Ride With GPS - Find Feature

Eli Post



I don’t remember exactly when, or what volunteer title I held, but I do remember the numerous requests for routes. There was the family from Maine visiting relatives in a Boston suburb that wanted to take the family on a safe, scenic ride. The guy from Canada wanted a route to New York City, and the French guy needed an exciting mountainous route as well as a bike. There were many other examples, but all involved time in finding a club member who had experienced the requested situation.

There was time and work involved in responding, but then it all changed. I discovered the “find” feature in Ride With GPS (RWGPS), and came to the conclusion that if a route was worthy, it had been discovered and probably recorded. You may not be an out of towner unfamiliar with the local landscape, but you may wish to explore and draw on the experience of others. So here is how to use the RWGPS “Find” feature.

  • Go to https://ridewithgps.com/
  • Look for the “Find” command on the upper left
  • There is an excellent set of search boxes, and you should get the hang of them after a few tries.

♦ The most frequent search is for routes in a specific neighborhood. You are in say Arlington. Enter “Arlington, Massachusetts, and leave all else blank. You get over 121,000 hits, too many to deal with. Let’s change the ride length to 15 miles, the elevation gain to 800 feet, and only look within 1 mile of Arlington. We get 7,000 hits, still to many but somewhat manageable. The trial and error strategy must be patiently applied when using the “Find” feature.

♦ Suppose you are looking for a bike path in the vicinity of Lexington, MA. You can start by entering “Lexington”, start within 5 miles, and keywords “bike path”. This is clearly a popular area, and you get close to 700 hits. It may take you a while to go through them, but such is the price of popular routes.

♦ Suppose you have a more general goal and want a mountain road ride, and are less concerned about which neighborhood it is in. For location simply use “Massachusetts” and in Keywords insert “mountain.” You get a hodgepodge of routes, which may not be helpful. However in reviewing the list the term “Wachusett” appears frequently. So you change the key word to “Wachusett” and you get close to 4,000 rides on mountain roads. You can then pick and choose.

♦ You have a friend or a child who is new to cycling and are looking for easy routes. Try 15 miles, 500 feet of climb, any place in Massachusetts. Only 38 hits which are easy to scroll through. We note here an often overlooked feature which is the little orange icon, which when clicked will expand a small map which will display starts for the routes listed on the Find results.



It should be clear by now that trial and error must be patiently applied when using the “Find” feature. However, you will likely be rewarded with multiple routes that meet your search criteria. It is better to select a route designed by a club member who has route experience. You may not recognize a name, but you could also check with another club member who has contacts in the club.

A final note. We shared this page with RWGPS and were informed that they are now  "actively and aggressively" redesigning the Find page to include other features the company has released in recent years.