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Messages - HobbesOnTour

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GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: February 18, 2021, 07:58:32 pm »
RayB, for what it's worth I import "raw" gpx files onto my unit all the time and never have a problem.
I normally use

I also use Komoot (not a fan) RideWithGPS and sometimes routes downloaded from other sites.

By the way, it's not a good idea to transfer a route from one app to another too much - that's a great way of getting a route you hadn't planned!

I used the ACA app for one section of the Atlantic Coast Route and it was fine except it only had data (stores, campgrounds) for the official route. When I had to go off course due to a storm it was as useful as a chocolate teapot. It was supplemantary to my own gox files.

For any device you want to use on a tour I can't emphasise enough the importance of testing it out and becoming familiar with its foibles in advance.

General Discussion / Re: bicycle navigation computer
« on: February 18, 2021, 07:18:54 pm »
While I haven't bought a navigation computer yet I have decided that I do not want one that I have to pair with my smartphone, it uses up both the phone battery
Sorry, I don't want to be "that" guy, but if you're under the impression that your phone needs to be connected all the time to the unit, then I'm afraid you're mistaken.

I've a Wahoo unit and I only connect the two rarely.

There are a number of advantages to having a unit that connects to a phone from on the fly navigation, to matching photos taken on the phone with logs like Strava/RWGPS.

I got a gps unit specifically for touring and phone connectivity was an important factor for me ;)

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPS query
« on: February 18, 2021, 07:11:57 pm »

The pros:  Garmin is the de facto GPS so a lot of gps data is geared toward their file format.

I think Garmin is the standard still but I just read a post on my Facebook Cycling Group about 30 mins ago and the question is do you use a Garmin or a Wahoo and about 2/3 of the respondents wrote they use the Wahoo and most commonly was the Wahoo Bolt.   I think it is quickly (over the past 5 years) becoming a new favorite. I used mine traveling cross country and tried to charge it every day there was power but could go two days in a pinch.  The Wahoo software is noted to be much less buggy and it just works.  Also, mine is b&w screen and uses less battery than the color screen Garmins do.... 

So, to pick up the thread in 2021, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt will now handle turn-by-turn directions on download maps from Ride With GPS and Komoot. The Elemnt Roam will handle these files, Strava, and "any other routing source file."

Anyone know if "any other routing source file" would include the FrontPack platform used for the Adventure Cycling Association Bicycle Route Navigator? I have a question in with Wahoo, but figured folks on this forum would be approaching the question from the opposite direction of Wahoo, and might already have the answer.
Wahoo are very private and don't play well with outside partners other than the big boys like Strava etc.
The ACA gpx tracks will work, but will need to be edited in something like RideWithGPS.
Please see here:

Ach!  Sorry.  This got away from me somehow.

Okay, first, there's no right and wrong way.  If someone's goal is to blaze across the country, hey, that's their ride and more power to them. 

Anyway, Adventure Cycling member and contributor John Rawkoski talked about his 'savor the experience' style of touring in the feature interview in Adventure Cycling, August 2003, and mentioned the 40 mile/day soft target then.  I think it was a Bicycling magazine interview back in the 1980s where he suggested mile-eating tourists might consider long daily rides around home with the advantage they'd have a comfortable bed and good food every night.   ;D

Englishman Tom Vernon was a social commentator, musician, epicurean and the 'Fat Man on a Bicycle'.  He wrote a couple of books under that moniker and even made a number of BBC television programs of his tours, some of which were shown on American PBS. The quote was something he said on one of his six-part 'Fat Man in France' series as he spontaneously stopped to investigate something interesting along the country lane he was riding.  I believe one of the 'Fat Man in France' episodes is on Youtube.
Thank you very much!!
Off to do a bit of sleuthing!

General Discussion / Re: Communication
« on: February 11, 2021, 10:40:00 am »
Ed, I'm going to tackle this from a different angle. Anxiety.

Anxiety is often the biggest thing holding people back from a lot of things - including a bike tour.

