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Messages - TokyoNose

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Routes / Re: Advice for a ride beginning in NYC
« on: April 28, 2013, 07:38:23 am »
I'll be heading off on my own trip in a couple of days and will not have access to a computer.  If you have any questions, ask away and I will do my best to answer them before I set off.

It's a great ride.  Go for it!

mdxix, thanks again for all of your help!

The routes have been stripped of all waypoints, corrected in BaseCamp, and loaded into the etrex.  The Points of Interest have been loaded separately, and all seemed to fit with just a bit of memory to spare.  All that is left is to try it on the road.

I could never have done this without your guidance and patience.

Thank you,


Routes / Re: Advice for a ride beginning in NYC
« on: April 26, 2013, 07:29:02 am »
If you are really ambitious, you might just be able to squeeze in the ACA Adirondack Park loop.  You would have to take the Amtrak Lake Shore Shore Limited out of NY Penn Station to Schenectady and begin the ride from there (the ride "officially" begins in Niskayuna).  The train arrives in Schenectady at night, so your first night would be in a Schenectady hotel/motel.  The train departs Schenectady for NY Penn in the afternoon, so you could get an early start on your last day and catch the train back to the city that same day.  Again, it would take some clever planning to pull this off, but it would be a great little adventure if you could make it happen.  I did the semi-loaded CC version of this ride in 5 days/4 nights without feeling like I was overdoing it.

If this doesn't work, check out the website Riding the Catskills.

The author of the website has put together a collection of rides that are designed to run with Ride With GPS.  They are day rides, but a number of them are accessible from NYC Grand Central Station using Metro North.  Even if you are not interested in the day rides, you might be able to string together a short CC tour using some of his routing suggestions.

dkoloko also mentioned the Finger Lakes.  The couple of people with whom I have spoken about riding in that area have told me that it is beautiful, and I would guess that accommodations would not be difficult to find, offering you some flexibility in planning out the ride.

Best of luck!

Can you try simulation now? How does it work?

I loaded the file you had generated in BaseCamp directly from the GPX folder, bypassing BaseCamp.  It ran for a few miles, went into infinite-loop-at-the-interchange mode, and then crashed the GPSR.  I had to pull the batteries out of the unit to reset it.  I wasn't brave enough to try the Ride With GPS file  :-\.  I guess that my etrex just doesn't like simulations!  I was, though, able to create a route in BaseCamp, play the route in BaseCamp, transfer it to the etrex, and ride it.  It generated turn-by-turn instructions for the final 1/3 of the ride; up to that point it tracked my location and picked up the routepoints along the way but without instructions.  I stopped at least a half-dozen times and recalculated the route on road and also changed the "routing" settings in the etrex.  Some combination of these steps seemed to kick it into Useful Information Mode.  I only wish that I could remember exactly what they were, as I was not terribly scientific about it!  EDIT [I looked through the turn-by-turn instructions for the route in BaseCamp, and it appears that all was correct.  My confusion stemmed from the fact that the rural roads I was using change names, and what I thought should be labeled a turn was not, in fact, a turn.  I will set up another route today with a couple of dozen obvious turns and see how this plays out.  I think that it should work.]

I am currently in Northern Virginia, my staging area for the ride.  I am otherwise in New York City, and it is very difficult to try to route myself in BaseCamp and run a test while I am there, as City Navigator does not seem to recognize the special routing necessary, for instance, for a bicycle to cross the Manhattan Bridge (although that could very well be attributed to operator error).  Nor do I have a car, so that mode of on-the-road testing has also been unavailable to me.  I only mention this to let you know that I would love to have had much more practical experience with the etrex, and that I appreciate your patience in trying to make this all workable and useful for a newbie.

In the days ahead, I will be dedicating many hours to route modification, and you have certainly given me all of the tools to make this work.  I'll know whether the etrex, with my stripped and modified routes, will do the job after just the first few miles of the trip.  If it gets a headache at the first interchange, as it does in simulation mode (the folks at Garmin are convinced that it will not have issues when I am on the road), I will know what to look out for, and can reference the paper maps for confirmation of the correct route.  Beyond this, I need only to sort through the other waypoint data and cram in into the etrex.  How difficult could that be ;D???

