Navigation pain

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Psamathe
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Navigation pain

Postby Psamathe » 20 Sep 2018, 10:57am

pwa wrote:I've never used a bike GPS, so how quick and easy is it to cobble together a route and get it onto your device? Is it easy to learn? I'm not thinking of getting one, but I'm curious.

My hand-held Satmap is okay for walking, but it simply shows you where you are on an OS map of your choice. So you are reading a map, but with the advantage of having your current position indicated. And the map you see is less visible in sunlight, and liable to result in a crash if you try to use it while cycling. I still prefer to also carry a paper map when I am walking in unfamiliar territory because I can look at a wider area and see how the bit I'm on fits into the wider network of paths and lanes.

I found it depended on the device and the type/quality of the route you want. In my personal experience:
1 https://cycle.travel to Wahoo Elemnt - https://cycle.travel really easy to create/tweak/etc a good route and download it. Once on your phone/tablet if you have internet getting it to Wahoo GPS straightforward. Elemnt does have other means/3rd parties for route creation but the created routes were (in my opinion/experience) inferior.

2. Garmin 1030. Seems there are many ways to create routes and get them onto the device. I used mine with the device itself creating the route. Routes were not as "good" as the https://cycle.travel routes but they were appropriate for bikes and being created on the device were already there. Could be a bit of a fiddle specifying the route on a small screen but not really a problem.

Ian

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NUKe
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Re: Navigation pain

Postby NUKe » 20 Sep 2018, 11:14am

pwa wrote:I've never used a bike GPS, so how quick and easy is it to cobble together a route and get it onto your device? Is it easy to learn? I'm not thinking of getting one, but I'm curious.

My hand-held Satmap is okay for walking, but it simply shows you where you are on an OS map of your choice. So you are reading a map, but with the advantage of having your current position indicated. And the map you see is less visible in sunlight, and liable to result in a crash if you try to use it while cycling. I still prefer to also carry a paper map when I am walking in unfamiliar territory because I can look at a wider area and see how the bit I'm on fits into the wider network of paths and lanes.


That is not an easy question to answer. Loading a Garmin is as easy as loading a file onto a different drive. Planning the route can be as easy as dropping a couple of way points letting the computer calculate saving and then loading onto the GPS, however life is never that simple. I can spend hours pondering routes and tweaking them.

I use routino Linux based for planning as this gives you enough control over the parameters, to get the computer to pick the route you would. For instance if I am riding a road bike or the recumbent I don’t want to be following a cycle track that is across a ploughed field. Or meandering through a housing estate just because that is the way that local council has determined a cycle route should go, nor dual carriageways at the other end of the scale. Google street view is another useful route planning tool.

With my first gps I toured Northern Ireland without planning routes as it only had basic mapping. I found it had most small towns on the map and I could head for the next town and so long as I headed in the general direction then I’d get there.
NUKe
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PH
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Re: Navigation pain

Postby PH » 20 Sep 2018, 11:36am

In the hundreds of times I've done it I've never noticed the time it took, so as an experiment I've just used cycletravel to plan a route from Derby to Harrogate which I might ride in a couple of weeks. Dragged the default in a couple of places to match my preferences - avoid some unsurfaced and urban sections, use a bit of A road that I know is OK, visit a cafe I like - saved, downloaded to PC, loaded to Garmin, took around five minutes. I'd be happy to just ride that, or I might spend hours making adjustments, much like I might with a paper map, choice is mine. Or with either I could just set off in the right direction and use the tools available if and when it was an advantage to do so.

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100%JR
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Re: Navigation pain

Postby 100%JR » 20 Sep 2018, 1:36pm

cycleruk wrote:But my Garmin came in very useful when in Majorca, where obviously I don't know the roads

On our first visit to Mallorca I'd bought a little waterproof cycling map so I knew exactly where our routes were going before we got there.I studied gpx files of recommended routes sent by a friend then highlighted them on the map.The lady I ride with put the routes into her Garmin 810 as a back up(she insisted)....which threw a wobbly on ride 2 resulting in her relying on me and my map.TBH Mallorca is pretty straight forward to navigate anyway :mrgreen: On our second visit last year I knew the routes so only used the map a couple of times on a route we'd not done previously.
mjr wrote:Out here where roads are fairly sparse and far between, that can easily leave you turning right twice across a busy A road of theoretically-60-actually-80+ mph motor traffic. That's really not what cycling is about! GPS is a boon for avoiding such unpleasantness.

