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Cue-sheet - Are they still useful to the long distance rider ?

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Cue-sheet - Are they still useful to the long distance rider ?

Old 12-26-18, 07:09 AM
  #1  
Michelangelo
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Cue-sheet - Are they still useful to the long distance rider ?

Hello, this is a question the replies to which are important to the bicycle club "Abeille-cyclotourisme" (<https://www.abeille-cyclotourisme.fr/index.htm>), mainly its "Randonnées de la Malmnaison". (<https://www.abeille-cyclotourisme.fr/organisations/rallye_de_la_malmaison.html>). Other bike clubs may share the same question and be interested the know its answer.*

Are cue-sheets still useful in the participants's eyes ?

To avoid getting lost while riding a Long-distance randonnée (like "Paris-Brest-Paris") (<http://www.paris-brest-paris.org/index2.php?lang=en&cat=accueil&page=edito>), I know of four methods:
  1. Relying of the other riders (no map, no cue-sheet, no GPS device, no-nothing beyond faith in the perfection of other riders route selection);
  2. Relying on a marked-up map, visible while riding; (this was a major tool in France);
  3. Relying on a cue-sheet, visible and readable while riding ( I believe that this technique was a major tool in the US;
  4. Relying on a GPS device, fed with a GPS track of the route (this is, for sure, a major tool to avoid reading maps and still not depend on others rider' instructions).*
At time moves on, the number of people reading and using cue-sheets tends to diminish, replaced by people who have actually purchased and do use a GPS device : use it to guide them.*
Hence my question to our wise community is:
  1. Is it still useful to prepare a cue-sheet ?
  2. Would it be sufficient to provide the participants with the GPS-device-readable .gpx file describing the route ?
  3. Would it also be useful to provide the participants with*a marked-up map highlighting the route ?
  4. (This question) Would it also be useful to provide the participants with a cue-sheet describing the route to be followed?;
  5. Any other suggestion ?
Focused on the long-distance participants, non-long-distance_participants are welcome to contribute,*
In advance, thank you all a for your experience.
*

Last edited by Michelangelo; 12-26-18 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 12-26-18, 08:13 AM
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Yes, I think a paper cue sheet is still necessary. I see three reasons:

1. Not every rider has made the transition to using a GPS-based computer as a guide.

2. Not every rider who uses a GPS-based computer actually knows how to use it effectively.

3. Things go wrong. Batteries die unexpectedly, water gets into the unit, the route just seems wrong... more things can go wrong than I can possibly imagine.

For one reason or another, it is sometimes necessary to get out the paper cue sheet to figure out where the route goes.
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Old 12-26-18, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
3. Things go wrong. Batteries die unexpectedly, water gets into the unit, the route just seems wrong... more things can go wrong than I can possibly imagine.
I agree with all 3 reasons but especially #3 as that has happened to me. I really like redundancy whether I'm biking OR hiking out in the woods (Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin).

I have also appreciated when route owners have taken the time to point out hazards on their cuesheets. One permanent I rode had a section in a river valley. It was sunny until I descended into the valley and then it was fog that limited the visibility to probably less than 200 yards. There was a high speed four lane road without traffic controls that I had to cross in the fog. Knowing this hazard existed allowed me to continue on very cautiously and safely. It was a huge relief to later climb out of the valley and back into the sunshine.
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Old 12-26-18, 09:40 AM
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You don't need anything on PBP because the route is well marked with paper arrows. I got off course once because of a roundabout on the way into Brest. Although you don't want to get too far behind because people steal the arrows on their way back. I vaguely remember hearing that the organizers gave arrows to people to avoid this. If you go to someone's house and they have a collection of arrows dating back to 2011 or before, punch them in the neck. I never did understand the PBP cue sheet anyway. I suspect that if you do figure it out beforehand, it would be difficult to remember how it works on the road. If you count on a gps for PBP, I suspect that you have to carry the capacity to charge it yourself.

