Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Psamathe
Posts: 9791
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby Psamathe » 2 May 2019, 8:40pm

(Camping) I used solar panel setup and battery pack last year and it worked well (had mostly good weather). On a few occasions I did leave the battery pack on charge overnight in the shower block (on the basis that it was not the end of the world if I was unlucky). A couple of camp sites lent me an adaptor block and didn't charge me for electricity (realising I would be using trivial consumption compared to caravan hook-ups).

Ian

MrsHJ
Posts: 754
Joined: 19 Aug 2010, 1:03pm
Location: Dartmouth, Devon.

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby MrsHJ » 2 May 2019, 9:48pm

I use my iPhone and cycle.travel when on tour with Wi-fi in the evening ready for the next day and occasionally 4g during the day which I can then upload to my Garmin. The Garmin then spends all day irritating me with random switching off and lack of information so I sometimes check my position with google maps.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 45602
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby Mick F » 2 May 2019, 10:00pm

Mrs HJ
Which Garmin do you have?
Mine have been faultless ................. unless I let them do the navigating for themselves. :shock:

Far better, is to create a route/track on a computer, then transfer it to the Garmin to tell it what route to follow.
Mick F. Cornwall

Psamathe
Posts: 9791
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby Psamathe » 2 May 2019, 10:32pm

I managed for a month (pretty well every day) just creating routes on the Garmin itself. Sometimes a bit of a struggle due to a bug on the device (fixed in more recent firmware) but otherwise mostly worked through the rides.

1st month was cycle.travel and internet until the pre-my-Garmin GPS drove me so mad I had to find a shop and buy the Garmin. Despite my personal prejudice against Garmin it was a “breath of fresh air” compared to my previous struggles. The Garmin has it’s shortcomings but overall very glad I paid out for it (though maybe wish the store had had a lower spec/cheaper model).

Ian

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 305
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby HobbesOnTour » 3 May 2019, 8:05am

The disscussion has moved on to power needs which is not a bad thing to consider.
Toting a laptop places an extra burden in terms of charging, especially if you are not staying in "secure" accommodation such as hotels or B&Bs. I'm not a fan of sitting beside a laptop in a bathroom block of a campsite while it charges and while I might leave a powerbank to charge, I'm not leaving a laptop unattended.

As pointed out above, security is also an issue. Most people will carry a laptop in a pannier, meaning when you stop to sightsee or shop you either take the laptop out & carry it with you or suffer the anxiety of leaving it unattended. A tablet will fit in most barbags. On the transport issue, there are different types of hard drives and some are more suitable than others for transporting on a bike. Research carefully.

Depending on your tour length and duration, another factor to consider is possible replacement. If you depend on your tablet or laptop for navigation and other things and it breaks, then you have a problem. It's years since I used Apple products but on Android I can buy a new phone or tablet, find some wifi and restore everything as it was on the broken or lost device.

You don't say where you are going touring? That may have a large influence on what you need. If following a dedicated cycling route, you may not need any supplemental navigation. I toured for years following rivers, coasts and picking up (free) local maps..... and sometimes asking for directions!
My last tour was a roundtrip from Holland to Ireland. I plotted a route to Rotterdam from home, one from Hull to Holyhead. One through Ireland and one from Scotland to Hull. Each day I diverted off my route for a place to stay and the next morning cycled back to the route and onwards.

For shorter tours I tend to make several versions of a long route, send them to my gps device and use them if and when I want to get to a certiain place. That way I can follow my nose if I want and if needs be I can get to a predetermined place.

The planner that you use is also important. Komoot is one that is often talked about becasue it is relatively cheap, works on a phone and integrates easily with gps devices. I've tested it locally and here's the thing - it takes the shortest route every time! Here in NL that often means the cyclepaths beside the main roads when there are far nicer routes, slightly longer, but far nicer for touring. My way of thinking is that if I wouldn't use it on roads around where I live why would I use it in places I don't know? (The online, P.C. version is better in that it is easier to change the route, though it helps if you know the area).

