preparing your routes

jeannot18
jeannot18 Posts: 720
edited April 2010 in Road beginners
What do you do guys before a ride. Do you prepare the route on the Internet/map or other. I am current doing between 20 to 40 miles, which is fine as I loop my route around roads I know quite well. But as I plan to increase the distance I am due to get lost. I don't have a GPS on the bike and don't intend to buy one. Is taking a map the solution. I got lost a few times before but always managed to find my way as it is not that far from home. But not sure i could do the same in unknown territory. Any advice would be great.
JC
Pédale ou crève
Specialized Elite Allez with 105
Rockrider 8.1 : )

Comments

  • Normally work something out the night before on here - http://www.bikehike.co.uk
  • KillerMetre
    KillerMetre Posts: 199
    I find the Google Maps 'street view' excellent for helping me with new routes.
  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,991
    I have a few routes & if I want to do a longer route I add in some or all of another route in.
  • Do you have a phone with mapping capability like iphone or android? You could use your phone as a electronic map to take out of your back pocket when you need to check directions.

    There's no denying though as you go further afield things like garmins become invaluable
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  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,991
    forgot that I have my ipone too!

    Used it a couple of times due to road closures
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Hi there jeannot18. I guess it all depends how meticulous/nerdy you want to be! For new routes where I want to be careful, I make up a route map (using mapmyride.com to plan the route, then a printout from streetmap.co.uk before finally going over the map with a highlighter pen) and I also make brief route notes, e.g.,

    Straight on B4632 (Stratford Road)
    At A3400, TR "Shipton"
    Shipton town centre, head towards “Chipping Camden”, B4035

    I am doing a few audaxes soon and I notice that they come with a similar style of notes so I figure it is good practice getting used to following specific route details.

    The satellite feature on mapmyride is also quite good (obviously using Google Earth) so I sometimes go over the route visually as well, and I use the elevation feature just so that I can be confident I can do any big hills on the way (I am still fairly new to this).

    I also have GPS on my BB but I try just to take an old phone out on spins in case I prang it, lose it, get it waterlogged, etc.

    Saying it all that, I still take wrong turns but at least I know where I went wrong :)
  • howiish
    howiish Posts: 49
    If you have an iphone you could get the walkjogrun app. I use that to map my routes on the pc before I go out. They are then marked in the GPS on your phone so if you get lost you can check how to get back to your planned route.

    Worked quite well for me.
  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,991
    howiish wrote:
    If you have an iphone you could get the walkjogrun app. I use that to map my routes on the pc before I go out. They are then marked in the GPS on your phone so if you get lost you can check how to get back to your planned route.

    Worked quite well for me.

    that would mean paying for an app!
  • jeannot18
    jeannot18 Posts: 720
    Thanks guys for the replies. I don't have an iPhone, just a Blackberry but it is the 8520 and does not have real GPS. I have a GPS thingy that i can connect with Bluetooth but it is another thing to take. The BB can give me Google maps but it is not 100% accurate with my real position as it uses triangulation.

    Printing the map I suppose could be a good idea, and making notes on where to turn. I just don't like to stop too often. Or take a proper map with me, not too heavy and then will know where I am at exactly.

    Thanks
    JC
    Pédale ou crève
    Specialized Elite Allez with 105
    Rockrider 8.1 : )
  • Remember if you print out a map that you don't need to take the whole route, just take the bit you don't know. if your heading out from home then you'll know the first 10-20 miles anyway.
  • softlad
    softlad Posts: 3,513
    before the internet, we just used to look at road signs. Might be worth giving it a try...?
  • jeannot18
    jeannot18 Posts: 720
    softlad wrote:
    before the internet, we just used to look at road signs. Might be worth giving it a try...?

    Very true :D I guess the net has taken the bit of adventure feeling we had as we become obsessed in preparing and over-preparing.

    JC
    Pédale ou crève
    Specialized Elite Allez with 105
    Rockrider 8.1 : )
  • I usually just make it up as I go along and don't worry if I find myself somewhere I don't know. As mentioned, you will usually come to a road sign pointing to somewhere you will know.
    Just kick on, enjoy the ride and your surroundings and see where it takes you!

    (I do usually map the route once home (if I can remember it!!!) so I can look at it if I want to go that way again. Mapmyride is very good and the app on the iPhone works well)
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  • gwillis
    gwillis Posts: 998
    Normally work something out the night before on here - http://www.bikehike.co.uk

    thanks for that link its a great site and is really handy for a newbie like me.
  • jeannot18
    jeannot18 Posts: 720
    gwillis wrote:
    Normally work something out the night before on here - http://www.bikehike.co.uk

    thanks for that link its a great site and is really handy for a newbie like me.

    +1 could not check last night at work as it does not work on Explorer but does with Opera.
    JC
    Pédale ou crève
    Specialized Elite Allez with 105
    Rockrider 8.1 : )
  • paul.k
    paul.k Posts: 90
    i only use map my ride to see which steep hill i am not going to climb today :lol:
  • LittleB0b
    LittleB0b Posts: 416
    For new routes i generally look at google maps (using google street view to look at what the street actually looks like on important junctions - eg turn right at red brick church).

