What is the best format for route instructions

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Peter Fox, Mar 21, 2003.

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  1. Peter Fox

    Peter Fox Guest

    I'm writing up rides to my favourite pubs so that others may enjoy them. The first is on the URL
    shown below.

    This isn't for racing. I'm hoping to encourage people who hardly cycle at all to cycle (sharp intake
    of breath) 15 miles! Reliability and encouragement is my main concern. There is a mixture of
    negotiating the town before getting out into country lanes.

    I am wondering what the best format for describing routes is. For example do people prefer coded
    lists eg L 300yds, Fork R 2 miles

    or by landmarks such as "300 yds after the bridge ..." if so are there so-called landmarks that have
    been too easily missed - the sort that are fine once you know they are there but hidden by the
    foliage in the summer etc.

    or by pictures

    or by diagrams

    or just a general route description with tricky points highlighted and letting people work it out
    for themselves.

    or what?

    I've just been writing up the Ipswich-Swilland round trip (but not on the web 'till Monday) and
    this, being an easy-peasy route, has turned into a bit of a ramble[1] to add some amusement. It has
    occurred to me that a simple way to mingle 'colour' with fact is simply to highlight the
    instructions in bold. Any takers?[2]

    _Personally_ I'd look at the description and convert it to my own pocket sized crib sheet but a
    sheaf of instructions would go in the saddlebag for last resort reference.

    Any thoughts anyone?

    PS Is it 'safe' to say things like "now go back the way you came."?
    i.e. how good are people at retracing their cycle rides?

    [1] And do you, my child, know where to purchase such lovely cider as I'm currently enjoying.

    [2] I've written-up three rides today each turned out to be in an entirely different format. The
    essence of Swilland is that the ride is boring but somebody who is capable of looking at things
    very slightly askance [AKA has brains - will use them] will find the Moon & Mushroom a hole for
    any-shaped peg.[3]

    [3] Any shape:- Yes. Any colour:- No. 'Grays' may enjoy their beer (and food) - but for goodness
    sake - who wants to talk to those who appear to be made of the tide mark round the bath?

    --
    PETER FOX Not the same since the deckchair business folded

    Witham Cycling Campaign www.eminent.demon.co.uk/wcc.htm East Anglian Pub cycle rides
    www.eminent.demon.co.uk/rides
     
    Tags:


  2. Well in rural Ireland you will get foolproof instructions like.

    "You go down the road a mile and a half. There's a road to your right. Don't go that way.."
    and so on!
     
  3. M Series

    M Series Guest

    I prefer to read instructions as if they were being spoken to me such as

    Go down the B6126 to the lights, turn left on to the B6127 then take the third right (about 4 miles
    on) towards Swinegate.

    road numbers, place names can be cross referenced with a map

    "Peter Fox" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I'm writing up rides to my favourite pubs so that others may enjoy them. The first is on the URL
    > shown below.
    >
    > This isn't for racing. I'm hoping to encourage people who hardly cycle at all to cycle (sharp
    > intake of breath) 15 miles! Reliability and encouragement is my main concern. There is a mixture
    > of negotiating the town before getting out into country lanes.
    >
    > I am wondering what the best format for describing routes is. For example do people prefer coded
    > lists eg L 300yds, Fork R 2 miles
    >
    > or by landmarks such as "300 yds after the bridge ..." if so are there so-called landmarks that
    > have been too easily missed - the sort that are fine once you know they are there but hidden by
    > the foliage in the summer etc.
    >
    > or by pictures
    >
    > or by diagrams
    >
    > or just a general route description with tricky points highlighted and letting people work it out
    > for themselves.
    >
    > or what?
    >
    > I've just been writing up the Ipswich-Swilland round trip (but not on the web 'till Monday) and
    > this, being an easy-peasy route, has turned into a bit of a ramble[1] to add some amusement. It
    > has occurred to me that a simple way to mingle 'colour' with fact is simply to highlight the
    > instructions in bold. Any takers?[2]
    >
    > _Personally_ I'd look at the description and convert it to my own pocket sized crib sheet but a
    > sheaf of instructions would go in the saddlebag for last resort reference.
    >
    > Any thoughts anyone?
    >
    > PS Is it 'safe' to say things like "now go back the way you came."?
    > i.e. how good are people at retracing their cycle rides?
    >
    > [1] And do you, my child, know where to purchase such lovely cider as I'm currently enjoying.
    >
    > [2] I've written-up three rides today each turned out to be in an entirely different format. The
    > essence of Swilland is that the ride is boring but somebody who is capable of looking at
    > things very slightly askance [AKA has brains - will use them] will find the Moon & Mushroom a
    > hole for any-shaped peg.[3]
    >
    > [3] Any shape:- Yes. Any colour:- No. 'Grays' may enjoy their beer (and food) - but for goodness
    > sake - who wants to talk to those who appear to be made of the tide mark round the bath?
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > PETER FOX Not the same since the deckchair business folded

    > Witham Cycling Campaign www.eminent.demon.co.uk/wcc.htm East Anglian Pub cycle rides
    > www.eminent.demon.co.uk/rides
     
  4. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Peter Fox" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I'm writing up rides to my favourite pubs so that others may enjoy them. The first is on the URL
    > shown below.