This is why I check the route I'm doing before I do it so I'll know not to go on roads of that nature.Luckily where i ride from home I can easily avoid such roads.
pwa wrote:I've never used a bike GPS, so how quick and easy is it to cobble together a route and get it onto your device? Is it easy to learn? I'm not thinking of getting one, but I'm curious.
My hand-held Satmap is okay for walking, but it simply shows you where you are on an OS map of your choice. So you are reading a map, but with the advantage of having your current position indicated. And the map you see is less visible in sunlight, and liable to result in a crash if you try to use it while cycling. I still prefer to also carry a paper map when I am walking in unfamiliar territory because I can look at a wider area and see how the bit I'm on fits into the wider network of paths and lanes.

I had a Satmap Active 10 when they first hit the market and although useful for walking/MTBing I sold it as I rarely used it.I got Satmaps Digital mapping free too which was easier than plotting routes on the unit.I sold it to a friend who still uses it.Plotting/uploading routes to a Garmin etc is pretty much the same as doing it on the Satmap(unless of course you plot your routes on the actual Satmap unit).

whoof
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Re: Navigation pain

Postby whoof » 20 Sep 2018, 4:58pm

I love maps, have a shelf full and carry them with me if I'm in an area I don't know. I also carry a laminated route card showing directions with me on Audaxes.
But I also can't remember more than one or two turns ahead and find stopping to look at the map find where I am and where I should go an annoyance, I want to ride my bike and not take part in orienteering.

Other may love the freedom of going where a compass or their instinct tell them or even getting lost, but the OP has said they find navigating a pain not a carefree joy.

So a map that shows me where I am and the route (that I took the time to plan and chose) is extremely useful.

+1 for the Garmin Etrex 20

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Cugel
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Re: Navigation pain

Postby Cugel » 20 Sep 2018, 7:33pm

pwa wrote:I've never used a bike GPS, so how quick and easy is it to cobble together a route and get it onto your device? Is it easy to learn? I'm not thinking of getting one, but I'm curious.

My hand-held Satmap is okay for walking, but it simply shows you where you are on an OS map of your choice. So you are reading a map, but with the advantage of having your current position indicated. And the map you see is less visible in sunlight, and liable to result in a crash if you try to use it while cycling. I still prefer to also carry a paper map when I am walking in unfamiliar territory because I can look at a wider area and see how the bit I'm on fits into the wider network of paths and lanes.


A GPS is useful up in the fells or other trackless place (or even a tracked place) when the fog comes down or it gets truly dark. The GPS gives a map ref to tell you where you are, so the map (lit by a torch if necessary) and compass can steer you about, as you say.

This at least allows you to continue understanding and doing the navigation yourself. But perhaps I am just a control freak and can't bear to give myself up to the clutches of a route-finding robot that might go-HAL on me?

Cugel

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bigjim
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Re: Navigation pain

Postby bigjim » 20 Sep 2018, 8:32pm

squeaker wrote:
Glyno wrote:If indeed a gadget with pre-loaded routes is really the only solution, what could people suggest (preferably without breaking the bank)?
S/H MotoG 3 (water resistant, ~£50 off e-bay) + OsmAnd app + route planning in cycle.travel. Works for me, but you might want to add a £10 power bank for long rides...

I use the same system. I also take my ancient Garmin Legend and have a pre-loaded breadcrumb track to follow. I have to wear glasses to follow the old garmin but it is a good backup to the MotoG as the batteries last for days. I also have a paper map but I have found it frustrating pre garmin days to keep taking it out, unfolding it and working out where I am. It's alright saying take your time etc, but I like pre-booked accommodation or to know which campsite I am stopping at and I don't want to be arriving late because of having to stop so often looking at maps and asking locals. Try navigating across Paris from CDG to Fountainbleu using a map! Been there done that.
Putting the MotoG in my back pocket and using Osmand, I can listen to turn by turn directions just like the Car Satnav, which for me, is brilliant and removes a possible frustrating experience that I just don't enjoy.
Nothing left to prove. http://adenough1.blogspot.co.uk/

ossie
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Re: Navigation pain

Postby ossie » 21 Sep 2018, 6:04pm

I use a Garmin etrex Legend HCX when touring.

My longest trip with it was 1500 miles to Switzerland and back. I downloaded the route from cycletravel and like Jim above simply followed the pre loaded track, in my case a nice pink line. Its been used on numerous tours, takes AA batteries (the lithiums will last 4 days) and is bombproof.

I download Archies camping as POI's (points of interest) so along my route I will see a nice big A which indicates a camp site.

The beauty is that you don't have to religiously follow the track, however it's invaluable in large towns and cities. My guess is the later models have a clearer screen and more memory.