About the Legend
Cycling maps are an important bridge between the rider and the roads with which we may or may not be familiar. Cycling maps are different from regular road maps in that the roads we find most useful and comfortable as cyclists are not the same roads we gravitate to in our cars. On a "road map", the highways are the boldest lines. Cycling maps highlight the bike paths and lanes of our world; and where there are no such thing, the quiet country roads become the boldest lines. The highway all but disappears.
How we do The Legend is that part of the map that explains the language of the mapmaker. By describing places and terrain with symbols, the conversation between the map and the reader is simplified and more accessible.
It speaks to our experience in transit by bicycle. The process is important. We push up, we coast down, we see the weather and feel it directly on our skin. In a car, we are rarely interested in anything besides getting from A to B. We roll up the windows, we turn up the music, and we head for the on-ramp. We sit in traffic and make phone calls. We learn nothing about the world we are passing through. It is something to be avoided.
On a bicycle we are exposed to the world in which we live, work and play. We see our neighbors and say hello. We hear bits of conversations and smell food cooking. As we roll through neighborhoods we realize that there are no walls between the East Side and the South End; there are no curtains between Downtown and Olneyville. We are a city of citizens and the roads are where we come together. A Cycling map can help you find your way.