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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-19-17, 08:04 AM   #26
seajaye
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Not what you asked, but I hold a lot of respect and appreciation for how much work goes into developing a good paper cue sheet. There's a lot of nuance that is missed when you auto-generate a cue in RWGPS.

I convert PA .pdfs into Excel and then manipulate to be easily printable for my mapcase. For a typical brevet, I've got anywhere from 40-60 miles covered before I have to flip the sheet. I also include a little 'cheat sheet' sidebar on each page that lays out a schedule for controle departure times, marked mileage for non-controle stops, approx. temperature for the controle town...

I mainly use Garmin for immediate navigation needs. I love the turn-by-turn on my Edge 500. I leave the map page up 90% of the time, as it will show a breadcrumb trail (albeit on a blank canvas), count down the distance to turn, AND tell me the street name I need to be looking for. Apparently that last bit is missing from the Edge 520 map navigation page?

Basically, the Garmin lets me know I'm on track, and I use the cue sheet to look ahead and gauge how far to next services, etc. I used to also put elevation gain for each leg on the sidebar, but I've since adopted an 'ignorance is bliss' attitude

See some of you tomorrow.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:07 AM   #27
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People ride off course using cuesheets all the time. It's really odd that some people think this is only a problem with using a GPS.

It's easy enough to go off course using any method.

If one goes off course for miles with a GPS, then one isn't really looking at the GPS.

Usually, when that has happened with GPS, it's because we were all yakking and not paying attention. I wasn't saying that only happened with GPS, just that it also happens with GPS.


On the 600k- locally- all the 600k routes consist of Day 1 (350-400k) and Day 2 (the remainder)- those will be two different RideWithGPS routes and are always loaded separately anyway, so if you can work a 400k, then 600k is okay, ditto for the 1000k and 1200k.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:13 AM   #28
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Apparently that last bit is missing from the Edge 520 map navigation page?
The 520 doesn't really support maps (except in a minimal way). If one wants maps, the 520 isn't really the appropriate unit.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:19 AM   #29
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If all you want is a map and a breadcrumb trail, the etrex20 is tough to beat for randonneuring IMO. And they're only a hundred-and-fifty bucks on sale.
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Old 05-19-17, 08:29 AM   #30
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Local practice- half the riders use Garmin, half don't. If you're riding in a group, it's always easier to follow the Garminites, for better or worse (yes, we've all been known to ride off course due to that.)
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I wasn't saying that only happened with GPS, just that it also happens with GPS.
What you said implied that it only happened when "due to" following 'Garminites'". So, if you meant that it's a general problem, what you first said didn't make that clear.

Note that other people "implied" it too:

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Local randos joke that one can always tell a Garmin user because they're the only riders who'll ride 100 meters past a turn, then come back and make it.
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Usually, when that has happened with GPS, it's because we were all yakking and not paying attention.
This happens with every method.

The GPS (when one finally pays attention to it) makes it easy to tell that you are off course and it makes it fairly easy to get back on course.

Cuesheets really don't help much at all here.

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Old 05-19-17, 09:35 AM   #31
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One time I was riding with a group of Garminites, and they were confused at a turn. Not sure why, they must have not been very good at using their units. Or as I like to tell my friend that has 2 Garmin 810's on his bike, the man who has two GPS's is always lost, the man with just one knows where he is. In any event, that was when I was using the CSPS*, and I just rode past them. Mostly because we had ridden the exact same route 2 weeks before and I knew where I was going because I had figured that out before the ride. I find the problem with following a cue sheet really crops up for me when a route follows the same road for a very long time. Then I get anxious not knowing if I missed a turn. Especially when there are hills and the cue sheet says the turn is easy to miss, which always seems to be the case.

*cue sheet positioning system.

The Eastern PA ride mostly follows roads that I know, but it's reversed from the usual way of riding it. And there are roads that I have never seen in daylight, so it might be hard to navigate. Definitely hoping the garmin doesn't act up.
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Old 05-19-17, 09:41 AM   #32
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I had similar experiences in terrain where the cross roads don't quite match up. Turn left, go 30 feet, turn right - or the other way around. Almost exactly half the GPSs in the group would skip to the second turn, so the Garminites had to stop and discuss. Paper cue sheet never had a problem.
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Old 05-19-17, 10:11 AM   #33
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One time I was riding with a group of Garminites,
Not really sure why people need to keep using vaguely insulting terms.

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...and they were confused at a turn.
This happens with cuesheets too. People keep implying that it's a GPS issue.

