You mark your starting point and your route and it will tell you how far you have gone, how many calories you will burn, and my new favorite thing -- it will tell you the changes in elevation. The routes can be for runners or cyclists and you can even zoom in enough to mark the sidewalk you are using so that you have the most accurate route.
Each route can be saved. I like to think of it as a "free" GPS runner's watch. With this to mark your routes all you have to do is time yourself (which even the cheapest watch is capable of doing).
So I have started biking again. I put the 2 kids in the bike trailer (just like I used to) and then I bike (just like I used to) -- BUT, these roads around here are not like I am used to. Let me explain . . .
Here is the elevation change graph of a very frequent route I did in TX all the time. (X axis is miles traveled, Y axis is feet above sea level)
The absolute value of change in elevation is only 15 feet -- so even though it looks like I went up and down a lot, there really is not much change the whole time.
Here is the elevation change graph for the route I attempted yesterday here in CT. Our playgroup was going to a little park with a pond and beach area and the weather was stunning and it was only 5.5 miles round trip from our house. So I loaded up the kids in the trailer and headed out. (notice the absolute value of change in elevation now is 300 feet)
It took me less than 20 minutes to get there -- and boy was it a fun ride! But WOW, the way home was a different story. I knew it would be hard. So when my friend offered to take Madelyn home in her car I gladly gave up her 47 pounds of additional cargo. Right at the 4 mile mark, I had to walk my bike, and then somewhere around 4.5 miles, my friend came by and picked up Adam (30 more cargo pounds) and the whole bike trailer (30 more pounds). I made it the rest of the way easy -- what a difference 60 pounds makes.
So if you are ever in need of a good workout I can reccommend a few routes and loan you a couple kids and a bike trailer. According to the google maps calorie counter -- that whole ride by myself (not towing 110 extra pounds) burns 660 calories. And in towing the kids -- 1100 calories!
Too bad I celebrated my surviving the bike ride with a 1000 calorie chocolate milkshake!