Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - HobbesOnTour

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8
General Discussion / Re: GPS navigation apps/info?
« on: January 21, 2022, 07:38:58 pm »
The GDMBR is bumpy and remote - two words that don't complement a phone as a navigation tool. The scenario of a nasty fall, a phone in a vulnerable position broken beyond use and no way to call for help or navigate is not pleasant.

Think of battery life and trying to charge the phone from a powerbank on the move. The phone connections aren't designed for that type of abuse.

Sorry! I know you didn't ask about that.

If you have the paper maps can you not make a RWGPS route and follow that? The paper maps and app maps should have the same info (stores etc.) no? It may be worth checking out if the app reflects any updates to the maps.

I tried one section (I think) on the ACA app on the Atlantic coast route. It was no good when I had to go off route because of bad weather.
For the uninitiated it's very simple - I can see where I am, where I'm going and what stores etc. are nearby.
I preferred my gps unit.

There was a sample map included when I downloaded the app to see what it looks like. Have you looked at that?

I know RWGPS will show elevation profiles I can't recall if ACA app did that.

A lot of these things are down to personal preferences.

Again, I'd urge you to have a good think about using a phone as a primary navigation device on such a route.

Good luck!

I'd suggest to anyone thinking of buying a bike computer to first sit down and have a good think about what you want it to do. No harm to have a think about what you might like it to do in the future too.

Once you know what you want it's easier to look for something without being overwhelmed.

For basic functions like speed, distance etc. a smartphone app (Strava, RWGPS and others) can be useful in helping figure out what you want to do.

Is navigation something you want?

"Budget" and "still good" are highly subjective terms.

Good luck

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: January 12, 2022, 09:58:53 am »
Just remember that our fears sitting at home are often far more vivid than on the road.

You obviously need to spend more time watching cable news.  Be afraid!  Be very afraid!!

Cable news?
What's that? :D

General Discussion / Re: Hillbilly dogs
« on: January 11, 2022, 02:42:11 pm »
Good to see you come back to the thread.

I've posted earlier and from memory I think the gist of my post was about managing fears.

I have a bit of an update. Just prior to Christmas I was bitten by a stray dog in a small mountain village in Colombia (ironically while walking).
It was only back in my dingy hotel room that I realised he had broken the skin and that it was worse than I had thought.
A few hours of constant washing and disinfecting the wound (I have a good first aid kit)  was followed by a trip to the local hospital. Having been vaccinated for rabies I got a (double) shot of vaccine with two subsequent shots required over the next two weeks - wherever I happened to be. I got my last shot last week.

If someone had laid out the scenario in advance it would have seemed terrifying but, in fact, the experience was anything but. I wouldn't advise anyone to get bitten by a dog but the experience did open doors I had not expected and gave me unexpected insights into this country and its people.

Just remember that our fears sitting at home are often far more vivid than on the road.

Good luck

One last point and it may verge on heresy......

You talk of "saving" two pounds in weight by taking the tablet.

I'm a big believer in packing for what makes me comfortable.

I like freedom so always carry extra water and food. I like comfort so always have extra clothes.

If you really think your trip will be more comfortable for you by taking a laptop then why not think about taking it?

It's two pounds. Maybe an incentive to lose a couple of pounds around the waist  :)
Good luck!

To go back to your original question I had a Samsung tablet and if I used RWGPS on it I used the web interface, not the app. I did not plan or edit routes with that combination.

My Samsung tablet was a PITA for anything unusual. Simple things like file management, clearing cache, cookies etc was far more convoluted than on any other android device I've used.

Usability is a highly subjective concept. What's usable for one is a PITA for another.

I must be a bit thick this morning because I'm still not clear on what you want to do. Increasing or decreasing distance along the same route should not be an issue and editing routes to reflect that seems like creating work.
If the actual route is to change significantly other than distance then that's a different situation. Minor changes could probably be dealt with by a gps unit that can reroute.

Will an edited route need to be distributed to all members of the group allowing people to go at their own pace or is everyone travelling together? If everyone needs a copy then there are more complications. Is everyone using RWGPS? On android? A gps unit?

Planning is all well and good and a great way to pass long winter nights but heading off without practicing what you want to do can be very brave.

My suggestion is to think about exactly what you want to do, then practice it. An early morning huddle in the rain when you're the one responsible for navigation and nothing is working as you'd like is not the way I'd like to start my day. Don't forget that you may be competent at what you're doing but not everyone may be.

