My California riding buddy Scott Carpenter and RBR contributor Stan Purdum passed along some articles of interest for me to share with RBR readers. Scott and Stan have a keen eye, as the three articles they sent – one about a worldwide open-source map of cycling routes, one about a 24,000-km trans-Canada trail, and one about a stolen bike recovery vigilante – are all quite interesting in their own right. —John Marsh
Open Cycle Maps
There’s an informative article in AdventureCyling.org that both explains Open Cycle Map and how to navigate and utilize the growing worldwide map of all known cycle routes (that’s the goal, at least, of this ambitious open-source project).
Think about it: anywhere you might be planning a ride, you can check to see existing routes, download them electronically to some mapping-compatiable app (like RidewithGPS) using your mobile phone or tablet. And if you’re a tech-savvy trailblazer, you can upload any new trails you’ve established to OpenCycleMap.org.
It’s probably not a huge leap of faith to think that future versions of connected cyclecomputers with GPS and mapping capabilities will be able to use not only proprietary pre-loaded country maps but also be able to access and utilize this incipient worldwide mapping network.
Trans Canada Trail Nearing Completion
They call it “The Great Trail,” and as Canada nears its 150th anniversary of confederation next year, the Trans Canada Trail now stands 87% complete in its quest for completion before the big sesquicentennial celebration in 2017.
The Trans Canada Trail is the world’s longest network of recreational trails. It began construction in 1992. When fully connected, the Trail will stretch 24,000 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans.
It’s not purely a cycling trail, of course, but one could imagine the ability to ride to your heart’s content across some breathtaking landscape. Over 13,000 miles (almost 15,000 when it’s done) should provide ample track! See the graphic below of where the trail currently stretches. And you can check out this interactive map online.
‘Bike Batman’ Rescues Seattle’s Stolen Bikes
OK, this story is just plain cool. There’s a guy in Seattle, an inveterate bike tinkerer/mechanic (an engineer, by trade) who stumbled into a moonlighting gig that has earned him the title “Bike Batman.”
It started more than a year ago when he was scanning online ads for bikes for sale. He noticed that some ads had a shocking paucity of information (“Green Trek Bike”) and an even more unrealistically low asking price for the spec of the bike.
When he started delving into the detective work and cross-checking bikes via Google and Bike Index (a clearing house site for posting info on stolen bikes). He realized he could often clearly match a bike for sale with a stolen bike listed on Bike Index, right down to the serial number. And, though his methods needed serious refinement, he became successful at setting up stings to recover the stolen rides, returning them to their rightful owner.
Remind you of any caped crusader?
Read the full story in Outside Online.