Google Maps Bike There…for a safer, healthier, happier world. :-)



April 11, 2008 By: Peter Smith Category: Bicycle Maps

Thanks to CrunchGear for the shout-out:

Google Maps has a neat feature that will help you find driving directions or more notably public transit directions. It works quite well, but what if you don’t like either option?

Some people have started a petition to Google to include the feature to get “bike there” directions, and we think it’s a good idea.

CrunchGear is part of the TechCrunch empire (wiki).

TechCrunch covers Web2.0 companies like Facebook and YouTube and Digg and all that, and CrunchGear covers electronic gadgets and toys and iPhones and the like — including GPS-enabled devices that many cyclists already use, and we will probably want integrated with our bike directions at some point.

Speaking of Web2.0 companies, for any of you cycling (or even Web2.0 professionals), you might be interested to check out NetSquared:

Our mission is to spur responsible adoption of social web tools by social benefit organizations. There’s a whole new generation of online tools available – tools that make it easier than ever before to collaborate, share information and mobilize support. These tools include blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasting, and more. Some people describe them as “Web 2.0″; we call them the social web, because their power comes from the relationships they enable.

One of NetSquared’s sponsors, Wild Apricot, is something I’ve been looking at recently - their web-based software will help you do your website (it seems to be a fairly simple, but fairly complete content management system, with blog and rss feed, etc.), some of your marketing activities (like mailing list stuff), but importantly, they also seem to help with a lot of the time-consuming membership-oriented work (like member sign-ups and re-ups, with paypal integration, events, reminders, etc.) involved with running small non-profits - like cycling associations and clubs. Oh, and it seems they could be affordable for your low-budget operation. I haven’t actually used them for anything yet, but I’m definitely thinking about it. I’ve been evaluating their stuff for almost two weeks now, and it seems solid, if not perfect. And they’ve been responsive to my 3 or so emailed questions and my 1 blog comment. Two cycling clubs that use Wild Apricot are the Petaluma Wheelmen and the Santa Rosa Cycling Club - I’m not sure what their experiences have SRCC’s experience has been with Wild Apricot [Update: Petaluma Wheelmen say, effectively, that Wild Apricot is good, especially in membership management area.] [Update 2: Santa Rosa Cycling Club have had a similarly positive mixed experience - see comments for details. Thanks PW and SRCC for getting back to us!].

[Commentary: The reason I write all this stuff about Wild Apricot is that I want the cycling community to be able to accommodate what I hope becomes explosive growth in cycling, particularly commuter cycling. Wild Apricot looks like a tool that might be able to help small cycling/pedestrian/other non-profits take care of a lot of the busy-work typically required of associations and clubs. Rather than have yourselves and other volunteers, or your one or two paid staff folks, spend time doing busywork, I think we need to do whatever we can to free up their time so you/they can do the important work of organizing events, meeting people, shmoozing people and politicians, recruiting and motivating volunteers, building coalitions, brainstorming, being creative, etc. And, content management systems like Wild Apricot can help you delegate website and coordination duties to the various folks who are responsible for particular events or programs - and it's got all that permissions/privileges stuff built-in. If you know of other companies that offer something similar to Wild Apricot, please let us know about them. Thanks!]

Back to our petition — now that most of the cycling blogosphere seems to know about it, it’s important that we can make inroads in other areas - like technology and green blogs - so getting covered by CrunchGear is a big deal.

Thanks again, CrunchGear!

…rewrote the Wild Apricot paragraph because I wrote it quickly and it didn’t make a whole lot of sense the first time around. Added the ‘Commentary’ section, too.

2 Comments to “CrunchGear”

  1. Craig Gaevert says:

    While you indicate that SRCC is having a good experience, I will disagree. WA is fine for handling membership and event registration. That’s it. If you decide to host your club web pages, you are left with graphically unacceptable formats. Sorry. The best bet is to keep your web site with your well crafted pages and link over to Wild Apricot for the tedious membership stuff.

    Craig Gaevert
    Santa Rosa Cycling Club

  2. Peter Smith says:

    Thanks Craig - I updated the post.


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