Author Topic: Northern Tier map set issues  (Read 586 times)

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Offline Twigrf

Northern Tier map set issues
« on: July 16, 2021, 07:32:12 pm »
I bought the Northern Tier map set in November of 2019, and the gpx files in June of 2021. My wife and I started riding from the west on June 23 and are now somewhere in Montana. Section 1 and Section 2 worked fine on my Bolt, but when I got to Section 3 there were no bread crumbs to follow. I finally figured out that my paper map isn’t the current version and therefore doesn’t match the gpx data. I looked at other map sections and found that Section 4 and Section 7 have newer map versions, so those, too, won’t work with my gpx data.

I checked ACA’s updates page and downloaded and printed the updates for the northern tier before starting the ride. No mention of route changes. Nothing to suggest that I should buy a new map.

Now I have to figure out how long it will take ACA to mail me new maps, figure out where we might be at that time, and figure out which post office to choose as a general delivery address for the maps.

I contacted ACA and the response was, basically, you should buy the current map set. I also saw a similar response from them on another forum page. We’ll, I would have bought the current map set if I knew I needed something different, but since nothing was mentioned on the updates page why would I?

I’m very frustrated with ACA right now.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2021, 09:14:10 pm »
Sorry to hear you are having troubles. Sounds like a pain. Are you saying the GPX does not match the current 2021 set or that it no longer matches the out of date set?  If the former, ACA definitely needs to update.  If the latter, I can understand as I would not want people following an outdated set since there probably was some reason they updated it, i.e. too much traffic (or no shoulder) on the old route. Regardless, I too would frustrated.

I always allow an extra day for general delivery. By that I mean if it is "supposed" to get to X town on Tuesday, I assume it will be there on Wednesday.  Couple of suggestions on picking a town for general delivery.  Pick a town with about 2k-5k people.  Smaller than that, it may be delayed one day and the open hours may not be as long.  Larger than that and the package frequently (at least for me) gets lost since they get so few General Delivery. I also try to get a package sent to me so it arrives on a Tuesday (and I pick up on a Wednesday) so that way I have a few extra business days in case I get delayed.  In your case, it sounds like you will be waiting for it though.

One possible solution is to see get the ACA app on your phone. You would only need one section since the map would be sent to you by the end of it I would guess. I am not the most technical guy around by any means but perhaps you can reload the GPS data onto your GPS at a library???

Worst case is to just follow the maps you have.  We did it like that for decades before GPS devices came along.  Just need to pay attention to the miles of each leg/turn and you will be fine.

I hope the rest of the trip gets better!

Tailwinds, John





Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2021, 09:50:29 pm »
I can understand your frustration. Map updates, paper or gps should be clear.

I'm sorry, it's not clear to me what the real problem is though.

Are you waying that your Bolt can't read the file?
(The advice is to open the file in RWGPS or similar, save it in that app then export or sync to the device).

Perhaps an alternative to new paper maps is to consider their app. Logistically this will be easier and I believe these have the same information as the paper maps (showing stores etc )

Good luck!

Offline Twigrf

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2021, 10:41:23 pm »
The problem is that the paper map is dated 2016 and the gpx file is dated 2020. I use the paper maps for a larger picture of the route (also the services because the Bolt doesn’t read the services file) and the gpx for those “go 2 blocks east, turn right at Main, 2.5 miles to Random Road,” etc. through towns and alternate routes. So now I have one route on paper, one on the computer: apples to oranges, Chevy to Ford, Suntour to Shimano, Mac to Windows.

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2021, 10:58:51 pm »
Well, just pick one and follow it!

If using the gps you can supplement with Google Maps for stores or any other info

For security, and assuming you have a Google account you can "save" any location you like, even make your own categories then save offline maps.
That way you have all the information irrespective of cellphone signal.

You can always ask people too!

Deep breath!
Of all the things that can go wrong on tour, having two routes is not too bad! :)

Offline Twigrf

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2021, 11:34:36 pm »
Yes, I understand - two routes are better than none.

I have to admit that part of the issue is money - $100 for maps, $100 for gpx files - purchased both to capitalize on the features offered by each. But now 3 of 11 paper maps don’t match the gpx files, so over 25% doesn’t work.

Another part of the issue is that I would have purchased the three newer versions of the maps if I had known they were needed.

I use google maps a lot, but had an issue with it this afternoon - looking for a motel for a long time with loaded bikes changing directions on a busy street and the motel was nowhere to be found until I called the motel and found that google used the wrong address. It’s still very helpful most of the time, though.

Offline Twigrf

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2021, 11:36:00 pm »
John, thanks for the good advice on general delivery!

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2021, 11:44:51 pm »
Just FYI I never trust Google Maps to navigate on a bike.

Have you considered the app? It was possible to download q sample to get a feel for it.

Personally, if it wasn't clear that three maps hqve been updated I'd be demanding free replacements.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2021, 11:49:15 pm »
If you use general delivery in a city with more than one post office, make sure you know which one of them handles general delivery. It may not be the main post office, and you cannot control it with zip code. It's normally best to chose a city with only one post office to avoid confusion. The USPS web site gives you the hours of each post office. Make sure you know them. Many small post offices close for lunch.

Offline Twigrf

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2021, 06:36:32 pm »
UPDATE:

ACA got back to me today and is sending the three updated maps for free. Kudos to them. And they’ll try to get some kind of notice put on the updated maps on their web site.

Unfortunately, I’m having them sent to my home address. We made the difficult decision to put the ride on hold - the excessive heat warnings in eastern Montana, and similar heat in North Dakota - and so will put them to good use sometime in the future.

Thanks all for your helpful suggestions.

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2021, 08:21:59 pm »
Don't wait too long to use them or they'll be out of date again :D

Offline Twigrf

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2021, 09:57:18 pm »
Yes, they may be out of date, but at least the paper maps and the gpx will match!

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Northern Tier map set issues
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2021, 11:51:09 pm »
I'm curious.
Why do you want both?
Surely, once you have the paper maps it's not a lot of work to create a gpx file with any planner?
In fact I could see a lot of advantages.
It's a long time since I planned anything on RWGPS but I used to be able to add personalised comments like last store for X km or a reminder of a possible detour if I was feeling up to it.