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Not sure why, they must have not been very good at using their units.
This is certainly a possibility.

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Or as I like to tell my friend that has 2 Garmin 810's on his bike, the man who has two GPS's is always lost, the man with just one knows where he is.
This makes no sense.

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In any event, that was when I was using the CSPS*, and I just rode past them. Mostly because we had ridden the exact same route 2 weeks before and I knew where I was going because I had figured that out before the ride.
The people confused at the turn might not have been confused if they had done this too.
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Old 05-19-17, 10:20 AM   #34
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I had similar experiences in terrain where the cross roads don't quite match up. Turn left, go 30 feet, turn right - or the other way around. Almost exactly half the GPSs in the group would skip to the second turn, so the Garminites had to stop and discuss. Paper cue sheet never had a problem.
This sounds like a mismatch of the map used to plan the route and the map used on the device. It's not that hard to work through when it happens. People have problems with cuesheet too.

It's not that hard to see map mismatch issues before you get to the turn.
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Old 05-19-17, 10:30 AM   #35
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The 520 doesn't really support maps (except in a minimal way). If one wants maps, the 520 isn't really the appropriate unit.
It supports maps *much* more than the Edge 500, which is not at all.

To clarify, the 'map' screen on my 500 will show me:
-Breadcrumb on a blank canvas
-Distance to specific cue "2.0 Left Market St"

What I've read (and seen in video demos) of the 520 navigation page is that it shows:
-Route overlay on a potentially-very-detailed map (if you download OSM)
-Distance to generic cue "2.0 Left"

Apparently, you need to switch to the 'cue sheet' page on the 520 to actually get the street name. This is a dealbreaker for me, and when my 500 craps out, I'm probably going to just get another 500.
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Old 05-19-17, 10:43 AM   #36
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It supports maps *much* more than the Edge 500, which is not at all.
Yes, it does! But how it supports them is limited. If one has a strong interest in maps, the 520 not really the appropriate unit to get.

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To clarify, the 'map' screen on my 500 will show me:
-Breadcrumb on a blank canvas
-Distance to specific cue "2.0 Left Market St"
...
Apparently, you need to switch to the 'cue sheet' page on the 520 to actually get the street name. This is a dealbreaker for me, and when my 500 craps out, I'm probably going to just get another 500.
The navigation the 520 provides is the same as that the 500 (basically). Except the "canvas" isn't blank (the 520 will display a basemap or a detailed OSM map, if you load the OSM map onto it).

This is what Garmin calls "course points".

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What I've read (and seen in video demos) of the 520 navigation page is that it shows:
-Route overlay on a potentially-very-detailed map (if you download OSM)
One problem is that there isn't much room for the maps. Also, I don't believe you can pan or zoom the map.

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Old 05-19-17, 11:14 AM   #37
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Not really sure why people need to keep using vaguely insulting terms.
I just copied the first poster that used that term. It's not that serious, please don't get worked up about it.


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This makes no sense.
it's actually a saying I have heard multiple times from people that develop navigation equipment. The problem is that the instruments seem to always disagree. It used to be worse when he had two very different units. We would occasionally have to stop for him to figure out why they didn't agree. It's really an unanswerable question, so knowing where you are as an independent check is a really good idea. Following a cue sheet is one way to do that.


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The people confused at the turn might not have been confused if they had done this too.
one of the people stopped in confusion was the guy I had ridden the same route with 2 weeks before. Although I think what happened was that he was just following me the previous time, and he basically had no memory of the route. I used to have that problem when navigating with a gps.
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Old 05-19-17, 11:38 AM   #38
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I just copied the first poster that used that term. It's not that serious, please don't get worked up about it.
I'm not "worked up" about it. I asked why people felt the need to use it. "Just copying" seems careless.

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it's actually a saying I have heard multiple times from people that develop navigation equipment.
It's a user problem.

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The problem is that the instruments seem to always disagree.
There is no reason to expect the same exact unit set up the same way would "always disagree" (the "always" is probably a wild exaggeration). They shouldn't really disagree much at all.

I'm able to use the Garmins (different units than mine) that other people on group rides are using IF they are using the same route (I do this fairly frequently without any problems).

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It used to be worse when he had two very different units. We would occasionally have to stop for him to figure out why they didn't agree. It's really an unanswerable question, so knowing where you are as an independent check is a really good idea.
That's not the same situation at all.

There likely wasn't any need to "have to stop" either.

Even "very different units" should agree fairly-closely to position and the display of the map. I suppose they "didn't agree" about what turn to make.

