If you are looking for an app that is good for planning cycle journeys, there are many choices out there. The best ones are:
- Cycle.travel – Finds outstandingly good routes worldwide. User can adjust the route by ‘dragging’ before and during travel. Very informative web site plus apps for iPhone and Android. App records your route as you ride.
- Cyclestreets.net – Finds very good routes and offers 3 options: Quietest, Fastest and Balanced. Apps record your route as you ride. This is the routing engine behind many other route finders to be found on the web.
- Google Maps – At the time of writing (January 2024) routes are not of comparably high quality, with a tendancy to default to major roads.
Cycle.travel and Cyclestreets.net are based on Open Street Map, and the amazingly detailed geographic database that underlies it, which is made by a world-wide community of mappers and always seems to be up-to-date with all of the latest cycle infrastructure.
All of the above can be used to aid navigation while riding, offering visual and audio cues. But if you use a phone for this, take care that it is securely mounted and be aware that the app is power-hungry, draining the battery in a few hours of riding.
A specialised device such as a Garmin or othe cycling-oriented GPS device is a better choice for all-day riding. You can prepare routes using one of the above websites and then upload them to your GPS device.