Map Spring Rides on Google

Google Maps announced today that it has added support for generating bicycle directions. See the video above for an intro. This is listed as a beta feature and is apparently only available in 150 or cities. Albany happens to be one, so I gave it a go by typing in a few common destinations.

The routes appear mostly workable though far from ideal. They thankfully avoid busy, highly trafficked roads and give some preference to flatter routes. What few biking infrastructure amenities Albany possesses don’t seem to be part of the Google database. My usual route from Albany to Troy utilizes the Hudson River hike and bike trail for most of the distance, while the Google generated route substituted a long stretch on a two-lane road with an average speed limit of 45 miles per hour–not my first choice.

It will be interesting to watch this service develop. I certainly plan on using it but will likely do so in conjunction with other route-finding services (where they exist).