Poll

What are the 5 most important services (to you) that should be shown on a map?

Cafe/Restaurant/Fast Food
13 (13.1%)
Grocery Store
17 (17.2%)
Convenience Store
12 (12.1%)
"Dollar" Store
3 (3%)
Bar
0 (0%)
Farmer's Market
0 (0%)
Walmart-type store
6 (6.1%)
Bicycle shop
12 (12.1%)
Outdoor/Camping Store
1 (1%)
Pharmacy
0 (0%)
Hospital
0 (0%)
Health Clinic/Urgent Care
0 (0%)
Dentist
0 (0%)
Wire Internet (use someone else's computer
0 (0%)
Wireless internet (use your computer)
0 (0%)
Campground (allows tents) (may or may not include shower)
18 (18.2%)
Showers
3 (3%)
Indoor Lodging (hotel, WarmShowers, motel, Tipi, AirBnb, etc.)
8 (8.1%)
Emergency Services (Police, Fire, EMT)
0 (0%)
Post Office
1 (1%)
Entertainment (movie, bowling, putt putt, etc.)
0 (0%)
Bank/ATM
0 (0%)
Forest Service (or other) office
0 (0%)
Historical Point of Interest (POI)
1 (1%)
Scenic POI
2 (2%)
Cultural POI (Museum, local, etc)
0 (0%)
Recreational POI (canoe/raft, hiking, waterfall, etc.)
0 (0%)
Airport
0 (0%)
Train Station
0 (0%)
Bus Station (interstate)
0 (0%)
Car Rental Agency
0 (0%)
Other (list in comments below)
1 (1%)
Laundry
1 (1%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Voting closed: May 17, 2024, 08:15:09 pm

Author Topic: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?  (Read 3712 times)

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Offline John Nettles

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POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« on: January 18, 2024, 07:15:09 pm »
Over the years, I have research and created over 1,500 routes.  They are in various stages of development.  The finished ones have been thoroughly researched for traffic, services, scenery, suitability, etc. while others only in the "want to do" stage.  Probably 80% have been researched for traffic counts. As I get nearer to completion to a route, I research and input the various services. 

I have 48 services I research and input ranging from grocery, restaurants, various types of outdoor lodging and indoor lodging, bike shops, etc.  Since it takes a ton of time to do that research (you really should thank ACA for their great maps!), I have consider reducing it down to the top 20 or so. 

So when you are touring, what are the 5 most important services you would like to see on a map/cue sheet?

Tailwinds, John
« Last Edit: January 18, 2024, 07:26:16 pm by John Nettles »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2024, 08:27:36 pm »
On a very long tour with far distances between services ( food, water, amenities ), distances between towns are useful.  Getting caught short of water, in the middle of a fifty mile ride, on a hot day teaches to plan ahead.  That is what maps are for, planning ahead. In an automobile, planning like that is not a consideration. There you are in 45 minutes. On a loaded bicycle, going against the wind, stopping for cover in a storm, repairing a puncture in a tire and other matters can turn 50 miles into an 12 hour struggle.  It is extremely important to know locations and distances in remote locations.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2024, 01:53:08 pm by Westinghouse »

Offline John Nettles

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Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2024, 08:29:35 pm »
I totally agree.  Whenever I do a routes, the distances between turns, services, etc. are always notated.  Since distance is not a service, it was not listed. Tailwinds, John

Offline ray b

Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2024, 11:12:49 pm »
Agree with all.

Not clear why the choice of only 5, when digital map overlays seem to allow an almost infinite number. Well..., Google allows 10 layers - which compared to paper seems like an infinite number.

Have fun with this.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline John Nettles

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Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2024, 11:15:04 pm »
Not clear why the choice of only 5, when digital map overlays seem to allow an almost infinite number.
The main reason is I have to manually input all the data which can take a lot of time.  Otherwise, sure the more the merrier.  I actually wished ACA would have a team of approved monitors who volunteer to update the data files of the ACA Routes.  Then you could list a ton of stuff.  I have asked previously but they are not interested in this for some reason.  Tailwinds, John
« Last Edit: January 18, 2024, 11:16:46 pm by John Nettles »

Online davidbonn

Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2024, 11:47:28 pm »
This is a great idea, and thanks for the hard work and thoughts going into it.

A couple of suggestions:

If you can, focus on "cyclist friendly" camping and lodging.

Also, point out camping and lodging that have laundry on-site.

Context matters a lot sometimes.  If a store is the last store before a good camping spot or the last store for a few dozen miles it is more important to mark it (along with a note like "the next store is 27.7 miles") than if there are other stores in the next few miles.

In some areas, it is valuable to point out water sources.  Particularly where they are few and far between.  I'd label them as such, e.g. "Spring on left of road.  Next water is 33.2 miles in Tekoa".

Offline John Nettles

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Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2024, 11:53:21 pm »
A couple of suggestions:

If you can, focus on "cyclist friendly" camping and lodging.

Also, point out camping and lodging that have laundry on-site.
I do look at all types of camping including cyclist only, legal wild camping (BLM land), etc. 

I do usually show laundry just forgot to add it to the poll originally.  It has been added now.  I don't know if previously votes can be redone.

