Poll

Which is more easier to use on the road ?

A GPS 800
3 (33.3%)
Or a Adventure Cycling Map
6 (66.7%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Author Topic: Computer GPS vs ACA maps  (Read 1853 times)

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Offline CyclingSingle

Computer GPS vs ACA maps
« on: January 08, 2013, 10:48:26 pm »
I am a very active cross country cyclist and i was wondering what would be more ideal for a tour if the routes are not mapped by Adventure Cycling ? I was thinking after reading all the posts for several weeks to maybe use the Garmin 800 and see if that will guide me through the streets. I might actually use the gps and the aca maps just to be save and double check everything. I am planning on riding from northern utah to idaho and aim towards tx.
The trip will start somewhere around mid to late spring of this year. And i will be doing this tour by myself.
Any advice on maps or gps would be grateful.

thanks

Jake
Ride to Live, Live to Ride

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Computer GPS vs ACA maps
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 08:58:21 am »
ACA maps are great if you're going where they take you, but you say you're looking at routes not mapped by ACA.

I'm a GPS skeptic.  I've not seen a GPS that shows both the fine scale you need to find those great back roads, and the large scale to show you where you're going.  If you're going to plan out your route ahead of time (on a computer), and download it onto the GPS, that could work.  Likewise, if you're carrying a laptop or netbook and can plan a day or two ahead of time, that could work.  If you didn't pre-plan, you're going SE, and run into a junction where your road tees into two perpendicular choices, well, good luck.

If you're planning to do this on the fly, I'd look at either state DOT maps, or get a more detailed paper atlas like the DeLorme.

Offline newfydog

Re: Computer GPS vs ACA maps
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 12:10:36 pm »
I use a handlebar mounted (GPS Dakota 20) with a continuous tracklog that I either download from a source online, or that I make on Goggle Earth.

For a base map I use a Garmin city navigator map or a free topographic map from GPSFileDepot.com

I use these tracks for road and mountain biking all over the West and Europe and absolutely never get lost, plus I have a daily record of the ride.

I love maps.  I have them all over my walls at home, but they seldom come out on a bike ride anymore.

Offline tsteven4

Re: Computer GPS vs ACA maps
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 08:40:06 am »
Hey newfydog,

Where was the Dakota in Lockhart Basin?  I seem to remember we got "lost" twice on one trip!

I think it is a matter of personal preference.  I prefer the minimal technology approach, paper for me.

I discovered some very nice places while I have been lost.  It is best to have a little extra gas in the tank though for the unexpected.

Offline newfydog

Re: Computer GPS vs ACA maps
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 01:21:15 am »
Hey newfydog,

Where was the Dakota in Lockhart Basin?  I seem to remember we got "lost" twice on one trip!

I think it is a matter of personal preference.  I prefer the minimal technology approach, paper for me.

I discovered some very nice places while I have been lost.  It is best to have a little extra gas in the tank though for the unexpected.

Yeah, we would have never found that nice dead-end box canyon if the technology existed back then.  My gas tank doesn't have the extra miles anymore, so I like to avoid backtracking!

Where we mountain bike in France, half the roads are dead-ends, so without GPS we'd be wedded to the map, and still would end up riding in random motion!  With it we've connected up  a lot of loops