    Simple natural instructions with plenty of redundancy.

    e.g. Turn left at the lights (Dog & Duck on corner)

    Backstops for tricky bits

    e.h. If you come to a roundabout you have gone too far.

    Plus a map (sketch or otherwise) to let people orientate.

    Look at the 'driving instructions' on Multimap to see how not to do it!!

    http://www.multimap.com

    T
     
  5. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Well in rural Ireland you will get foolproof instructions like.
    >
    > "You go down the road a mile and a half. There's a road to your right. Don't go that way.."
    > and so on!

    Or the useful one I had - half a mile before the T-junction, turn left :)

    Tony
     
  6. Gadget

    Gadget Guest

    My GPS is my best route map, if you can't follow the arrow then your definitly gonna get lost.

    Gadget
     
  7. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Peter Fox wrote:
    > I'm writing up rides to my favourite pubs so that others may enjoy them. The first is on the URL
    > shown below.
    >
    > This isn't for racing. I'm hoping to encourage people who hardly cycle at all to cycle (sharp
    > intake of breath) 15 miles! Reliability and encouragement is my main concern. There is a mixture
    > of negotiating the town before getting out into country lanes.
    >
    > I am wondering what the best format for describing routes is. For example do people prefer coded
    > lists eg L 300yds, Fork R 2 miles

    Yes, a simple (but full) list like that is best, I find, but supply a map with the route marked in
    addition in case people get lost or want to see the area in advance.

    Aways include road names and numbers where possible, plus minimal landmarks & distances (just enough
    needed, too many will clutter the instructions), and use arrows instead of 'L' and 'R'. One
    instruction per line in large print so people can read it as they ride along. Won't be a huge number
    of lines for a 15 miler.

    Here's an example of the type of thing that works for me and others when I share my routes.
    (Fictional route):

    Start at the Old Fart and Horn pub ^ Orchard Road (B123), westbound ^ + Hawthorne Way (B123), for 3
    miles ^ (under bridge) -> Heath Lane 2nd <- Pratts Farm Road 1st -> unmarked singletrack lane (with
    hedgerows) -> + Bakers Lane ^ 2 miles, through Cobbledit village fork at the phone box -> Farthing
    St .......

    key: ^ [use proper arrow] = go straight on -> turn right into...
    + = crossroads ^ + = straight on at the crossroads, etc o = roundabout eg. ^ o or o 2nd
    exit: A456

    > or just a general route description with tricky points highlighted and letting people work it out
    > for themselves.

    No, either it's a set route or it isn't.

    > PS Is it 'safe' to say things like "now go back the way you came."?
    > i.e. how good are people at retracing their cycle rides?

    No, routes can seem completely different in reverse. I sometimes get lost when trying to do routes
    backwards that are very familiar to me in one direction! Do a whole second set of instructions for
    the return trip.

    ~PB
     
  8. Four x A6 'panels' so that a sheet of A4 paper can be folded into quarters and protected by a 6"x4"
    plastic pocket (stiffened if needed by a standard postcard) One instruction per line Left justified
    Simple English (I *don't* like too many abbreviations) eg

    Right out of Station to Traffic Lights Straight over (Left, Right) staggered junction onto Stag Lane
    Follow road as it curves to left (do not fork right onto Mollison way) Straight over Traffic Lights
    (Beverley Drive/ Holmstall Ave) to mini RAB Right onto Princes Ave & follow though to end (BEWARE
    speed bumps by schools!)

    Though some prefer:

    R out of Stn to TL SO (L,R) staggered X onto Stag Lane Follow road as it curves to left (do not fork
    right onto Mollison way) SO TL (Beverley Drive/ Holmstall Ave) to mini RAB R, Princes Ave & follow
    though to end (BEWARE speed bumps by schools!)

    Some would not like to know the names of roads they won't use

    Any abbreviations must be explained One chap up north is developing his own graphic symbols & font

    Different styles of routesheet adapt differently to transcription onto maps.

