Author Topic: ACA Maps are Way Small.  (Read 5540 times)

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Offline katekosar

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ACA Maps are Way Small.
« on: August 30, 2009, 12:41:00 pm »
I just received the first three ACA maps west to east.  I must say, I am really disappointed with the teeny weeny little typeface and overall size of each section.  I simply can't read them without reading glasses and obviously am not going to man a fully loaded tourer with my reading glasses on.  The print must be what ... three point?  They look to me to be pretty much worthless on the handlebars.  Did they used to be bigger?  I guess the option is to go to Kinkos or something and have them blow up each map on a color printer to a readable typeface.  Anyway, just wanted to express my disappointment.  Maybe GPS will provide an alternative ... anyone else encounter this issue?

Offline staehpj1

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009, 04:11:29 pm »
I found them to be a bit difficult when wearing sunglasses with only my distance prescription, but managed OK... barely.  I'd have to stop from time to time when in doubt especially if the light was dim.  Much of the time turns are few and far between.  At times when we were in a town with a lot of turns I put on my bifocals.

I since then bought a pair of Project Rudy sunglasses with Transitions lenses and my bifocal prescription.  They set the bifocal prescription extra low so it is out of the way.  They are great for running and riding.  I bought them on line from SportRX and they were very helpful.  They cost a bundle, but have been worth it.

Offline whittierider

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2009, 07:36:57 pm »
I have the California Coast section 4 in front of me.  The smallest writing measures out to be about 5-point which is plenty big for my 49-year-old eyes w/o bifocals in outdoor daylight, but I haven't tried to read it with the vibration of a non-perfect road.  I don't have a handlebar bag though, so I'll be pulling it out of my jersey pocket to look at it, so the vibration probably won't be an issue.  If each map were very much wider, it wouldn't fit in a side jersey pocket.  As it is, I don't think a handlebar bag map pocket would be big enough to see two of the little pages at once.  It never occurred to me that some people wouldn't be able to see it.  Have you tried it in standard outdoor daylight yet (which will make the pupils smaller and improve the focus)?

Offline DaveB

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2009, 09:50:07 pm »
I expect AC has to balance legability with portability.  If the maps were much larger, they would be too awkward to fit in any handlebar bag holder or would cover such a small distance the number of sheets would be excessive.

Offline JMilyko

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2009, 07:47:44 am »
Hi Kate,

I'm sorry to hear you are disappointed with the maps you've purchased. Much of the comments to this thread thus far are on the money as far as the considerations we take into account with the creation of our maps. These maps have always been this size and they are designed for use in handlebar bags. We do our best to keep the type size as large as possible. The "rule" is to never go smaller than a 6 pt type. Very occasionally we have to break that rule. I have heard of cyclists making enlarged copies of the narrative instructions to carry with them.

A GPS unit might be a good supplement for you. Be sure to take a look at the GPS Discussion if you have questions about good units to consider.

Good luck and happy planning,
.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2009, 08:12:53 am »
Jennifer is right. Bifocals and GPS: the touring cyclist's prostheses.

Fred

Offline katekosar

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Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2009, 08:39:55 am »
I have heard of cyclists making enlarged copies of the narrative instructions to carry with them. A GPS unit might be a good supplement for you.

Thanks to everyone for their insightful comments.  I'll have to look into prescription sunglasses, I suppose.  It's something that wouldn't have occurred to me without this forum.  Again, many thanks for the good suggestions.  TransAm or Bust!   
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 08:42:07 am by katekosar »

Offline DaveB

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2009, 10:23:00 am »
There is a cheap way to create "bifocals" from single vision glasses or non-prescription glasses and sunglasses.  These are stick-on flexible plastic patches that provide a reading glass area that shouldn't interfer with the regular distance vision portion of the glasses.  http://www.neoptx.com/

I've seen them at most Walgreens Drug stores in the reading glass display and they are about $10/pair.  Apparently Wal-Mart sells them too.  Well worth trying.  And, no, I don't have any interest, commercial or otherwise, in the company. 

Offline katekosar

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Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2009, 08:59:32 am »
Dave, what an interesting concept ... you wet the reading lenses & stick 'em on when you want to use them.  They apparently come off as easily as they go on, and don't damage the sunglass lenses.  I'll definitely have to give them a try ... at twenty bucks, it's a reasonable experimental cost.

In the meantime, have begun reading the GPS forum.  OMG.  Daunting. 

Mush onward.  TransAm or Bust.

:)

Offline HONDO

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2009, 09:55:06 am »
I need reading glasses so what I do for the next days ride is re-write the route on a note pad large enough to see and with it being in my own handwriting that works well. If I have any questions I simply stop and compare my notes to the ACA  maps.

Offline staehpj1

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2009, 06:27:53 pm »
In the meantime, have begun reading the GPS forum.  OMG.  Daunting. 
I found the GPS to be more weight and hassle than it is worth to me on tour, at least when using AC maps.  That is kind of strange because I never run without a gps and I usually use one when hiking, kayaking, or sailing.  I figured it was a no brainer that I would like it for touring as well, but sent it home after 4 days on the Trans America.  With the AC maps I just didn't feel the need for the GPS.

Of course YMMV.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2009, 10:32:42 pm »
I love my stick on lenses! They have made my very expensive cycling sunglasses bifocals and I can read even the ACA maps and my computer. http://www.stickonbifocals.com/ is another source.

Offline GeorgeC

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2009, 06:27:33 pm »
If I may offer another possibility to the small print on the maps:

I like to sit down the night before a ride and copy down the road names of each turn on a piece of 3.5x5.5 paper which I then insert in the map pocket over the directions on the ACA maps. If the route would be really complicated, I could include the mileage also.

My printing can be as large as my old eyes need it to be.

Offline John Nelson

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2009, 05:32:52 pm »
I like to sit down the night before a ride and copy down the road names of each turn on a piece of 3.5x5.5 paper which I then insert in the map pocket over the directions on the ACA maps. If the route would be really complicated, I could include the mileage also.

My printing can be as large as my old eyes need it to be.

That's exactly what I do as well.

Offline don quixote

Re: ACA Maps are Way Small.
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2009, 12:25:58 am »
Jennifer,
Has ACA ever considered making the narrative portion of the maps available on-line with a password given to those who purchase the map? That way one could print out in large type size of one's choosing the various narratives to take on tour with the map.
don quixote
San Diego