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Messages - Ailish

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GPS Discussion / Re: Open Street Map?
« on: August 11, 2013, 12:21:33 pm »
I noticed lately that the Lambertus OSM site (which builds custom OSM maps for installation on Garmin GPS tools) has added an option for "routable bicycle," using the OpenFietsMap Lite encoding.  I grabbed that, last night and have done some limited playing with it.

The first thing to make clear is that this is NOT a general purpose routable map, as it's specifically tuned for bicycling, and should not be used for automotive routing.  (The best bicycle routes come when you tell this to use automotive routings.)  Routing for faster time favours cycle tracks, while routing shorter distance takes you on cycle friendly (ish) roads if cycle specific options are out of the way.  This carries over in other ways, in that a POI search for the "automotive service" will return nearby bike shops.  Searching by address seems to work fine on my Dakota 20.  Initial tests looks good, at least where the OSM data are good.  But again, when I find problems with the OSM data, I can apply a fix, directly.

This encoding seems to be similar to that described by the Velomaps site, too.  I've built OSM data using the Velomaps encoding (started before he started offering any options for North America), but that's slow and kludgy compared to getting this OpenFietsMap encoding, and in my limited testing, the OFM encoding seems to be working better.

Gear Talk / Re: Buying a Bicycle from Europe
« on: April 01, 2012, 05:16:05 pm »
Still have questions of problems importing, including customs. None of the UK dealers suggested lists touring bicycles.
I don't know if the type of touring bike we are familiar with here in the US is at all common in Europe.  Notice that all of the brands usually mentioned on this forum are from US base companies or are US specific models from Surly, Trek, Cannondale, Co-Motion, etc..

One example of an English touring bike would be the Dawes Super Galaxy.  In the US, Dawes long ago sold the Dawes name to a company that produces bargain bikes that have no relation to the bikes sold by Dawes in England.  The English Dawes web site lists ten different models of touring bike.

Gear Talk / Re: Surly Disc Trucker v. LHT
« on: February 28, 2012, 04:48:21 pm »
The disk trucker is new for 2012, and bikes weren't supposed to be available before this month, so there's probably not too much direct experience with them yet.

I'm not familiar with the one you're asking about, but if flatness is your goal, Narragansett Bay Wheelmen (Rhode Island) run "The Flatest Century in the East," and the Granite State Wheelmen (New Hampshire) run "The Seacoast Century," which they claim is actually flatter than the eponymous one.  Both pages have yet to update for this year.

Gear Talk / Re: Trek 520 vs Cannondale T1 or T2
« on: January 27, 2012, 12:34:56 pm »
Handling and ride are subjective experiences.  The better bike is the one you're most comfortable on.  Even if people who've ridden both offer opinions, that reflects how the bikes feel to them, not you.

Gear Talk / Re: Brooks saddle dye.
« on: December 31, 2011, 06:44:42 pm »
Most of my cycling shorts are black, but I have some in dark magenta, as well, and I've seen no discolouration of them from my black B17.

I wouldn't soak my saddle in water, either, but tastes and experiences differ.

General Discussion / Much Ado About Nothing
« on: December 20, 2011, 07:19:04 am »
The huge risks of texting distracted drivers is one of those media firestorms that really isn't supported by the data.  Of course it's distracting to text and drive, but most people would never try it in the first place.  As cell phone usage has skyrocketed, traffic fatalities and even simple auto accidents have fallen.  No, I'm not suggesting that cell phone ownership reduces accidents, though that would be better supported by the data than the hype about the texting menace.

Gear Talk / Re: Brifters vs. bar-end from a convenience standpoint
« on: November 04, 2011, 02:37:15 pm »
I think one of the factors in the relative convenience of brifters vs bar-end shifters is the spacing of your rear cassette.  With an 13-22, there's going to be a fair bit of micro shifting as you go up and down one cog which is perhaps only a tooth different to find the optimal gear.  With an 11-34, your rear shifting is somewhat more set and forget.

I got used to brifters on my older Bianchi Volpe.  After it was stolen, I mostly ended up looking at touring bikes, which ran heavily to bar-end shifters, and on my test rides, I wasn't a fan of them.  I use the bike as a general purpose bike, including a good deal of urban riding where I frequently have to stop/start.  I typically like to downshift as I'm braking to a stop so that I can more easily accelerate off the stop.  With bar end shifters, I found it inconvenient to have the brakes and shifters so far apart.  On the open road, again, it probably wouldn't be as much of an issue.  What I ended up doing was getting a Surly LHT, and having them swap the shifters and break levers with Tiagra STI brifters.  I use an Arkel small handlebar bag, and it doesn't obstruct either the action or the cables.  I suspect I could use a large handlebar bag just fine, as well.

In the first of the Adventure Cycling reports of Interbike, recently, they featured four new touring bikes.  Of the four, three had drop bars, and all three of those had brifters, so I think the strict association of bar-end shifters with touring is loosening, somewhat.

