Last week saw the Gravel Cat, a brand new cycle route, go live on this site. This is particularly good news as it’s been a long time since a cycle route has been added to the Cycle New Forest website. The main reason for this is the time it took to map out the route. Each map was custom designed with the aim of giving enough information to be able to navigate the route whilst still fitting onto one sheet of A4. For the shorter routes, this worked ok, but for the longer routes, the map scale meant that insufficient detail was a problem. A long term plan would be to design a custom route map that is printed professionally, but this would really be a ‘labour of love’.
So, after much thought and investigation, the online map system from Ride With GPS ticks lots of the boxes when it comes to making great cycle routes available to those who want to explore the New Forest by bike. Along with TCX and GPX file downloads, there is also a PDF map option complete with cue sheets, so the routes can still be ridden without a GPS.
In terms of which GPS file you need to download (these are available in the sidebar on the route page – if you’re viewing on a mobile device, then you may need to scroll down). The TCX file is best for turn by turn navigation on devices such as the Garmin Edge 500, 510, 800, 810, 1000 and Touring. The GPX file on the other hand is good for any GPS device, but it’s worth remembering that it does not contain any cue sheet information. However, the GPX file will still provide turn by turn directions on Edge 705, 800, 810, 1000 and Touring. The GPX file is also the one you want if you use a Mio Cyclo.
Before cycling a route it’s strongly recommended that you familiarise yourself with it. To make this easy to do, there is an online map on the route page which allows zooming in to check sections as well as giving you a choice of map styles to view.
It’s always good to have feedback on the routes on this site. If you see an error or have a suggestion, then please get in touch.