My goal is to find an app that I can run on a phone mounted to my bike and that will show me a planned mountain bike route so that I can follow it as I ride.
I tried lots of possibilities. Here are notes on some:
- Komoot. Komoot seems to be just the thing I was looking for. It lets you plan a route (a “tour”) dropping waypoints along the way. It will plan a route between waypoints that follows trails marked on the map.
- MTB Project. MTB Project has a much better (i.e., more correct) map of the trail in my local MTB park that either Strava or Trailforks. Having said that, I don’t see any way to use the app to follow a trail in real time. I guess it does show your location and the trail line in the app. I will have to try it. Hopefully, I don’t have to “record” to use this feature.
- Strava. Strava has a decent route plotter. In many ways, it is the inspiration for this quest. However, it works better at the scale of roads than at the scale of trails. The more important problem I have with it, though, is that using it seems to require recording your ride on Strava. I don’t want to record my ride on Strava (because I have a Polar heart rate sensor that works better when I record in its app, Polar Beat), so I need an alternative to Strava.
- Trailforks. I don’t know whether the Trailforks app does what I want. I didn’t even get that far because I went to view the Trailforks map of my local mountain bike park and found that it was wrong. All wrong. Every single route I inspected was labeled for riding in the direction opposite that on the maps permanently installed at the trailheads in the park. Ooops. I understand I could potentially correct the Trailforks maps myself. For a site that is new to me, and which has a major error on the very first map I examine, though, I am not inclined to invest a lot of my time in building reputation and making corrections.