    People vary in the ease with which they read
    1) English
    2) Instructions
    3) abbreviations & codes
    4) Maps
    5) Small print

    You'll never please everybody but your sheets should be accurate (out-of-date route sheets are the
    bane of some Audax rides- The Dog & Duck might now be the Hungry Horse!) and easy to read.

    I have suggested to somebody elsewhere that riders should have the option of receiving route sheets
    as a plain text email, which they can then format to their own specifications.

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  9. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    ps.

    re: www.eminent.demon.co.uk/rides/cock.htm ...That's really nicely done, and fine as it is. I
    think the format I suggested would be useful in addition - or instead on longer or rides with
    more turnings.

    ~PB
     
  10. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Sat, 22 Mar 2003 01:19:32 +0000, Peter Fox <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm writing up rides to my favourite pubs so that others may enjoy them. The first is on the URL
    >shown below.
    >

    Peter

    I have nice spiral-bound book called Cycle Tours - 24 one-day routes

    both off and on road rides are given.

    The format for directions is along the lines of:
    12) At X-roads SA. At T-j with B2141 R 'Petersfield 9, Hartiing 5'
    13) At top of hill, at exit of wood L 'East Marden, Stoughton 5'

    Each route is accompanied by an OS map (you could use diagrammes) with the number for turnings etc
    referred to in the directions shown in the relevant places on the map. Where neccessary, pub names,
    churches etc are given.

    There is a key for the various symbols at the front of the book.

    Around Birmingham Around London - M25? :) Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire
    Central Scotland Cornwall and Devon Cumbria and the Lakes Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
    East Anglia - North (aka Simmonsland) East Anglia - South Gloucestershire, Hereford & Worcester
    North Wales and the Marches North Yorkshire abd Teeside Peak District Southern Scotland South, West
    and Mid-Wales Yorkshire Dales

    There may well be more. Maybe you could buy a book for your area and get some ideas from that.

    James

    --
    A credit limit is NOT a target.
     
  11. John Mallard

    John Mallard Guest

    Don't use this instruction that I was given to locate a holiday cottage recently.

    "Turn left at the new roundabout"

    Hence: 'Scuse me mate. How long has this roundabout been here?"

    "OK, what about the one back there?"

    When following cycle routes, I find it reassuring to get the occasional confirmation on longer bits
    between turns. Pubs or farm names to be passed or something reasonably permanent like that.
    --
    Cheerful pedalling John Mallard take out the_bike_ to reply
     
  12. Peter Fox <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I'm writing up rides to my favourite pubs so that others may enjoy them. The first is on the URL
    > shown below.

    All the suggestions have been good, but I'd add the following based on my experiences trying to
    follow walking maps of this type.

    Put occasional absolute references into the directions so that when someone gets lost they have some
    way of looking at a map to get back on track. For example, the relative list:

    - Go 100yds
    - Turn left
    - Go 50 yds
    - Turn right
    - Go 200yds

    defines an absolute point in space exactly, but if you get lost by going 45 yards instead of 50
    yards in the third step, you have no way of syncronising back with the path. The last instruction on
    this list should be something like

    - You are now at a bridge over the river, or
    - You are at map reference 344233.

    and then continue your relative route from there.

    Trev
     
  13. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Sat, 22 Mar 2003 18:05:58 +0000, Trevor Barton <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Put occasional absolute references into the directions so that when someone gets lost they have
    >some way of looking at a map to get back on track. For example, the relative list:
    >
    > - Go 100yds
    > - Turn left
    > - Go 50 yds
    > - Turn right
    > - Go 200yds
    >

    Trev

    That's probably the best way to do it. Turn left on to the A666. The turning is 100 yards after the
    Spotted Dick pub. If you have cycled passed the Reasaonably Tardy Church of Beelzebub and Trotter
    (affiliated with the Far Too Late Brother-in-law of DelBoy Temple) then you've ridden too far, etc.

    However, how does one calculate 100 yards when cycling? I know that my house is about 120
    short paces from the entrance to my road but would have a problem in working out how far is,
    say, 500 yards.

    I guess I could always stop off at the pub and ask, assuming I could find it ;-)

    James

    --
    A credit limit is NOT a target.
     
  14. James Hodson <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Sat, 22 Mar 2003 18:05:58 +0000, Trevor Barton <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>Put occasional absolute references into the directions so that when someone gets lost they have
    >>some way of looking at a map to get back on track. For example, the relative list:
    >>
    >> - Go 100yds
    >> - Turn left
    >> - Go 50 yds
    >> - Turn right
    >> - Go 200yds
    >>
    >
    > Trev
    >
    > That's probably the best way to do it. Turn left on to the A666. The turning is 100 yards after
    > the Spotted Dick pub. If you have cycled passed the Reasaonably Tardy Church of Beelzebub and
    > Trotter (affiliated with the Far Too Late Brother-in-law of DelBoy Temple) then you've ridden too
    > far, etc.
    >
    > However, how does one calculate 100 yards when cycling? I know that my house is about 120
    > short paces from the entrance to my road but would have a problem in working out how far is,
    > say, 500 yards.

