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Old 06-23-21, 09:03 AM
  #26  
ksryder
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
If a person wants to get a GPS, they should get a good one. That starts around a Garmin 830 or similar units from other manufacturers, IMHO. Unless you know better what you want, go ahead and get a unit with visible maps, navigation, and connnectivity and smarts for whatever sensors you might want now or in the future (HRM, power meter, etc.). Buying less is like buying a cheap guitar or a cheap bike; if you think you really might like it, the price of the first one is wasted, and it's more likely to make you not want to play, ride, or navigate because the experience of the cheap thing is so bad.
Yeah, my first GPS-unit was a budget Lezyne computer (no navigation features) and it was not good. I have heard, anecdotally, that Lezyne has really improved their game and that their current generation of computers is legit, but I'll never know because my experience soured me so much on them that I'll never buy another one.

I'm not going to turn this into Wahoo vs. Garmin but I'll just say I've been absolutely satisfied with my Wahoo. It just works and has all the connectivity and customizable data fields I could ever want. It even plays well with my Garmin Varia, which is nice.

The map is pretty minimalist though. I guess I don't rely super heavily on the map -- I just kind of use it to have a general idea of where I'm going, but for more detailed nav then yes, you'd probably want one of the bigger Garmins or the Element Roam.
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Old 06-23-21, 09:32 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
is it ridiculous to suggest a paper map & compass?
I agree. Everyone must be familiar with the 2D navigation system. It is tried and true. Using a GPS to follow a path on a map or vice versa is fun. It gives you some time to stop, take a breath, and ground yourself...

And Yes, I love Orienteering. And yes, I do have a Slide Rule and remember how to use Log tables... Ha
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Old 06-23-21, 10:22 AM
  #28  
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On the topic of paper maps, in my previous post I had a photo of my GPS but also had the road map in the handlebar bag pocket. I am retired but in my previous working life, I worked with maps every day of my professional career and I consider a map a must have item on a bike tour. But, I have seen people that could not figure out how to read a map at all, handing a map to them is no help. Some people have the spatial aptitude for working with maps, some do not.

Compass, on a bike tour I always have one, but maybe only glance at it once or twice a week. But there are times it is quite valuable. On a day where I can see where the sun is, I will know roughly which direction is which, it is second nature to me. But on a day with heavy overcast where you can't see where the sun is, if i is an area of curvy roads, I find it really easy to get lost. Thus, a compass can come in really handy if you are not using a GPS. That said, if my GPS is turned on, the only times I have needed a compass was when I was on a narrow street and the nearby buildings blocked enough satellite signals that my GPS lost its location, which has happened to me several times.

Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
There's a fairly predictable drift line to threads like these. They start with "I want to navigate for cheap," go through "I've got a problem with my phone" to "I want a GPS but don't want to pay for a [fill-in-the-blank]" and end up with "I want something that combines the best features of a GPS and cell/google maps."
....
Yup, but at least this time we did not get the long list of must-haves that often get cited after a lot of good suggestions are made. I was waiting for the - but that does not have voice that tells me how far to the next turn, that can't communicate to my phone to this specific website that gives me the menu at the restaurant up ahead, etc.
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Old 06-23-21, 11:03 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
This opinion usually isn't very popular around here, but I have found the best navigation tool to be cue sheets printed on paper and displayed in a plastic sleeve attached to my handlebar with pipe cleaners.
I use something like this, which I got for free at my club’s banquet.

https://www.benscycle.com/cue-clip-m...xoCE18QAvD_BwE
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Old 06-23-21, 11:06 AM
  #30  
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I rode the Southern Tier eleven years ago using the ACA's printed maps (which are great), but when I'm exploring new territory these days, I use electronic maps. I'd never discourage using printed maps, especially as a backup, but I think the choice between electronic and printed maps these days comes down to a philosophical or aesthetic decision. With printed maps, I spent a lot more time fussing with my maps, trying to figure out where I was, and missing turns than I do with electronic ones, but—if the choice is between a big foldout map and a 4" screen—it's much easier to understand the route overall with paper maps, especially if they include elevation profiles.
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Old 06-23-21, 01:21 PM
  #31  
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ksryder said a few posts back: "Maybe I'm zoned out and I missed a road sign."