My most sincere thanks,


This is strange. You mean that the route does not show following the road? Are you sure that you have loaded the City Navigator map onto your GPS? Remember that you need to transfer the maps from your computer to the GPS using Map Install.

Is it still giving you trouble?

Try using the files that I created just to be sure (all files will be there temporarily for 2–3 months after this post):

    Use this file that I created using BaseCamp. Does it behave the same?
    How about using the one I created using Ride with GPS?

It follows the road in BaseCamp when I run my modified route as well as both of the routes that you have modified.  The trouble begins when I load them onto the etrex.  The simulation of both of our BaseCamp-modified routes has a tantrum at the interchange between Colonial Parkway and Sanda Avenue, which corresponds roughly with routepoint J0CA551.  Instead of following Colonial Parkway as it has been told to, it tries, apparently, to take one of the intersecting ramps that lead to Sanda Avenue, and goes back and forth a couple of hundred feet... forever.  I am unable to run a simulation of the Ride With GPS route, as BaseCamp recognizes it as a track and not a route.  It will load onto the etrex, but I cannot run a simulation. 

I am running the latest version of City Navigator, both in BaseCamp and in the etrex, and I have the map enabled in the etrex.  I'm guessing that this is the odd-ish behavior that even the folks at Garmin couldn't explain.  I'm left to conclude that the GPSR just calculates routes differently (or at least the etrex 30 seems to).  I'm going to have to take their word that this won't be a major issue when I am on the road, do my best to make the routes as accurate and stable as possible in BaseCamp before transferring them to the etrex, and then hope for the best!  All of your help has already taken me so far that I'm really not too worried about it.  I will have the paper maps in front of me as I navigate, so if I have any doubts I will have the most accurate available reference to use for comparison.

Once you have the routes on your Mac, drag & drop onto BaseCamp. In BaseCamp, create a new list and put all of them in it. That will make it easiest to export them.

Great!  I'm on the right track here!  I will try to come up with some clever lettering system so that the sequence of the routes is obvious regardless of how it is displayed in the GPSR.  This is a good idea, no?

Put all the waypoints that you want to use in a new list under My Collection. From there, export that list into a GPX file and copy it to the unit. Or transfer it directly from BaseCamp to the unit.

With the stripped routes in the GPSR, I might have enough space for all of the Points of Interest!  I don't know if you can answer this, but when I look through the data as it lists in the window beneath the pane called "Trans Am", I first see a bunch of green gas station icons, followed by what look to be restaurant icons, followed by what appear to be routepoints or waypoints (when I double click on them, they take me to an intersection on the map).  Can I safely delete these, as well as all of the routes which appear at the bottom of the scroll?  We have made this information redundant, correct?

I'm soooo close!  All that is left to do now is the actual work of pounding each route into shape ;).

Again, thank you, mdxix!

mdxix, I'm closing in!

I have text edited each of the 12 TA folders and saved them to "My Collection" as "TA Stripped".  I went through J0CE90, beat it into conformity,  and then exported it as "Mod J0CE90 1.GPX".  When I open this file in BaseCamp, it displays the route correctly, but...

...there is a nasty little issue that I will have to work around, apparently, and it is this:  when I transfer the "Mod" file into the GPSR and run it in demo mode, it shows the straight-line, point-to-point route correctly.  When I recalculate the route and run the GPSR in simulation mode, it becomes confused at an interchange along the route and truncates the route.  My friends at Garmin support have assured me that, when on the road, this will not be an issue, and that if I am aware of these locations which confuse the GPSR and ride past them, the GPSR should then recalculate the original route and keep me on my intended path.  This obviates the question "how do you know when the GPSR is giving you faulty instructions unless you run a simulation of each and every route and compare it to the route you have molded in BaseCamp?".  The answer to this is, "I don't".  I will just have to wing it, I suppose.  The GPSR and BaseCamp calculate routes differently, it seems, and there is no way to know what the GPSR will do with a route no matter how I modify it before making the transfer.  How I use the "Routing" options under the "Setup" menu in the GPSR (e.g. On Road/Off Road, Car/Motorcycle/Bicycle, etc.) might make a difference, but I have been unable to learn the definitive, correct setting for these options. 