    Yeah, I really only meant that as an example of a relative route compared with an absolute route.
    It's be completely un-followable (?) for the reasons you've mentioned, although you'd be
    surprised, perhaps, how vague some routings can be - "Cross the field to the style" only to see
    two styles on the other side of the field, but in different directions. You need sync points every
    so often so that if someone does get lost they can get back on the route. Your suggestion above is
    as good as any.

    Trev
     
  15. Taywood

    Taywood Guest

    Helen Deborah Vecht wrote:

    > Though some prefer: R out of Stn to TL SO (L,R) staggered X onto Stag Lane Follow road as it
    > curves to left (do not fork right onto Mollison way) SO TL (Beverley Drive/ Holmstall Ave) to mini
    > RAB R, Princes Ave & follow though to end (BEWARE speed bumps by schools!) Some would not like to
    > know the names of roads they won't use Any abbreviations must be explained One chap up north is
    > developing his own graphic symbols & font

    I like that format.

    Can I draw your attention to the new symbols being used by Singletrack for off road routes in their
    magazine. They are more akin to car rally navigation and I hate them. I blew the chart up to A4 size
    clipped it to the bars and tried a route. The first junction from the car park was easy, the next
    two had me holding my thumb on the paper whilst holding the bars, by the fourth one I was
    disorientated and dizzy, so I gave up. I'm used to a map and abbreviated text, as Helen descibes
    above. Mike
     
  16. Al_mossah

    Al_mossah Guest

    Maps or diagrams for me. A friend (who shall be nameless) says that his wife can follow any
    directions provided that the words "left" or "right" are not used.

    I scan the OS map (naughty perhaps, but I justify it by ordering the reader to buy a copy!) and
    overlay arrows on the route. Point out key landmarks (pubs, pubs, etc.)

    Peter.

    "Trevor Barton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > James Hodson <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > On Sat, 22 Mar 2003 18:05:58 +0000, Trevor Barton <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >>Put occasional absolute references into the directions so that when someone gets lost they have
    > >>some way of looking at a map to get back on track. For example, the relative list:
    > >>
    > >> - Go 100yds
    > >> - Turn left
    > >> - Go 50 yds
    > >> - Turn right
    > >> - Go 200yds
    > >>
    > >
    > > Trev
    > >
    > > That's probably the best way to do it. Turn left on to the A666. The turning is 100 yards after
    > > the Spotted Dick pub. If you have cycled passed the Reasaonably Tardy Church of Beelzebub and
    > > Trotter (affiliated with the Far Too Late Brother-in-law of DelBoy Temple) then you've ridden
    > > too far, etc.
    > >
    > > However, how does one calculate 100 yards when cycling? I know that my house is about 120 short
    > > paces from the entrance to my road but would have a problem in working out how far is, say, 500
    > > yards.
    >
    > Yeah, I really only meant that as an example of a relative route compared with an absolute route.
    > It's be completely un-followable (?) for the reasons you've mentioned, although you'd be
    > surprised, perhaps, how vague some routings can be - "Cross the field to the style" only to see
    > two styles on the other side of the field, but in different directions. You need sync points every
    > so often so that if someone does get lost they can get back on the route. Your suggestion above is
    > as good as any.
    >
    > Trev
     
  17. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Peter Fox <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I am wondering what the best format for describing routes is. For example do people prefer coded
    > lists eg L 300yds, Fork R 2 miles home or by landmarks such as "300 yds after the bridge ..." if
    > so are there so-called landmarks that have been too easily missed - the sort that are fine once
    > you know they are there but hidden by the foliage in the summer etc.
    >
    > or by pictures
    >
    > or by diagrams

    One of the IMHO very best ways to describe a route is the way hat a modern car rally road books
    uses, with a "tulip"(1) describing the junction and extra text to the right of that , followed by a
    inter distance from the last tulip and a total distance from the start.

    A tulip has a round ball at the bottom ( which is where you have come from) a vertical and then an
    arrow showing the route, so a cross roads right would be from the bottom, ball , vertical line or
    hell it's easier doing a web page have a look here www.jaceeprint.demon.co.uk/tulips.htm

    --
    Marc Tabards, banners and signs for fundraising events and charities
    http://www.jaceeprint.demon.co.uk/
     
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