Creating New Routes is the Secret to Staying Motivated on the Bike

Marc Lindsay
by Marc Lindsay
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Creating New Routes is the Secret to Staying Motivated on the Bike

Whether you’re a daily commuter, a long-distance cyclist or a weekend warrior, riding the same route over and over can get pretty boring. Rather than sticking to what you know, creating a new route to train or commute to work can help you to mix things up and keep you mentally fresh.

Luckily, the MapMyRide route feature makes planning a new route easy. Here’s what you should consider before getting started.


Depending on where you want to ride, you can either choose an existing cycling route in your area or create your own new custom route. Existing routes are local rides that have been uploaded by other users. Since there will likely be a good number of options to choose from if you live in a populated area, you can narrow your search by typing in a nearby location as your starting point and how many miles you want to cover.

If you want more options, you can either use parts of these routes to create a variation to an existing route or map an entirely new route. But before you create an entirely new route, here are a few things to consider about the type of route you plan to map.


When creating a route, you’ll have several different options depending on your goals for the workout. Here are a few you route options to choose from:

  • The out-and-back: Out-and-back routes are the most direct kind of ride — especially for those looking for the shortest distance possible.
  • The loop: These routes are good options if you get bored easily during out-and-backs, or if you’re looking to add mileage. Loop routes are also good for weekend rides when you’re starting from your house or a parking lot where you’re meeting other cyclists. This option also allows you to create multiple variations from a starting point to include hills or other specific terrain you’d like to train on.
  • The point-to-point: Cyclists looking to only bike one way and get transportation back often choose point-to-point routes. The advantage here is you can go the furthest distance with these types of routes.
  • The add-on: If you have a favorite route you’d like to switch up or an existing route that isn’t quite long enough, adding to an existing route is a good option. Add-ons can be done to incorporate hills into an existing route or stop by a nearby park or coffee shop if you need a mid-ride break.



Whether you have experience using MapMyRide’s route creator or not, it’s simple and very easy to use. After you’ve logged in, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Click on the “Create Route” tab or choose “Routes” from the menu at the top of the page.
  • Enter your starting location and distance you’d like to complete. A list of existing routes populates on the map below.
  • To create a new route, click “Create Route” from the menu.
  • Move the cursor over the map to select your starting point.
  • From here you can custom create your ride by clicking the out-and-back tab or reverse route after you’ve selected start and end locations. If you want to make a loop, you can mark the exact roads you’d like to take.
  • Route details and notes can be added on the tabs located on the left side of the page.
  • Once your route is complete, you can name the route and save it to your files.
  • When you’re ready to ride, pull up your route and use the GPS function on the MapMyRide smartphone app for iOS and Android.

In addition to these basic instructions, you can also plug in other information such as avoiding highways, available off-road bike paths, areas of high traffic and elevation to make creating a route specific to your needs easier.

While map functions and routes are free to use, if you’d like to keep track of things like power output data, cadence analysis, heart rate and other functions, an MVP premium membership is worth considering.

Happy riding!

About the Author

Marc Lindsay
Marc Lindsay

Marc is a freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He holds a master’s degree in writing from Portland State University and is a certified physical therapy assistant. An avid cyclist and runner of over 20 years, Marc contributes to LAVA, Competitor and Phoenix Outdoor magazines. He is the former cycling editor for


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