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Messages - HobbesOnTour

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Gear Talk / Re: Drivetrain spare parts for a long tour
« on: September 27, 2020, 11:21:47 am »
Have you cycle toured before? What has been your experience on the consumption of consumables on tour?
Drivetrain is only one aspect of the consumables on tour.

One of the great things about travelling (on a bike or otherwise) is that it opens our mind to so many different things and people.

I'd read John's advice above again and again until I drew out every bit of wisdom it contains.

You may not believe in Covid but I can assure you that large sections of the world do not share that opinion!

That can show up in many different ways - closed borders and no visas are the big ones, but the smaller ones are mandatory quarantines ($$), no accommodation, no access to food, water or bathrooms. Curfews are another problem. Believe me, you don't want to get caught in a foreign city going to the bathroom in a park during a pandemic.
Travel insurance and health insurance may not be valid in certain countries.

Just taking one example - a lack of hotel accommodation:
No washing/laundry.
No opportunity to recharge electronics
No internet for staying in contact/research
No shelter in foul weather

Poorer countries have suffered greatly and crime, especially against perceived "wealthy westerners" is more likely than before. Desperation.

Where borders have been closed, criminality is rife in border areas - much more than before.

In fact, any information you may have from previous tourers in an area is at great risk of being out of date. That store that you're depending on for food or water may be closed.

On the road there will be a significant difficulty in getting up to date information. How are you with languages?
Have you contacted your country's Embassies and Consulates in these countries and asked advice?

Even getting home in a worst case scenario can be challenging. Do you have any idea what proportion of flights get cancelled at the moment?

Whether you believe in it or not, the changes brought about by Covid are frequent, sudden and often significant. It is not possible to predict what may happen.
People who have been on the road for years have stopped or returned home.

I'm sure there's a great tour ahead of you with the right attitude, planning and preparation.

By the way, are you American? I ask because if not, you may have difficulties entering the US after visiting some of the countries on your list.

Routes / Re: First time, but year long trip. Nervous.
« on: August 30, 2020, 12:02:58 am »
Is it possible? Yes! Other people are doing it. I'm on a phone and can't look properly, but there are blogs from people who have done the same. Have a look.

I'd strongly suggest you get some practice under your belt. A sense of adventure is normally all I'd suggest you need (and a comfortable bike) but in your case, you need to keep a business going.

I think you may find conflicting demands - cheap/free accommodation is unlikely to be compatible with reliable internet access. Local libraries might be better or Starbucks etc. That of course, means leaving your bike unattended.

As for maps/planning etc. that is really where practice and experience comes into play. Everybody plans differently because everyone has different thresholds for uncertainty/spontaneity.
There's a map floating around on the internet showing a bike touring route around the US that maintains a 70F temperature every day.

There are practical considerations to living on the road, especially if you plan to not have a "home". I'm thinking taxes, insurance etc. 

Practise. Practise some more. Then practise again.

Good luck!

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: July 08, 2020, 11:39:44 am »
There's a lot of good advice above, but I'll come at this from a different perspective and that is to have a good think about what you want from your gps device - then look at what is on offer.

For example, bike gps units are different to car devices because only some have the ability to plan a route on the fly. In fact, for bike navigation I prefer to think of planning and navigating as two separate tasks.

The kind of things to think about are ;
Where & when will you use the device? Is it only for cycling or for other outdoor pursuits too?
Where will you do your route planning? Only at home or on the road? If on the road online or offline?
Mapping: What detail do you need and will you require turn by turn directions? Also, are maps included on the device or are they extra?
Battery life & charging options.
Ease of use.

Personally, I don't need detailed maps on my gps device - my phone is far superior for that.
I don't need turn by turn directions - a breadcrumb trail is fine.
I do need to be able to plot a new route on the fly so online & offline options are a necessity (through my phone).
I don't trust maps stored on a memory card in the device - I've read of too many cases of corrupted cards.

One feature I do use (which I had never considered before) is Strava or RWGPS connectivity. Each day's ride is recorded, sent to my phone and photos are easily added - a simple, but wonderful, log of each day on tour.