While I loathe Google maps for anything other than general research for the bike, it has its advantages to direct you to the nearest hotel/shop/campsite.

Having said all that, I have used Osmand on an old android tablet as my back up-in-case-of-emergency navigator for years. Using an OTG cable I can link it directly to my gps device. Simple, cheap and it works.

Richard Fairhurst
Posts: 1350
Joined: 2 Mar 2008, 4:57pm
Location: Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 7 May 2019, 11:13am

I've recently started using RouteCourse on my Edge 520 which is a nice little app.

Once you've installed it on the Garmin via ConnectIQ, it gives you a link and access code to punch into its website (dynamicwatch.link; you need to register an account there too).

From then on, you can use that website to open GPS tracks from cycle.travel (or many other websites). cycle.travel's GPS export button has a field marked "GPX track link (copy and paste into apps)" - you can copy that link and paste it into the Import function on dynamicwatch.link.

Once you've done that, the RouteCourse app on your Garmin will talk to dynamicwatch.link and list all the routes you've imported. Clicking a route on the Garmin will download it, and from then it's accessible via 'Courses' as usual.

The good thing about this is that there are no cables or file downloads required - it all happens wirelessly.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

User avatar
andrew_s
Posts: 4791
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby andrew_s » 8 May 2019, 6:17pm

I just use the GPS itself.

Being possessed of the ability to use a map, I used to plan the routes on a smallish scale paper map (1:200,000 to 1:400,000), then create the route directly on the GPS by driving the pointer to successive points on the on-screen map, creating waypoint and giving it a name at each, then, when I'd finished, create a route and add the waypoints to it in the correct order.

I'd then just navigate the route in "follow road" mode, using shortest distances between waypoints. There's a certain amount of skill in placing your waypoints such that the shortest route between them is the way you want to go, whilst also minimising the number of waypoints to be created.

These days, I generally just use the GPS as on-screen mapping, either remembering where I'd intended to go, or making the route up as I ride along.

bohrsatom
Posts: 438
Joined: 20 May 2013, 4:36pm

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby bohrsatom » 10 May 2019, 9:17pm

Richard Fairhurst wrote:I've recently started using RouteCourse on my Edge 520 which is a nice little app.


Thanks for mentioning this Richard, RouteCourse is a great app. It's easier for me to upload my routes to their site then download via the Connect IQ App vs trying to transfer it via Garmin Connect itself

User avatar
RickH
Posts: 4375
Joined: 5 Mar 2012, 6:39pm
Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby RickH » 10 May 2019, 9:36pm

If you are using a Garmin you are probably already signed up to Garmin Connect.

The Connect Mobile app now has the ability to create multipoint routes (menu >training >courses >create course >select type >custom) I don't know how recently the feature appeared but it wasn't there earlier in the year & I only noticed it this week. One feature it has is the "popularity heatmap" that shows where people actually go rather than theoretical routes.

Of course you can route on the unit itself which may be easier on some models than others but it doesn't need any Internet connection (which Connect & other planners do). My Edge 1000 is similar to the new Connect Mobile option (but lacks the "popularity").

landsurfer
Posts: 4636
Joined: 27 Oct 2012, 9:13pm
Location: Rotherham

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby landsurfer » 10 May 2019, 9:39pm

I have used a Garmin Edge Touring for a number of years now , but only as a data logger.
I use a hard copy data mapping system that does not require charging, allows access in all weathers, can be viewed by a number of light systems after dark.
It can be expensive if chosen in the wrong scale but alway allows access.

My Garmin and my OS Maps are the best navigating system i have ever used in my many years on the high mountains with and without my bike ...

On our LEJOG last June / July we often reverted to the OS Map after the Garmin and the Lezyne could not agree on the route ... :)
Not all those that wander are lost.

