Introduction to FancyRoute

by the author of FancyRoute

If you are a person like me who loves to spend his spare time with cycling or running you sooner or later come to the point where your known routes bore you. Especially for longer training sessions on weekends or during vacation a new course can improve your motivation and fun dramatically. Various Internet platforms offer myriads of routes and tracks for all kinds of activities. Unfortunately in most of the cases the courses do not fully fit your needs - too short, not starting at the right place, not the wanted elevation profile, road too crowded - you name it.

I prefer to plan my own routes, highly adapted to my preferences of the day. Even in my home area I try to vary the training courses a lot. Two things turned out to be important for me: The exact length of the route and the elevation profile.
If I go out for a 30k run I don’t want to end up with 35k or something. Same on the bike. It makes a difference if you do a 100k cycle trip on a flat course or with a total ascent of 2000m.

This is where FancyRoute comes into the picture. I carefully pre-plan my trips at home. Then I transfer the track to my sports watch or to the bike computer and just follow the breadcrumbs. So I can enjoy the trip or training session without having to think whether I can manage the distance or the elevation.

If you know your home area you can probably live without pre-planning. Not so on weekend trips or on vacation in foreign areas. What I love to do during vacation is to put the bicycle into my van and travel around. Be here and there, do some racing bike day trips or long runs into the wild. Then I move to the next location, do the same there. Especially Italy is great for road cycling. Austria and Germany are excellent countries for running or hiking.

All trips require good planning. I have FancyRoute installed on a small notebook. The installation contains a topographical map of the entire European area and a digital elevation model. So I am independent of bad Internet coverage and other shortcomings. Both, the map and the elevation data is publicly available for free.

In the morning I plan my trip whereas I am having a coffee. I consider the weather as well as my mood. I include scenic views, a nice restaurant or cafĂ©. I study the expected elevation profile, make a duration forecast using the Course Wizard or Time Planner that FancyRoute comes with. I make sure that I have enough water and nutrition on board or that at least there’s a creek or spring on the course to fill up the bottles. On racing bike trips I carefully choose the road quality in order to stay away from heavy traffic but still have an acceptable good pavement. The road classification information contained in the maps can be very helpful here. For running trips into the mountains I make sure that I stay away from via ferratas.

Finally I transfer the track as GPX or FIT file to my watch or bike computer and enjoy the ride or the run. After the trip I move the recorded track back into FancyRoute and have a look at my training performance.

So over the years FancyRoute became an essential tool for any kind of trip planning.

Learn more about how to use FancyRoute in the Tutorial.