Riding with or without technology

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)

How do you find the right route?

advanced gps
4
8%
smartphone
1
2%
paper map
24
49%
looking at the signs
2
4%
sense of direction
2
4%
all of those
16
33%
 
Total votes: 49

cyclingovereurope
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Riding with or without technology

Postby cyclingovereurope » 10 Nov 2015, 7:58pm

Everyday we use technology to do everything. When we are riding in a unknown place, how we find the right road to reach our goal?

I usually study in advance the route, therefore I use my sense of direction, I follow the signs, and sometime I use the map memorized in my smartphone. However often I lose the route and I have to stop to verify if my choice is right.
Last edited by cyclingovereurope on 11 Nov 2015, 5:58pm, edited 1 time in total.

pwa
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby pwa » 10 Nov 2015, 8:02pm

I use cycling to get away from all that electronic guff.

tatanab
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby tatanab » 10 Nov 2015, 8:05pm

pwa wrote:I use cycling to get away from all that electronic guff.
Likewise. I have no use for following predetermined routes so maps are the way to go and make it up on the move. Ok, the GPS or Smartphone offer maps but not at a scale at which it is easy to follow - I know because I've tried navigating my way across a city using just a map on an Edge 800 and simple could not see anything like far enough ahead, unlike with a paper map.

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horizon
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby horizon » 10 Nov 2015, 9:02pm

cyclingovereurope wrote:
I follow the signs


You can't follow the signs - they've gone. They were all taken down in the eighties and nineties to discourage motorists from driving through towns. Not that many would have been by then: you either drive into a town and go back the way you came or you drive past a town on the by-pass. And where there are available alternative routes, these won't be signposted either. The most you'll get are signs like "Superstore" or "Public Toilets" rather than "To London" etc. I even now follow milestones in desperation. (Don't get me wrong, I like milestones but going back to the Stone Age seems to run counter to government aspirations :wink: ).

Following your judgement and instinct may also come unstuck as the historic street called "North Street" while obviously going where you want to go is now pedestrianised. Following the sun will find you cycling the wrong way up a one way street.

For cyclists, this is of course frustrating. Worse still though is that for this kind of route finding you are really down to 1:10000 street level mapping in town. For linear journeys, such as LEJOG, you won't even have the 1:100000 maps with you for the rural roads. So you ask a kindly stranger. On the plus side, it recreates the frontier days of the early days of the bicycle in the 1890s when road signs were hard to come by.

So you're dependent on GPS. For younger cyclists this may be normal.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby Vorpal » 10 Nov 2015, 9:11pm

I haven't repsonded to the poll. No answers are really appropriate. I mostly use maps and signs and my sense of direction.

Once in a while (3 or 4 times per year?) I either use my phone to locate myself on the map, or use my phone to navigate a new route.

I've used a GPS system driving, and it's handy when going someplace new. I've never used one cycling.

I think that if I were trying to do a long, pre-planned route, like LEJoG, with time restrictions, I would consider a GPS. Otherwise, I'm happy to use maps and signs and what have you. IMO, it's part of the adventure, and I might go off on a road just because it looks interesting. In those circumstances, I don't really want a GPS telling me to take the next right turn, so it can put me back on my path
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jimlews
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby jimlews » 10 Nov 2015, 9:11pm

I noticed that the previous poll added up to 101%

cyclingovereurope
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby cyclingovereurope » 10 Nov 2015, 9:39pm

horizon wrote:You can't follow the signs - they've gone.

:wink:
I travelled a lot in austria and i found stuff like this:
Image Attachments
IMG_20150727_113658.jpg

beardy
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby beardy » 10 Nov 2015, 9:56pm

Vorpal wrote:I haven't repsonded to the poll. No answers are really appropriate. I mostly use maps and signs and my sense of direction.

Once in a while (3 or 4 times per year?) I either use my phone to locate myself on the map, or use my phone to navigate a new route.

I've used a GPS system driving, and it's handy when going someplace new. I've never used one cycling.

