Author Topic: Problems with Great Rivers maps  (Read 6955 times)

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Offline George

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« on: September 29, 2004, 04:47:37 pm »
I recently tried to do the GRS route, picking it up at Cape Girardeau, after doing the Katy Trail in MO.

I abandoned the trip because I found the maps so hard to follow.

My original plan had been to camp the first night at the Lion's Club Park (to the east of Karnak, according to the commentary), only to find it was west of town, so I backtracked, and is currently used to store aggregate for the highway department. Since what little ground that wasn't covered with aggregate seemed to be covered with trash, I decided to push on to the next stop in Golconda, but I never made it, since I couldn't correlate the map with the ground.

Directions such as "6.5(11)Mermet. Turn right onto US 45. Turn left onto CR 1375N..." sent me to scanning the area on my GPS, since CR 1375 isn't visible when you first get on US45 -- it's another half a mile, and I assumed I must have missed a turn (which in this area always got me on a road with heavy trucks that refuse to move over, a 50MPH+ speed limit and no shoulders).

A GPS is of no help when the directions say "At T, turn right" without specifying the road. Since I wasn't carrying detailed backup maps for the whole distance, I got irretrievably lost on the Mermet Road section (which came up on my GPS with a different name). Apparently, when the directions say bear left, they mean "take a left at the T onto Staton Ridge Road", and when they say "At T, turn right", they really mean "bear right on New Columbia".

If there had been several of me, so I could have checked out all the confusing areas by checking all directions, maybe it would have been different. Of course, not being surprised by the camp ground being a big pile of rocks would have left me fresher, and not trying to figure all this out after doing 80 miles with full gear on a hot day.

In the end, I spent some time driving the area, and have come to the conclusion that its road system really isn't particularly suitable for biking anyway -- narrow lanes, combined with no shoulders is not a happy combination.

In putting in the turn-by-turn directions, please always name the road -- even if ther's no signage when the route is first mapped, signs can get put up, and locals can't point you towards "unnamed road". When you have to backtrack, it takes some time to resynch your mileage with the maps, and then it's easy to get confused at turns, if the directions are only as precise as "At T, turn right".

Offline Fred Hiltz

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2004, 09:45:16 am »
Hi George. I'm sorry to hear of your map troubles and surprised that they made you quit. Thanks for sharing the lesson, though. Things change and maps are not perfect, although usually better than locals' directions: "Oh, the campground is just a couple of miles. And it's downhill all the way."

The map shows the Lions Club Park in Karnak west of town, while the service directory says east. Have you sent a correction postcard to Routes and Mapping?

Have you found any better maps for long-distance cycling?

In Mermet, CR 1375 is diagonally across US 45 from CR 340E, a distance of 340 feet. You probably missed the turn onto CR 340E from CR 169 and reached US 45 north of town. So what? We all miss turns and we are all allowed one cuss word, then we get on with it.

Your GPS will be more useful with the Adventure Cycling waypoints downloaded from the web site. It is pretty handy at those unmarked intersections. I don't leave my neighborhood without it.

Regards,

Fred


Offline George

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2004, 10:37:12 am »
For whatever reason, while the waypoints showed up fine for me in MapSend, they didn't show up on my Meridian. Obviously, I did something wrong in loading them. That was my planned set of hints to keep me on track.

Perhaps I shouldn't have bailed so easily, but whenever I got off course, I wound up in truck traffic (being passed with less than 1 foot clearance). I've been hit by a car, leaving me in a cast for 6 months, and know a fast truck would do even more damage, so at this point, I'm a bit shy.

Here in New England, I'm never 80-100 miles between motels, it's more like 15-20, so it's easy to cut a day short and replan. At this point on the AC maps, things are fairly far apart, which reduces my fallback options.


Offline JayH

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2004, 12:03:29 pm »
Did you see them in your Meridian (I'm sure it has a find waypoint command somewhere) or you just didn't see it on your screen?  If it was successfully transferred to the GPS and it is in memory, it might be a problem with the map datum. Make sure that whatever street/topo maps you are using in MapSend has the same datum that your GPS is set to when receiving waypoints or else the lat/long could be off.  Most of the topo maps I see use NAD27 (North American Datum 1927) but there should be a way to check in MapSend, (There better be a way! I've never used it).  Depending on what the map is done in and your GPS is set to, it might throw off the waypoint either a tiny amount or a lot.  

Jay


Offline George

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2004, 08:42:18 pm »
I just reloaded the waypoints from the SD card to the GPS, and I was able to see them when I navigated over the route, so I must have done it wrong when I tried it before.


Offline George

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2004, 08:50:02 pm »
Fred, in looking at the map, I can't see any indication that there is a campground west of Karnak. I can see a campping symbol at Karnak (together with grocery, post and restaurant), but nothing that indicates that camping is west of town.

What indicator am I missing?


