fires

  • Tap services to call ahead

  • Embedded Google search to supplement listed services

  • Download the basemap for use offline

  • Navigate by following the track, see exactly where you are in relationship to the route

  • Zoom in for greater detail when needed

Bicycle Route Navigator Elevation and Weather Alerts
Wondering what the elevation change is between two points? This data is now available at your fingertips, left. Or get a peek at weather warnings as well as overall wind patterns on the route ahead.

Coordinated with Our Paper Maps

Since the data in the app is based on our paper maps, the two products work together seamlessly. While everyone loves their devices, paper maps still have their upside:

  • No battery to keep charged
  • Waterproof paper means you can read them in the rain
  • Additional text covers notable local history and geology
  • Paper maps are more easily shared with locals and people with whom you are traveling
  • And at the end of the trip, paper maps provide a tangible keepsake of the miles pedaled.

What Will It Cost Me?

Bicycle Route Navigator is available to download for no charge on the App Store and Google Play for a variety of devices. Individual map sections cost $5.99 as in-app purchases, and when you purchase an entire route at once, you receive a discount of $1 per map section.

Existing Users of Route-Specific Apps

If you’ve previously installed one of our route-specific apps, you may continue using it and still receive updates to the data within that app. You cannot move purchases from one of these apps to the Bicycle Route Navigator.

NOTE: The route-specific apps themselves will no longer be updated as we continue our focus on Bicycle Route Navigator, moving forward.

To download Bicycle Route Navigator, follow the app store links here.

To learn more about Bicycle Route Navigator, check out the FAQs for the app.

Photo by Chuck Haney.

_

GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer ‘Jenn’ Hamelman, Routes & Mapping Assistant Director, and appears once a month, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.

Comments

Joseph Fincher

I purchased the Transamerica Trail maps in the trial app last year. Do I need to buy them again for this app release?

February 16, 2018, 4:56 PM
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Paul

This question is answered if you read to the end of the article...

"If you've previously installed one of our route-specific apps, you may continue using it and still receive updates to the data within that app. You cannot move purchases from one of these apps to the Bicycle Route Navigator."

February 18, 2018, 7:42 AM
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Bruce Abbotts

I have already purchased several map sets. Will I have to pat again to access them on the app?

February 16, 2018, 9:57 PM
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John Sieber

The previous apps and digital data packages will continue to work and be updated. They cannot be transferred to the new app.

February 19, 2018, 1:03 PM
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Chris Miller

No, they will no longer be updating the previous apps. Those of use who purchased them got screwed...

February 22, 2018, 11:51 AM
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Jennifer H Milyko

The apps will continue to work but no new features added. However, whenever the data is updated, you will have access to the new data within that route-specific app.

February 22, 2018, 12:02 PM
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John Sieber

New features will not be added to the previous apps, but route updates will be available into the future for those apps.

February 22, 2018, 12:08 PM
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Nick Winowich

I want to buy the Continental Divide maps, but hey aren't in the catalog. Do you expect to make them available soon?

February 19, 2018, 5:13 PM
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Jennifer H Milyko

We are currently updating the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route so the data is not yet available in the Bicycle Route Navigator app. We expect it to be ready by the time the paper maps are published in late May.

February 20, 2018, 7:26 AM
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Rudy in Monterey, CA

Thanks for this. I downloaded the San Francisco to Santa Barbara map and see that it doesn't have the highway 1 closure. The alternative bypasses the coast and could lead to a 150 mile return/detour. Are there plans to monitor and update routes based on road closures? FYI - Highway 1 is closed south of Gorda, has been for over a year and will be through the summer.

February 21, 2018, 10:37 AM
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Jennifer Milyko

Thanks for checking out the app, Rudy!

We still recommend that Bicycle Route Navigator app users check the Map Updates & Corrections (Addenda) for updates that may not yet be in the app itself. There is a detour route posted there for the California situation (Pacific Coast Section 4): advcy.link/mapupdates

In future, we are looking at ways to integrate long-term detours into the app directly.

February 21, 2018, 11:01 AM
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Dale Nimmo

Well RATS!!