A couple of (hopefully) simple questions, if I may:

1.  What is the best, most simple way for me to save these modified routes to my Mac and then BaseCamp for transfer to the GPSR?  I am betraying my ignorance of all things computer/technological here, as I am not very good at manipulating file data into a Greg-friendly format.  Would it be best just to open each modded route file in BaseCamp, save it to a new list, and transfer that one, big list?

2.  Once the route data has been massaged and loaded, how do I get the waypoint data (Point(s) of Interest only, with no routing data), loaded into the GPSR so that I can find campgrounds, etc.?  Will this be a process which parallels the route modification process?

I so appreciate all of the instruction that you have been able to provide.  It is invaluable and has helped me immensely.  Thank you very, very much.


Wow!  This is SO helpful!  Thank you so much for taking the time to make a video- a video!- of the process! 

The difficulties I had manipulating the route onto Colonial Parkway were very nearly replicated in your demo.  I am happy to learn that I have been doing this almost correctly!  I think that the video will take me the rest of the way!

I'll be buried in a project over the next couple of days.  When I finish I will be back at this hammer and tongs, and will report back with the results.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


OK, here we go...

First of all, mdxix, thank you for all of your help.  I am really, really struggling with this.

In this case, force the route to take the correct road by adding your own route points. On a Mac in BaseCamp:

    Position the map so you have a good view of the irregular section of the route
    Select Tools from the menu bar
    Select Selector
    Hold the Option key on your keyboard
    Click the route and drag it to the correct route

It should recalculate and hopefully position the route correctly. Otherwise, add one or two more points.

I began this task by working on the first couple of routes of the TA in Oregon.  The routing through a couple of small towns required me to "force" the route into place block by block.  Should it be so difficult/tedious?  I don't mind putting in the effort, and I know that the payoff while I'm on the road will make up for this by an order of magnitude at least... but I wonder if I am doing something wrong.  My basic strategy is to force the routes into conformity with what is printed on my ACA paper maps.  This is difficult, but doable, on a turn-by-turn basis, although the paper maps don't have nearly enough detail for me to be confident that I am putting the route in the right place.  Additionally, after doing just a couple of routes/map panels, it seems that the entire project could take nearly as long as the ride itself. [EDIT]  Is "Tour Cycling" the proper setting in the route detail box that appears when I double click to manipulate the route?

I am working off of the route data that I have loaded onto my GPSR while the GPSR is linked to Base Camp.  Should I be working on the data under "My Collection" and then upload it to the GPSR, or does it make a difference?  I have also, as you suggested, transferred the route data into a separate list under "My Collection" but I have not been working from that.  Is this a mistake?

Is there a way for me to determine whether or not the route data I am working with has already been stripped of unnecessary waypoints?  When I open the "View Details" box, the alpha-numerical listings contained under the heading "Via Points" are preceded by small black dots.  Are these routepoints or waypoints, or is there no way to tell?  The only exception to this is the first route westbound, J0CE90.  I have downloaded and transferred it a couple of times, and each time the data appears with small blue flags preceding the alpha-numerical listings.  These, I hope that I am assuming correctly, are waypoints, no?  And while I'm on the topic of J0CE90...

Quoting myself:

The route section and name causing the trouble is J0CE90- the very first route westbound beginning in Yorktown.  Specifically, the first oddity is the routing (westbound) between J0C9N0 and J0C9L0, via J0C9M0 (which is skipped and left hanging out as an eastward-deviating spur from J0C9L0).  The route should, according to the ACA map, continue down Colonial Parkway, but instead heads down what I believe is CR 5.

I hacked away at this one for a while, and while I was able to "force" the route onto the correct road it still left a route on the incorrect road.  It wouldn't go away, and there are now direction arrows pointing both eastbound and westbound on what became a loop.  Scary.  4234 miles on Colonial Parkway and CR5 could become a bit dull after the first couple of weeks.

My apologies for all of these basic questions.  I am at a point where I am not sure whether I have been correctly executing the instructions you have provided, or if I am making basic errors in an effort that will consume many hours without ever leading to a reliable, usable result.  I would be very much obliged if you could tell me only if I am going about this properly in the most general sense.



mdxix, you are a lifesaver.

I'm going to take a whack at this tomorrow (east coaster here...) and report back with the results.

Thanks so much!


Odd as it may sound, I am happy to hear you confirm that BaseCamp is not easy to use.  I thought that it was just me! 

