Reading a map – why can’t/won’t you?

Home Forum Bike Forum Reading a map – why can’t/won’t you?

Viewing 20 posts - 46 through 65 (of 65 total)
  • Reading a map – why can’t/won’t you?
  • AlasdairMc
    Member

    Aye – the classic disappearing path. I think some of the OS guys are just having a laugh making things up

    I often find that on Scottish maps, the dashes denote a right of way, which does not necessarily equate to a path.

    Gilles
    Member

    What about in England and Wales, a BW becoming a footpath. So basically you have to ride back the BW and forgot about your loop. So weird.

    MrSalmon
    Member

    Basically what CP said. I’m quite capable of reading a map, and have to for the odd AR race/event, but they are a bit of a pain in the a$$ on the bike. That’s not to say I never do anything where I’d need one, but frequent stops can be annoying. I’m not that keen on map boards as sometimes I like to be able to see my front wheel.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t go on a “big” ride (or walk) without one, but they’re not always as much use as well-written directions.

    Does anybody else find it really difficult to read a map accurately in Forestry Commission property?

    BTW, Harvey maps (Perth-based?) tend to be rather more accurate about paths and visual boundaries

    Love ’em

    The OS does make some very small deliberate mistakes in its mapping in order to catch out plagiarists. If they find the mistake on someone else’s map they sue.

    coffeeking
    Member

    Would seem slightly odd to make possibly life-threatening “mistakes” on a map to catch out copiers.

    I like maps, I enjoy reading and using maps. When I’m walking. When I’m riding I just want to ride and the map is used to plan GPS waypoints, and as a backup in case all goes wrong. I have found that you can plan a great looking route and then actually find its scattered with unmarked fences, or the path has been obliterated by forestry works etc. I planned to do more of this plan->gps>-ride fun when i moved to scotland but I’ve actually found its harder to find a decent trail without local knowledge – something that looks fun on the map can be utterly dull. I did a massive climb on marsh for what looked like it would be a great descent essentially down the face of a cliff, it turned out to be a smooth well-flattened tractor path that just happened to be so steep you couldnt stop on it for about half a mile, but had nothing exciting to make it worth riding.

    Coffeeking – thats the nature of riding in Scotland. Marked on the map as doubletrack – anything from 10m wide smoothly graded road to ” a landrover went past here 10 yrs ago” Marked as singletrack – anything from a well maintained hardpacked path to “path – wot path”

    You have to find out from someone who has been there before or explore for yourself. I found a delightful looking 5 mile downhill singletrack on the map – on the ground nothing – zero. cue 5 mile walk thru heather and bogs there was just enough path at the beginning to tempt me to start the descent

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    What about in England and Wales, a BW becoming a footpath. So basically you have to ride back the BW and forgot about your loop.

    Do you?

    loddrik
    Member

    Nav in the car, maps all other times.

    OS Explorter maps are truly one the best things invented, fascinating and informative.

    Dibbs
    Member

    In a few weeks time the HONC will be on, if previous years is anything to go by, you’ll see groups of riders stood at junctions scratching their heads and looking at the route guide and map, while riders with GPS just sail by. Later the GPS riders will catch up to the head scratching riders again after they’ve done some unintentional short cut (but convinced they took the correct route), but the riders with GPS will have a tracklog recording to prove they took the correct route.
    Yes there is a place for maps, but most of the time a GPS beats it hands down.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Yes there is a place for maps, but most of the time a GPS beats it hands down.

    Maybe for something like HONC where you have a planned route you have to follow, but the rest of the time you either have to plan your route precisely in advance and upload it, without any options for varying your route a bit if you spot a nice looking trail, or rely on a very small section of map on the display (assuming you have one that does any mapping at all). I’d actually say exactly the opposite – there is a place for GPS, but most of the time maps beat them hands down.

    Not that I’ve ever had any problems with following a map/directions for HONC.

