New to Route Art? Follow These Tips From an Expert

It’s baaack! Our annual Route Art contest is here and we couldn’t be more excited to partner again with the expert himself, @WallyGPX. Creating Route Art may be simpler than you expect. Follow these tips below and good luck!


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Aloha route artists! I’m just as thrilled as you are to be part of this year’s MapMyFitness Route Art contest, and its an honor to have this chance to share a few tips with you. I’ll break down some quick thoughts into 3 succinct categories: Design, Ride Preparation, and Execution.


  • Print a map of your “canvas region” & look at your grid carefully. Do you notice any natural lines showing up that create simple shapes? Sketch an original basic line onto a map…then look closely to determine if it can be improved upon. Don’t see something right away? Consider rotating your map to perhaps see something that didn’t initially appear!
  • Do you have something in mind already? Look at your grid to see if there is a logical place to create your vision. Don’t settle for your “comfort zone” area if another region serves it better!
  • Look at your grid in a satellite view & locate open areas where you can curve your lines and thus perhaps improve your image. The best open areas appear as parks & parking lots. I strongly consider their use if your plan calls for a curved or diagonal line.
  • Create your Route on MapMyFitness and Save, then Bookmark to run/ride later.
  • Once “drawn”, add arrows indicating your direction, starting + stopping points, and any other notes to keep you focused. You may choose to go paperless, or perhaps your “rideplan” will help you during your workout? See what works for you!


  • If you choose to use your notes, consider carrying them in a clip or around your neck. This should help to keep the paper from getting too sweaty!
  • Get up for the adventure! You probably feel nervous, especially if you’re working out along a route that you don’t normally travel. This is a normal part of “breaking out of your usual grid.” The good news is soon you’ll be out there focusing on your positioning & having a blast. Trust me, the blocks will seem to fly by!
  • Get to your starting spot. Open your app….& press Record. Stay cool, focused, and enjoy the journey!


  • Positioning is a zillion more times important than speed. Don’t get going so fast that you are unprepared for your next turn!
  • Stay focused on your line AND traffic. Multitask with confidence!
  • When you’re done, don’t forget to hit Save!
  • It can get exciting, so also don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids!

I cannot wait to see all the creativity about to be blended with technology and exercise! I’ll comment on my favorites in a future blog, so until then, happy trails!


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Send us your Route Art here, or use the hashtag #sketcharoute on Twitter or Instagram.