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Messages - Fred Hiltz

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The Great Allegheny Passage is worth a look. We saw a few families when we rode it. Their camping page shows campgrounds at about the distances you are looking for. The kids will enjoy crossing valleys on high trestles, long dark tunnels, occasional trains, and ice cream in the towns. The grades are easy. The surface is mostly crushed limestone.


GPS Discussion / GPS Data Wish List
« on: August 22, 2012, 09:10:54 pm »
Jennifer asked in the topic just below this for our thoughts on improving the GPS data that Adventure Cycling publish. That thread grew rather large and unwieldy, so I have started this wish list with several points from that thread.

Please take a look at Jennifer's introductory post to see what she is looking for, then comment on these points or add more.

In the order of their appearance:

1. Don't change too much.

2. Start and end the sample routes at the edges of maps where possible.

3. Include contact information in the waypoints marking points of interest.

4. Include routepoints for follow-the-road navigation by GPSRs that do not calculate this on their own.

5. Put the waypoints that mark points of interest and those that mark the riding route in separate files. Include routepoints in the latter file.


Great Lakes / Re: Northern Lakes Section 1 Osceola WI to Escanaba MI
« on: August 22, 2012, 12:38:10 pm »
The ACA service directory lists plenty of lodgings. I do not recall any difficulty finding motels in 1999, staying in Stillwater, Cumberland, Hayward, Mercer, and Iron River.


General Discussion / Re: Overnight parking for Skyline Drive-BRP tour
« on: August 22, 2012, 06:24:43 am »
I have twice left a couple of cars at the Front Royal PD after calling in advance. They put us right across the driveway from their front door. Talk about security!


Routes / Re: Tour Divide 2013
« on: August 21, 2012, 01:12:13 pm »

General Discussion / Re: R.I.P. June Curry (A.K.A. "The Cookie Lady)
« on: August 20, 2012, 04:58:56 pm »
A nice tribute by our own Jim Sayer: contains links to much more about June.


GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: August 16, 2012, 02:35:19 pm »
Hi Jesterider. Did you get the GPS Data User Guide? That is the definitive document. Also check the sticky topic at the top of this GPS Discussion forum.

Using a GPS receiver (GPSR) is not rocket science, but it does require a bit of study. I spent a very useful hour in an armchair with my first one and its owner's manual, learning my way around its functions. is a great resource for tutorials and for reviews of hardware and software. If anything has to do with consumer GPS, there will be a link to it on that site.

What model did you buy and what map set to go with it?

You can find a wealth of specific information by browsing this forum. Don't overlook the search feature when the list of topics is on the screen.

For GPS training, make a GPS route to cover one of your local rides. See what the machine tells you as you go along, and how far you can trust it.


GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: August 15, 2012, 10:29:05 pm »
In BaseCamp, draw a route using route points (not waypoints), select a route point, right click for properties, and add comments to you heart's desire.

This is good to know. I tried Base Camp a year ago and abandoned it as slow and awkward to use in a production environment, in particular when editing the properties of whole groups of waypoints at once. MapSource, despite its terrible UI, does the job. But it won't edit map points. Neither will my GPSMAP 60Cs.

This is exactly what I was looking for:
As I wrote above, we can easily separate 1 from 2 and 3 by their symbols, creating two files: (1) and (2,3).

This way, it allows me to manage the points of interest in (1) as I wish, storing them separately, filtering them, etc. I can also easily extract (3) from (2,3) to have the navigation routes. It is then less risk of losing (1) in the process when extracting (3) from (1,2,3) all in one file.

OK! This goes on the wish list right now.


GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: August 15, 2012, 07:45:07 pm »
You are right about map points defining a route, Rami. I had completely forgotten them because we found them inadequate for ACA routing. Why? They are not editable. We add a comment to every waypoint naming the roads or the turn, so you can anticipate the junction even when navigating straight-line with a basic receiver. We also add elevations in mountainous terrain.

People ride both ways, but even a simple edit like reversing a route made with map points destroys the routepoints and the turn-by-turn directions. If your GPSR (or your computer) contains a route-able map and the ability to rebuild routes on the fly, then reversing the route works. It will use its own idea of the best roads, of course, which may not be the ones ACA chose.

Our conclusion: we need the waypoints that define the route. Are they harmful in the Edge series? Why not leave them for those who can use them?


GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: August 15, 2012, 07:59:52 am »
Waypoints are waypoints and riding routes are riding routes. There is no mixing between the two. The fact that some waypoints happen to be along the route does not make them part of the route.

