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Messages - HobbesOnTour

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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

General Discussion / Re: Riding coast to coast
« on: August 21, 2019, 08:27:49 am »

Can you point to any journals where they rode coast to coast on a route in the middle or northern half of the US in a late December - March time frame?  Of the hundreds of northern coast to coast journals that I have seen, I don't recall ever seeing any that were done in the winter.

No, I can't.
But then again, that was not what I said. I said there were journals that covered travelling in winter, an entire category, in fact.
In any case, a good read of the most appropriate journals will help the OP understand what they may be getting into.
Ditto with Youtube. The one I was specifically thinking of was this He even got a fine for riding his bike when it was not permitted. But there are other videos as well, some more useful than others.

@ vt91; For good or ill, it looks like you are pretty determined to have a go at this. Other than pure luck, your chances of success will increase proportionally to your research and preparation. Determining the uniqueness of your quest may help you to look again at your plans.

I can't help but think that you will be ultimately disappointed, not because of whether or not you can go where you want when you want, but that the public interaction you seek will be so limited due to the weather and the lack of daylight.

GPS & Digital Data Discussion / Re: ACA gpx on Wahoo?
« on: August 21, 2019, 03:24:59 am »
Has anyone had luck using ACAs digital routes on a wahoo? My Element loads the route, but doesn't display the map or give directions. If there's an extra step I'm missing beyond importing into and from RWGPS I'd be interested to hear about it.

I'm wondering if you got this sorted?

General Discussion / Re: Riding coast to coast
« on: August 21, 2019, 03:14:26 am »

Your goal is certainly challenging and definitely unique.

I cannot give any advice on routes as it's alien territory to me, but I can emphasise that the advice to date is good and based on broad and deep experience.

I can give advice on charging options as I have researched them myself;
There are generally 3 different options for charging while on a bike;
1. Hub dynamo with an adapter to charge via usb. Only works above a certain speed and is not cheap to put together an adequate system. Most people use a powerbank charging from the usb port and then charge sensitive electronics such as a phone since the varying speeds can mean intermittent charging and phones stopping the charge at low speeds and not starting to charge when speed picks up.
2. Solar. Not terribly effective on a moving bike. Handy when stopped and able to manually adjust to maximise sunlight. I have a 3 panel unit that is a backup. But winter effectiveness is minimal.
3. Stopping and charging "on the road". As pointed out, some purchases may be advisable. And in winter, there may be less options open and available. Also, in winter, every hour spent charging is one hour less of daylight for cycling.

I have never come across a generator that works off braking as you have described. That is not to say that it won't work, but I would strongly advise that this is both weatherproof and tested "in the field" before you find yourself in an area with few people, a problem and no charge on your phone.

I can also give advice on Winter touring;
As stated by others, a big issue is daylight, or rather the lack of it. This is not an issue of toughness, it is an issue of daylight. Simply, there is less time to get from A to B. In mild weather, not getting to my destination can be uncomfortable. In winter weather not getting to my destination can be fatal.
In winter I travel slower than normal. I am packing more weight - clothing and food and also need to regulate my effort to that I am not sweating too much. Too much heat generated when I am cycling will quickly turn into too much cold as soon as I stop.
There are also issues with road surfaces and snow or sub-zero temperatures.
Slower travel can also have an impact on charging abilities.

There are many blogs on CrazyGuyOnABike that cover travelling in winter, or in very cold locations. On Youtube too.

I wish you the best of luck in your adventure.

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