I use a Wahoo Elemnt (now discontinued) and for three years it has been flawless.
The new Roam (with greater mapping & routing options) is probably overpriced but the Bolt does the same job as the Elemnt in a smaller package.

I should add that my battery has recently started to fail and Wahoo have offered a very attractive discount on a new unit.

I've never quite understood Garmin's points on their tracks or routes. I do know I can throw routes of several thousand kms onto my Elemnt and navigation is flawless.

While I'm not a fan of using my phone as a gps while on tour, depending on circumstances they can be a simple and user friendly option.

Good luck!

Honestly,. a dynohub is the way to go. For a solar panel to be effective it has to be angled properly and constantly.

I have tried out a fold out panel across the rear rack bag in almost total sunshine (Spain) and it barely charged on the move. This panel is quite effective stationary.

While a dynohub is a lot more expensive it works as long as you maintain a reasonable speed.

One thing to bear in mind irrespective of your charging option is the sensitivity of charging sockets on devices, especially if doing a lot of off-road.

Good luck

General Discussion / Re: ACA Maps & 2-lane Highways - how often?
« on: April 17, 2020, 07:41:05 pm »
I'm going to strike a slightly different tone to most of the other posters....

First of all a lot of "danger" is subjective - what's comfortable for one is extremely uncomfortable for another.

On a recent trip through nine states I was horrified at some of the routes and situations that ACA maps put me in. On the Atlantic Coast route I had to go onto forest roads to get away from Highway 17 in the Carolinas. It was scary enough with a shoulder, but when the shoulder disappeared......!!

Many bridges were horrifying too - a high kerb, narrow shoulder filled with all kinds of debris and invariably a high wind.

In some of the bigger urban areas entry or exit often involved crossing several lanes of fast moving traffic.

Now, for some balance I did no research on my routes other than buying the maps. Mea culpa.
Also, my touring experience was only European - a very different environment.
When I finally reached Texas I was very pleasantly surprised at how safe I found it, despite some crazy speed limits.

The advise above to practise is very good. Increase your exposure at a pace you can deal with.
Be prepared to pull up/off if it looks like traffic will pass too close. On that, a mirror is a vital piece of equipment in my book.
Avoid cycling in the dark. Too many flaws in road surface can be hidden in the darkness.
Avoid rush hours. As a part of that allow yourself leisurely days so that waiting for traffic to die down doesn't put you under pressure.
Practise a method of destressing. I'll do it regularly after an unpleasant experience - pull off, do some breathing exercises and leave the experience behind.

I did have some unpleasant experiences with drivers but outside of the moment they did little harm. Dogs, on the other hand had a far more serious effect!

Good luck!

Routes / Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« on: April 06, 2020, 12:17:59 am »
On my recent trip through the States I learned that shoulders seem to be the preserve of counties rather than states - often on crossing a county line I'd either gain or lose a shoulder.

I found to be very useful as a planning tool because you can click on any point on your route for a street view.

I found many times that the shoulder disappeared or was reduced to the point of uselessness on many bridges too.

I'd strongly suggest a mirror to help with dealing with traffic.

Be prepared to encounter dogs!

Good luck!

Routes / Re: Natchez Trace Parkway
« on: April 05, 2020, 11:51:22 pm »
A few thoughts....

The bridge over the Mississippi at Natchez did not have a shoulder when I crossed in December. Traffic was light but very fast and the wind made the crossing tricky. There were roadworks for the second half giving me the option to avoid the traffic.

I cycled on to Austin using the Southern Tier as a base for navigation. I also used which I find to be a very handy route planner.

I have a tcx file for my day from Nashville ( Madison) to the NTP if anyone wants it.

Good luck!

General Discussion / Re: It Ain't The Prettiest, But . . .
« on: January 06, 2020, 04:59:06 pm »
 Not an ACA route but I'd suggest the Natchez Trace Parkway.
No shoulder, but very light traffic with notable exceptions at Tupelo and especially Jackson.