Sorry, Rami, that is not the case. To create a route in every GPS program I know, which is quite a few, one must specify an ordered list of two or more waypoints and tell the program--in a computer or in a GPS receiver--to build a route from them. Those waypoints and the program's routing algorithm define the route. Do you know another way?

You are right that once the route is built, the waypoints are no longer needed if you never need to change the route. The routepoints that remain are not editable in Garmin equipment AFAIK.

I see no harm and considerable good to include the routepoints in our published files. Without question, that will make the wish list.

Your request to separate the three elements of our current files into two or more files still puzzles me. Please help me understand which elements you want to see in which files and why. If the separation you have in mind would make the data easier or better for several people, we can justify it.


GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: August 14, 2012, 02:13:03 pm »
Sounds good. Jenn uses a Mac and also runs some PC stuff under Boot Camp. By the time she gets back from her bike respite, we may have sorted out just what the Edge users need or want.

GPX file size should not be a problem. They contain so much repetition that they Zip down really well.



GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: August 14, 2012, 01:34:16 pm »
Sure. I do not care, but I do care what elements Rami wants to separate. The elements are these:
  1. Waypoints created by ACA that mark off-route points of interest.
  2. Waypoints created by ACA that mark the riding route.
  3. Routepoints created by Garmin software when told to navigate following roads. Garmain calls these mapoints in their user interface, and rpt in the GPX file.

As I wrote above, we can easily separate 1 from 2 and 3 by their symbols, creating two files: (1) and (2,3).

Rami, do you want to separate 3 from 1 and 2? If so, yielding what files containing which elements?

And how do Jenn and the crew do this in a production environment? "With an xslt processor" will not cut it. They need a maintained, documented, supported program to perform the task every week.

I do not understand why one would want to extract just the routepoints (3) from a file that contains (2) and (3). Can an Edge not use the combined file?

Perhaps some of the few who want to use Edge models for long distances can undertake this task themselves, separating the published ACA files for whatever reasons they wish. Would that be practical?


GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: August 14, 2012, 07:58:51 am »
Thanks for the good suggestions, Rami. I think we could manage most of them. Comments and a question follow.

  • Separate the routes from the waypoints. As Fred and I discussed earlier, the GPX file contains both waypoints and routes. I prefer to keep and manage them separately.
  • Coincide the routes with paper map sections, as Pat suggested earlier.
  • Calculate the route to follow intended path as compared with the paper map. Many (not all) ACA GPX files have routes that are straight lines between marked route points. Some GPS units can calculate the route internally and some others (like my current Edge 705) cannot. Either way, there is a chance that the calculation will not follow the intended route. Besides, this calculation depends on the map set being used, which may not have all roads, and likely do not have off-road trails.
    I am not sure why ACA has some routes with all their details and others without. I hope that the move is in the direction of more details, not less.

1. Some of the waypoints in the ACA files mark the route and some mark points of interest like campgrounds, museums, and motels. We have discussed separating these, and could do it easily.

The Garmin mapping software and most GPS receivers--but not the Edge series--when told to navigate by following roads, will calculate additional intermediate routepoints to show the path along the roads. I do not know any way to separate these routepoints from the waypoints except the manual editing of the GPX file that you described earlier. If you know a program that can do this, please let us know too.

Which of these do you mean by "separate the routes from the waypoints"?

3. The inclusion of routepoints or not in the published files is a matter of accident. It depends on whether the Garmin software is set for straight-line or follow-the-road navigation when we prepare a file. The question never came up until you alerted us to the road-following limitation of the Edge. I think we can arrange to include routepoints in future additions of the files.

For those considering a new GPS receiver, we continue to recommend the models intended for long-distance navigation (Vista, GPSMAP, "Western states") rather than those intended as training aids (Edge). Their larger capacities and ability to follow roads when navigating off the prepared routes make them more useful for touring.


Gear Talk / Re: map cases
« on: August 12, 2012, 11:59:07 pm »
As Nlsteve wrote in your other thread, "Get a handlebar bag with a mapholder on top." Most of them have one.


Routes / Re: ACA Denali route?
« on: August 12, 2012, 12:41:29 pm »
Okay, so the ACA Denali trip route is not published.  Why not? 

Carla may write the definitive answer, but I will hazard a guess: expense. I know there is a lot of work going from an informal map and cue sheet used by a ride leader who has been there before to the professional quality we buy in the published maps. Like every manager, she has to allocate scarce resources among all the worthwhile projects out there, and she has to judge whether a Denali trip map would pay its way.


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