GPS Discussion / Re: First GPS / Phone suggestions
« on: October 19, 2011, 09:35:55 am »
While some smartphones have decent GPS capability while they have network data access (or pre-downloaded map data), they're really not ready to beat dedicated GPS devices for all day use.  Using the GPS on my smart phone runs the battery down quickly, even with the screen off.  It's fine in the car where I can plug it in to power, but on the bike, the battery completely runs down in a few hours.  As for altitude, I think Casio makes a smart-phone that has an altimeter built in, but that's the only one I've heard of.

Some of the outdoor activity GPSs may be a better bet for location and altitude (I have a Garmin Dakota 20, which will do a primitive altitude plot, I think), but won't let you call home.

Gear Talk / Re: Headlight Recommendations for use w/ handlebar bag
« on: October 14, 2011, 02:37:48 pm »
When I mounted my handlebar bag, I moved my headlamp to the fork crown.  I have an Ixon IQ lamp, which has an available purpose built mount for this, which also seems to fit Planet Bike lamps, as well.  The light and the mount are the first to pictured items on this page.

GPS Discussion / Re: Garmin BaseCamp Confusion
« on: October 13, 2011, 01:47:21 pm »
I've used Garmin BaseCamp to send routes and waypoints to my Dakota 20 without issue.

In the upper left section, is "My Collection" which lets you add folders and lists to that.  Lists are collections of waypoints tracks and routes, so you may want to create a separate one for each lump of data you want to send to your device.  Select one of those, and use the "Send List to Device" button in the toolbar or menu.

General Discussion / Re: School Project on cycling
« on: October 02, 2011, 01:28:52 am »
Several of the questions are difficult to reply to within the constraints of the options given.

In the reasons for cycling question, non-commuting transportation isn't an optional answer.

As for whether cycling is an efficient way to commute, it seriously depends on the particulars of a given commute.

In the hobby/sport question (which gets asked twice), again, it depends on the context.  Cycling is clearly a sport to those that do it competitively.  I ride for what I think of as exercise, recreation, and transportation, but I can't really pigeon-hole any of those as hobby or sport.

My main form of transportation depends on the circumstances of where I'm going.  Sometimes it's a car, sometimes it's a bike, sometimes it's public transit, and sometimes it's walking.  I'm not comfortable ticking a radio button to pick just one.

GPS Discussion / Open Street Map?
« on: September 30, 2011, 03:07:10 pm »
In reviewing this forum, one of the things that has surprised me is how little mention OpenStreetMap gets.  For those not familiar with it, it's an open map that can be edited and used by anyone.  On the web, it's like the other mapping sites, except you can say "Wait, that's wrong," and then fix it on the spot.

In GPS applications seem to have three advantages over manufacturer's maps.  Firstly, it's free, so if you're buying a cheap GPS, you don't end up paying a significant percentage more to get usable maps.  Secondly, it updates all the time.  You can notice an error on your GPS one day, edit in a fix on the site, and have a corrected, routable map on your GPS the next day.  Thirdly, there are many ways to massage the data, and there are at least a few bicycle specific treatments of the data, that optimize the maps and the routings for bikes (optionally giving preference to bikeways or tertiary roads).

While this may work with other GPS units, the focus of my reading and experimenting has been on Garmin units, which most here seem to use, as well.  The easiest way to play with OpenStreetMap maps on a Garmin (or the Garmin software on your computer) is to pull a section of the Lambertus maps, where you select the region you want maps for on their site, and they'll mail you a link to the downloads.  These maps seem optimized for car routing, making them an analogue to the City Navigator maps.  There are a couple cycle specific versions, including Cyclemap and VeloMaps, but those require rather more effort to build on your own.  I've just gotten a mostly working build for the Northeastern US using the VeloMaps encoding, and it mostly seems pretty neat, though some of the routings are a bit unexpected.

Have others played around with this?  Are the pitfalls to these maps that I haven't hit yet?  It seems the more cyclists we get using these, the better the data will get.


GPS Discussion / Re: empty files when I try to download GPS data
« on: September 30, 2011, 02:10:46 pm »
I just grabbed the Southern Tier GPS data to take a look at it.  The download is a single .zip file called  That file unzips to a folder called stgpsdata, which in turn contains a .pdf that explains the files, and seven other folders, named in a format like "ST01v007 Folder" or "ST03v006 Folder".  It looks like the folders ending in 006 are from 2009, and those ending in 007 were updated in 2011.  The 006 folders contain four files, .gpx, .wpt, .rte, and .mps.  While I think .mps is something for mapsource, .wpt is waypoints, and .rte is routes, I'm not sure what that leaves for the .gpx file, but given the relative sizes, it could be a consolidation of them all.  The folders with 007 in the name only contain a .gpx file, which has everything consolidated in it.  None of these files are empty on my system, so I'd echo Jennifer's question and wonder how you were downloading and unzipping them, since that seems to be where things are going wrong.


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