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Old 11-01-12, 10:24 AM   #1
Rootman
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Using maps for a safe emergency pickup

This has probably been said before but it just came to mind last night on my favorite route.

I've been lucky and have not had a flat or accident since really starting to bike last spring. I already carry a cell phone so help is only a call away. But I've often wondered how I would get my wife to where I'm at should I a pickup? She's not that good with navigating, she can read a map but to just drive to a place without specific directions is hard for her. Printed maps came to mind. I generate a route on ridewithgps or even Google maps, print it out then divide up the route into arbitrary numbers, one per road section and label the map. I made 2 copies, keep one with me and give her one. Should I need a pickup I can call and tell her "I'm on section 19" or whatever, she immediately has an idea of where I'm at and how to get there to pick me up. Even if I deviate I can get her close to where I'm at and talk her the rest of the way there.

Simple idea, might help someone out.
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Old 11-01-12, 10:28 AM   #2
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Hi,

If she has an android phone (or an iPhone with the right software), sending your location and using the phone to navigate is probably the "easiest". Navigating with a GPS isn't completely trivial for people who have never done it before, so practicing really isn't silly (e.g., have her put in the grocery store she usually goes to and then follow the directions).

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Old 11-01-12, 11:31 AM   #3
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Hi,

If she has an android phone (or an iPhone with the right software), sending your location and using the phone to navigate is probably the "easiest". Navigating with a GPS isn't completely trivial for people who have never done it before, so practicing really isn't silly (e.g., have her put in the grocery store she usually goes to and then follow the directions).

Cheers,
Charles
For iPhone users, she can log into your iCloud account, the "Find my iPhone" function will drop a pin on a map for her to see exactly where you are.
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Old 11-01-12, 11:40 AM   #4
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I have to agree with the OP... first not all of us (or our significant others) are high tech gurus using android or iphones... second, it is probably a good idea anyway to give your SO a map of your usual route... just so they have some basic idea of where you go, should you not arrive safely at home some night.

I have discussed my route with my wife, and a couple of times she has expressed that she "had no idea..." So to give her this info is a good thing. I like the idea of the OP.

Of course if you've got tech and it works for you... go for it.
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Old 11-01-12, 11:54 AM   #5
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wow that's pretty intense. Do you do the same when you go driving?
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Old 11-01-12, 12:12 PM   #6
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If your wife isn't familiar with your route or the area, that sounds like a great idea.

To add to the iPhone thingy, Windows Phone has that functionality too. (https://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/my/find)
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Old 11-01-12, 12:27 PM   #7
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Alas neither of us have smart phones - just don't want to spend the $$$. And she is definitely NOT a tech person, gets confused using her "dumb" phone.

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Wow that's pretty intense. Do you do the same when you go driving?
Not sure who Commodus is asking about driving but NO I don't because she is usually in the car with me

With the days growing shorter and weather getting cooler IF I should ever need her to pick me up it's sure a lot more comforting to me that she has an idea of just where I am and can get to me quickly and easily if I need her.

Besides she knows about where to find my body if I ever get hit ad crawl off in the bushes to die
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Old 11-01-12, 12:45 PM   #8
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Alas neither of us have smart phones - just don't want to spend the $$$. And she is definitely NOT a tech person, gets confused using her "dumb" phone.



Not sure who Commodus is asking about driving but NO I don't because she is usually in the car with me

With the days growing shorter and weather getting cooler IF I should ever need her to pick me up it's sure a lot more comforting to me that she has an idea of just where I am and can get to me quickly and easily if I need her.

Besides she knows about where to find my body if I ever get hit ad crawl off in the bushes to die
I guess I was just asking if this level of care is taken every time you go out, or if there's something special about cycling that causes you to fear crawling 'off in the bushes to die'
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Old 11-01-12, 12:58 PM   #9
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I guess I was just asking if this level of care is taken every time you go out, or if there's something special about cycling that causes you to fear crawling 'off in the bushes to die'
Patches, little tool kit, pump. Enough to get me home for minor stuff. If I'm in a major smash, EMS can call.
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Old 11-01-12, 01:11 PM   #10
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wow that's pretty intense. Do you do the same when you go driving?
Depends on where I might be driving... but consider that most folks when driving tend to stick to major routes and highways... cyclists have no such luxury (at least in the US) as the major routes may not even allow cyclist access (such as interstate freeways) so cyclists often end up using secondary roads, and even paths and shortcuts that are not obvious to those that don't bike, including first responders. Try calling 911 from a bike path and telling them you just found someone down on the ground... you may find that the first responders have no clue as to where you are. (this was discussed here on BF some time back). And folks that tend to drive the main roads and freeways may not have a clue as to where some secondary road is... I know I can give directions to all sorts of places all over town that avoid all freeways and that my driving friends have no idea about.
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Old 11-01-12, 02:01 PM   #11
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I guess I was just asking if this level of care is taken every time you go out, or if there's something special about cycling that causes you to fear crawling 'off in the bushes to die'
Just cycling, and it just occurred to me lately as it is getting VERY cool when the sun goes down, and I'm getting to the point where I am just heading in as the sun is setting. And if I get a blowout I would like to patch it in a nice warm garage after being taken home then in the twilight on the side of a road - or have to hoof it home or get the wife lost trying to find me in the waning light.

