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Sounds like Maps needs to hook up with Google Earth data to provide elevation data for bike routes - pretty obviously important info for real-world bike rides.


Why did you hitch a ride back? Sweet downhill...


Try http://mapmyride.com in the future, it uses Google Maps but incorporates elevation.


I'm pretty sure the info google maps is using for bicycling is based on traffic only. Not elevation data. Possibly they know of dedicated bike lanes and are bringing those into Googles Bike Maps, but generally, I think it is an algorithm looking for low traffic lanes, with posted low speed limits, where I biker might be relatively safe, or legally allowed.

Check out a Google Bike Map for a city that is dominated by car culture and has almost no bicycles. It is different than in bike friendly towns.

S. Z. Underwood

I live in West Berkeley but ride my bike often to Orinda and up and down the hills in Orinda for training, both the eastside of the Berkeley Hills (El Toyonal) and the hills just east of Orinda Village (Camino Sobrante).

Google Earth will show you the relative elevation of your starting point (Orinda Bart) and your end point. As an experienced cyclist, your estimate of the grade does not seem accurate. 10% is a very steep grade. It implies climbing about 530 feet per mile which very few roads in the Berkeley Hills sustain for any distance. 12-14% is extremely steep, not at all gradual. Note on the link I supply below, Marin Ave. from the Marin Circle to to Grizzly Peak works out to an average grade of 13% overall (with steeper blocks).

Moreover, if you look at this information from the so-called Berkeley Hills Death ride website, scroll down to "Death Climb" #4, you will note that the climb from Orinda Village up to Grizzly Peak steam trains averages 8% overall -- I think its the hardest climb in the East Bay Hills. At one point, the road sustains a 15% from a kilometer which is exceedingly steep (4-6 mph climbing).


steve m

Marin's steepest throws are 24% I believe, and I've done the climbs mentioned and there are many stretches of 15%, indeed a hill behind my house is 13% for .8 mile. Moeser in El Cerrito is very steep but it is wide and little traffic, whereas Marin is narrow and lots of traffic will be passing next to you. Averaging from Orinda Village to steam trains is meaningless because there is flat at the start and flat at the top. I rode up it in very high winds at 2mph with my chest on my top tube (if I stood I would have blown over).

Kelly @ Impowerage

At least you got a good work-out though

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