Ride with GPS

GooglyCue suppliments RideWithGPS by outputing a more useable cue sheet, route files segmented into 50 point segments, and a .tcx file that signals turns before they occur.

To use GooglyCue, first draw a map in RideWithGPS, save it to your hard disk as a .tcx file, and then click on the Googlycuerw bookmark that you have placed in your “Favorites” folder or on the “bookmarks bar“ in your browser. If you have copied the URL of the RideWithGPS page, you may paste it into the GooglyCue dialog, and it will be displayed on the cue sheet.

This is the GooglyCue bookmark.  GooglyCuerw

Placing the GooglyCuerw bookmark in your browser is either done by dragging it or right-clicking on it and choosing the appropriate item from the drop-down context list. First, try dragging it, and if that doesn’t work, right-click on it and see if there isn’t an option that allows you to place it in your “Favorites” folder.

The Browsers section below has details for the popular browsers. You should be using the most recent version of your browser.

You have all the information needed to use GooglyCue, so you might like to give it a try now. After you have done that, come back and read the next section, since drawing a route may be easier than you think.

Step 1: Draw a Route

Open up RideWithGPS and sign in. Pull down the “Add Content” menu and choose “Map Ride.” In the upper right of the page, enter the appropriate location if necessary. Click on the “Bike Paths” box at the top right of the map to change to a map showing bicycle paths.

Click on two locations to form a simple route, call them “A” and “B.” Now drag the “A” point to the starting place, and grab the line between the two points stretching the loop out toward the far point of the ride: try to keep the “out” and “back” legs separate — grab an intermediate point if necessary to keep them apart. Finish up by going around the perimeter, tugging here and there, until the ride follows the roads you want. Finally, drag the “B” point close to the “A” point, but not on top of it. That’s essentially all there is to drawing a map. If you let it, the route will pretty much draw itself, following good roads more often than not.

If you want to mark a restaurant or special stopping point, use the “Add to Cuesheet” item and include information in the “Notes” box. The point will appear on the cue sheet.

Bicycles can ride on trails and RideWithGPS will allow you to draw a route on them: the cue sheet will display these routings! The files for GPS devices will not follow trails, but instead use nearby roads.

This  route  shows you what I mean.

An important feature of RideWithGPS is the ability to draw lines and thus add to the places that routes may traverse. To have such routes appear on the cue sheet, comments should be added at least at their start and end. The comments should be annotated in the “Notes” section of the comment. The .tcx file produce by GooglyCuerw will incorporate such points and Garmin Edge devices will route the rider                                 correctly.

Sometimes routes cannot be made to go exactly as desired because of erroneous coding in the map itself. When this happens, the line drawing ability of RideWithGPS may be used to draw a new route segment that will overcome the difficulty. Attaching appropriate comments on the segment will assure it appearing on the cue sheet and in the .tcx files.

Before creating the cue sheet or downloading a file for a GPS device, it is usually worthwhile to click on each of the directions at the left of the map, which will center the map on a point. These directions are the directions that will appear on the final cue sheet or in the final downloaded file.

When using the Edit Cuesheet it will be possible to switch switch back to this map, in case a direction is not clear, if it is the previous page. This will be the case if the Googlycuerw bookmark is clicked immediately after saving the route as a .tcx file, so that there are no intervening pages.

Step 3: Make a cue sheet

Once you have drawn your route, you need to save it as a .tcx file to your hard disk, and then load it into the Googlycuerw dialog which will then open the edit page for a cue sheet. Unfortunately there are a number of steps to this.

  1. Save the route by clicking on the (Save Route) button.
  2. You will be asked if you want to view the ride — you do. The saved route can also be found under “Profile/Routes” where you should choose the “view” option so that the turn directions are along the left hand side of the page.
  3. Copy the URL in the address bar of this page to the clipboard (Ctl C).
  4. Click on the “Garmin Training Center (.tcx)” item on the right hand side of the page and save the route as a .tcx file to your hard disk.
  5. Click on the Googlycuerw link in your bookmark tool bar or Favorites.
  6. Paste in the URL saved to the clipboard (Ctl V) and enter the name of your ride.
  7. Browse to the .tcx file on your hard disk and then click on the (Continue) button: a page will open showing the edit page for a cue sheet.

Edit the cue sheet, adding or deleting information.

Change the date, leader, and cell number, but do not delete any of them. They may be changed, but not deleted.

You may add or delete the direction rows as you like: just make sure that there are four vertical bar, “|”, symbols in each row when you are done. (It is not necessary to align the columns; just make sure there are four “|” symbols in each row. Editing is fairly important, since the initial route may contain small glitches, and you will probably want to name the start and end points differently.

If you add a row, you should put a guess into the “Climb” column. It is best not to leave it blank.

If you need clarification about a turn, you should be able to use the (back) button to view the map and directions if the map is the last page; otherwise, you are probably out of luck.


TCX Files

TCX files normally mark turns at the turn, which means that the rider is not notified until at or into the turn — this is awkward. Premium subscribers to RideWithGPX can download tcx files with turns marked in advance. The [TCX] button in GooglyCue marks turns both before and at the turn. The RideWithGPX marking is superior, since they have access to information not available to GooglyCue.

If you are a Premium subscriber, it is recommended that you use the RideWithGPX tcx file: do not click on the [TCX] button in GooglyCue.

 Files for GPS Devices

Three types of files may be downloaded to GPS devices: route files, track files, and TCX files. Downloading is the same for all.

If you have one of the newer Garmin devices that acts like a thumb drive, and throws up a window on your screen when it is plugged into the computer, these files may be saved directly to a subdirectory of the Garmin directory. For “mapping devices”, the subdirectory for route or track files is the “GPX” directory. For “sports” devices, the route, track and TCX files may be saved to the “NewFiles” directory.

If you have one of the older devices, you may download the file to a directory and use MapSource or BaseCamp to move the file to your GPS device. You may also use EasyGPS on the PC or LoadMyTracks on the Mac.

Route files with more than 50 points may be downloaded in segments of at most 50 points. Clicking the button (Repeatedly click to save route segments as GPX files.) will allow you to save the individual segments. After the first segment, the file names of each will be prefixed with a number: “1_”, “2_”, etc. When you see the first segment name, without a prefix, reappear, you will know that all segments have been saved.

Save the Map

A RideWithGPS link is available on the main page and at the top of the cue sheet if it has been copied into the Googlycuerw dialog. Copying this to your browser address bar will bring up the original route in RideWithGPS. Clicking on the RideWithGPS link when the pdf is displayed by Adobe Reader will also bring up the route.


Elevations shown are derived from contours on Google Maps. Elevations reported by hand held devices are derived from barometric pressure. They will not always agree.

For some devices it is possible to manually scale the device value to that reported by GooglyCue. For example, if the device reports a total climb of 1000 ft and GooglyCue 1250 ft, on a particular route, then you should be able to adjust the device total climb for other routes by multiplying it by 1.25.


The process for adding the Googlycuerw bookmark differs among browsers. In all of these browsers you may have to fiddle around to make the bookmark bar or favorites list visible.

For Windows:

FireFox, Google Chrome, Safari, Camino: Drag the Googlycuerw bookmark to the bookmarks bar.

Opera: Right-click on the Googlycuerw bookmark and check the “Bookmark Link” item.

Internet Explorer: Right-click on the Googlycuerw bookmark and it to the “Favorites.”

Google Chrome Note: The native pdf viewer in Chrome does not display a pdf. To disable the native pdf viewer in Google Chrome, type “about:plugins” into the address bar, and then disable the Chrome pdf viewer. If you have Adobe Acrobat installed, it will be used.