Walk More, Cycle More, See More: Walking and Cycling Route Planners
The "A Better Way To Work"
initiative recently visited Macs Adventure's head office to help us with advice on getting around on a day to day basis on our own steam! Much as we are all an active bunch, taking part in a range of active recreations, it was great to get a bit of advice and motivation for ditching petrol power during the working week.
Whether your motivation is going green to help the environment, getting fit, or just seeing more of your surroundings, we think getting around on foot or by bike is great for the soul, not to mention for your health and the environment. Feel better inside and out, and kick the car habit! Here's a few UK route planning sites we've found helpful in our quest for a better way to work...
Walk it around town
Route planner walkit.com
is the free "urban walking route planner" to show you the best routes around town. Including calorie counters (to justify that coffee and muffin once you get into town!), and even themed walks (for example architecture themed walking) in major UK cities to help you see more of your home town on your days off, the site has some great tools and features. Plot your own route, or use one of Walk It's suggestions. We liked the walking to school feature, helping parents plan a safe, quick, and healthy alternative to the school run. It even has advice on the best school shoes!
Map My Walk
One for fitness fans, Map My Walk i
s part of the Map My Fitness
group. You can register for free and use many of the features, but some of the features do include a paid upgrade. However, these tools are great for not only planning but tracking via smartphone, logging results, you can go as far as inputting diet and personal details to calculate BMI and weight loss, or create a bespoke training plan. Map My Ride is great for cyclists, and Map My Run is a very popular jogging tool. The Map My Fitness tools are great for simple social sharing, to update your network on your progress, and maybe even get a bit of competition going!
Currently in beta testing, now is a great time to try out cyclestreets.net
which will be officially launched soon. The concept is simple, put in your start point, end point, and the site offers the quickest route, the quietest route, and a route which is a balance of the two. As a nervous cyclist, I appreciated being able to see the quietest route, and being offered a time and distance to plan the journey at my own pace, but the great thing is that experienced cyclists, like most of the rest of the team, can select the quick route and zoom off!
Personally, my feet are my preferred method of getting around and I do find that although it may take a bit more time, the benefit of arriving at work feeling awakened, relaxed (having avoided all traffic stress), and generally a bit smug that I've already burned off the calories in my morning toast, far outweighs the extra time in bed! It offers thinking time, and a bit of tranquility away from the bustling main streets. Try a better way to work / school / meeting friends for yourself and feel the benefits every day.