image from aucklandcyclechic.blogspot.com Here in NYC, we're in the thick of winter with snow storms every week, it seems. But on the other side of the world it's mid summer. In many parts of Australia, the average high these days is 80F (27C). That makes for great bicycling weather (if it's not too hot). For bicyclists in Australia, 2011 will be a year for easier bicycling because today we launch Ride the City - Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, and Adelaide!
Now the combined residents of the four cities--about 11 million people--can find a safe bike route quickly and easily on any computer or mobile device. Ride the City - Australia uses bike routing data that is sourced completely from Open Street Map (OSM), the volunteer effort to map the world. We're proud to use OSM and hope that everyone might consider improving the map in their own neighborhoods. Having just launched Ride the City in Australia, there will inevitably be some missing bike routes on the map. But as with other cities, as users provide feedback and give input to add information to the map, the routing will improve.
We've put together a short video to walk you through a few of the features of Ride the City and to show you how to edit OSM so that bike lanes and paths in your own neighborhoods can be shown correctly on the map:(Ride the City uses OSM data for routing in every non-US city except Toronto.) For those who are new to Ride the City, here are a few of the application's highlights:
- Click and drag start/stop icons to the map for easy routing (or enter a start/end address)
- Choose bike routes that maximize bikeways, includes some bikeways, or choose the most direct route
- Get turn by turn directions that show you which streets have bike lanes or bike paths
- Login (for free) and then save and share your routes
- Find nearby bike shops and rentals easily
- Send your bike route turn by turn directions to your cell phone by SMS
- Submit feedback so we can improve routing, or just edit OSM yourself
- Download the Ride the City iPhone app, for easy, on-the-go routing
To learn more about these and other Ride the City features, see our image-filled frequently asked questions: FAQs.
(Aside from the Ride the City bike routing application, we've put together a simple to use, no frills bicycle job board called Biking Jobs for anyone who wants to post or find a bike-related position. Find yourself a new job or post one today at bikingjobs.com!)
Last but certainly not least, we'd like to take this moment to thank the bicycle advocates that work every day to improve conditions for bicycling in these cities, especially Bike Sydney, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Bicycle Victoria, and Bicycle SA.