When you head out for a bike ride do you plan where you're going or just go where the mood takes you? Riding the same routes makes a lot of sense. You know roughly how long it will take you, so can fit your ride in around other commitments. If you're looking to improve your fitness you can use how long it takes you as an indicator of how much (or if) your fitness is improving. And of course, you know where the best cake stops are. Yet there's also a good argument to be made for trying different routes.
Riding an electric bike offers you the freedom to explore more freely. Unlike with a purely pedal-powered bike, unexpected hills or having to fight a headwind home needn't spoil your ride. This is particularly good for those who take their e-bikes on holiday with them. Folding e-bikes are an increasingly popular addition to campers, allowing you to see the sights and get around more easily than you can in a camper. And, increasingly, people are sharing their favourite rides via the Internet, so if you prefer to have an idea of where you're going you can plan or even download a route before hand.
To get you started we've listed four of the most popular route sharing sites below.
British Cycling Let's Ride
British Cycling's routes not only include a map but also information on the amount of climbing, distnace and the types of bike the route is suitable for. You can download routes as a PDF to print off and take with you or as a GPX file to use with your GPS bike computer.
Bikemap.net lets you choose from flat or hilly routes, uphill or downhill routes, quick or long rides and their top rated routes. You can print off maps or download a GPX or KML file for your GPS bike computer.
Cycling UK's website includes a route planner that lets you plot a route, guides to different counties, a collection of 140 different rides as well as the famous Lands End to John O'Groats route. Some of these rides are quite hardcore (200km anyone?) but the route planner is a great tool to create your own. Like British Cycline and Bikemap.net you can download a GPX file for yur bike computer.
Sustrans look after the National Cycle Network and their website lets you choose a route by area, how much traffic you are comfortable with and distance. You can print off maps but unlike the other sites there are no GPX files to download.