The problem with anxiety is that it can be out of all proportion to the actual risk - and to solve it, or assuage it, may require significant investment in terms of time, money, effort or equipment.

I have no idea of your personal situation, but I'd encourage yourself and your wife to remember that people cycled all over the world long before cellphones were a thing. Anne Mustoe communicated by letter all around the world!

The problem with a system for communication at every moment is that it can induce panic when it doesn't work as expected.

 Managing risk and expectations may be a more comfortable strategy.

Good luck!

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: GPX included in Map/Guidebook?
« on: February 10, 2021, 05:21:14 pm »
You can probably find gps files online.
RideWithGPS is good for that.
Of course, as with anything online, some sources ate better than others!

Good luck!

General Discussion / Re: Tales of Calamity and Woe
« on: February 09, 2021, 08:32:07 am »
Does selling up everything I own, paying off all debts, packing up the bike and heading off on a big, once in a lifetime trip only to get stranded on the other side of the world due to a pandemic count as a tale of calamity and woe?  :D

In my experience, some of my best and most memorable experiences have been the result of what some would call "calamity and woe"!

I am new to cycling and would like to work up to 100 miles a day so I can do some trips on the Rails to Trails across the US.

World cycletourist John Rakowski opined that somewhere north of 40 miles/day a rider begins to lose the experience of being where they are.  If you lose the experience of where you are while off and away bike touring, his advice was to just stay home and put the big daily rides in there.

Tom Vernon's First Law of Bicycling:  'A bicycle is not for going.  A bicycle is for stopping.'    :D

They are wonderful opinions! I agree wholeheartedly. Do you have any links to the sources, please?

General Discussion / Re: Warmshowers now charging.....everyone!
« on: February 05, 2021, 09:57:40 am »
A quick bit of investigating and it appears that the "old" app (still on my phone) is now the "unofficial" one.

My app was last updated on January 21. Where does that leave my personal data?

I have contacted WS directly, but it is beyond my comprehension that an official app can be "hijacked" by people unknown (although probably well meaning folks).

Given the nature of the service (connecting strangers) it raises a multitude of questions.

General Discussion / Re: Warmshowers now charging.....everyone!
« on: February 05, 2021, 09:24:33 am »
I received the following email from Warmshowers this morning.

Hello Warmshowers community!

Please take a moment to read this important notice regarding our new mobile app.

We recently discovered that an older, unauthorized mobile app was recently re-released without our consent. Security is our highest priority so rest assured that your personal information is secure.

However, if you have downloaded and used this FREE unauthorized app, it is accessing source code that we cannot guarantee will protect your data and your information could be passed to a third party without our knowledge. Please uninstall this app immediately (the text in the unauthorized app states that the app is not official and is created by volunteers).

While our team is working on this situation around the clock, we have temporarily suspended ALL mobile app access until the situation is resolved. During this time, please use our website to log in and access your account. We apologize for the inconvenience and will notify you here and on our social media channels when the issue has been resolved.

We appreciate your patience

General Discussion / Re: bicycle navigation computer
« on: January 28, 2021, 10:31:53 pm »
Yes, a gps is very handy in built up areas, but remember the key is the actual planning/planner behind it.
Depending on your location different planners will be better or worse. All a gps unit will do is follow that route.
I'm currently in a pretty large and strange (to me) city. Komoot tries to get me killed regularly, RWGPS is useful for "borrowing' other people's routes and works a dream while the inbuilt planner in my unit is ok. Sometimes I need to restart it for safety's sake.

I got my GPS unit when I lived in Europe and it was brilliant because we have a lot more turns! I travelled in the US from Virginia to Texas and it had significantly less importance. (My planning apps though, were vital).

I'd strongly urge you to test the concept and think about what you want. Online discussions about gps units can be divisive often because someone has bought the wrong unit for the job and is very unhappy.
It's not unlike a newbie cyclist buying a MTB and then complaining that he can't keep up with his roadie friends.

