Author Topic: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?  (Read 2457 times)

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Offline BikingBrian

Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2013, 05:10:32 pm »
A few summers ago, the wire for my cyclocomputer was broken when I took my bike out of the box. So I was flying blind for the northern California coast, but had no problems. Though that route is probably easier than most in getting by without an odometer. http://www.bikingbrian.com/2011/07/01/day-0-arrival-in-crescent-city/

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2013, 12:42:38 am »
No, you do not need a cycle computer or a GPS device if you have the updated maps. Especially if you say that you are good at reading maps. I have never really looked at the mileages on the directions on the left of each map section. If you need to use the mileages on the left, you need to constantly calibrate your computer. I use my cycle computer to track the instant speed, the average speed and the total daily mileage. But I never use it for orientation.

It is a different matter if you do the great divide trail. Here it is good to have 2 calibrated cycle computers (if one should fail) because you are extremely dependent on the written map directions.

Lucas

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2013, 10:28:33 am »
No, you do not need a cycle computer or a GPS device if you have the updated maps. Especially if you say that you are good at reading maps. I have never really looked at the mileages on the directions on the left of each map section. If you need to use the mileages on the left, you need to constantly calibrate your computer. I use my cycle computer to track the instant speed, the average speed and the total daily mileage. But I never use it for orientation.

Particularly in the hills of eastern Kentucky on the TransAm, I was reminded of the ancient computer game.  "You are in a maze of twisty little back roads, all different."  Maybe there was a road sign every 10 miles (3-4 turns).  Or maybe not.  Without the distances on the maps and an odometer, there would have been a lot more "zxzzy"!

Offline indyfabz

Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2013, 11:58:01 am »
If you need to use the mileages on the left, you need to constantly calibrate your computer.

You can use the computer's odometer and, if necessary, do quick calculations in your head to know when the next turn is.

Offline misterflask

Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 06:25:42 am »
We stumble here on one of life's true dichotomies: the data people vs the non-data people.  I confess to being a data person and tour with a cyclometer, inclinometer, and altimeter, but concede that the last two are primarily an amusement.  Speaking to your question, though, there are more than a few places on the Transam that would really be a trial without a cyclometer.  One turn in Illinois I rode back and forth over a one mile span looking for the poorly marked road.  I would sure not have wanted to increase the uncertainty of that search.  OTOH, I expect that there were entire weeks where navigation would have been easy w/o a cyclometer.


Offline jamawani

Re: Can we survive the Transamerica with no cyclocomputer?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 11:08:35 am »
No, there is no chance you can survive without one.
You might make a wrong turn and freeze to death in the Yukon.
Or another mistake and end up burned to a crisp in the Sahara.
Cross-country travel by bicycle was impossible until the invention of the cyclocomputer.

PS - Back in the 1970s, the only way people could tell how high they were - -
was by seeing how much pot they had left in the baggie.