You state in the article at the end that the route specific apps will no longer be updated but, in the comments you say they are or will be

Which is it???

Looks like I have to rebuy the TA all over again

Not happy

February 21, 2018, 11:22 AM
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Jennifer H Milyko

I apologize for any confusion on this point, Dale. The APPS will not be updated but you can continue to update the DATA. The functionality between the Bicycle Route Navigator and route-specific apps is very similar.

I hope this helps.

February 21, 2018, 11:31 AM
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Bob

As an enticement for ACA memberships how about one free map section purchase through the new app per annual membership start or renewal?

February 21, 2018, 2:12 PM
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Jennifer H Milyko

I'll pass this idea along to our Membership department. Thanks!

February 21, 2018, 2:22 PM
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Murray Dennis

I've signed up for the ACA BR66 van-supported tour. I know we'll be given the paper maps as part of the package. Will the digital maps be free on the app as well? How about for download to my Garmin? Thanks.

February 21, 2018, 3:57 PM
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Brink

Hi Murray, Tour participants get both paper maps and digital data for devices, like your Garmin. Adventure Cycling guided tours do not include map purchases in the Bicycle Route Navigator app when the tour happens to be on the Adventure Cycling Route Network, as your tour is. This mostly just boils down to the nature of apps with the user needing to make the purchase in the app store in order to get the data into their app. Thanks.

February 22, 2018, 8:54 AM
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Christopher Cham

Hi there,

Such a great way to get ACA maps and info available! Some of these routes (especially the mtn bike routes) pass through long stretches without any cell service (let alone wifi connectivity). Is there a way to download the data so that at least a section of the maps and info can be used in the absence of cell service?

Many thanks!

February 21, 2018, 10:38 PM
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Jennifer H Milyko

Yes, when you have an internet connection you can download the basemap and route for offline use. The GPS ability of your phone is not impacted by being offline, you will still see yourself in relationship to the route line.

February 22, 2018, 7:45 AM
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Harry Lyons

Got the app, bought my routes and they're installed on my phone, but how do I get them on to my iPad? Surely I don't have to pay again for them?

February 22, 2018, 4:50 AM
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Jennifer H Milyko

You will not have to repurchase anything to have the app in both places.

On your iPad, install the Bicycle Route Navigator app (using the same AppleID as you did on your iPhone). Once it's installed, tap on the three line icon in the upper left corner and Restore Purchases. Your purchased map sections will appear in your My Routes area.

February 22, 2018, 8:15 AM
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Lori

Can you help me with the reverse situation? I have the purchased map all set a working well on my iPad because it's big and easy to read. When I then want to ride and be able to refer to my iPhone I hit restore purchases and it says: in app purchases not allowed? Ugh - how can I get my purchased map on my iPhone?

March 25, 2018, 3:41 PM
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John Sieber

Hi Lori,

It sounds like you have restrictions set on your iPhone in regards to in-app purchases. The following help article from Apply might help. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204396

March 26, 2018, 11:12 AM
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Charmaine Ruppolt

The app is great! Very helpful. Look forward to using it on future bike trips!

February 22, 2018, 2:38 PM
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Harry Lyons

Jennifer, thanks very much, that worked a treat. Now looking forward to May and using the app on Route 66.

February 23, 2018, 8:33 AM
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Gary Leiendecker

The app says free to download but requires a payment method before downloading, does not sound free to download.

February 23, 2018, 11:33 AM
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John Sieber

Hi Gary,

The app is free to download. When first creating an account to use either app stores, the app stores (iTunes, App Store and Google Play) themselves require a payment method to be entered. Here are instructions from Apple on how to change your payment method to none after creating your account.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203905

If using Android similar instructions are here: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/4646404?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

February 23, 2018, 11:57 AM
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John Sieber

I forgot to mention that the free download only provides a sample section of the TransAmerica Trail. All other route sections are in-app purchases, but you download the app and try the sample section without being charged.

February 23, 2018, 11:59 AM
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Gary Leiendecker

Thanks, that was very helpful.

February 23, 2018, 4:27 PM
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Paul Olsen

Is Natchez Trace available for the app now (I don't see it) or soon?