The Road Goes on Forever.

bohrsatom
Posts: 438
Joined: 20 May 2013, 4:36pm

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby bohrsatom » 10 May 2019, 10:36pm

RickH wrote:The Connect Mobile app now has the ability to create multipoint routes (menu >training >courses >create course >select type >custom) I don't know how recently the feature appeared but it wasn't there earlier in the year & I only noticed it this week. One feature it has is the "popularity heatmap" that shows where people actually go rather than theoretical routes.


According to DCRainmaker this feature was launched very recently (see his review for the Edge 830 https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/04/gar ... eview.html):

This new manual route creation bit is actually brand new – introduced in the last week or two (to everyone, not just Edge 530/830 peoples), and frankly, it sucks. I don’t know how it could be so bad, but it really is. Having come from the Easy Route app world, where I just tappity-tap my way through a route, the Garmin Connect Mobile experience is just super clunky and imprecise, crazily zooming in and out like a drunk kid with a camera for the first time. Yes, you can get the job done, but it’ll take you way longer

geocycle
Posts: 1667
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby geocycle » 11 May 2019, 10:11am

I use cycle.travel now on an Android with google chrome. I then open the downloaded gpx file in wahoo element bolt.

( when I read that post I realise what a complete mess technology has made of the English language!)

User avatar
Lance Dopestrong
Posts: 1227
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 1:52pm

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 11 May 2019, 10:17am

One of the advantages of being involved in SAR is having f free access to MapYX for the whole country in Explorer and 1:10,000, and its route planning abilities (for searches) is superb for cycling. I don't have a smartphone, but use a 4G table for touring, not that I've done much lately. The battery lasts 4 or 5 days, and it's a lot more versatile. A bit bigger mind, but it slips into the rear face of a cannier iPad it it wasn't really there because they're very slim.
https://themediocrecyclist.home.blog
Self employed MIAS L5.B Instructor.
Warwickshire Lowland Rescue Bike lead.
IPMBA certified member.
Cyctech C2 hammer and crowbar bodger.
Lapsed CTC Ride Leader, amateur hour stuff from the fun old days.

sjs
Posts: 714
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 10:08pm
Location: Hitchin

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby sjs » 11 May 2019, 10:36am

I recently discovered Locus Map Pro (recommended on here many times I know). Used with the Brouter routing app and a biggish SD card for maps and routing data it provides very decent offline route planning, at least for Android. Gpx's can be transferred to the irritating old Oregon 450 via an OTG cable.

The Oregon is (more or less) waterproof, and has a touch screen that works in the rain and when I'm wearing gloves. It is very inferior in all other ways to any Android smartphone running any of several navigation apps.

Psamathe
Posts: 9791
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Planning routes when you are on tour. PC? Tablet?

Postby Psamathe » 11 May 2019, 11:00am

RickH wrote:.....
The Connect Mobile app now has the ability to create multipoint routes (menu >training >courses >create course >select type >custom) I don't know how recently the feature appeared but it wasn't there earlier in the year & I only noticed it this week. One feature it has is the "popularity heatmap" that shows where people actually go rather than theoretical routes......

Last summer when I 1st got my Garmin 1030 (mid tour so no prior familiarisation) I found it sending me on some pretty daft routes for no apparent good reason (weird detours). So I experimented and it was this "popularity heatmap" on the routing that was the cause (disabling it on the device immediately resulted in the routes being more sensible).

My suspicion (without evidence) is that there are probably far far far more people using the Edge units for training than for touring. In any given locality the Garmin recoded/uploaded cycle tracks will predominantly be from lycra clad head down and monitor your cadence & HR types - who probably have their set routes they do a couple of times a week. So I suspected Garmin's "popularity heatmap" would be very biased towards routes favoured and frequently used by training types rather than those favoured by those touring seeking quiet countryside ... Get a club training run where a large proportion taking part have Garmin devices and it would take months/years before touring cyclists recording/uploading routes balance out that single club raining ride.

(My experience was based on routes created in Netherlands)

Ian