On any other randonnee, I think a cue sheet is necessary. Depending on the organizer, a gps might also be necessary. On endless mountains in 2013, we marked the road before and after each turn and people still got off course. Including me. This is a pretty massive undertaking for a 1240k ride. One of the pre-riders complained bitterly that I hadn't marked a couple of turns before they rode. It rained for 2 weeks straight, so I got to those after they rode. I was impressed they were that dependent on the markings. OTOH, they pre-rode during the 2 weeks of rain. But the EM cue sheet was impeccable down to the last turn, which can't be said for the other 1200k's I have ridden. In one case, I made my own cue sheet, and have told others that they want to do the same on that organizer's rides.
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Old 12-26-18, 10:07 AM
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Yes -- GPS with cue sheet and/or map as backup in case something goes wrong.

Full disclosure, I've never done a randonee or brevet etc., but I frequently do long distance gravel events.

I resisted navigation devices for a long time, mainly because of concerns of battery life and other technological failures, and I'm pretty good at reading a map. However, I bought a Wahoo Bolt because of all the other features that I wanted, and since it has navigation anyway I started using it and I'm a total convert now. It's been flawless for me. But I still always have cue sheets and maps in my pocket as a backup because you just never know.

Side note: There are certain events where they refuse to provide GPS files as some sort of bizarre point of pride or honor or legitimacy. I don't agree with their logic and I won't participate in those events. The whole point of these events is a test of riding your bike -- not your land navigation skills. I'm perfectly capable of reading a map and I don't need a bike ride to prove that.
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Old 12-26-18, 11:05 AM
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I always got lost on brevets, although I used both cue sheets ( that I never follow 100% till I get lost) and GPS (1st generation eTrex Vista) that is very slow and has no turn-by-turn directions. I also got lost following other riders that say that they know where to go.

The only brevet I was not getting lost was PBP because it was very well marked and I was riding with so many people that new where they were going. I am hoping I will update to a newer GPS that has turn-by turn directions and can be used with an external battery charger working while riding. Do not know what model to get yet.

Anyone knows what GPS can be used plugged in and has turn by turn directions? I would love to get rid of the idea of cue sheets.
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Old 12-26-18, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
Anyone knows what GPS can be used plugged in and has turn by turn directions? I would love to get rid of the idea of cue sheets.
I have both a Garmin eTrek 20 and a Garmin GPSMAP 64ST. I know that the GPSMAP 64ST can be used while plugged in. I'm pretty sure that if you have loaded your route properly, then you can get turn by turn directions on the GPSMAP 64ST. I just follow the "pink line" for the routes that I load on both units. I adjust the zoom level of the map to give me about 1/4 to 1/2 mile of the upcoming route which is sufficient for me. I like to be able to see the topographical map while I ride. Both units display in color.
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Old 12-26-18, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Michelangelo View Post
Any other suggestion ?
Use ridewithgps.com or a similar (free-access) website to enable users to generate a map or cue-sheet or whatever suits their needs.
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Old 12-26-18, 11:47 AM
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1) Is it still useful to prepare a cue-sheet ?
I have my route in my Edge 800 and carry a cue sheet and have a separate small computer with odometer.

2) Would it be sufficient to provide the participants with the GPS-device-readable .gpx file describing the route ?
Probably on PBP, probably not on brevets with fewer riders.

3)Would it also be useful to provide the participants with*a marked-up map highlighting the route ?
Not in my opinion.

4)(This question) Would it also be useful to provide the participants with a cue-sheet describing the route to be followed?;
Yes

Any other suggestion ?
In lieu of a full cue sheet, just sheets with controls and major landmarks or towns, no more than 80-100 lines, possibly many fewer.
I agree with furnishing a RidewithGPS link so users can generate their own files for GPS devices and their own cue sheets. This is what I do for group rides and events.
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Old 12-26-18, 12:20 PM
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Garmin 800 or better can be charged while riding. Not sure about the 520 or newer. Also, the Wahoo GPSes can be charged while riding.