{Possibly irrelevant anecdote:  I plotted out a driving route on BaseCamp using a beginning and ending destination.  It gave me driving directions.  When I loaded this into the GPSR, it drew a straight line between the two points.  Garmin support had me change the routing setup on the etrex to a configuration suitable for driving rather than riding.  The result was... a straight line between the two points.  Support then had me enter the destination address manually (my current location is the starting point) under the GPSR's "Find Address" menu, which seemed to yield the desired result.  It was then suggested that this is the preferred method for routing- that creating a route on BaseCamp and then transferring it will not always work.  All that I could think was "Umm... what, then, is the point of BaseCamp?} 

The route section and name causing the trouble is J0CE90- the very first route westbound beginning in Yorktown.  Specifically, the first oddity is the routing (westbound) between J0C9N0 and J0C9L0, via J0C9M0 (which is skipped and left hanging out as an eastward-deviating spur from J0C9L0).  The route should, according to the ACA map, continue down Colonial Parkway, but instead heads down what I believe is CR 5.

I hope that this accurately describes the issue and that it is replicated when you download this route.  It is only the most obvious of the few wacky routing computations I have found using BaseCamp with J0CE090, and unfortunately, J0CE090 is only as far as I have progressed.

Additionally, I am also using a Mac.

Again, thank you so much!


mdxix, I cannot thank you enough!

You have given me so much information to process and put to use.  I have done a couple of trips with the excellent ACA paper maps alone, but can see how a GPS could very much improve the experience and make the navigation process much more efficient.
Yes, I do have City Navigator in BaseCamp.

I can already see that I am going to have to manipulate the routes in BaseCamp and reload them into the etrex, as there are some odd routing anomalies, such as dead-end spurs and non-sequential routing between consecutive waypoints (routepoints?).  I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Garmin support today (very friendly, patient, and helpful), but even they were unable to explain exactly why their program processes the ACA data the way that it does, at least not without becoming more familiar with the data itself.

I will continue to work with the etrex as you have suggested, report back, and hope that at some point I will be able to contribute some answers as well as questions to this forum. 

Thanks again for taking the time to write these instructions in such great detail!


I was not sure if I should crash this party or start another thread, but, as there seems to be a lot of overlap between my questions and the OP's, here goes...

I intend to use an etrex 30 for the Trans Am, traveling east-west.  I have the very latest version of City Navigator loaded onto the GPSR, and use BaseCamp to correspond with the GPSR and load into it the ACA GPS data. 

I have followed the instructions provided above for loading the routes into the GPSR, and I think that I was successful in doing so.  I'm pretty sure that the entire Trans Am is loaded into the unit. 

The etrex 30 has the capacity for 200 routes and 2000 waypoints.  Can I now use the waypoint capacity for the information unrelated to routing, e.g. hotels, campgrounds, etc.?  If so, how do I do this, and how will it display as I am rolling down the road?  Do I have to go into the menu of the GPSR and search through "camgrounds", or will they display automatically as I pass near them?  More generally, is this a way to work around the 2000 waypoint capacity limitation of (in this case) the etrex, eliminating the need for a mid-continent reload of the data necessary to complete the Trans Am?

With the routes loaded, does the GPSR care that I am traveling east-west rather than west-east?  Will the turn-by-turn instructions and proximity alarms function identically regardless of my direction of travel, or do I need to reverse the route in BaseCamp and reload it into the GPSR (I did load the 12 files from ACA in reverse order, hoping that this would at least bring up the routes in the order which I will need to access them).  Also, will the routes follow each other consecutively, or will I need to select a new route when I have completed the one immediately preceding it (For me, JOCE90 is followed by JOCE70.  Will I need to prompt the GPSR to kick off JOCE7O?).

I apologize for raising questions that involve not only the use of the ACA GPS data, but the basic function of the GPSR itself.  I have spent hours working with the etrex and BaseCamp, as well as searching this forum and watching online videos, and still can't seem to grasp quite how this system of navigation is supposed to work.

Thank you,


Substitute "etrex 30" for "62s", and "Trans Am" for "Divide Route", and I am in nearly the same situation as Bill, the OP.  Thank you very much for the step-by-step instructions.  I am following this thread closely.


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