Allen County Bicycling Heat Map

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Strava, the online ride tracking web site, provides a very cool visual heatmap of bicycling activity amongst its users over time.

Here’s how Allen County looks, as of March 2016:

Allen County Heatmap 2016-03

The most intense colors indicate the highest traffic volumes, while the lightest colors indicate lower volumes.

From this, we can see that the Prairie Spirit Trail and the Southwind Rail Trail receive a lot of bicycle traffic, as do the Lehigh Portland Trails. Among road routes, the favorite routes appear to be US-54, US-59, along with most of the paved county roads. The map does not reveal a lot of riding on gravel roads.

The two largest concentrations of riders are, predictably, in Iola and Humboldt. Here are more detailed views of the heatmaps of those two communities:

Allen County Heatmap Iola 2016-03

Allen County Heatmap Humboldt 2016-03

To put Allen County into context with the rest of the state, here’s the full heatmap for Kansas:

Strava Heatmap Kansas 2016-03

Obviously, we’re not one of the hotspots in the state, and we shouldn’t expect to be. The Strava heatmap is based on numbers — specifically, the number of bicyclists logging their rides on Strava — so we’re never going to be able to outshine larger communities from that perspective.

But we should still be able to make our county brighter!

How? Log your rides on Strava. That’s really all it takes, and it’s very easy. Either use a standalone GPS cyclometer (such as a Garmin), and sync your data to Strava, or use the Strava app on your smartphone.