There was a route I rode for the first time and forgot to print a cue sheet. So I d/l the cue sheet onto my phone and left it open. I think I might have gotten a little off route on that course once, but I knew where I was going so it never became obvious that I was off course.

I only got lost because of my gps once, it was in a town with a lot of turns. I also didn't realize the route was going to turn back on itself. I feel pretty uncomfortable without a cue sheet. My GPS has a number of deficits as far as guiding me. It's very slow for one thing.
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Old 12-27-18, 11:25 AM
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I like having a paper cue sheet, but I don't really need one if the controls are printed on the brevet card. On day 3 of the Mac and Cheese I couldn't find the cue sheets we printed, so I printed them on the printer in the hotel business center for the people who asked for one. IIRC I printed 8 copies for 55 riders. Only one rider told me that he didn't have a GPS and relied solely on the cue sheet, so it seems most riders were using the GPS files on their bike GPS with their phone as a backup. For 2019 brevets we have discussed making the cue-sheets available online for riders to download to their phone or print for themselves in advance if they want one since so few people actually need them to navigate anymore. Preparing the cue sheet is not that much extra effort if you're creating the GPS files and pre-riding the route anyway, so I don't see any reason not to at least have one available if people want it.
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Old 12-28-18, 10:31 AM
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@kingston, making the cue sheets available to riders would be a good idea. Some motels' office centers use inkjet printers, and some of those inks readily dissolve in water. You can see the potential for disaster on a rainy brevet, leaky ziplock bag, and no cues in the middle of the night. Much better to let the riders take responsibility -- laser printed cue sheets hold up as well as the paper they're printed on.
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Old 12-28-18, 02:38 PM
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Thank you !

Thanks to all of you: rim, GadgetGirlIL, unterhausen, ksryder, Andrey, wgscott, Carbonfiberboy, kingston, and pdlamb.

To summarise here my takeaway of all replies on my main question ("Would it also be useful to provide the participants with a cue-sheet describing the route to be followed ?"): I read the answer as a "Yes" for rim, GadgetGirlIL, unterhausen, ksryder, Carbonfiberboy, kingston, and pdlamb (7 out of 9).

Additional suggestions were offered: Make the cue-sheet (or a tool allowing the production of a cue-sheet) available online, so that interested riders would be able to print them before leaving home, preferably with laser prints which resists better to rain.

Believing beforehand that, as the US riders are, overeall, more equipped with GPS devices that the rest of the world, the majority opinion on bike forums would be that cue-sheets were becoming useless; I have been quite surprised to the contrary. Quite surprised indeed by the quasi-unanimous suggestion that: although GPS devices are a fantastic plus, they are also always subject to the quite possible situation whereby they become short of electricity, are mis-used, simply fail or become momentarily un-readable.

This reminds me of the return from Brest through les Monts d'Arrée in 2007, in pitch-dark night under pouring rain (ah, PBP !).

I take this as a "Yes" and will integrate that in our thinking for the 2019 edition of Les Randonnées de la Malmaison.

Many other suggestions were offered. wgscott, I tried ridewithgps.com, did not succeed to use its free version for cue-sheet production. I then tried its french free equivalent roadbookmoto.fr, which actually worked quite nicely as you suggested: a good alternative. Over here, many French riders and clubs use openrunner (www.openrunner.com/), which produce maps and .GPX files but no cue-sheet. We do too. Roadbookmoto.com is an alternative, specifically for cue-sheets.

Thanks, again. I am very grateful to you all.
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Old 12-28-18, 11:46 PM
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My vote is "Yes". I'll go into more detail about that later.
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Old 12-29-18, 08:24 AM
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ridewithgps.com can create a custom cue sheet pdf. I think you need the $50 a year paid membership to create them.
I selected the columns and the format.

