- how do you navigate long road rides?!
It is worth at least pawing over maps before you go out – just going out and following road signs tends to take you along the shortest, busiest routes. I’m out to ride, not arrive, so seeking out the less direct way of getting places (or not quite get places then) is more interesting.
It used to be the case that I’d try and look out the most interesting circuit, but in fact some of the more interesting rides round here come from deliberately going along roads that are dead ends.
I tend to have stared at a map for a while before I go out, sometimes have a scan or print of the map in my pocket if I need my memory jogged, and sometimes have no real plan but a iPhone in my pocket to check my options. If you’ve planned a particularly detailed route then one of those little map holders on your bars is useful to save rummaging for a map too often, I find most on the market are too big/stiff, if found one thats about 5″ square and soft backed, but I got it about 10 years ago from somewhere or other.
Had a great ride yesterday mostly on roads I’ve never noticed before, went out with half an idea, stopped to share jelly sweeties with a lovely veteran lady cyclist who gave me a mountain of tips and routes that lead to roads and landscape (and an especially fine eatery) on my doorstep that I knew nothing about.Posted 5 years agoLiferSubscriber
just going out and following road signs tends to take you along the shortest, busiest routes
Depends what signs!
Round my way there are plenty of the old style black and white road signs like this:
(Not a local one!)
Which are usually on the less travelled roads as on the busy routes they’ve all been replaced.Posted 5 years agotheflatboyMember
probably stupid question, but we’re all friends here, right? right?
i recently got a road bike and am enjoying it and inevitably wanting to up the mileage as everyone says will happen. what i can’t get my head round is how to plan and navigate longer rides without having to stop to map read all the time. what approaches have others found effective? today i’ve gone for the “zip tie a little print out of my route to my top tube”!
any more elegant solutions anyone?Posted 5 years agobrooessMember
Routes I already know
o/s maps chopped up so they fit nicely in a jersey pocket
Stopping to locate myself is a nice way to get a quick rest and enjoy the scenery
or, find a local club, they’ll know the best roads for riding
I don’t pour over the map tho, that would blur the inkPosted 5 years agorusty trowelMember
If its in a 40 mile radius of here, just follow my nose and link bits together. If you ride enough you’ll soon know all the little roads (and potholes) in the area anyway.Posted 5 years ago
Dodge big black clouds and try and get a tailwind home 🙂
If all else fails, aim for the sea and turn left or right depending on where i hit the coastline.
Heading out for 60 odd miles in a minute, no idea where i’ll end up, just make it up as i go along.corrodedMember
Back when I did road centuries, I’d note some places I’d like to pass through, like pretty villages, decent hills etc and then figure out a route that took them all in via back roads. Then I’d either photocopy the map page or tear it out of the atlas (sorry dad). Most of the time I could remember to go left or right at certain places. And if not, it was always fun getting lost-ish. What you have to watch out for is an outward tailwind…Posted 5 years agojonbaMember
I now use my GPS but I used to plan it out on google maps. Print an overview map or carry a road map as well as having pace notes.
It is not a problem for shorter rides but doing a 100mile route (trying to follow a sportive route can be a bit of a chore. Big junctions will have signposts but little ones often didn’t. Spent a lot of time on street view looking at junctions to make sure it was obvious.
Worth having a few way points in your mind incase you get lost (big towns/villages that are signposted from everywhere so you can get back to familiar roads.
Rather than going out and doing one big loop from new I would normally build up gradually and add to existing known loops to make it easier.
is pretty useful as you can run two maps in parallel (satellite and map)Posted 5 years agosamuriMember
I usually print off a high level view map of roughly where I’m going. I normally write the towns and villages I’ll be passing through on the back of that. I’ll only refer to it if I get completely lost for a long time though. That’s one of the joys of riding a road bike, exploring, finding nice places.Posted 5 years agotheflatboyMember
the problem today was that though i wanted to just go where the mood took me, i was obliged to meet the wife at her friends’ house 45 miles away and it was a new ride so i had to be accurate. seemed to work out ok, i didn’t get lost once! interesting input from all, though – i like the way different people have different attitudes to the concept. 🙂Posted 5 years ago
+1 on getting lost.
I made an unknown detour today, but guessing which direction would be good by my shadow on the ground helped plenty. And the fact the area I’m riding in is bordered by the sea seems to help.
I have taken a torn out page from a road atlas, to at least give me some place names.
The rest of it, just make it up.Posted 5 years agoketchupMember
If you’re out in the middle of nowhere and unlikely to come across any road signs it can be useful to make a ‘route card’ before you go out, just a simple one you can glance at showing the junctions. So basically draw an arrow pointing the way you want to go at that junction and then a rough distance to the next junction. Attahch this to your bars and combine with a basic cycling computer which tells you the distance you’ve travelled will keep you right. Although a map and/or a gps in you’re bag is handy if you get really lost.Posted 5 years agoBezSubscriber
Used to use a Garmin eTrex Vista C, now using a Sony Ericsson Xperia Active with MyTrails Pro, using a custom map style via Cloudmade for maximum clarity, following GPX files generated from Google Maps via GMapToGPX via Dropbox. Which sounds a hundred times more convoluted than it is – it takes about a tenth of the time it took to get a route onto the Garmin, if that.
I have a plan to write an Android app designed purely to navigate super-long routes imported directly from Google Maps, but with two websites to get out of the way beforehand it’s going to be a while until I get round to it – until then MyTrails is tiding me over rather better than I’d expected.
Local rides don’t need navigation; following signs and getting lost works if you’ve got spare time/energy; but a GPS of some sort is rather better if you’re limited by either of those.Posted 5 years ago
do all of you who have problems/need maps/GPS etc. roadride in areas far from home?
I printed a rough googlemap of Lake Como when I went out a few years ago. But mainly guess as I went over some of the “hills” (mountains more like) and got thoroughly lost. It was great..!Posted 5 years ago
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