I deal with THAT possibility by making up a song about the next cue ("Left on East Street, Right on Main, Then at the light, Make a left agaaain") and repeat it in my head until I get to the point where I have to turn. Then I make up a new song for the next cue. Am I a nutjob, or what?
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Old 06-23-21, 02:18 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
depends on the situation.

here on the island, we have the main outer loop highway, with an assortment of provincial roads linking the towns.
aside from that we have a maze of farm and county roads throughout the interior, mostly with no signage. only 'bout half the population can speak recognizable chinese, so good luck asking for directions.

interior roads are not straight, looping around hills and valleys and volcanic flows. highly vegetated, not always clear views from under the palm and banana trees.

cheap handlebar mount compass is my favorite tool for riding in this area. also came in mucho handy taking the unmarked dirt trails through laos and cambodia.

as to the maps and cue sheets..........i usually daily cue sheets and keep the maps sealed in the saddlebags, but also drawbacks if the maps haven't been updated. or you're in a country where all the squiggles on the roadsigns look the same. yes, i'm talkin' bout you, myanmar! or here in parts of china where the maps are in standard chinese, but the signs are in the local dialect.
Sounds like your needs when touring on the road are pretty close to mine when hiking. Mine when on the road require only a pretty general idea of which way is N, S, E, and W and most places I ride that isn't to hard to maintain. When I tour off road, which I don't do often I'd take and use a compass or to be honest have one as a backup to phone gps these days. My touring is mostly US paved roads so that doesn't come up much.

I used to sail and hiked before gps existed so I have learned to use use a map, topo, naitical chart, and compass, but in my daily life and on tour I get round using my cell phone these days.
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Old 06-23-21, 04:26 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I use something like this, which I got for free at my club’s banquet.

https://www.benscycle.com/cue-clip-m...xoCE18QAvD_BwE
oh that's neat. I keep my map in my mountain feed bag. which also has room for a pen & reading glasses. which might be useful for cue sheets as well?


maps let one see the big picture
& nearby details that might come in handy

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Old 06-23-21, 04:46 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
How often are the turns?
Daughter says she went to the 90 mile beach
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Old 06-23-21, 08:06 PM
  #35  
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Dirtydozen, re your market in Europe, I'm sure what is available is different than in my country, so I guess you're going to have to just visit many stores and compare prices and options--and then ask opinions on those specific models.
Here in Canada, even though I don't pay too much attention to GPS units (especially during covid with such reduced access to stores) I certainly have noticed that prices are certainly a lot more than 100 euros.
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Old 06-24-21, 06:39 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Yeah I find most people can't give good directions to save their life.

I don't know if it was because I was in an artillery unit, where accurate map reading was *kinda* important, or if it's just because I've always had thing for maps, but I'd rather have someone give me the address so I can look it up and figure out the best route. Old people give needlessly complicated and inaccurate directions like "turn left at the red barn and then it'll be the third white house past old Lady Johnson's cow--but the cow died in 1999" and young people don't understand things like "north" and "east" and "go three miles."

Back to the thread though -- I was a little stubborn about using maps and cue sheets for a long time, my reasoning being that cue sheets don't run out of batteries. But in practice there's a lot of things that can wrong, admittedly mostly because of human error. Maybe I'm zoned out and I missed a road sign. Maybe the name of the road sign is one thing on the cue sheet but we're actually in a different county and they named it something different. Maybe the county hasn't maintained the signs and it's missing. Maybe I misread the cue sheet and I'm looking for the next cue. Maybe I screwed up the mileage somehow and now I'm off. I mean, I can get back on track but it's an avoidable hassle.