If I think riders will be using the cue sheet, I edit the turns list that's part of the route page. I'll delete a few redundant entries, add a couple of others, and clean up some of the road name descriptions.

Here's a test route:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/3635483

It's cue sheet pdf is attached. I didn't do any editing of this route, just generated the pdf.

~~~~
Here's the cue pdf options:




Attached Files
File Type: pdf
ohio_example_1.pdf (638.0 KB, 5 views)

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Old 12-29-18, 11:39 AM
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Our club has a paid RWGPS membership, so any route designer can print the nice one, but any of the services is fine, it doesn't have to be RWGPS. The RWGPS cue sheets aren't as nice as some of the more customized formats out there, but they're really easy, and in the US most people know how to use the site so it's convenient. (Some riders like to preprocess the GPS too -- my old GPS was very easily confused by out-and-back sections, so I would split a route at the controls into separate routes if there was an out-and-back.)

I do think one important thing to remember is that different countries mark roads very differently, so what information people are looking for might vary. GPSes in the US often have different road names than the signs on the ground, and it's helpful to either customize the GPS cues or have a paper cue sheet with the names that match the signs. I know in some parts of Europe cue sheets just tell you the next town and you just follow signs for the town, but that's not the way it works here -- there aren't signs like that in the Northeastern US.

A few things I do: I create the GPS files and the paper from the same source, so any custom cues "watch out for sand on descent, last water available for twenty miles at the gas station on right, etc" are on both, and I fix the road names. I generally find almost everyone takes a cue sheet, but most of them stuff them away somewhere as backup. Some people like to have it available ahead of time to preprint larger text because they don't wear reading glasses riding.

There are some riding groups that are GPS-only -- a local shop requires them but has a few to lend out to riders, but the randonneurs tend towards wanting the paper backup. Some larger rides have pavement arrows or signs (these are generally big club or charity centuries with hundreds of riders, but not generally randonneuring ones, again.
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Old 12-29-18, 06:08 PM
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I use a GPS and don't really need the cuesheet. I don't think cuesheets work very well at all.

I still think they need to be made available.
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Old 12-29-18, 10:02 PM
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Another option to the 1-4 is "Relying on road markings or event signs". I've not seen this done on randonneuring events, but it is frequently used for local rallies. Typically, randonneuring events cover a lot more distance with much lower rider density, much fewer (if any) volunteers, have less route inspection immediately prior, and assume more experienced riders, so this method is not as practical.

For Randonneurs USA, the "official" route is in fact the cue sheet, so while the other forms may all be used as desired, the cue sheet will normally be available, and may be the only item updated in the event of last-minute changes. Additionally, any safety warnings ("Caution- Diagonal RR tracks!", "Low water crossing, slippery when wet" etc) will be on the cue sheet and not on GPS routes. Exact control name ("7- Eleven, Acme, Texas) or choices ("Open Control, any store, Acme Texas") or specific items ("Historical Marker on the right") will be noted on the cue sheet but not on GPS routes.

Local practice, a paper map of the route is available (but not necessarily printed), but if actually printed, is usually printed small enough, and with little enough detail, that it is useless to actually follow the route. It is useful to see the prevailing directions as compared to wind direction, etc. It will usually be derived from a RideWithGPS file. A marked-up map of larger scael would actually work okay, but would take up a lot more space, and probably involve stopping at each turn.

For maximum effectiveness, a cue sheet needs to be prepared and proof-read by people that normally use cue sheets. It needs to be compared to the road signs actually in place, and may require scouting the route physically to actually finalize. More to the point here, Google maps has errors in road markings where the road signs simply don't match the map markings, and if you rely on RWGPS to generate the cue sheet it may or may not be usable. One other little glitch is that RWGPS likes to omit U-turns from a cue sheet for some reason.

The cue sheet needs to be coordinated with the way riders ride. For example, I've heard of a few riders who simply didn't use any kind of odometer. That's fine, except our cue sheets are set up specifically to use odometers. So when the cue says "Turn at the unmarked road at Mile 102.3", that's meaningful only if you have a reliable odometer. If not, you might say "Turn at the unmarked road just past the red barn after the Acme Cemetery" or something more specific like that.

