Author Topic: Route Mileages  (Read 2002 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline John Nelson

Route Mileages
« on: February 24, 2012, 05:37:35 pm »
I'm curious as to how map mileages are listed when there are alternative routes. I just got my new Cyclosource catalog in the mail, and I looked up the "Northern Tier + North Lakes" route. So it tells me that if I buy the complete set, it is 4651 miles. Then each of the 12 maps in the set are listed individually, each with a mileage. If I add up the 12 mileages of the individual maps, I only get 4399 miles, 252 miles short of the set total. Now I know that there are several options on this route (e.g., (1) you can go to Waterton Lakes NP in Canada or go through East Glacier to Cut Bank, (2) you can go through Grand Rapids MN or take the shortcut to Dalbo, (3) you can ferry across Lake Michigan from Ludington MI or go around the north side and cross the Mackinac Strait). I also know that the maps contain roads you won't need if taking the North Lakes alternative (e.g., the last half of North Lakes Section 3 takes you back to the NT in Indiana, which you don't need if you're taking the Lake Erie Connector).

So, to refine my question, what do the mileages shown for map segments or map sets include? Are they a sum of all the roads mapped, including the alternatives? Do they count the shortest alternative? The longest alternative? The "normal" alternative? And how do you come up with 4651 miles for the Northern Tier + North Lakes map set.

Thanks.

Offline Ed_in_Maine

Re: Route Mileages
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2012, 09:14:51 am »
We're doing the NTR using the lakes route this spring. Cross into Canada(Ft Erie) then back in to Michigan, through the UP and on to Washington. We have used the maps(except no map for ND only estimate) to set estimated daily stops. So IF we did it right our total mileage is 3999.7

I'm taking the shortest route and starting in Belfast ME not Bar Harbor ME. I don't have the maps in front of me right now but I suspect your seeing the route that stays in the US plus Lakes.
Ed

Offline John Nelson

Re: Route Mileages
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 10:13:49 am »
I'm bumping this because I'm curious and because I'm sure somebody knows the real answer. Thanks.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Route Mileages
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 04:46:27 pm »
John:
This has always been a bit of conundrum, especially when listing the Northern Tier + North Lakes Route since it has so many options. Many of the routes have alternates and spurs, some short and some long. Our basic rule is to list the main route number and you'll see that on the map cover. Alternates or spurs are not included in this number. On the longer alternates we will also list the alternate mileage on the cover. For example, Northern Tier section 5 is 227.5 miles from Fargo to Grand Rapids and the Little Falls Alternate is 256 miles. Only the 227.5 number is listed in the Cyclosource. When I add the mileages together using the main routes of the three different routes that make up Northern Tier + North Lakes Route it is 4,249 miles. And you listed several of the choices folks have on this routing.

So that is about 400 miles shorter than what is listed. To come up with the 4,651 number all the individually listed map section numbers were added together. In that 400 mile difference folks could add and subtract depending on whether they choose the main route or an alternate. So for this particular route it's easier for us to err on the side of caution with listing more miles.   

We can qualify that number by saying "4,249 mi.  main route" so on the next update of the Cyclosource we'll change the number.

Hope this explanation helps.

Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Route Mileages
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 08:11:55 pm »
I think the best way is to ride your route and let us know the actual mileage!!!

Jay
ACA Life Member 368

Offline John Nelson

Re: Route Mileages
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2012, 10:31:34 am »
I think the best way is to ride your route and let us know the actual mileage!!!
I know your comment was tongue-in-cheek, but there are many reasons for differences in actual mileage ridden and official map mileage. I rode the TransAm, which has an official mileage of 4241.5, and I adhered religiously to the route, but my mileage came out 4488. The difference is all those little accumulated trips to the grocery store, the swimming pool, the restaurant, the campground, etc. It only amounted to an average of 3 miles a day, but it adds up.

Thanks Carla for your detailed remarks. That helps my understanding quite a bit (and I found out that I had a math error in my earlier calculation). I'm looking forward excitedly to the availability of the new NT sections 3 and 4.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Route Mileages
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2012, 11:19:44 am »
I think the best way is to ride your route and let us know the actual mileage!!!
I know your comment was tongue-in-cheek, but there are many reasons for differences in actual mileage ridden and official map mileage. I rode the TransAm, which has an official mileage of 4241.5, and I adhered religiously to the route, but my mileage came out 4488. The difference is all those little accumulated trips to the grocery store, the swimming pool, the restaurant, the campground, etc. It only amounted to an average of 3 miles a day, but it adds up.

I think it goes without saying that your actual mileage isn't going to match the map mileage if you are including "tool around town" miles. Odometer calibrations will also affect recorded mileage.