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Feb 17, 2007

自転車ルートの高低差を調べる

自転車ルートの高低差を調べる

自転車に乗って、混んでいる車を横目にスイスイ進むのは何とも気持ちがいい。快適な自転車通勤を目指すには、高低差を調べよう。 2007年02月16日 21時34分 更新  自転車に乗るのに大事な点はいくつかある。幅が広い道路であること、きれいに舗装された路面であることなどだ。個人的にもっとも重要な点としてチェックしたいのが、高低差である。Wikipediaによれば、筆者が勤める東京は「日本の三大都市圏の中で神戸市に次いで坂が多いといわれる。これだけの都市で坂が多い街は世界を見ても少ない」という。Wikipediaでのカテゴリ「東京都の坂」には51ものページがあった。

 自動車やバイクのように原動機が付いていない自転車でロングライドする時に、もっとも大きな障壁となるのがこの坂道だ。往路は気持ちいい下り坂でも、疲れた復路では心臓破りの上り坂に変貌する。30過ぎた筆者に、そんな“急峻な”坂道は若干手に余る、もとい足に余るのだ。

 この2月に引っ越した筆者だが、引っ越す前に、すっかり乗らなくなっていた自転車を引っ張り出した。何とか自転車通勤して、すっかり太くなった腹回りを細くしようという目論見である。やる気はあっても急な坂道だらけでは、すぐに続かなくなってしまう。そこで、さっそく高低差を調べようと調査を開始した。

 ざっと見たところ、高低差が分かるオンラインサービスは少ない。もちろん、実際に走ってみたり、地図帳を買ってきて等高線から計算したりするのもアリだが、いちいち現地に出向くのも、計算しなければならないのも面倒だ。そんな時、発見したのがアルプス社の「ALPSLAB route」である。


ALPSLAB route
 ALPSLAB routeは、ドライブルートやジョギングコースなどのルートを作成して公開し、お互いに共有するサイト。1月18日に機能を追加し、ルート作成ページの地図右上のボタンをクリックすると標高グラフをリアルタイムに表示できるようになった。

 さっそく試してみたところ、今まで住んでいたところでは30メートル以上の高低差があったことが分かった。しかも高さの変化が1カ所に集中しており、道理で「あのあたりはツライと思ったはずだ」と1人で納得してしまった。一方、引っ越し先からの高低差はほとんどない。“安心”して自転車をこげる――というわけだ。


今まで住んでいたところまでの高低差。30メートル程度だが、1カ所に集中していた
引っ越し先の高低差。坂らしい坂はない

 ちなみに、坂道が必ずしも悪だと決め付けるつもりはない。むしろ、負荷の高い筋肉トレーニングにはぴったりともいえる。そんな人には、「坂マップ!」もお勧めだ。

 「東に、平坦で快適な自転車通勤があるなら、西に毎朝坂に挑む、汗だく通勤者がいてもいいではないか」というWebサイト「坂道自転車通勤」のコンテンツで、Google Maps APIを活用したもの。通勤系坂道フェチの自転車乗りらによる坂道情報が寄せられている。“坂道マニア”の人は利用してみるといいだろう。

 いろいろ便利なページがあるなあとつくづく感じる。自転車愛好者は必携ページ??しかし、東京はそんなに坂道の多い街だったのか・・。

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