Offline Fred Hiltz

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2004, 08:56:36 am »
Mmmm, I wish we could post images here, but words will have to do. First, let's make sure we a looking at the same map. Mine, probably no longer current, #BC-1812 02L Map 16, has the campground symbol at the SW corner of the orange-colored built-up Karnak area. It is on the S side of SR 169 at the Cache River crossing.

The grocery, PO, and restaurant symbols appear above the town name.

"Built-up Karnak area." Now there is an oxymoron!

My addenda sheet says "In Karnak, the Lion's Club Park has no water or restrooms." Based on your experience, that is masterful understatement.

Regards,

Fred


Offline George

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2004, 10:51:27 am »
Quote

Mine, probably no longer current, #BC-1812 02L Map 16, has the campground symbol at the SW corner of the orange-colored built-up Karnak area. It is on the S side of SR 169 at the Cache River crossing.

Thanks, Fred. On the BC-1812-04D (2004) maps, all 4 symbols appear together in a square above the town name.

I tend to run more off the words than the pictures, so it probably wouldn't have helped me, but I can at least feel slightly less dumb :-)


Offline matthew

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2004, 06:12:24 pm »
I, too, was planning on doing the Katy Trail to Washington, Missouri and through the end of this route.

Are there still concerns about this route?

I would appreciate any feedback about experiences with this route.  Thanks


Offline bikeman

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2004, 08:15:13 pm »
I road Cape Gir. to Natchez and back to Cape Gir during October 2004 and forgot to print the map corrections on the Adv cycling web site. I had the same problems in Karnak and Mermet using the old maps. I stayed at the Lions club and had to clear the junk away to have a flat spot for my tent. My trip was still great and following the Adventure Cycling maps without the corrections wasn't that bad. Out of the 800 plus miles round trip less than 30 miles had fast traffic on 2 lane roads so don't be afraid to do the ride. The roads from Cape Gir across Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky are 2 lane county roads with very little traffic. The road get's very hilly (little ones) all the way to the Natchez Trace. Keep in mind I did the ride in October so the summer months will have more traffic especially around the Land Between the Lakes area.
 


Regards: Clyde
The journey is my destination.

Offline George

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2004, 12:44:51 am »
It wasn't the maps that I had problems with, it was the turn-by-turn directions. I think that if you are either a good map reader, or carefully go over the turn-by-turn directions to discover inaccuracies, you'll do fine.

The busy roads are extremely unpleasant, although the AC maps do a reasonable job of avoiding them.


Offline matthew

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2004, 08:26:01 pm »
Thanks George, Bikeman.  

I am looking at a late May ride on this.  My motives are that I am looking at a way down to Mississippi and Alabama for the BAMA and BRAG back to back rides in order to get to my friend's house in South Carolina.  Do you think riding the Great Rivers in May would create a problem?

Do you recommend doing the "unpleasant" chunks early/late or finding a way around?  What would they be?

It sounds like you both recommend the route overall. I appreciate your time and advice.


Offline bikeman

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2004, 01:25:42 pm »
    You should have a good trip starting late May, there will be more traffic on the Trace on weekends, holidays and around Jackson and Tupelo Miss. The Trace going through Jackson is under construction so I followed the AC detour route through Jackson and it got scary at times. When I rode back home from Natchez I stayed on the Trace through Jackson and there was 5+ miles still under construction and I was able to ride around the construction workers grading the Trace and made it through Jackson in 1/4 the time. The trace going through Jackson should be completed late 2005.
The Trace going through Kentucky and Tenn should have rest areas with water and flush toilets then in Missippi the rest areas and water get farther apart. Get a Natchez Trace map for all the camps and rest areas to supplement the AC maps.
Going from Cape Gir to the Trace will be physically harder because of the constant rolling hills. My bike has a 44-34-24 triple with a 11-32 cassette and  used the granny gear a lot. Sometimes I wished for just 1 more lower gear (No Joke). I was pushing trying to average 50 miles a day in the hills.

Good luck on your trip, be safe and ride defensively. Clyde

Regards: Clyde
The journey is my destination.

Offline matthew

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2004, 12:27:01 pm »
Thanks for the information on distances.  I had tried to keep the mileage around 50, but have some much longer days prior to the Trace.  I am looking at the maps now, trying to cut the distances down a bit.  Are there any other campsites, towns or whatnot that one should avoid?

I am wondering about the gear inches on your bike.  What wheel size do you have on your bike?  I ride a Rans Rocket which has 24-113 gear inches, with 62/52/42T and 11-32 and a 20" wheel.  What are your thoughts?  Thanks for your insights.

Best

Matt


Offline SKYMAX

Problems with Great Rivers maps
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2005, 07:27:11 pm »
Man that whole thread sounds scarily confusing to someone who has never ridden in the States before.
Maybe I should get one of those GPS map things before I start as The Great Rivers is part of my upcoming ride.


Clear skies, Max.
Clear skies, Max.