Author Topic: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?  (Read 3725 times)

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Offline Laszlo

To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« on: May 29, 2017, 06:06:01 pm »
Hi,

I´m middle of the preparation of my bike trip for this summer...planning to go from NY city to Connecticut and then trough upstate New York towards Buffalo.


I must admit, it´s the first time I´ve been riding in north america and I'm asking myself the question, what kind of roadmapping will be the best. I'm used to navigate with paper roadmaps and bicycle-maps....but see a good advantage in having some kind of mobile device with me (iPad etc.) to gather information about the roads, paths and everything else that might become useful on such a trip.

So, my question is: What do you prefer....and, most important, will The area around upstate Newyork provide me with good "enough internet" to navigate?

Thanks - L.

Offline John Nelson

Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 08:57:51 pm »
Both

Offline PeteJack

Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 09:56:32 pm »
I've done a few long tours and never used a GPS, always had ACA maps but what I do find handy is an iPhone mainly for finding motels. Google maps is just the thing if you search for 'breakfast restaurants'. And there's also that essential thing you can never find 'laundromat' (launderette)

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2017, 06:30:30 am »
I plan my routes ahead of time using Ride With GPS and then make paper cue sheets for each day. Never owned or toured with any portable, "smart" electronics.

Offline staehpj1

Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2017, 06:56:47 am »
For me it depends on the trip, but usually I do not like having to rely on battery powered devices for all day navigation.  So I usually use paper maps and supplement with my phone mostly for in town directions or if lost to reorient myself.  The rest of the day I leave it turned off or at least put in a mode that uses less battery.

I have used a handheld GPS on one off road trip where there were lots of obscure turns and I had a good track file, but typically I have not done that.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 09:54:21 am »
If you're going on an AC route, I've never needed anything other than their paper maps.

Otherwise, it's probably wise to lay out a detailed route ahead of time, and store it on your device with some application that doesn't need a cell signal to map.  Rural Kansas had great cell service, but Verizon could do that with a regular 10-mile grid spacing because it's so flat.  When you get into mountainous areas, it's going to be a crap shoot.  On top of this ridge you might get a weak cell signal, down in the valley no signal unless you're on a major highway or in a fair-sized town.

Offline staehpj1

Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 10:23:40 am »
If you're going on an AC route, I've never needed anything other than their paper maps.
Good point to bring up AC routes.  They do make it really easy to follow with their paper maps.  I never really needed anything else when on an AC route.  Still I did usually pick up a paper state map for each state as I went ( I discarded or gave them away as I left each state).  I did that mostly because I am sometimes inclined to go my own way for a while rather than stick to the AC route exclusively.

The paper state maps are also way better than the AC strip maps or a phone app for visualizing the big picture route wise.  One shortcoming of the AC maps is that you can go by stuff pretty closely and not know it due to the blinders that strip maps impose.  Having the state map solves that.

Offline geegee

Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2017, 11:23:12 am »
I like using a dedicated GPS unit that gives audible cues for turns. It replaces a bike computer since it automatically records distance, speed and altitude (I don't even have to jot these down and reset the computer daily), and allows me to enjoy the scenery or concentrate on road safety without having to constantly glance down at a map or be preoccupied with wayfinding. It also gives me the freedom of taking any interesting detours with its ability to automatically reroute me back on track further on.

I toured with paper maps throughout Europe and North America in the 1990s and early 2000s and I much prefer the simplicity of something like a Garmin eTrex on my handlebar now.

Offline PeteJack

Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 03:49:08 pm »
I like using a dedicated GPS unit that gives audible cues for turns. It replaces a bike computer since it automatically records distance, speed and altitude (I don't even have to jot these down and reset the computer daily), and allows me to enjoy the scenery or concentrate on road safety without having to constantly glance down at a map or be preoccupied with wayfinding. It also gives me the freedom of taking any interesting detours with its ability to automatically reroute me back on track further on.

I toured with paper maps throughout Europe and North America in the 1990s and early 2000s and I much prefer the simplicity of something like a Garmin eTrex on my handlebar now.
You can get audible cues with Google maps but it runs your phone down in no time. I like sound of the Garmin eTrex. Does the it last all day, 8 hours say? Can you recharge it with one of those battery pack thingys if you're not near a power source?

Offline geegee

Re: To use paper maps...or the internet while on tour?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 03:57:09 pm »
The eTrex runs on two AA batteries, which is really convenient. You can get about 20 hours out of a pair. I carry a several spare rechargeables with me, as soon as it warns me the batteries are low I just switch out and recharge later.

The notifications on the eTrex are just beeps, you glance at the screen see which direction to turn.

By the way, I use the mount made by RAM, they are so much better than the ones Garmin makes.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 04:07:21 pm by geegee »