A few years ago I bought a GPS computer with navigation (wahoo bolt) mainly to more accurately log my mileage and keep track of heart rate, but because it came with navigation I might as well give it a shot. After using it in a long gravel race I was an instant convert, you really can't beat the ease and convenience. I'll still carry maps and cue sheets as a backup but it's a definite quality of life upgrade.
Just wanted to say how much of a chuckle that gave me. Holy geez it's true.
From early on decades ago, I learned early on from getting burnt asking locals for directions, to ask one person, judge their body language etc ie not sure, clueless looking etc, then ask another person and compare. If same answer, probably a good sign. If not, ask a third.
My early trips also included this being in French, not my mother tongue, so an added factor too, people talking fast, weird accent I wasn't used to, France vs Quebec accent.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:47 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Just wanted to say how much of a chuckle that gave me. Holy geez it's true.
From early on decades ago, I learned early on from getting burnt asking locals for directions, to ask one person, judge their body language etc ie not sure, clueless looking etc, then ask another person and compare. If same answer, probably a good sign. If not, ask a third.
My early trips also included this being in French, not my mother tongue, so an added factor too, people talking fast, weird accent I wasn't used to, France vs Quebec accent.
Don't discount that sometimes people are just messing with you. In fact I might have been guilty of doing that when I thought people deserved it. To wit: the college football team in my town is laughably bad. It's not a secret. But fans from other teams in our conference take their football Very. Seriously. Sometimes they come to our town for away games and then they act like entitled drunken obnoxious rude pricks.

Then they roll down the window and ask for directions because I'm on a bike and I guess it's easier then trying to ask a fellow motorist who can't hear them. I may or may not give them directions to the county jail.
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Old 06-24-21, 08:04 PM
  #38  
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Oh yeah, I'm certain I've been victim of this from asshats who get a chuckle screwing up someone's day. Hard to tell if they are just compete fricking idiots or like screwing around.
Kinda like the psychopathic truck driver who breezes just past your shoulder when there isn't another vehicle in sight....
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Old 06-25-21, 04:55 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Oh yeah, I'm certain I've been victim of this from asshats who get a chuckle screwing up someone's day. Hard to tell if they are just compete fricking idiots or like screwing around.
Kinda like the psychopathic truck driver who breezes just past your shoulder when there isn't another vehicle in sight....
When someone is doing something to just make me angry for their own personal satisfaction, before I let the anger build too much I just decide that if I got angry, they would be the victor. And then I smile because I know that people like that won't have the friendships that I have, etc.

Unfortunately, in my working career at one time I had a boss like that.
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Old 06-25-21, 08:53 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
My early trips also included this being in French, not my mother tongue, so an added factor too, people talking fast, weird accent I wasn't used to, France vs Quebec accent.
Heh! Reminds me of an experience in Montreal. After a 6 week trip in France I flew back to Montreal. After crossing the Cartier Bridge while cycling back to NH I confidently stopped a pedestrian and asked with my broken, phrase book French ... "Excusez-moi monsieur, je cherche la route de Chambly?" He waved me on like he didn't understand a word!
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Old 06-25-21, 10:16 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
I love to travel by bike, but navigation can be quite a pain sometimes, i would like to buy a device that would help me with navigation.
I'm looking for the least expensive options, and i'm not necessary looking for a GPS bike computer, could be a watch or maybe something else.
Presumably, you want maps. A watch that can do maps isn't going to be cheap at all.
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Old 06-25-21, 10:22 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
- I can't use my phone because the screen is not visible enough for me.
You don't have to look the phone all the time. That is, you could look at it when you get to a place where you need to look at options.

A phone is a useful addition to a dedicated GPS device.

Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
i've also tried to use google maps, put the volume at maximum in my rear pocket and listen to the instructions.
You could move your phone to a bag on your handlebar.

You probably don't want to rely on Google maps either since it (basically) relies on having a network connection. You can get apps that let you download maps before-hand (using WiFi). These also usually let you load tracks. Doing that would make it easier to check to see whether you were going the right way.

Originally Posted by dirtydozen View Post
But it's not working out, how many times i've been stuck in small paths full of rocks, having to walk (i"m using a road bike).
These sorts of things can still happen using a GPS device.
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Old 06-25-21, 10:31 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
This used to be my favorite source (routable bicycle layer) but they have reduced the amount of map size you can obtain a few months ago.
Free worldwide Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap
That used to be a great site. It's had "server problems" for a while already. It seems neglected.

One big advantage of that site was the ability to download just the region you needed.

An alternative is https://extract.bbbike.org/ This also lets you download custom regions. It's a little bit tricky to use at first.

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Old 06-25-21, 10:46 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
is it ridiculous to suggest a paper map & compass? I use them when I'm on my MTB. when I feel off-track I use "find my phone" to help orient myself on the map again
No, it's not ridiculous.

If you are using your phone anyway, why not use maps installed on the phone? The maps on the phone also avoid issues of needing to keep purchasing updated paper maps.

One big advantage of digital maps is that they work at all zoom levels.