My cue sheets are a lit long as I do exactly as you say and warn "no services next 63 miles" or similar.  John

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2024, 07:14:12 pm »
Mileage
Libraries, repositories of knowledge, arcane and local, and typically staffed by helpful people.
Alternate routes. All too often, a bridge is out, or a road closed, but most route maps I have used do not include alternates.  the grades of alternates might be handy, or scary.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2024, 09:03:13 pm »
I get what you are saying but the problem with alternates from a planning point of view is that you have an endless amount of alternates. Where do you offer alternates? On the possibility that is is needed or just every possibility possible? 

Online davidbonn

Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2024, 09:10:32 pm »
I get what you are saying but the problem with alternates from a planning point of view is that you have an endless amount of alternates. Where do you offer alternates? On the possibility that is is needed or just every possibility possible?

I'd also argue that a lot of the adventure in making the trip your trip is going to be figuring out alternatives for yourself and discovering things as you go along.  Any guide should be treated as a starting point for planning your own personal adventure.

As an example, on the Northern Tier between the east slope of the Cascades and Glacier Park there are a lot of lightly traveled unpaved roads running (mostly) north of the ACA northern tier route.  Well, mostly unpaved but certainly lightly traveled.  Figuring out all that on your own is worthwhile and kind of an adventure in its own right.

Online davidbonn

Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2024, 09:33:15 pm »
A couple other thoughts:

Out west a lot of Wal-marts and other big box stores include groceries.  I don't know where they would fit in your categories.  Wal-marts can be kind of important because through in-store pickup they can be reliable places to get camping fuel, either white gas or propane/butane canisters.

Also, if the only store selling food in town is a Dollar General or the like, I'd include it on the map even if I wouldn't generally include dollar stores.

For towns and locations above a certain size I would just label them as having "all services" if they indeed have all of the imaginable services you might need on your trip.

I'll again make the plug for emphasizing cyclist-friendly accomodations.  As an example some motels on popular bike routes will have work stands, floor pumps, some tools, and even a bike washing station.  Also, not all hotels/motels have guest laundry.  And some hotels/motels won't permit your bike to be securely stored in your room.  Collecting that information in any kind of complete form is going to be hard (although it could be crowdsourced) but would be immensely valuable for trip planning.

Also harder to do but important is point out walkable/bikeable compact towns because they are easier for travelers without automobiles to navigate. 

Offline John Nettles

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Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2024, 09:39:43 pm »
A couple other thoughts:

Out west a lot of Wal-marts and other big box stores include groceries.  I don't know where they would fit in your categories.  Wal-marts can be kind of important because through in-store pickup they can be reliable places to get camping fuel, either white gas or propane/butane canisters.

Also, if the only store selling food in town is a Dollar General or the like, I'd include it on the map even if I wouldn't generally include dollar stores.

For towns and locations above a certain size I would just label them as having "all services" if they indeed have all of the imaginable services you might need on your trip.

I'll again make the plug for emphasizing cyclist-friendly accomodations.  As an example some motels on popular bike routes will have work stands, floor pumps, some tools, and even a bike washing station.  Also, not all hotels/motels have guest laundry.  And some hotels/motels won't permit your bike to be securely stored in your room.  Collecting that information in any kind of complete form is going to be hard (although it could be crowdsourced) but would be immensely valuable for trip planning.

Also harder to do but important is point out walkable/bikeable compact towns because they are easier for travelers without automobiles to navigate.
I get what you are saying.  I personally mark a "super walmart" (groceries and general merchandise) as two separate service waypoints; one for groceries and one for general merchandise.

As far as cyclist-friendly services, I do not research to that extent.  It already takes at least 1 hour per 10 miles of route to deal with the services.  I do it all for free.  If I come across something cyclist-friendly, I of course will include it but I do have a limit  :) .  The overall reason for this is to ensure I am not providing unwanted info that could be better used on additional routes.

Tailwinds, John

Offline John Nettles

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Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2024, 10:21:25 pm »
To me a better example is when a bridge is being replaced and a detour is required.  For a car, a 10 mile detour on an interstate is no big deal but to a touring cyclist it can be a major undertaking.  Again I ask where do you draw the line.  Since all I do is a strictly volunteer situation (for free) and as far as ACA goes, they have an "Addendums" section to look for after printing updates, where do you draw the line.  Tailwinds, John

Offline staehpj1

Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2024, 06:55:49 am »
BTW:
Fresh produce was often scarce, but farmers markets and roadside produce stands being on the maps probably wouldn't be all that helpful so they didn't make my top 5.  It seems that they were few and far between and more often closed than not with limited hours.

Things like roadside barbecue stands and events with local food seemed to similarly be misses for us on tour.  They were places we'd like to stop, but seldom open at the right time.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: POLL: What services are most important to you on a map?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2024, 07:10:54 am »
Pete,
I am thinking of the more "established" Farmers Markets, i.e. the one's that are held every saturday April thru Sept at X location.  Granted, these are usually in medium to larger towns (which I tend to avoid if possible).  These are usually promoted by the local tourism entity so not overly difficult to locate but as you say have very limited hours.  That said, I LOVE the roadside stands but as you noted, hard to research of course. Again, where does one  draw the line.