This being the SAFETY & ADVOCACY subforum I just wanted to pass on an idea I had (surely not original to me) in case someone else might have the same concern. Just trying to bring levity to the thread with the "crawl off in the bushes to die" remark.

And while we're on safety I am a bit of a safety nut. I wear a hi-vis safety vest at every ride. Take extra precautions when crossing SOME high traffic intersections of dismounting and keeping the bike between me and any vehicles when walking it across the road. If I have to make a left hand turn on some busier streets I'll turn RIGHT into an opposing road / driveway, do a U turn and cross the street at right angle.

It's just me but I value my health and safety and printing just a few maps could make the difference from spending an hour on a chilly roadside or making the best out of a bad situation.
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Old 11-01-12, 02:19 PM   #12
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Alas neither of us have smart phones - just don't want to spend the $$$. And she is definitely NOT a tech person, gets confused using her "dumb" phone.
If you don't find having to plan out your trips ahead of time too (whatever_you_want_to_fill_in_here), then it sounds like you have a workable solution that works for you. (And that really is the most important thing).

Just one point: Prepaid smartphones are both quite cheap to buy and to use. And, with Google maps, you don't actually have to have a data connection to use the maps (you can cache the map when you have a wi-fi connection.

So you buy two phones, either call your wife with your current location (or hopefully you have the phone with the data connection) and she figures out where you are, brings the phone in the car, and it leads her right to you.

I know this sounds like a lot of work. So I'm not really expecting you to run out and do it. But I'm planting the seeds and we'll see into what they grow in the next few months, years, etc.

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 11-01-12, 02:28 PM   #13
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wow that's pretty intense. Do you do the same when you go driving?
There are several situations where leaving a trip report with someone makes a lot of sense. Going offshore in a boat, hiking in the woods, or going for a cruise out in the desert are all situations where I tell someone where I am going and approximately when I'll be back.
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Old 11-01-12, 02:42 PM   #14
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There are several situations where leaving a trip report with someone makes a lot of sense. Going offshore in a boat, hiking in the woods, or going for a cruise out in the desert are all situations where I tell someone where I am going and approximately when I'll be back.
I agree, there are lots of these situations. I just never considered a bike ride to be one of them.

I'm not judging, hey maybe these bikes rides are 400km epics into the bush.
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Old 11-01-12, 02:57 PM   #15
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I know this sounds like a lot of work. So I'm not really expecting you to run out and do it. But I'm planting the seeds and we'll see into what they grow in the next few months, years, etc.
Yep, I would but I just don't use a phone, already have an internet connection at home. I have a company supplied cell phone so it's no cost to me - so that's cheapest of all.

I have just a few routes I take and just skip or add portions to suit the weather or time. The printed maps are fast, easy and a sure way to make it easy to avoid any mix up or confusion as to where I'm at. Just thought I'd share the method in case anyone else had similar concerns.
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Old 11-01-12, 03:36 PM   #16
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This has probably been said before but it just came to mind last night on my favorite route.

I've been lucky and have not had a flat or accident since really starting to bike last spring. I already carry a cell phone so help is only a call away. But I've often wondered how I would get my wife to where I'm at should I a pickup? She's not that good with navigating, she can read a map but to just drive to a place without specific directions is hard for her. Printed maps came to mind. I generate a route on ridewithgps or even Google maps, print it out then divide up the route into arbitrary numbers, one per road section and label the map. I made 2 copies, keep one with me and give her one. Should I need a pickup I can call and tell her "I'm on section 19" or whatever, she immediately has an idea of where I'm at and how to get there to pick me up. Even if I deviate I can get her close to where I'm at and talk her the rest of the way there.

Simple idea, might help someone out.
I usually cross-reference between Google Maps, and RWGPS. They both have a problem. I did a road/bike map on Google, which would have me staying on a road, that converts to bike-only. This bike-only portion of the same map, does not show up on RWGPS. Conversely, I did a 35+mi. bike ride one-way to an early evening biking event last use Google Maps only. Near the end of the ride, I came upon a major construction zone, that was obviously not noted on Google Maps, and maybe RWGPS would have routed me a different way.

