It is the implied authority of geospatially precise ‘bike route recommendations’ that puts me off; my travelling ontology doesn’t recognize such routes.
Bike routes to me, where not literally demarcated by bollards or boundary paint, are a loose, conceptual topology of best-paths contingent on weather, health and my day’s ambition. There are rare edges that are fairly static and these can be mapped: Spring Grove can be for racers and relaxation, snowing or scorched. But why transpose it literally? “Spring Grove”, as I mean it, is a heuristic referencing the whole street, perhaps even to the whole Mill Creek valley east of the tracks, not a geocoded centerline. Ol’ Colerain sliced by the highway is a good ride too, and I take it sometimes if I feel like looking at something different.
How to communicate such useful, abstract edges?
A hand-rendered, schematic map is so clearly subjective it openly invites criticism from the viewer’s own ideosyncratic subjectivity. This is ideal. The point of bike-route maps cannot be to convey authority but to connote personal suggestion.
Here is my morning’s attempt at a bicycle edges map, from memory and a half-hour.
Now to digitize and make it look decent…
What’s all this about a West//East divide? I’d like to propose a distinct Car-Free-Cincinnatian spatial identity that apparently fails to recognize any but the central neighborhoods and places well-connected by transit. I couldn’t for the life of me recall how to bike to Xavier, NKU, or College Hill because I so often take transit to those places. My concept of the city seems to have a very tightly connected core with more distant neighborhoods dangling from abstract transit lines but no street names. This may more accurately be my winter version of the city. Come summer I’m much more likely to bike laterally.