    GPS is fine until it goes wrong at a critical point. Its my main issue with it. “theory of errors” – the more complex systems you have the more likely it is to go wrong and the more you rely on these complex systems the more likely you are to be stuck when they go wrong.

    Learn to navigate and rely on your senses, then rely on a map, then rely on a GPS.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Would seem slightly odd to make possibly life-threatening “mistakes” on a map to catch out copiers.

    It’s generally not life threatening stuff though, it’s outlines of buildings, that sort of thing.

    james
    Member

    “You’re talking about the female of the species here, aren’t you? Stop beating around the bush and just say so”
    No, more the trail centre crowd (of which I know many) I don’t know If they just like the man-made ‘perfect’ flow thing, or are scared to get lost, though seem to enjoy it when out on the ‘big’ hills (which isn’t often)

    “Or is this a dig at us who use GPS and as for routes?”
    Not really, but in a way. Whenever I’ve been led by someone with a GPS we’ve got ‘lost’ a few times. They seem to encourage you to stick with the GPS exaclty, the GPS is following the map inside itself and/or the less than carefully placed waymarkers, which is often not exact. They seem to encourage you to follow the GPS, instead of looking around and following your nose. Though none of the GPS’ had OS mapping.

    “I do feel that people who only ride trail centres because they can’t read maps are missing out on a hell of a lot”
    Me too

    “Why not use a map board then?”
    I’ve thought about it, but they would obscure the full vision of my front wheel, and are yet another thing to crash myself into when going over the bars

    “Micro-navving in Sherwood is a different matter!”
    I’ve not tried a map there, just know where the car park is, the ‘MTB area’ and the odd trail in between. Riding off to the quieter bit of the woods via any track that takes my fancy is good fun. Mentally knowing roughly where I am and what direction I’m facing, but not recognising anything and having to guess which way will take my back to the car is good fun. Even if the rest of your group aren’t quite so sure when you tell them you don’t know where you are

    “Often trails on the map are just not there on the ground, or they’re impassable. Or overgrown so you can’t see them”
    no, but you’re not lost. When theres no trail on the ground its a pain though. I still know where I am, I just don’t know where the trail is

    Moses
    Member

    TJ – studying the map first & being aware of surroundings is all very well, but if you’re on a flat bog where the path disperses, in a misty drizzle; compass-work is unavoidable. Dropping down into the wrong valley from a watershed ridge is only too easy if they’re only 20degrees separate.

    IMHO.

    I was on a group ride with someone with a GPS – he insisted we took a left turn when I was sure it was straight on – we took the route he said a couple of hundred yards later the GPS reset itself and sure enough – we were on the wrong trail

    Moses – thats why I say its a process not a single event. The outline of the hills, the lie of the land, the direction of water flows – all these things give you the clues if you are continuously aware of them. I didn’t say its never needed but I haven’t had to use my compass in anger for many a year – and that includes being on the featureless cairngorm tops in whiteout on several occasions – and if there is anywhere to get lost then thats it.

    druidh
    Member

    On the “OS intentional errors” thing; did you know that “tourism” features in blue (such as the chairlifts on Aonach Mor) are only indicative and that the OS do not warranty that they’re in the correct place at all? Best to be aware of these limitations when you’re up there micro-navigating your way off.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    “Why not use a map board then?”
    I’ve thought about it, but they would obscure the full vision of my front wheel, and are yet another thing to crash myself into when going over the bars

    Being able to see the whole of your front wheel is vastly over-rated IMHO. You can certainly see enough that it doesn’t cause you any problems – in any case what you actually want to see is what’s immediately in front of your front wheel (and you can) – IME the front wheel tends to stay where you put it, so you don’t have to keep checking on it the whole time to make sure it hasn’t wandered off!

Viewing 20 posts - 46 through 65 (of 65 total)

The topic ‘Reading a map – why can’t/won’t you?’ is closed to new replies.