In my experience the things that flummox people are a lack of internet access and incompatibility across devices and systems.

Good luck

Disclaimer: I only use the free version of RWGPS

The first thing to be aware of is that the app interface is different to the browser interface (and the browser interface may be different again between mobile and PC versions).

It's not fully clear to me what you want to edit?
Are you expecting to go off your planned route completely and need to be able to plan alternatives on the fly?
Or is it more likely that you'll shorten a planned day, take a slight detour to accommodation and then resume the pre-planned route the next day?

Also are you using a standalone gps unit or RWGPS on your phone for navigation?

Sorry, but I'm going to be "that guy" and not answer your question by going off on a tangent....

Try Osmand. A route planner and navigator. You can mark off (as favourites) your accommodation options in advance. And backups. Then if you need to change plans simply plot a route to your new location.

You can import your gpx files from RWGPS (so you can still do your "big planning" at home in a format you know.
For "on the fly" changes you can create a gpx file in Osmand and send wirelessly to a gps unit (depends on unit) or import into your RWGPS app (I can't test that - please check for yourself).
If you use your phone to navigate Osmand does that too with TBT directions and voice commands.

Osmand works offline (for planning and navigation) a huge advantage in my book. It shows road surfaces and gradients and is incredibly useful. I've used it all through Central & Southern America.

Note: It's not the "best" route planner out there in terms of quality of route but for short diversions it is fantastic - quick, accurate and offline.

To actually answer your question I rarely use the "big apps" on the road. They have a tendency to do a revamp every now and then and functions move around - frustrating when on the road.
The only way to know for sure is to practice. Get out on your bike (or even your car) and recreate the scenario you envisage.

For what it's worth I cycled from NL to Ireland using one gpx file across the UK. At the end of the day I turned off for accommodation and the next morning cycled back to the route. Ditto in Ireland and again going back a different way across the UK. The basic maps on my gps unit were usually enough or I used Osmand.

By the way I've tried out a couple of bluetooth keyboards for touring. This is all typed out on my phone :)

Good luck

Gear Talk / Re: Breaking in Brooks B17 Imperial
« on: January 01, 2022, 06:21:10 pm »
I'm not an expert but I've broken in three Brook's leather saddles.
The first was the most difficult about an hour at a time.
The second (sprung) was easier and the third was done in a 400km weekend.
People's experiences vary. I'd suggest using the Proofide (wax) very, very sparingly.

Personally, I'd wait to break it in on the bike I'm going to use it on.

General Discussion / Re: Happy New Year!
« on: January 01, 2022, 06:16:54 pm »
Happy New Year, John and all.

Unlike most I've actually been "on tour" for a little over two years including a year "de-toured" in México due to closed borders in an attempt to get from Virginia to Patagonia.

I've made it as far as southern Colombia but couldn't cross into Ecuador a few weeks ago. It's confusing even now if I'm permitted to cross but the Colombians have extended my visitor permit to March and then I'll probably head home to Europe. In the meantime I get to explore more of this fabulous cycling country.

A happy and safe touring year to all.

Gear Talk / Re: Need STRONG 135mm hub for Surly long haul trucker.
« on: December 28, 2021, 05:04:19 pm »
Is 400lbs a typo?

If not you're going to need specialist racks and panniers too!

I travel pretty heavy ( about 110 - 130 kg total) and regularly take rough roads. I have the Ryde Anda rims, 36 spoke hand made by SJS in the UK. The only problem I had was when I foolishly fell into a drain. I've a Shimano hub on the rear and a Son Dynohub on the front.

As regards any "specialist" hubs such as the Phil Woods bear in mind the need to be able to service them on the road. Personally, I'd prefer to have something that can be serviced/adjusted/bodged to keep me going.

Youth Bicyle Travel / Re: Introduction, a plan, and some questions. :)
« on: November 24, 2021, 06:43:07 pm »
Why revive a two and half year old thread?
I went on a similar trip last year across Europe. At first, I was thinking about renting a car.

General Discussion / Re: About trailering one's pet dog while touring?
« on: November 20, 2021, 04:17:40 pm »
There are a number of videos on YouTube of people touring with dogs.
In Europe it is not uncommon at all to see small dogs in baskets, larger ones in trailers.

It's a dream of mine, someday.