February 23, 2018, 4:56 PM
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Jennifer H Milyko

Most of the the Natchez Trace is on our Great Rivers South Route, Sections 2 & 3. It includes all but the first 30 miles.

February 23, 2018, 5:04 PM
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frank andrews

Jennifer, in connection with his iPhone & iPad use, you told Harry Lyons: "You will not have to repurchase anything to have the app in both places."

For clarification, please confirm that the same will apply across any devices linked to the same AppleID including MacBooks, whether two or more.

February 28, 2018, 12:24 PM
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Jennifer H Milyko

Frank,

While it is true you can access your purchased maps/data anywhere the app is associated with the same AppleID, the app is only available for mobile devices (which run iOS) and not laptop or desktop computers (which run MacOS).

February 28, 2018, 1:48 PM
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Randall Damon

I downloaded the Green Mountain Loop map to my phone and iPad so I can read it offline. It works okay buy when you zoom in, there are whole sections of map missing in the middle of the map, between the routes, and around the periphery of the route. Any ideas as to the reasons why? Perhaps the downloaded map only includes those parts in proximity to the route?

March 7, 2018, 9:48 AM
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John Sieber

Hi Randall,

In offline mode, only the map tiles immediately around the route are downloaded. This helps to make the offline maps tile storage download in a reasonable amount of time and also so that the storage of the map tiles does not exceed the storage space available on the users device.

March 7, 2018, 9:54 AM
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Randall Damon

I thought as much. Not really an issue. I love the app and I agree, it's a nice addition to the paper maps which I also have. I will be making this trip in June. Can't wait. Cheers.

March 7, 2018, 10:01 AM
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John Sieber

Enjoy your trip on the Green Mountain Loop!

March 7, 2018, 1:05 PM
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Wes Lewis

I bought The Great Rivers South for my ride from La Crosse, WI to St. Louis, MO later this year. When I test app for bike shops it showed nothing, camp grounds nothing, and for restaurants it gave me every bakery when in twenty miles, but no restaurants. Does the app only have this info in map area.

March 24, 2018, 6:21 AM
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John Sieber

The services data provided by Adventure Cycling is only along the specific route. These are enabled by the toggle switches listed below the Service Type heading. You can also use the app to search Google for service items. These are not limited to the area around the Adventure Cycling route and are based on the current location the map is centered on. Hope this helps!

March 26, 2018, 10:04 AM
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Dede

Does the app also include access to map and facility info on guided routes off the main cycling routes such as the Napa wine tour?

April 5, 2018, 9:54 AM
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John Sieber

@Dede The app is limited to the Adventure Cycling Route Network. When online, you have a global base map, but we are not including additional routes.

April 5, 2018, 10:00 AM
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Francis Apel

Do your maps work with third party bicycle apps, like RideWithGPS? I'd hate to have yet another app running on my phone while riding.

April 6, 2018, 7:09 AM
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Jennifer Hamelman

Francis:

The app is a separate app. However, we also have gpx data available. It may be used in any app, such as RideWithGPS, that accepts gpx files. You can learn more on this page of our site:

https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/digital-data-for-devices/route-tracks-and-service-points/

Jennifer

April 6, 2018, 7:22 AM
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Charlie Richman

I'm planning ahead for the Great Divide data release. Will it be practical to load the entire route on an iPhone for offline use? How much data are we talking about? (What strategies are recommended for managing all that data?)

May 22, 2018, 8:31 AM
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John Sieber

We don't have the offline tiles created yet for the Great Divide but the majority of offline map tile packages in the apps average between 100mb to 300mb. All seven sections will most likely be between 700 Mb and 2.1 Gb on your device.

May 22, 2018, 9:27 AM
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Abe Lee

Are you still on pace for a mid-June release of the Great Divide maps? I'm thinking about starting on July 1st and look forward to using your app.

June 14, 2018, 1:55 AM
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John Sieber

Yes, we are still hoping to have a mid-June release of the paper maps, digital data, and the app data. Enjoy your upcoming ride on the Great Divide!

June 14, 2018, 9:35 AM
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