I guess it comes down to, making sure, you don't have a crash 'off the beaten path'. Several years ago, There was a collision on a local MUP. Both people(don't recall if it was two cyclists' that collided, or a cyclist that ran into a pedestrian) were not in any shape to call for help. Other users of the MUP, who came upon the accident, had to do it for them.
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Old 11-01-12, 04:53 PM   #17
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I do tell my wife or parents where I'm riding and usually stick to the route. However, my wife is quite adept at technology, better at it then me and a savant with Windows. My Dad knows every back road and farm in the county he lives, and knows how to use it GPS. Out of town we'd may have to rely on local law enforcement.
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Old 11-01-12, 04:58 PM   #18
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You could always get a Better World Club membership.

http://www.betterworldclub.com/bicycles/index.cfm
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Old 11-01-12, 05:41 PM   #19
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Since I ride among the barbarians and also often ride where there is no cell phone reception at all, I have chosen to use a Spot. This is a device that is sort of a reverse GPS; it doesn't tell me where I am, but it does give my location to the people I have instructed it to tell and it even puts it on a map for them. I pay the extra money to have the tracking function that gives my location every ten minutes. Along with the tracking function, I can send any of three pre-programmed messages or call for emergency airlift (extra subscription fee for that one too). By the way, if anyone decides to use one of these, don't wear it on your arm like their picture shows. It won't work unless you give it a view of the sky. I have it clipped onto my back.

Even though I go to the extra expense and trouble of doing this, I would be embarrassed to ever use it for anything but a break of an integral part, like the frame or a wheel, or a medical emergency. I carry all the tools I need for basic breakdowns (flats, chain failure, bolts coming loose, spoke issues, etc). I feel very fortunate to have a couple of good friends who enjoy looking in on the tracking when I am out for the day and wouldn't hesitate to come rescue me, but I am loathe to overtax their generosity. I am perfectly capable of walking extended distances if need be. In fact, our species has more years invested in walking for transportation than we have as a species.
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Old 11-02-12, 05:13 AM   #20
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usually give a queue sheet to the wife on the weekend rides. That is for first responders in-case i go missing. other than that we have set up locators on out cell phones to help guide her to my location.
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Old 11-02-12, 08:34 AM   #21
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I use the main road/ cross street type location. Or a nearby landmark.
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Old 11-02-12, 08:51 AM   #22
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I use the main road/ cross street type location. Or a nearby landmark.
If you have a smartphone with GPS, then this means even if your SO isn't technologically advanced/doesn't have smart phone, then you can figure out directions to get them to you.

Cheers,
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Old 11-02-12, 01:14 PM   #23
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I guess I was just asking if this level of care is taken every time you go out, or if there's something special about cycling that causes you to fear crawling 'off in the bushes to die'
You make a good point. At the same, when a cyclist is in an area that is almost deserted, something might be good.

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I use the main road/cross street type location. Or a nearby landmark.
I try to keep to this.
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Old 11-04-12, 01:12 PM   #24
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My girlfriend and I use GLYMPSE on our smart phones. Great for sending out a come pick me up message. Also updates live. I can send her a message saying to leave at 5PM and meet me along my route for dinner, she can use her phone to track my current location, and updates frequently.
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Old 11-04-12, 05:06 PM   #25
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I have two major thoughts on this. The first one is to answer your question. For that I have a GPS based speedometer. The advantage of that are twofold. The first is that I have an exact (well, near enough to throw a rock to where it thinks I am) location.
I was working at a county Sheriff office once and I asked them if they were able to use the number if someone were to call in with a GPS coordinate. They were not; so, we set up a meeting with me and search and rescue to develop a procedure by which dispatch would be able to handle GPS coordinates. We developed the procedure, trained the existing dispatch staff, and made a instruction post that is now hanging on the office wall in the dispatch center.

Actionable Item: You might want to contact your county sheriff department and find out if they are also equipped to respond to GPS coordinates.
The second thing that my GPS speedometer does for me is more domestic in value. It can be used to generate a track that I can show on my computer. This enables me to show others, such as my wife, where I usually ride. Having an idea of where I normally ride would be useful if I were to need a pick-up on a normal day.

The second primary thought is that your list of fears included common things like flat tires. While flat tires are preventable, in that you can reduce their frequency, they are also a certainty. You should be riding with the minor tools necessary for minor roadside repairs. This would include all needed to repair a flat tire. You should also be prepared to tighten the normal nuts and bolts on your bicycle (pack a few spare screws of whatever size hold your fenders on too). There is one thing I would add to your list of tools and parts; Someone in this thread mentioned concern for being by the side of the road in the cold of winter making a repair.

If you call for a pick-up you will be standing in that same winter weather as you wait. As such, if you are not dressed suitably to walk out, you should add a chemical heat pack to your tool kit. you can use it to warm your hands as you change a flat tube; further, if you are heading home and get chilled (hey, if you are old enough, it just happens) it is there waiting for you.

So, route planning that includes sharing your route information, basic tools and knowledge of how to use them, a chemical heat pack.

Last edited by Robert C; 11-04-12 at 05:16 PM.
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