    I also write road numbers and place names that i'm heading for on my wrist - and use road signs.

    Ortlieb do a small size waterproof map case (smaller than A5) which is ideal for being able to pull out of a back pocket and glance at on the move. They really are waterproof too - i have put mine through the wash a few times, and the map inside has stayed dry - so great for keeping you mobile in as well.
  • carl_p
    carl_p Posts: 989
    I have a Garmin 205 and what I do is the plan a route on marengo-ltd.com. Basically what you do is plot loads of waypoints along your route and attach a message to that waypoint. When you're out on your ride you get an on screen warning on which way to turn. Once completed designing your route you export it to your computer and then import it to your Garmin via a piece of software called GPSBabel. It's a bit of a bind to do a really long ride with lots of waypoints, but well worth it in my opinion.

    I have to say the 205 is faultless in its GPS function giving you a beep 10 seconds before you reach the next waypoint - its only operator error that sends you off course!

    I've designed some cracking door to door routes this way and the Marengo software totals the miles as you plot your route enabling various rides lengths. You can also get a satellite view of the route on Marengo which is very useful.
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  • jeannot18
    jeannot18 Posts: 720
    Carl_P wrote:
    I have a Garmin 205

    Thanks Carl, I had a look and yes it seems a nice gadget to have. Right now I can't afford one but may keep that in mind. God the list is getting bigger and bigger... :shock:

    JC
    Pédale ou crève
    Specialized Elite Allez with 105
    Rockrider 8.1 : )
  • stokepa31
    stokepa31 Posts: 560
    matthew h wrote:
    howiish wrote:
    If you have an iphone you could get the walkjogrun app. I use that to map my routes on the pc before I go out. They are then marked in the GPS on your phone so if you get lost you can check how to get back to your planned route.

    Worked quite well for me.

    that would mean paying for an app!

    map my ride do a free app for the iphone that will record your ride data and upload it to your twitter account at set intervals that you chose. I intend to use it for london to paris so interested parties can follow my progress
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  • ScottieP
    ScottieP Posts: 599
    +1 for Bikehike - it's fantastic and works anywhere in the world. My cycling buddy who lives in Melbourne uses it too.
    My cycling blog: http://girodilento.com/
  • Essex Man
    Essex Man Posts: 283
    Bikehike was fantastic, but now I can't save my routes I'm finding it a bit useless.
  • jeannot18
    jeannot18 Posts: 720
    Just found Bikeroutetoaster.com. I have not tried it but it looks good too.

    JC
    Pédale ou crève
    Specialized Elite Allez with 105
    Rockrider 8.1 : )
  • redvee
    redvee Posts: 11,922
    jeannot18 wrote:
    Just found Bikeroutetoaster.com. I have not tried it but it looks good too.

    JC

    Started to use that recently and find it the best of the mapping sites. Downloaded 50 mile route to the Edge 705 and the unit read it with no issues over waypoints etc, when I've created routes on other sites they've created too many waypoints.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • marcandre
    marcandre Posts: 43
    i use www.bikely.com

    seems the same as bikehike
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  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    softlad wrote:
    before the internet, we just used to look at road signs. Might be worth giving it a try...?
    +1 There's a lot to be said for setting off and following your nose. There's always a roadsign somewhere pointing to somewhere you'll have heard of surely. That's my preferred option; aim to do a vaguely circular route that ends up with a tailwind blowing me the last bit home, in anything from 1-3 hours depending on mood & everything else.

    For specific routes, like a few of the long routes I did last year I knock up a barebones table of road numbers & intermediate destinations with a rough ETA for each, print it, trim to smallest size poss, laminate it and fix to the bars with a couple of cable ties. It keeps me en route and is a nice way of seeing the miles disappear as they're mentally knocked off the list, with the first few roads & towns giving way to what was a magnificently impossible destination 6 hours / 90 miles ago but is now 'next'.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,289
    After years of cycling I know the roads in my part of the world well enough that I can just decide where to go for a ride of x distance and usually have various options to add on if I fancy going a bit further. I do use Nokia Sportstracker and Map My Ride to log the ride though.

    I would also suggest joining a club as you will often learn some excellent new routes, this was how I learnt. This has the added bonus that they are usually located around a half decent cafe somewhere in the middle of the ride. :D
  • jeannot18
    jeannot18 Posts: 720
    Pross wrote:
    I would also suggest joining a club as you will often learn some excellent new routes, this was how I learnt. This has the added bonus that they are usually located around a half decent cafe somewhere in the middle of the ride. :D

    Would love to, but the majority of clubs go out at WE. I unfortunately work WE night shift. So I can't do early start on Saturday or Sunday. Need to find a club that does ride in the week like Wednesday or Thursday.

    JC
    Pédale ou crève
    Specialized Elite Allez with 105
    Rockrider 8.1 : )
  • not sure if it compatible with your phone but search on google for endomondo, sign up for that (its free) then download the app for ya phone. you will then have a live tracking program on your phone, works fantastically on the iphone and the wife can track me on the interweb at the same time.
  • Squillinossett
    Squillinossett Posts: 1,678
    I honestly just figure it out as I go along. Keeps me on my toes and I like the little surprises it brings!