Cartographical Sunday

I was pretty quiet last Sunday and I found a website to create bike itinerary, «Super», that I said, «and luckily it’s 2012». Never I would have seen that in 2055 when I crossed Canada. So I did that itinerary (look here) and I can now prove that the Prairies are not that flat! This website is so well done that it makes you avoid the big highways when you draw your itinerary and once it is done, it generates a graph showing the elevation curve of the way you take.

So I was curious about what is waiting me ahead, and to frighten me a bit I traced what will probably undertake CycloExpedition Americas in the next months. Here are the results, on 7 maps, because this website even allows to import the maps on a external website!

I could see that my estimation on the distance is not that bad, the maps saying that I will cover 26 237,6 km. But it is with the vertical climb concept that we can have a bit of fun…



Maximum altitude

Vertical climb

Ratio v. climb vs distance


4 094,7

2 006

40 540


United States

3 051,4

3 451

22 390



3 815,0

3 204

39 730


Central America

2 666,5

3 272

45 700



2 383,5

3 602

64 590



3 267,6

4 645

81 560



6 958,7

4 895

55 470



26 237,4

 4 895

349 980



The worst will be the Peruvian/Bolivian section, the vertical climb representing 81 560 meters. The total elevation for the whole expedition represents 350 000 meters, or 350 kilometers. To imagine it better (or not), it is 40 times the altitude of Mount Everest ! Fortunately, the saying «What goes up must come down» is valid here…

It is also easy to calculate the ratio of vertical climb per kilometers on the road. In United States, for example, even if I’ll bike in higher altitude than Canada, I’ll climb less (7,3 m/km vs 9,9 m/km). The most difficult section will be Colombia and Ecuador, with 27,1 m/km. To represent the total average of 13,3 m/km, we could say that, if there weren’t any geographical obstacles, this trip would be 13 000 km uphill faux-plat of 2,66%, followed by a similar downhill…

Fortunately, this trip won’t be only a statistical representation!

Here are the maps:

(Update: the maps being reused and modified through the time for summarized-articles on traveled countries, the data might be different from the above table)


Parcours cycliste 1488115 – powered by Bikemap


United States

Parcours cycliste 1502404 – powered by Bikemap



Parcours cycliste 1503032 – powered by Bikemap


Central America

Parcours cycliste 1503107 – powered by Bikemap



Parcours cycliste 1503139 – powered by Bikemap



Parcours cycliste 1488137 – powered by Bikemap



Parcours cycliste 1488142 – powered by Bikemap




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