pwa wrote:Apart from the practical aspects of cycling, all the commuting and so forth, what do we cycle for? What do we get out of it? One thing I get out of it is escaping from the humdrum of normal life. And that includes screens. Looking at screens. My handlebars now have no cycle computer, no GPS, and no phone. For many that would feel like being naked, exposed, but it is such a release! Not being in contact or contactable. Just for an hour or two.
Okay, I know, taking a phone and a GPS have practical benefits. I do tend to pack a phone, switched off, in the bag just in case. GPS would be handy on unfamiliar roads, but does nobody fancy seeing if they could do without it? Back to paper maps and observational skills? I'm not saying it would make things easy, but it would make a screen-free experience you are not going to get elsewhere in your life these days. And for a short time you will be free of that nagging little thought, "How am I for charge?"
You maybe used one of those fragile things like Garmins or iPhones that seem to eat battery, don't charge easily and get grumpy if they go flat. My phone lasts all day tracking and mapping on a full charge (screen not on all the time, but I don't need it all the time) and recharges happily from a battery pack at lunchtime, or in the handlebar bag if I must.
I currently use my phone as a souped-up paper map with an automatic "you are here" marker circle. The intended route is there, but just as a pen line like it would be on a paper map. I have used the voice/screen prompts in the past, but don't at the moment. I've used old-fashioned written-in-advance cue cards on my last two tours - not because of any anti-technological bias, but because I find them a bit more reliable than the automatic directions from apps. Sometimes it has meant I've taken slightly simpler routes to reduce the number of turns I'm watching out for, but that tends to be quicker anyway.
It may depend why one cycles. I ride to see more normal life, not to get away from it. Why does that make my cycling less real than yours?