Author Topic: Cycle navigation  (Read 548 times)

trailplanner

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Cycle navigation
« on: May 16, 2020, 09:28:45 AM »
How do you navigate on long cycle journeys?  I am not sure I have found a perfect solution and use a mixture of technologies and methods. My Garmin 520 is still going strong, but only to record routes and not follow tracks. I'm looking to follow tracks more.  The Garmin is ok for a 2-3 hour local cycle, but further than that consumes too much battery.

https://trailplanner.co.uk/gear/cycle-navigation/

Smartphone vs Garmin vs Paper - what do you use?


Oggi

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2020, 10:41:51 AM »
I use a Satmap active 20. Battery life is great getting to about 60% after a 6 hour ride. I have the whole UK OS maps at 1:50,000 which is my preferred mapping as a professional mountaineering instructor I am very used to OS maps. You can plan on your pc and save routes to follow but it also works as a cycle computer. I have it set to give me speed, moving average, height gain and distance travelled but you can programme from a whole range of options. You could charge it on the move if you have a dynamo but I find for B&B touring I just charge it overnight.
The only issue I have had is a couple of times when a pothole caused it to bounce and it restarted. I assume the battery disconnected momentarily. It is also pretty chunky and heavy but very robust.
I have it handlebar mounted via a quad lock which seems very secure.

PH

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2020, 01:53:09 PM »
I usually plot a route on cycletravel and load it onto my Garmin Touring as a GPX track so the Garmin can't re-route what I've plotted.  I turn all the bleeps and navigation off, leaving me with a line on a map and an arrow for my position.   
The main thing to remember IMO are these things are tools for you to use, they are not your master! Because you've plotted one route, shouldn't stop you doing something different, you can always find your way back.  Whenever I travel in unfamiliar areas I'll always have a paper map. However good the electronics, there's always a possibility of failure and they can't offer the bigger picture that a map can.  if I haven't already got a route plotted, I can use the paper map and Garmin to do so, I find the Garmin doesn't do a bad job as long as you don't have too high expectations and keep the waypoints close together.
I've never seen the battery issue as a concern, I have a power pack that can keep all my electronics topped up and go days between charging, as a back up I also have an AA to USB pack, though I've never needed to use it.  I recently bought but not yet used a dynamo charger, I'd planned to use on this years 4 week tour including a lot of remote areas, I'm not sure I would have needed it, but there is something reassuring about being self sufficient and I already had the dynamo and lights.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 01:57:12 PM by PH »

pdamm

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2020, 07:51:10 AM »
Similar to PH, I plan my routes on https://ridewithgps.com/ and transfer them into my Garmin Edge 1030 as a TCX file or sometimes GPX.  I end up with a purple line to follow on my GPS map screen.  It will beep at me if I miss a turn.  The Ridewithgps site has great help for how to configure your Garmin device so it works properly with routes planned on their site.  PH alluded to turning off the Garmin navigation which is important because by default your device will override your route thinking it has a ďbetterĒ way of getting there. 

As a backup / alternative navigation I use the Maps.Me app on my phone because its maps are all stored on the phone so no need for mobile coverage to navigate.  I download my planned routes from Ridewithgps as KML files that can then be loaded into Maps.Me.  RidewithGPS also has a phone app you can use for navigation but the screen doesnít work well in full sunlight and the battery doesnít last very long but it does have an off line feature which is useful and includes an elevation profile if you like to know what you are in for.  I also use Google Maps off line feature to download its maps and searchable point of interest database. Between google maps and Maps.Me I can find the different businesses I may be interested in (shops, camping grounds, museums etc).  On my last trip to Patagonia I also used the iOverlander app on my phone to locate camping spots and useful services.

Between my wife and I we have 2 phones with all the apps in each, a Garmin each plus an old Garmin 1000 as a spare in case one gets damaged.  I used to use paper maps but these days with the Garmin and phone I donít feel the need for paper anymore.
 

energyman

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2020, 11:25:57 AM »
Here in the UK I use OS Maps (paper) with a Garmin 1000 fitted with he OS SD card (and my reading glasses!)


trailplanner

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2020, 01:23:53 PM »
Wow. Option fatigue strikes again. But it seems that a decent Garmin could be a worthy upgrade and a smartphone with Viewranger etc.. as backup.