All that said, riders will make-do with whatever they have to. But the point of randonneuring is doing the ride, not deciphering somebody's bad route-indicating. So the point of using GPS, cue sheets, whatever, is to make it as easy to follow the route as can practically be done. If you are promoting a ride and furnishing ONLY GPS routes, be sure and publicize that far and wide beforehand, don't let people sign up and then surprise them.

Seems like I've heard US residents describing the PBP cue sheets as essentially useless. I think the issue there was a different format and arrangement, plus a language barrier. I've heard a couple of US riders describing their ride in Japan, and they relied almost entirely on GPS, due mainly to language issues using cue sheets or road signs.

I've never used Garmins or similar units. I've ridden with lots of people who have, have seen the utility and also the problems encountered. Some of the problems I've seen:
-Loaded wrong route, outdated route, the map had errors not previously noted, etc. You're on the route, but the Garmin says you aren't for reasons unknown.
-Ran out of power partway through the ride. Part of the issue is units holding a charge for less time than they used to so what used to work for a 200k no longer does.
-Hit a big bump and the unit falls off the bike and goes bouncing down the pavement. Don't remember if that did it in or not.
-Unit stolen off bike at a control.
-Software/hardware glitches of various kinds, simply not being able to get it to work like it should when it should, or having to restart midway through, etc. No details available, but have seen these things cursed on multiple occasions. In most cases, the people were riding in groups where it didn't end their ride, just frustrated them.

A solution to a lot of these and other problems is "ride in a group and follow the other people". But still, you need to be prepared to ride solo, too. There's no end of potential issues using cue sheets, for that matter, but that list is part of the reason not rely exclusively on one system.

I don't know what percentage of local randonneurs use Garmin or similar units- maybe 75%? Not all of us, but a good many. I'm not opposed to them, just have other things I'd rather spend my money on.
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Old 12-29-18, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Another option to the 1-4 is "Relying on road markings or event signs". I've not seen this done on randonneuring events, but it is frequently used for local rallies. Typically, randonneuring events cover a lot more distance with much lower rider density, much fewer (if any) volunteers, have less route inspection immediately prior, and assume more experienced riders, so this method is not as practical.
like I mentioned above, this was done on the Endless Mountains 1240k in 2013. I was pretty annoyed on the ride when I found that some of the markings I had painted 2 weeks before had been freshly paved over. And I was riding with someone who told me he hadn't seen any markings just as he was riding over one. So it's nice to have them, but you can't rely on them. OTOH, some of them are still there 5 years later. And some think it's not properly sporting to have the route marked.
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Old 12-30-18, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
like I mentioned above, this was done on the Endless Mountains 1240k in 2013. I was pretty annoyed on the ride when I found that some of the markings I had painted 2 weeks before had been freshly paved over. And I was riding with someone who told me he hadn't seen any markings just as he was riding over one. So it's nice to have them, but you can't rely on them. OTOH, some of them are still there 5 years later. And some think it's not properly sporting to have the route marked.
I've done that! I was looking for large blue arrows in the cycling line (what they used where I lived for a lot of sporting events - running, cycling, etc.) ... but the marking was a tiny white symbol right on the edge of the pavement. I'd never seen anything like it before. Fortunately, a fellow rider pointed it out and explained what the symbol meant.
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Old 12-30-18, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Some of the problems I've seen:
There are all sorts of problems with cuesheets too.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
-Loaded wrong route, outdated route,
This is not a "garmin" problem. It's a user problem.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
- the map had errors not previously noted, etc.
This can be an issue but it's not that hard to deal with (it takes some experience). You don't really even need a map on the GPS.

I think these sorts of issues can be confusing to people. I suspect they don't realize that following the "purple line" is sufficient to know where to go (it might not be exactly easy to follow the purple line). One can usually work-through "map errors" but knowing how to use the device.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