As a European I came over here & was horrified by parts of the Atlantic coast route. I could not believe I was being advised to ride on major highways without a shoulder. Terrifying! Also, don't get me started on the bridges!!

On the Atlantic coast route and again on parts of the Southern Tier I regularly went "off course" to avail of better, safer options. (Yes, I know that's entirely subjective!)

A great tool is
As well as plotting routes you can see most of the main ones. You can click on any point of your route and get the Google Street view. Very handy for figuring out whether to take road A or road B.

Good luck!

Routes / Re: Southern Tier, Heading West, Novemberish...
« on: October 09, 2019, 04:37:46 pm »
Thanks Fahrrad, that's useful info and descriptive as well :-). I have no hard and fast plans so am open to any and all suggestions.

Staehpj1 I'm not specifically avoiding the weather and will be avoiding the higher elevations in Northern Mexico anyway.

This is my first time touring in this part of the world and I need to be careful of my body (2018 was not the greatest year) so plans are flexible and adaptable on the fly.

If you want to follow my attempts I've started a blog here

Thanks for all the input

Thanks, Dan.
I arrived in Kitty Hawk today, or to be more accurate I was blown in!  :D

I've checked on and off for the past couple of weeks, do it's disappointing that I can't do the Outer Banks - but that's bike touring!

I'll be heading for an alligator park tomorrow  :)

I'll reply for the benefit of others; Cedar Island - Ocaroke ferry is limited to locals only. No cyclists.

Does anyone have anymore updates on the Outer Banks route?
Currently heading towards Kitty Hawk but have heard one of the ferries is "locals only"?

Any input gratefully appreciated.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: August 23, 2019, 11:09:45 am »
Srauschenberg, That's correct. Once you've uploaded our track lines to RWGPS, you need to 'edit' the route, make sure that the generated route matches our gpx line that is visible on the map, save the route and then that exported/synced route will have the cues. This is something that we're hoping to provide out-of-the-box in the future, but we're not quite there yet. Good luck!
That's quite important and something that should be highlighted on the GPS Devices page, no?
There is information there for various models of Garmin, but nothing for Wahoo.

As the OP has discovered, he needs to manually edit the supplied file to get it to work. That's only discovered at the start! Hardly ideal.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: August 23, 2019, 05:56:43 am »
Hello - Sorry for the confusion with our data. I'll try to add some clarification here. All of the ACA .gpx data available for purchase are TRACK line elements. It is confusing, because a .gpx file can contain both ROUTE and TRACK elements, but we ship everything tagged as a track. A TRACK line is simply a series of hundreds of lat/long pairs that are strung together to form a detailed line that can be displayed on various devices and applications. Many users import our track data onto ridewithgps, edit it, generate cues, and then a .gpx file can be exported in a variety of formats including .gpx(track), .gpx(route), .fit, and .tcx. RWGPS provides good info about the format differences in the export dialogue and when each one might be the best choice.


Since the op is still having this problem can you suggest what they should try?

I am interested in purchasing a mobile device for my bike ride down the Pacific Coast to use in addition to bike maps.  Can anyone give me an idea as to which device, such as an iPhone, etc. is best to use with apps such as GPX and others for riding?

As you are finding out the world of electronic navigation is a very specific and precise place.

Perhaps it would be better to think about, then describe just what exactly you would want this "device" to do for you?

I like to think of electronic navigation for bike touring in 2 parts;

Part 1 is the planning. Planning I like to see big areas so I can get the big picture of where I'm going. There are a variety of different online resources for that, and it is even possible to do it on paper maps and hen transfer that info onto the online maps or directly to the device.

Part 2 is following the preplanned route. That can be done with a smartphone (using many different apps) or a dedicated device such as Garmin, Wahoo etc. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Some have detailed maps, others not. Some work offline, others not. Some can deal with going off course, others not.

GPS devices for bikes are not like for cars where I can sit in my car and give it an address and off I go. A lot of dedicated apps and devices can do that.... but the quality of the route they pick is often questionable.

So, come back and tell us what you want this device to do and we can be more helpful

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