General Discussion / Re: bicycle navigation computer
« on: January 27, 2021, 09:40:44 pm »
Different devices operate in different ways, therefore I think it's a very good idea to sit and think about what you want the gps device to do. When you have that, then you can look for devices that match your needs.

I always find it helpful to think of bike gps navigation in two parts;
The first is the actual route creation/planning
The second is following the route.
While things are improving, not all units can create a route on the fly and the quality of routes of the ones that can can be variable.

No gps unit will make a poor route better.

The kinds of questions to ask yourself are;
How will you plan routes, and where. At home on a PC, on the road on a phone?
How well does a unit "play" with other services such as Strava, RWGPS etc.
What kinds of maps do you need? Basic or detailed? That can add cost.
Do you want turn by turn directions or a simple line to follow?
Do you need a unit to recalculate a route when going off course?
How tech savvy are you? Or how user friendly is the unit.
Customer service?
And many others.....

A gps unit revoliutonised my touring, although I rarely follow a preplanned route. It is especially handy in larger urban areas where you may not want to be stopping to look at a map. Again, the usefulness of the gps unit is directly related to the quality of the route planning.

You could download OSMand to your phone and get a handle on what a gpx navigation device can do for you. There's a steep learning curve but the process is educational.


Pacific Northwest / Re: Vancouver, BC to Astoria - first long bike tour
« on: January 18, 2021, 10:29:06 pm »
Tara, forgive me if this comes across as patronising but there's a whole lot more to cycle touring than distance.

Working from the assumption that you haven't ridden seriously in 20 years, 100 mile days in a row is a big ask!
At an average of 12mph that's 8 hours straight on the bike. Start at 8 am and cycle continously until 4pm. Stop for lunch? Then it'll be 5 pm. Take a few breaks then arrival is back to 6 pm. Running behind schedule? That just adds to the pressure. I don't like touring under pressure.
(For the sake of comparison, I rearely clock up more than 5 hours moving in a day).

Assuming you have a bike, my advice would be to use it as much as possible. Get to know how your body reacts. What does 50 miles feel like? And the next day?

When you have an idea what speed/distance you're comfortable covering, repeatedly,  then you'll be in a better position to plan.

I've seen it said before that for a regular cyclist if they add up their weekly mileage then that is roughly the distance they can expect to cover in one day. From my experince it seems to hold up - I commuted 200km a week and would be confident of being able to cover 200km in a day. Of course, touring, with baggage and presumably an emphasis on enjoyment, will be a bit different.

For me, touring is all about tbe experience, being in the moment. There's a wonderful sense of freedom, there's no work, no appointments. Being able to stop and appreciate wherever I am and interact with the people I meet. Food, no matter how basic, can taste delicious! These are all difficult things to experience and appreciate if we're rushing, racing the clock and tired.

For what it's worth, I have never trained for a tour. I do practice, though. I go away for long weekends or little overnights. I prefer to camp. I'd often cycle a roundabout route to end up in a campsite 10km from my front door. In winter, I practiced cold weather camping on a friend's farm. I learned about navigation, eating, drinking, cooking, gear, weather, mechanics etc. by doing. I was getting fitter, sure, but I was also developing knowledge and skills that made a bigger tour far less daunting and more enjoyable.

Best of luck!

Routes / Re: Alcohol Stoves on GDMBR
« on: January 12, 2021, 07:14:48 am »
I recall reading several years ago about this topic.
What I can recall is that "open" flame stoves without an automatic stop function could be banned due to seasonal conditions.
My understanding was that a gas stove was OK, an alcohol stove not, even a Trangia with its lid (as opposed to a homemade burner).

*My information is old and dredged from memory. For such things always better to get it from the horse's mouth - perhaps try emailing the relevant bodies?

General Discussion / Re: San Antonio
« on: December 27, 2020, 07:33:15 am »
I used to route me to, through and out of San Antonio. It did a good job of keeping me on quiet roads for most of it.

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