All the points noted above are relevant. I'd also add that the dog would need to be very calm when traffic is heavy, close and fast.
I would also worry about territorial dogs on the roads I was riding.

Also, accommodation options can be limited with a pet.

I'd imagine a lot of day rides and practice are in order - lucky you[ :D

Routes / Re: Brit riding across the US
« on: November 16, 2021, 10:15:06 am »
As a fellow European who has done some riding in the States here's a few thoughts....

Distances can be big! By that I mean the distances between places to get a drink or food.

"Proper" food is rare and expensive.

I found ACA routes often unpleasant. (Atlantic coast in particular)

Dogs can be an issue.

The most dangerous traffic I have encountered is in the U.S.

Weather can be scary and much more extreme than what we are used to.

Camping can be very expensive

Bridges can be terrifying!

I think it's interesting that we tend to focus on a route eg coast to coast. I've had more success with thinking about places I'd like to visit and linking them together. was my default planner when I needed to do this or when the ACA route was not good.

With four months and a willing wife you really have your pick of things. (You'll need a visa for more than 3 months).

I've listed the negatives but I really enjoyed my time in the US.

Best of luck!

Gear Talk / Re: cooking System
« on: October 31, 2021, 04:55:01 am »
In my world eating should be a pleasure not a process and I pack accordingly.

I use a Trangia set supplemented with a flask.
The flask gets a lot of use - for making (and holding) coffee, for "finishing" pasta while I cook/heat up a sauce or for keeping water hot for tea on long cold nights.

General Discussion / Re: A weighty question
« on: October 25, 2021, 05:56:09 pm »

Questions:  For those who use GPS mapping, do you also carry paper maps? 

To answer your question .... It depends, but usually no. And even pre gpx I didn't usually carry maps. Mind you, that was in Europe and I did a lot of navigating by river or canal. A photograph of a bike map placed regularly along the route could last several days.

I use mapping apps on my phone, either to see where I am and to get local, live info (Google maps), route plotting (, Osmand).

I like a paper map to see the "big picture" which is difficult on a phone. But those maps are invariably poor for trying to plot a route on.
Bear in mind that I rarely have a definitive route in mind when I set off. They also serve a useful (for some) purpose by drawing people towards you if sitting down poring over a map. They are far more sociable than a phone or tablet.

Presuming you have the route already created in RWGPS what information will these maps have that you will need?
Is it just for redundancy? A back up in case of a technology fail? Do you want to be able to wander off course and need the extra information that these maps offer?

Depending on your answers there are probably better, lighter and more useful options.
Any info about the route (accommodation, stores, etc.) can simply be stored in a memo app on your phone or on a mapping app like Google or Osmand.

For redundancy, time to be realistic. If your Garmin fails you still have your phone. If your phone fails you still have your garmin. If both fail you have other problems than just a lost route. In any case, a new phone, Internet connection and you're back in business. Or just buy a map in a store.

Have you tried looking at the downloaded pdfs on your phone? If that works for you you can bring them all with zero weight penalty. Or perhaps you're planning on bringing a tablet?
Perhaps the PDF format doesn't work well so try photographing the map on your phone. A photo might "play" better.

The only disadvantages of using a phone are battery dependence and difficulty in rain.

And (as above) there are people. You can always talk to them! Just remember that drivers always underestimate the distances! :)

If you are going to take printouts remember that unless using special "paper" or laminating them they will likely need handling with kid gloves and bone dry storage.

Since you have a new gps unit and admit to not being very technically adept (neither am I) I'd encourage you to stress test it (and yourself!) as much as possible.
Try going off course and see what happens.
In an urban area pretend that a road is closed (or totally unsuitable) and see how to get around it.
Try creating a route "on the fly" both online and off.
Create a figure 8 route and see how the unit handles it.
If it has the function to save locations practice using that feature (perhaps for hotels in large urban areas)
Get a handle on battery life. Just how far will 10% get you? 5%? Similarly, how long to charge it?
Can you input an address into it and will it calculate a good, safe route?
The better you know and understand your unit the less stress you will have.

Just a final comment. One of the best pieces of gear I use is a Kindle. Not only am I toting a huge library with me I can also back up important documents, route notes and even maps (quality may vary) on it. For travelling I can download entire wikipedia articles about places. Of course, there's a kindle app for phone and tablet but a separate device is another layer of backup.

Good luck!

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8