You're on the route, but the Garmin says you aren't for reasons unknown.
The Garmins show the track and your location. They do this very reliably. It's not that hard to look at the map and see that you are on the route.
They can give "off course" warnings that aren't quite true. People should treat these as instructions to "look at the map".

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
-Ran out of power partway through the ride. Part of the issue is units holding a charge for less time than they used to so what used to work for a 200k no longer does.
You need an external battery for longer rides. This isn't hard to deal with either. It can be an issue if it's raining.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
-Hit a big bump and the unit falls off the bike and goes bouncing down the pavement. Don't remember if that did it in or not.
That can happen. Mostly this is the result of the mounting tabs breaking. Most of the newer units let you add a lanyard.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
-Unit stolen off bike at a control.
A nuisance but not that hard to manage.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
-Software/hardware glitches of various kinds, simply not being able to get it to work like it should when it should, or having to restart midway through, etc. No details available, but have seen these things cursed on multiple occasions. In most cases, the people were riding in groups where it didn't end their ride, just frustrated them.
Some of the Garmins are not as reliable as others. Often, it seems that it takes Garmin a while to shake-out the bugs in newer units. The old 800 wasn't able to handle long rides and would crash in painful ways (restarting ride recording every 125 miles avoided this problem).

Sometimes, "not being able to get it to work like it should when it should" is a result of people not really understanding how to use the units. I suspect many people expect the units to "tell them what to do". That really isn't a goods strategy. To use them well, you have to understand maps and how to use them on the unit.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
A solution to a lot of these and other problems is "ride in a group and follow the other people".
This isn't a solution at all. I've seen a few cases where experienced randos relying on cuesheets go the wrong way.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
But still, you need to be prepared to ride solo, too.
Absolutely.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
There's no end of potential issues using cue sheets, for that matter, ....
There are lots of problems with cuesheets. Yet people criticizing GPS use tend to ignore the problems with cuesheets.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I'm not opposed to them, just have other things I'd rather spend my money on.
Given the amount of time and effort it takes to train for long rides, the cost of a $250 GPS unit that can be used over numerous years is small potatoes.

Using a GPS lets me do the ride at a faster pace. That gives me more time to sleep. That's well worth the small extra cost (to me).

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-30-18 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 12-30-18, 10:32 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
There's no end of potential issues using cue sheets, for that matter, ....
Why not also list the problems with cuesheets?

- Often confusing. Sometimes, the names on the cuesheets don't match the street signs.
- Not always correct.
- Often hard to use in complicated intersections.
- Typically requires keeping track of leg distance when cycle computers show total distance (requiring you to do the math while riding).
- Show cumulative distance which rarely matches the cumulative distance shown on your cycling computer.
- Looking for street signs can often be difficult. You often need to be quite close to the sign to be able to read it. This can mean one has to take turns more slowly.
- It's hard to keep track of your location on the cuesheet.
- It can be hard to read the cuesheet. Especially, at night.
- If you miss a turn, you really have no idea about that until you expect the next turn.
- If you go off course, the cuesheet is close to useless. It provides no real help to get back on course. One is stuck having to u-turn and read the cuesheet backwards (given the requirement of having to stay on the course for brevets, this is pretty-much the only "legal" option.
- Cuesheets are not useful for handling detours.
- Cuesheets are (arguably) not "navigation". Using them is mostly just following instructions step-by-step.

Nothing is perfect. People should know the pros/cons of different approaches and use whatever they want.

Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I've ridden with lots of people who have, have seen the utility and also the problems encountered. Some of the problems I've seen:...
I have no idea why you only list the problems and none of the utility you have seen.

Some of the benefits of GPS-