Paper maps that are large scale don't have enough detail and low scale maps don't cover a large region.
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Old 06-25-21, 11:15 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
FWIW, here's my take:
1. You can't beat paper maps and cue sheets for price, nor for functionality in remote places.
2. GPS are better than cell phones for battery life, water (sweat and rain) resistance, mounts, and working out of range of cell towers. There are some workarounds available for phones.
3. Phones are better that GPS, if you've got service, for navigating to an address and real time re-routing, though the quality of the re-route may be suspect.
4. With cache batteries, you can extend GPS runtimes to several days' riding; I don't know how long you can extend a cell runtime.
  1. Downloadable maps for phones are cheap or free and get updated regularly. They work at various zoom levels and occupy much less space.
  2. With a little bit of care, one doesn't need service for routing on phones. There are quite a few apps that do this.
  3. Given that service is spotty, I'd rate it as some sort of "doing it wrong" if one relies on something that requires service.
  4. The rerouting of using anything (the internet, on-device routing, and even paper maps) may "be suspect".
  5. One doesn't have to use the phone in a way that requires keeping it running all the time.
  6. Dedicated GPS units have their advantages but "everybody" already has a smartphone. It might make some sense to investigate using that first (the phone is also a useful addition to a dedicated GPS).
  7. An $8 plastic pouch solves the water resistance issue.
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Old 06-25-21, 11:16 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Y
You probably don't want to rely on Google maps either since it (basically) relies on having a network connection. .
I'm recalling that Google maps worked just fine when I turned off my network connection. The GPS functions is apparently still there and would show me on the map where I was located. I'm in the Midwest so I didn't really have to rely on turn-by-turn directions out in the Hinterlands but I do recall being pleasantly surprised that it showed me my location while disconnected from the Network. As long as you upload the map when connected to the network and leave it uploaded when you disconnect from the network it worked just fine.
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Old 06-25-21, 11:19 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Yeah I find most people can't give good directions to save their life.
They are also likely used to driving (where distance and grade don't matter much).

There also might not be anybody to ask.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-26-21 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 06-25-21, 11:25 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
I'm recalling that Google maps worked just fine when I turned off my network connection. The GPS functions is apparently still there and would show me on the map where I was located. I'm in the Midwest so I didn't really have to rely on turn-by-turn directions out in the Hinterlands but I do recall being pleasantly surprised that it showed me my location while disconnected from the Network. As long as you upload the map when connected to the network and leave it uploaded when you disconnect from the network it worked just fine.
The GPS functionality is there (that's in the phone). It doesn't require service.

Google maps caches data (stores some stuff locally and temporarily). So, it isn't surprising it worked. Still. there's a limit to how well it will work (it won't be able to calculate a route without service).

I think people using their phones for navigation should (also) use an app that doesn't rely on service at all. That way, they won't ever be stuck with something that happens not to work without service.

These alternatives are cheap and are useful as backups (if you prefer Google maps). And you can often load tracks and waypoints onto them.

I've used phones for navigation/maps in countries that I don't have service in.

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-25-21 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 06-25-21, 01:53 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
why not use maps installed on the phone?
I have no compelling reason

fwiw I like making notes on paper maps, especially for return trips to the same place. as I locate myself at an intersection I can make a circle. I can draw arrows indicating my direction. if I get disoriented I can back track. afterwards I can review my ride. the next time I go back, with that same map, I can see where I've been & make decisions about where to go today. it's good to have a phone w/ a full charge in case something happens, like an injury or mechanical failure & if I have to stay overnight waiting for rescue. if I use my phone all day long I won't have a full charge




I can also print new copies of the same map & make clean notes. I don't have it handy but I have this one on my work computer. I have another copy at home with notes & highlights showing 3 rides in the same area. I can then go back a year later w/o remembering anything but know that using the map, I can do a new different ride


I enjoy looking at maps, both on my computer & also paper maps on the couch & sometimes feel bad for ppl on the side of the road in bright sunlight squinting at their tiny phone screens. I also don't have to worry about cell service w/ a paper map

but I fully support anyone for using their personal navigation choice

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Old 06-25-21, 03:06 PM
  #50  
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hey rumrunner--important stuff first--so did you get your sorry keester thrown in the slammer for riding through the "restricted zone" ?
Enquiring minds want to know.
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