Category: Geographic

Strava KOMs in the Himalayas

Have you ever explored Strava segments outside of the areas you normally ride?

Last night I wondered, “Are there any KOMs in the Himalayas?” The answer: Of course there are:

Nepal Strava KOM

On Strava, I went to the “Segment Explore” page, typed in Nepal, and boom. Check out some of those segments: 31.4% grade for 2.9 miles (owned by Sami Inkinen of San Francisco and the only person to have logged that ride), 20% for 3.4 miles (KOM Mandil Pradhan of Katmandu over 17 others who have taken this route), and so forth.

To view those Strava segments, visit the Strava segement explore page for Nepal.

Schematic bike maps?

Ever since Harry Beck designed his iconic schematic map of the London Underground in 1933, other transit agencies have followed suit with their own abstract maps. Transit routes are shown as color-coded straight lines with sharp turns. Stops are equidistant, and the physical geography is omitted.

Navigating Tokyo’s rail transit was easy for me as a teen growing up in a western suburb of Tokyo. I just needed to know walking directions from a station near my destination. I could look at the JNR Tokyo map and quickly determine which trains to take and where to transfer.

Transit agencies create abstract maps to highlight the network structure of the system. Who cares if you’re crossing a river if all you need to know is the connecting line between two stations?

Schematic bicycle maps

Twin Cities Minneapolis St Paul schematic bicycle map


Greenway cleanup this weekend in Longmont, Colorado

When I began Cyclelicious in 2005, I lived, worked, and biked in the city of Longmont, Colorado which is located in the eastern part of Boulder County. Ten years prior to that, the city committed to improving cycling across town. By the time I moved to California in 2006, the city was well on its way of creating a usable trail network. The two crowning achievements – the 4 mile long Left Hand Creek Trail and the 12 mile long St. Vrain Trail – were nearing completion. Both provide scenic biking and walking opportunities yet are very usable as cross-town transportation corridors. The Left Hand Creek Trail connects to the LoBo Trail, which connects the cities of Boulder, Gunbarrel, Niwot, and Longmont. The St. Vrain Greenway stretches east well into Weld County, with plans to connect eventually to St. Vrain State Park at I-25.

Five days of heavy rain over the Rocky Mountains last September, 2013 undid 20 years of effort and construction. Most trails in Longmont are near rivers, streams and irrigation ditches. You probably saw news footage of washed out highways and bridges. The same thing happened to Longmont greenways, causing an estimated $21 million in damage.

I’m happy to see Bicycle Longmont — the local advocacy group — talking with city officials about the repairs. They plan to have minor damage repaired by January.

More significant engineering will be required along segments of the St. Vrain, where the river has changed course after the flooding. The city is awaiting a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the new channels.

In the meantime, many surviving segments of trails along the St. Vrain and Left Hand are sound but are clogged with significant flood debris. To help with the effort to reopen the trails, Bicycle Longmont is hosting a trail cleanup this Saturday. Volunteers are meeting at the Longmont Museum on Quail Road at 10 AM, Saturday, November 2, 2013. Please bring shovels, gloves, and push brooms. Learn more –>

Bike racks at 11,796 feet above sea level

When I lived in Colorado, a favorite bike route is the stunning ride up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. This highest continuous paved road in the United States goes up to 12,183 feet (3,713 m) above sea level before dropping down to 11,796 feet (3595 m) at the Alpine Visitor Center, which is still well above timberline.

Before last week’s trip I hadn’t been to Colorado for several years. I never noticed the bike racks at the Alpine Visitor Center before. Have they always been there?

bike racks Alpine Visitor Center