+1 ridewithgps - it is very good
+1 maps.me - this is the name I hear most when walking/cycling when I ask the question "What do you use for navigation?"

One gripe I have is that cannot buy an OS Map license and use it across a range of apps/devices. Is there a solution to this as it is pointless paying twice.  So I use OS on Viewranger and OpenStreet on Garmin.

Thank you for all the feedback.

"GPS takes you where you want to go, a map will take you somewhere new"


Oggi

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2020, 04:25:45 PM »
I have an OS licence and use it on iPhone, iPad and PC with no issues. I use it for planning and the upload the gpx file to my satmap. I also have ViewRanger but only have OS maps for national parks. It was cheaper to get the OS licence than get the whole UK for viewranger.  In 3 years I have not bought a map so I think I am saving money overall. I forgot to say I donít use turn by turn navigation I just have a route showing on my device and if I want to deviate I donít have the hassle of stopping and starting the route. When touring I also always have a paper map (printed) but that probably goes with being old!

PH

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2020, 05:28:17 PM »
I have an OS licence
Likewise I have the OS mapping via Memory Map from way back before online mapping became usable, the license if for up to five devices, though I only have it on two.  I've never tried putting it on my phone, might be interesting, it's only recently I've had a phone that might cope with it.

Oggi

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2020, 08:13:16 PM »
I had memory map and a memory map gps. However  the maps stopped working and the helpline was less than helpful. Basically they said it was more than 5 years old so what did I expect! The gps was a better device with a bigger screen. However after nearly 10 years of use on the bike, hill and boat it had done its service.
I tend to buy whatever is the best deal with my professional association.

PH

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2020, 10:06:16 PM »
I had memory map and a memory map gps. However  the maps stopped working and the helpline was less than helpful.
That doesn't bode well for me putting it on my phone, though I haven't missed it not being there for fifteen years so I'm not too upset  ;)

geocycle

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2020, 07:41:35 AM »
If Iím going somewhere new or complicated I plan a route with cycle.travel and download as a gpx to my wahoo elemnt. As a back up and for interest in cafe stops (remember them) I have memory map 1:50,000 OS maps for the whole of the uk on my phone. This is a hard copy onto a memory card rather than their downloadable maps. Had this for years and still useful. But, I also have a subscription to OS maps for around £20 a year which allows me to download different scales and is regularly updated making it ideal for walking.
 

martinf

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2020, 08:11:53 AM »
On the bike, I currently use paper. With a spare battery each for my digital camera and my old non-smartphone I can go for about a month without needing to charge anything.

I have 1:100 000 maps for most of France, then 1:200 000 maps across northern Spain as far as the border with Portugal.

On long trips the drawbacks are the bulk, and to a lesser extent, weight. And because these maps don't show some very minor roads and most tracks, in those cases I often try my luck and correct the trajectory again when I hit a marked road. Another disadvantage is that some of my maps are very old and don't show new road construction, not so important with the bike as these roads generally have heavy traffic and the old roads are nearly always still there.

For local navigation I have a collection of 1:25 000 maps, and I don't see any advantage in going over to GPS near home.

I solved the problem of no longer being able to read maps with advancing age by replacing my cycling glasses with similarly shaped (cheap) bifocal safety glasses that have a little patch that more or less corrects for my loss of close-in focusing. This should also work for GPS.

If driving a hire car or van I use a dedicated vehicle GPS, bought second hand at a cheap price (a lot of people have replaced these by smartphones). This avoids having to stop and consult a map (hardly ever a problem on a bike), and the voice instructions also make for easy navigation on complicated motorway junctions and in urban areas. And as it connects to the vehicle's electrical system I don't have the charging issue I would have on a bike.

fram

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2020, 08:56:33 PM »
Torn out old road atlas pages with "mapsme" as back up. 

leftpoole

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2020, 12:23:48 PM »
Torn out old road atlas pages with "mapsme" as back up.

Same here!

energyman

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Re: Cycle navigation
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2020, 03:19:49 PM »
OS Maps & Garmin 1000.
(Garmin, so my dear wife can see where I've been all day !)