Plano bike trail

The weather was nice on Sunday so I went for a bike ride down a couple of the bike paths in Plano. They are pretty nice but the street crossings are a pain. There are several unprotected crossings of major roads with no lights.

Big Lake Park

Google Maps Trip Distance Estimator

Google Maps Trip Distance Estimator
Trip Distance Estimator

I recently went on a Bike Tour from May to August and biked from just outside of Dallas, TX to western Oregon near Eugene.

On my trip I wanted an easier way to try and plan out a route and pick the next few towns to hit, so I made one.

This uses google maps and places a marker with circles around it to make it easier to gauge distances. I found this to be a little bit of a pain due to the lack of a scale on the regular google map.

As you place markers, a straight line path is drawn and the straight distance is calculated. Then you can click “get directions” in the top right to have Google find a route and sum up the real distances between markers.

I would have used this by setting the radius to 40-50 miles, and 2-3 circles to judge the next series of towns I would try for over the next few days. Then I would use the route button to verify the actual distances, to make sure I wasn’t skipping a section with no reasonable road between the towns. Finally, when I was to ride one of the segments, I would use a regular route finding app instead.

I think this would be a little bit easier than what I was doing in the past, which was mostly guessing and getting directions repeatedly just to find the mileages.

The code is on Github if anyone is interested. It is only an html file + javascript. You can easily download it and run without a webhost but an internet connection is required due to the use of Google services.

You can find it here, Google Maps Trip Distance Estimator but if it’s popular I will probably get a domain name for it.


Power Line Hill

After my last day of work, I drove out to Austin to see Amanda again. It was pretty fun, Austin is a great town. We went out to eat a couple times, going to Trudy’s and BJ’s Brewhouse. Trudy’s is a good place and I had a pretty awesome stuffed avocado. It is a fried avocado stuffed with chicken and peppers and who knows what else. BJ’s is a good place for deep dish pizza, but a little on the pricey side.

Mountain Biker

While there, we drove out to Cabela’s so I could get a few more needed things for my trip, mostly clothes and a pair of rain pants. I decided to go with a pair of Frogg Toggs after hearing good things on the Whiteblaze backpacking forums. They were only $20 which was a great surprise, I was expecting about $50-100. The rain pants are said to be waterproof and breathable, but don’t feel like it, instead they feel like some kind of odd paper. I hope they will work out, but mostly I hope that it doesn’t rain much. Rainy hiking sucks.

Dog in Creek

We also went out to the Alamo Drafthouse to get dinner and see the movie Rampart. It was different kind of bad cop movie than most, but worth watching. Pretty intense at parts.

Giant Bikes

On Sunday, we went out to Walnut Creek Park again. It’s a nice park with mountain bike trails, where dogs can be off leash the whole time. Giant Bikes had a demo day that morning, but we missed it.