I think that if I were trying to do a long, pre-planned route, like LEJoG, with time restrictions, I would consider a GPS. Otherwise, I'm happy to use maps and signs and what have you. IMO, it's part of the adventure, and I might go off on a road just because it looks interesting. In those circumstances, I don't really want a GPS telling me to take the next right turn, so it can put me back on my path



Well mine would do no such thing. Because it will just have a track drawn in it which I follow.
If I was auto-routing then I would just press a couple of buttons to stop it routing and restart the routing later, except I hardly ever use the auto-routing anyway.
It is just as much an adventure to be on the correct road as it is to be on the incorrect road, when it is all somewhere you dont know.

pwa
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby pwa » 10 Nov 2015, 10:09pm

In Provence, this summer, I had IGN paper maps on my bar bag and I really enjoyed (in a geeky way) knowing exactly where I was and when my next turning was coming up. Once or twice each day I had to stop and do my Sherlock Holmes impersonation, looking at the map and at all the clues around me to determine which of two or more options was the right one. It was part of the experience. No batteries, no wires , no apps. Halleluya!

Jon Lucas
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby Jon Lucas » 10 Nov 2015, 10:45pm

I use a paper map (hence my vote) but inevitably see a more interesting road as I'm going along and head off down it, and then just use my sense of direction...

until I'm utterly lost. :D

I usually find where I am on the map again.

simonhill
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby simonhill » 10 Nov 2015, 11:52pm

I'm never quite sure about these simplistic surveys. Who sets them up and what value are they?

My problem with this one is that it is not that simple.

In the UK I almost always use OS 150,000 which are excellent for my day rides. I get them from the library and can carry enough for a good ride. They are just about usable in larger towns.

When long haul touring I like a paper map for general route planning, but find Google maps on my tablet, with GPS are very useful for finding smaller roads and in towns.

In towns I often use my sense of direction with a compass, stopping to check my position on map or tablet as necessary.

Here in Korea, I would have been absolutely lost without my tablet as the road network looks like spaghetti on a paper map.

I s'pose my answer to the srvey is all, but that doesn't really explain the circumstances.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby Tigerbiten » 11 Nov 2015, 12:02am

This summer on tour I used ........

A GPS to plot daily routes.
A paper tourist map which showed camp sites.
The Eurovelo routes tends to be signposted.
And I was using rivers/canals for sense of direction.
Didn't/cannot use a smart phone because I don't own one.

So 4 out 5 isn't bad ........ :lol:

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al_yrpal
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby al_yrpal » 11 Nov 2015, 12:18am

Theres nothing like a map. I mark out my route and follow it. And then use the smartphone to find exactly where I am if I feel I have got lost. On day rides lately I have been planning routes on a tablet with cycle.travel and transferring them to my smartphone and using Osmand voice guidance, but I also carry a map in the barbag. So, I use both. The map gives you flexibility to wander off route but I am finding that Osmands rerouting is rubbish it tries to take you offroad, sometimes onto footpaths!

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

simonhill
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby simonhill » 11 Nov 2015, 12:21am

No compass on the survey!!

jacksonz
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Re: Riding with o without technology

Postby jacksonz » 11 Nov 2015, 7:15am

I've gone totally electronic and I think it is fantastic. Before I leave home I download some nice GPX tracks from the internet and load them onto a Garmin Etrex. A wonderful selection of GPS cycle paths are becoming available. I use maps from Open Street Maps on the Etrex. When I start riding I just follow the track on the GPS. Easy. When I arrive at a destination I use a 6" smart phone to find the camping and supermarket using Osmand. The smartphone also contains my travel guides in PDF. For me, this is working very well. Every thing I did in the past was painful by comparison. I hated buying so many maps and asking all the time "where is such and such" etc...

If I want to stray from the defined track I use the smartphone. I found the 6" screen just big enough to get a decent overview for planning. I have tried creating GPX files with Osmand but their format is not recognised by the Garmin Etrex. The GPX file can be transferred to the Etrex from the phone using an OTG cable. More experimenting required.

Last but not least, I find a compass watch useful at times. (And sometimes a watch barometer can give a clue about the weather.)