Good Method/practice For Navigation

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by codeofthegrave, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. codeofthegrave

    codeofthegrave New Member

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    Could I possibly ask how people manage on long distance rides with navigation?
    Do most swear by a Garmin or other similar device?
    I am planning some long distance rides through France soon and looking at the directions offered on mapmyride it would be a nightmare trying to do this the old fashioned way with a paper map (even iphone).

    Are garmin (or similar) the way to go for continental road touring?
     
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  2. Totalarmordestine

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    A decent sense of direction will get you to most places without a map. For riding around the French countryside (one of my favourite places in the world to ride) I can usually get to where I want to go by reading the highway and road signs, a map serves as a rough guide. For keeping track of my rides, I mount my iPhone on the handlebar, and use a cycling app. These apps usually have good map features which allow you to see where you are, or plot a route. So far I haven't managed to get myself into a place where I can't get a signal on my iPhone, so the apps work pretty well.

    Before your trip, study some maps and guides, and become familiar with the main routes, their numbers and names. Your GPS or phone might stop working, or someone might steal it.
     
  3. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    theres the gadget GPS crowd and theres the Map Compass and talking to the people where You are And asking .. solution .

    you know who you are.. like gadgets ?, go that way .. I got in a lot of long international tours before the gadgets were on the market.
     
  4. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature New Member

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    I use my garmin 810 (seems they have the turn by turn issues finally worked out two+ years after release) and map out everything beforehand but a crib sheet with turns on the stem works pretty well too.
     
  5. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    We use Garmin's (I have 810 and my husband a Touring) and think they are amazing! Not perfect, but... I'd always thought the technology would be intrusive on our peaceful tours, but in planning our LEJOG (Lands End, Cornwall to John O'Groats, Scotland; 1100 miles) last year, the advice from those with experience was to get a Garmin or you will probably get lost. Britain doesn't seem to bother to mark many (most??) country intersections. The Garmins saved us countless time which would have been spent huddled over maps at intersections! We've done 4 or 5 tours in France, and all were pre-Garmin for us, and we did just fine with map and compass, though.
    Never even considered going without them on our Sept 2015 tour to Massachusetts! And for a possible tour in France in 2016 I wouldn't dream of leaving them home. We always have paper maps just in case -and for getting a larger overview.
     
  6. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    Navigation in France with a map and compass is not a "nightmare", it is no more difficult than any other area. Most cities have cycle routes from edge to centre, which simplifies navigation.
    If you need to refer to the map frequently, use a bar bag map holder.
    Compass is for cloudy and foggy days, forest trails etc.
    Studying a map gives you a good feel for the terrain and creating your own route is more fun for me than following left/right directions.
     
  7. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    While I've been out riding around I've never used navigation before I've done it by memory, but obviously this will not be suited to really long rides.

    Best thing to do is to study a lot on maps of the region and when you get going take not of any road sign you see and use them as your navigation. Failing that use your smartphone and go off of the GPS thing on it. It won't give you a pinpoint accuracy to where you are positioned, but will give you some idea.
     
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