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Old 04-03-09, 03:19 PM   #1
TrailRider2
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GPS for bike trails and what do you use your GPS for?

I ride bike trails mostly and have been looking into GPS units but, from what I understand, it's pretty easy to get street maps on your GPS but I am not sure if I can get get bike trail maps.

What I would really like is built in bike trail maps for the area where I will be riding so that if I am on a bike trail and see a new trail or a side street that branches off of the main trail, I can check the GPS unit and see where it goes.

This also lead me to another question that I did not see, specifically, in any of the other threads, which is, for those of you that have GPS units, what is the MAIN THING that you use them for (if it is not for the mapping functions)?
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Old 04-03-09, 09:42 PM   #2
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I'd like to get a GPS so that I could make accurate maps of some local trails. Would be nice to have a good central place for those kinds of things. I'd probably use bikely because that's always worked well for me for road routes but there's probably a better solution for offroad trails.
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Old 04-04-09, 08:31 AM   #3
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1. I like to make my own tracks of paths. Some just don't exist. Others are inaccurate or have lots of extra track information (side trips etc.).


2. On tour helps to find nearby services.


3. On tour, you can sync the time on the GPS with your camera time and know exactly where you snapped a certain pic.
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Old 04-08-09, 09:41 PM   #4
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Most bike trail repositories concentrate on individual trails instead of trail networks.

Toward a change in that mode of thought, I created a website that provides a network of 126 and counting bike trails covering over 1300 miles.

Most Garmin color handhelds will display up to 20 trails at a time. (except the Colorado & Oregon variants) You can download a set of trails for the area you are in.

With DeLorme GPS & Software, you can add them all to the map on the unit.
All 1300+ miles are there - (Different colors for different trails that connect.)
Quite inexperienced at creating maps for Garmins, but I don't think I have that kind of control for that application.

While mapping, I often leave the Garmin with street map showing and the DeLorme with Vector Topo.
(Imagery is more complicated to view while moving.)
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Old 04-11-09, 10:16 PM   #5
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To be honest, I very rarely use the map function on the 705. I hope to do more off-road stuff this summer, and then the map may prove to be more useful. I use the 705 as a super bike computer that can collect and concentrate all of the input streams from me and my bike into one wireless data collection system.

When I download all of the data, I use SportTracks to store and compare routes on maps. I have also played with downloading the GPS data to GoogleEarth (we did the white rim in Canyonlands this spring) and that makes an impressive display and a cool way to share your adventure with others online.

Finally, I'm trying to figure out how to make the data stream from the 705 interactive with the Tacx Fortius software so that I can redo my summer rides indoors next winter. I have read that this may be possible, but I haven't yet gotten the complete rosetta stone.
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Old 04-13-09, 11:57 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your replies.

I am still a little confused as to whether or not you can simply buy (or download) bike trail maps for a specific area. For example, I have a paper map of 50 or so trails in my area. Can I get a similar thing for a GPS unit (including the bike trails, connecting trails and relevant streets, etc.)?

I do like the idea of syncronizing my camera to the GPS unit, since I do bike trail photos pretty often.

I searched for info for "on tour" and did not find anything on that (actually I got too much information on unrelated "on tour" stuff).

Thank you luker. It appears to me that a lot of cyclists use the GPS units as a super bike computer, as you explained, giving the options to download all of the recorded data.
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Old 04-13-09, 06:00 PM   #7
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It looks to be hit and miss with the 24k data (typically the best that you can expect with limited storage). There are well traveled two tracks in the data that I downloaded, and some trails that may have been lifted from the USGS 1:24k data sets...that is probably the origin of the data, imho. Other trails that I know are there...are not, on the map. And some trails that I know from evil experience have disappeared, are still shown.

The bottom line is to always be wary of any trail that you don't have experience with, following the track on the map. Even a paper map can screw you up pretty good. I've been kicking around the idea of riding existing trails and uploading the tracks to a local website, so that people can get some idea before they go headlong into the wilds (we have such things out here). I have friends that maintain a catalog of 4-wheeler routes; I may try to expand their collection.
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