In this post, you’ll learn how to reverse a GPS track quickly and simply, so you can ride the same route in the opposite direction.
I just moved house recently, as regular readers will know. Although I’m only 5 miles or so from my old place, there are lots of little hills and country lanes to discover, and I’m having great fun exploring at the moment!
Last week I plotted a fantastic route – about 25 miles which took me up a couple of thousand feet around a local reservoir, and then back through some forestry roads. There are lovely views, and it’s beautifully quiet, with hardly any traffic.
The route was so satisfying that I immediately thought it would be fun to try it in the other direction. But, I wasn’t confident that I’d remember the whole route from memory and it would be easy to take a wrong turning.
So, what’s the easiest way to reverse a GPS track without starting from scratch and re-plotting it all over again?
At first, I assumed that the route planner in Strava could probably do it. Wrong. This thread is full of people asking for that particular feature, so add your voice to it if you want to see that feature in Strava.
My usual choice for creating routes is RideWithGPS. It seems to be the best all rounder in terms of usability, flexibility and lack of clunkiness. I did successfully reverse the route here, but it took a couple of attempts to get it right.
Garmin Connect, surprisingly, was even easier tham RWGPS for this particular task.
If you don’t want to read through all the text, there’s a video showing you how to do it at the bottom of the post.
Here’s a quick step by step guide to exporting your ride from Strava, and reversing the GPX track
#1 Export your ride data from Strava
This is simple enough to do. Just click the spanner icon, then choose to export the GPX track.
#2 Head on over to either GarminConnect.com or www.ridewithGPS.com
I generally prefer RideWithGPS for all my routeplanning, but I have to say that for this particular task – reversing a GPX route – I found Garmin Connect to be a little quicker. Whichever site you use, you firstly need to upload the ride data. This will then be a “ride” in RWGPS and an “activity” in GC.
#3 Convert the ride to a route (or course)
Don’t get confused by the terminology here. On RWGPS a “route” is the same as a “course” on GC. It’s what you create to plan a route/course in advance.
Copy the data to a new route/course, then view the route/course.
#4 Reverse the direction of the GPX track
There are buttons in each system to reverse the direction of the route.
In RWGPS, it’s hidden under an “edit” link on the left hand side of the screen.
Within Garmin Connect, there is a more obvious button to “reverse” the direction of the course. But like RWGPS, you need to ensure you’re working on a “course”, not the “activity”.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll see this button on the right hand side of the editor.
Still confused? Watch this helpful video!
I’ve prepared a video showing you exactly how to do all of this. Sometimes it’s easier just to watch a video, isn’t it? The video shows you exactly how to export a gpx from Strava, and then reverse the direction of the course using RidewithGPS and Garmin Connect. (You only need one, but I show you how to do it in both, because chances are, you’re already vaguely familiar with one of them.)