How to use a Cycle Routes GPX file

One of the best things about cycling is how flexible and free it enables you to be for commuting, for fitness or just for the fun of it. Sometimes it’s great just to set out and see where the pedal rotations take you, but often it’s good to put some planning in, to get the most out of your time on the bike.

A little thing called a GPX file (short for General Positioning Exchange for the boffins) can really help you plan your ride, navigate while riding, and even enable you to review how well you went.

That’s where our cycle routes can help. Everything from our great collection of tried and tested British Cycling accredited routes includes a GPX file, which contains all the route information you need to stay on track. The only thing left to do is decide how to view the info. This depends on whether you have a smartphone app or dedicated cycle computer.

Unlocking the information held in the GPX file isn’t as complicated as it might appear at first.

Here are a few quick steps to follow:

  • Login to your Let’s Ride account, or create an account if you don’t yet have one.
  • Choose your route from the collection, and click to download

Using a smartphone:

  • Either transfer the file to your phone and open in the navigation app of your choice (see below); or
  • Download direct from your mobile browser, and open in the app of your choice (more on these below)

Using a cycle computer:

  • Transfer the GPX file directly to your on-bike cycle computer (e.g. Garmin or Polar computer) from your PC via a USB connection.
  • Or open the GPX file using your chosen route planning tool if you want to view or edit the route in more detail first

But which app to choose? Our in-house route planners share their recommendations…