- The unit keeps track of your place on the "cuesheet".
- No need to deal with leg distances or cumulative distances (which never match with cuesheets).
- You learn to read one thing rather than having to deal with the variability of cuesheets and street signs (which might be non-existent, obscured, in odd locations, hard to read, or even different than what's on the cuesheet).
- You often know about upcoming turns well before you would be able to read street signs (you don't really need street signs at all). This does require looking at the map (this takes some practice).
- If you go off course, the map shows that in a clear way.
- If you go off course, the unit provides information to return to the course. With a cuesheet, generally, your only option is to back track. (One is more-or-less required to backtrack on a brevet.)

=============

One big "problem" with GPS units is that, if all you are provided is the cuesheet, it can take a fair amount of time to create a route from the cuesheet and make sure it's correct. But that's effort one has a lot of freedom to schedule. I see it as time spent preparing for the ride to make the time spent riding more efficient.

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-30-18 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 12-30-18, 12:53 PM
  #23  
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"I have no idea why you only list the problems and none of the utility you have seen."
Because the topic is "Are cue sheets still useful" not "Is GPS still useful". If the original poster is pondering using only GPS, I'm assuming that he doesn't need to be informed that it has utility. I was responding to the original post, not arguing with previous responses.
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Old 12-30-18, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
"I have no idea why you only list the problems and none of the utility you have seen." Because the topic is "Are cue sheets still useful" not "Is GPS still useful".
You are assuming the only solution to the problems you listed is cuesheets.

That isn't the case.

While cuesheets might be usable for that but they aren't the only way (or, even, the best way) of dealing with them. (I think cuesheets are a poor way of dealing with those problems but I don't care if people don't agree with that.)

==================

In any case, the real question isn't "are cuesheets still useful?"

It's "would it be acceptable to not provide cuesheets and force people to use GPS instead".

Given that there is still a significant number of people using cuesheets, I think the answer is that it isn't acceptable not to provide cuesheets.

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-30-18 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 12-30-18, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Michelangelo View Post
To avoid getting lost while riding a Long-distance randonnée (like "Paris-Brest-Paris") (<http://www.paris-brest-paris.org/index2.php?lang=en&cat=accueil&page=edito>), I know of four methods:
  1. Relying of the other riders (no map, no cue-sheet, no GPS device, no-nothing beyond faith in the perfection of other riders route selection);
  2. Relying on a marked-up map, visible while riding; (this was a major tool in France);
  3. Relying on a cue-sheet, visible and readable while riding ( I believe that this technique was a major tool in the US;
  4. Relying on a GPS device, fed with a GPS track of the route (this is, for sure, a major tool to avoid reading maps and still not depend on others rider' instructions).*
I suspect people often use more than one method.

Originally Posted by Michelangelo View Post
At time moves on, the number of people reading and using cue-sheets tends to diminish, replaced by people who have actually purchased and do use a GPS device : use it to guide them.*
Hence my question to our wise community is:
  1. Is it still useful to prepare a cue-sheet ? [ to some people, obviously]
  2. Would it be sufficient to provide the participants with the GPS-device-readable .gpx file describing the route ?* [ only if you think it's acceptable to ignore people who want the cuesheet]
  3. Would it also be useful to provide the participants with*a marked-up map highlighting the route ?* [ this seems to require too many pages; not many events seem to provide this anyway]
  4. (This question) Would it also be useful to provide the participants with a cue-sheet describing the route to be followed?;*[ how is this different than the first question?]
  5. Any other suggestion ?
Producing just the GPX file is easy but there seems to be a significant number of people who still actually use* cuesheets. I suspect you already know this.

* There are people* who take the cuesheet and stuff it in a pocket "just in case": these people are not actually using the cuesheet.

Clearly, it wouldn't be completely unreasonable to just provide the GPX file if everybody used GPS. But that isn't the case yet.

So, the real question is "how small a percentage of cuesheet users would be reasonable to ignore?"

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-30-18 at 04:53 PM.
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