Navigating When Touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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TrevA
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby TrevA » 21 Mar 2017, 12:43pm

Falco wrote:What's the best paper cycle maps to use in England/UK?


If you are lucky enough to be riding in an area covered by one of their maps, then the Goldeneye series of maps are hard to beat.
They have the quiet cycle routes and lanes highlighted and have a form of light lamination, which helps to protect them. They only cover popular tourist areas, though.
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Mike777
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby Mike777 » 21 Mar 2017, 1:04pm

meic wrote:
Then simply save and then download route to Active 10 and away.

But that can not be done when you are already out on the road on tour, can it?


You can store routes on the active and activate them when required.

I often just use the mapping with no route and follow minor roads or off road routes on the O/S map

You can plot and plan a route directly on the active 10....can remember doing this when I had to divert once in Scotland (my paper map didn't cover the area). Where as the active 10 had full UK O/S maps

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meic
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby meic » 21 Mar 2017, 1:11pm

You can plot and plan a route directly on the active 10....can remember doing this when I had to divert once in Scotland (my paper map didn't cover the area).

You can with the Garmin but it is a risky affair. I will let it navigate me to a specific point in a city/town or to a point on an exit road from within a city or town. I wouldnt trust it to get me from A to B in a sensible way and that is even without considering that it has no idea about topography.
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hamster
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby hamster » 21 Mar 2017, 1:21pm

Falco wrote:What's the best paper cycle maps to use in England/UK?


I photocopy a road atlas page!

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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby Vorpal » 21 Mar 2017, 2:52pm

Personally, I think it's fun to find routes with a map. I only use my phone when I get stuck, or I need to be somewhere by a particular time. Otherwise, I don't mind if a I take a couple of wrong turns or ask at a farm for directions. Language barriers can usually be overcome with a paper map.

I can see the appeal of using a Garmin or something like that. I might even consider it if I decided to do a ride following a specific route within a specified period of time, such as a 10 day LEJoG.

My touring, though is usually more like putting stuff on a bike and riding until I want to stop, then looking for a place to do so. I might have a destination, or a series of destinations in mind, but I would rather be flexible about how I get there and when.

I tend to use a mixture of maps. I often have a very detailed map to look at, so I can understand what is around me, especially in hills or mountains. I like knowing names of places, and whether there is a farm over the hill, and that sort of thing, but those are often too detailed to be good for general navigation. I often use photocopies of whatever I think is suitable (even a copier-scaled version of an OS map or something) that I can mark up for navigation.
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trilathon
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby trilathon » 21 Mar 2017, 3:44pm

A couple of years ago I decided at short notice to cycle from the west midlands to Copenhagen. A kind of reverse 'migration era' journey.

I made the Harwich ferry without recourse to a map, just following/ orientating by the sun and recalling route choices, towns and topography from those of previous rides ( it is said by certain researchers who venture into the relatively taboo terrain that neurological evolutionary adaptations of certain races have advanced due to the advantage they convey in finding food and mentally mapping key points over large expanses of land for hunter gatherers/ transhumance which held stay for 99% of human existence) .

Hit the Dutch coast and just kept the sea on the left and the sun on my back. Then headed east once over the zieder zee, being at roughly my home latitude, the sun was always in a usual position at any given point in the day, which was helpful.

I did stop in Groningen and took a look in a book shop for a map and was quite amazed that I'd forgotten or been ignorant of how much of Germany suddenly lay in the way, so to speak. A bonus country...very pleasant it was too ( later deciding to carry on to berlin). On approaching Copenhagen I retrieved a scribbled pencilled map, of about one square inch that resembled an abstract drawing and from the early 20C, and I was surprised and relieved to find the campsite in Charlottelund.
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bohrsatom
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby bohrsatom » 21 Mar 2017, 10:37pm

Falco wrote:But I was wondering if there is a route navigation device that anyone could recommend?


I have a keen interest in this question, and have spent a lot of time looking for answers. If you do want to go down the digital route, here are your options:

If you're happy with just maps and no navigation then I'd recommend a smartphone loaded up with an offline mapping app. I have an iPhone and thoroughly recommend paying the few pounds for Pocket Earth, with which you can download maps of the entire world for use offline. It is based on OpenStreetMap and has a cycling layer as well as plenty of POIs (although these can sometimes be inaccurate).

For navigation unless you want to plan your entire holiday before you leave, you need a way to create routes whilst on the road. If you can guarantee internet access then a small tablet (or maybe even smartphone) can be used to build routes online via cycle.travel. You should be able to tweak the routes but the interface is designed for use with a keyboard and mouse so it's going to be painful; you wouldn't want to do it too often. Either mount the phone on your handlebars or transfer to a GPS device with offline maps (Garmin Edge / eTrex for instance).

If no internet access then you will need to build routes offline. The best software for this is Garmin BaseCamp which runs on Windows or MacOS. It can read and route using OpenStreetMap maps - just mark A and B and the software will find the best route between them, and you can tweak it to your heart's content. This requires a 'proper' computer, you can find Windows laptops/convertible tablets with keyboards and trackpads weighing around 1kg for approx £100 on eBay. When complete you export as a GPX and import onto your smartphone or GPS device as above.

An alternative to the above would be to buy a small Windows tablet like the Dell Venue 8 Pro (£75 ish on eBay) which will also run BaseCamp. The device is touchscreen only and BaseCamp is terrible without a keyboard/mouse (believe me, I've tried) but a cheapo handheld keyboard/trackpad combo can be bought from Amazon. Total weight would be around 500g at the expense of a more painful user experience compared with a laptop.

I really like digital mapping as it opens up so many quiet roads perfect for cycling that wouldn't be shown on a regular map. The biggest disadvantage is when somebody asks "where are you going?" it's much harder to show your route using a Garmin than with a paper map.

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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby ChrisF » 21 Mar 2017, 11:09pm

I've been touring for 2 or 3 years now using a waterproof Android smartphone loaded with Locus maps http://www.locusmap.eu/ and Brouter http://brouter.de/brouter/. The maps are based on OpenStreetMap and you can download whole countries before you leave. The 'Brouter' app integrates with Locus and does the route planning - again no internet connection required.
They're not the easiest apps to learn but once you do, the system has everything you want. Battery life is good (easily a whole days' ride) because you get spoken turn-by-turn instructions while the screen is off; you only need to turn on the screen if something's unclear.
I don't take paper maps any longer - in an emergency I can ride to a town or a garage and buy something. But I haven't had to (yet :wink: )
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andrew_s
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby andrew_s » 22 Mar 2017, 1:00am

Falco wrote:What's the best paper cycle maps to use in England/UK?

The OS 1:250,000 road maps, recently republished. 1 sheet for the whole of Wales (sheet size example), shows all the rural roads that go anywhere, and the through roads in towns, and enough terrain info to tell the difference between a hilly route and a flat one.

"Best" does of course depend on what sort of touring you like.

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Sweep
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby Sweep » 22 Mar 2017, 6:23am

TrevA wrote:
Falco wrote:What's the best paper cycle maps to use in England/UK?


If you are lucky enough to be riding in an area covered by one of their maps, then the Goldeneye series of maps are hard to beat.
They have the quiet cycle routes and lanes highlighted and have a form of light lamination, which helps to protect them. They only cover popular tourist areas, though.

+1 to these. Ideal companion to a gps.
Sweep

Boring_Username
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby Boring_Username » 22 Mar 2017, 7:24am

The easiest way to navigate is to plan your journey along marked cycle routes (e.g. NCN in the UK).

Is that cheating?

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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby Vorpal » 22 Mar 2017, 7:47am

Boring_Username wrote:The easiest way to navigate is to plan your journey along marked cycle routes (e.g. NCN in the UK).

Is that cheating?

Not if it works for you. off-road sections of NCN are not suitable for all bikes, panniers, trailers, etc.

Sweep wrote:
TrevA wrote:
Falco wrote:What's the best paper cycle maps to use in England/UK?


If you are lucky enough to be riding in an area covered by one of their maps, then the Goldeneye series of maps are hard to beat.
They have the quiet cycle routes and lanes highlighted and have a form of light lamination, which helps to protect them. They only cover popular tourist areas, though.

+1 to these. Ideal companion to a gps.

+another. I really like my Goldeneye maps :)
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borisface
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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby borisface » 22 Mar 2017, 12:23pm

I've done plenty of European tours with my garmin but I like to have a map as a backup just in case. The mapping is excellent and in many countries - Portugal, Greece, Spain for example far superior to the best paper map available. I plan the route on a day by day basis ahead of time using strava's open source mapping then up load to the garmin. The planning software also gives an altimetry profile so I have an indication of the difficulty of the ride. When I'm on the road, if I change my mind about the route I consult the map and then use the garmin navigate function to navigate from town to town. Generally, this works best if your destination is no more than 30-40kms away from where you are. In 6 or 7 years of doing this I can say that I've never really had a problem.

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Re: Navigating When Touring

Postby psmiffy » 22 Mar 2017, 12:54pm

Similarly I done many tours in Europe with a Garmin on the handlebars – and a map – The map is my primary method of navigation – folded in the morning to show the days run – unfolded from time to time so that I can decide on the big picture as I go along - the Garmin is there to show detail in the couple of km ahead of me – just pick the route off the map by eye – occasionally in the evening I let the Garmin navigate me to a supermarket if it can find one