It seems peculiar to use two ("very different") GPS units at the same time. I'm not sure what his idea was but I don't think it makes much sense to do this (so, I'm not surprised there were problems with it).

(Having a second unit as a backup that one ignores is a different thing.)

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Following a cue sheet is one way to do that.
Nothing wrong with doing that (I've even done it). I don't find it necessary.

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one of the people stopped in confusion was the guy I had ridden the same route with 2 weeks before. Although I think what happened was that he was just following me the previous time, and he basically had no memory of the route. I used to have that problem when navigating with a gps.
So, it seems likely that it wasn't a "GPS problem" at all.

This really isn't a deficiency of the tool.

It's possible that using cuesheet encourages some people to be a bit more engaged with looking around. But using a GPS doesn't prevent people from looking around.

I think many people think of a GPS as something that is telling them what to do. If that's what they are doing, it wouldn't surprise me that they would have problems using a GPS.

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Old 05-19-17, 12:06 PM   #39
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I can think of one or two spots where we have an unmarked intersection, and even using paper cue sheets, we had to whip out a cell phone and confirm where we were to see if that was the turn or not.
The last "lost" issue I can think of, we had two riders together, one was using cue sheets, one was using a Garmin. The cue-sheet-reader missed a line on the cue sheet. The Garmin-user (if you don't like Garminite?) found the Garmin was currently goobered up and wasn't helping for reasons unknown. So they got about 10 bonus miles out of the day. All part of the fun!
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Old 05-19-17, 12:15 PM   #40
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I can think of one or two spots where we have an unmarked intersection, and even using paper cue sheets, we had to whip out a cell phone and confirm where we were to see if that was the turn or not.
I've had to do that. I often load the route to the phone so I can display it on maps stored on the phone.

The screens on the Garmins are small and the CPU's in them are slow. It's much faster to use a smartphone to review maps.

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The last "lost" issue I can think of, we had two riders together, one was using cue sheets, one was using a Garmin. The cue-sheet-reader missed a line on the cue sheet. The Garmin-user (if you don't like Garminite?) found the Garmin was currently goobered up and wasn't helping for reasons unknown. So they got about 10 bonus miles out of the day. All part of the fun!
Shizzle can happen with anything. A smartphone with downloaded routes and maps is a really cheap backup for people that have the smartphone.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:48 PM   #41
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I have no dog in this discussion, but I will say that in my admittedly limited time using GPS units I have found smartphone Apps to be much more intuitive to use, the map screen is bigger (few exceptions), zoom and almost all other functions simpler. I like using GPS watches to track activities since I enjoy running as well, strap it to the handlebar for rides to record distance and give various metrics and save the smartphone battery for navigation and picture taking.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:04 PM   #42
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I would use my smartphone if my battery would last more than a couple of hours. I'd rather have it available for emergencies and detours, if necessary. You need a big honking backup battery to keep a smartphone running for 20 hours.

The cue sheet for the PA randos changed today, but it was only noting that there is a traffic light instead of a stop sign.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:20 PM   #43
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I have no dog in this discussion, but I will say that in my admittedly limited time using GPS units I have found smartphone Apps to be much more intuitive to use, the map screen is bigger (few exceptions), zoom and almost all other functions simpler. I like using GPS watches to track activities since I enjoy running as well, strap it to the handlebar for rides to record distance and give various metrics and save the smartphone battery for navigation and picture taking.
Smartphones can be easier to use. They have much bigger screens and are much faster and have more memory. Having a larger screen makes setting up UI (user interface) elements easier too.

The Garmins are making a compromise. They choose smaller size and better battery life over a larger screen and a faster CPU.

It also seems that the newer Garmin units are based on legacy software (modifications of software written a long while ago). That means one has to deal with limitations that have been around a while (limitations that might have made sense awhile ago but not now).

Smartphone software also has the advantage of having a clean slate to write new software (for a computer that is much less limited).

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Old 05-19-17, 02:00 PM   #44
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I have done only a couple of brevets and a few populaires and I have always used RideWithGPS app on my iPhone. I also have an Anker portable charger that I plug in when the battery starts to drain. However, I see many people around me use cue sheets. In my last brevet, there was a one pager cue sheet available and I used that in conjunction with the iPhone. Both seemed to work very well, except at one point where the app suddenly decided to add a hill that did not exist in my distance covered and I did not notice it until I got home and looked at the data. So you can imagine my surprise when the cue sheet said that the next control is at mile 81 and I dont get there till RWGPS says mile 85!!
I like using my iPhone for navigation, except that under very sunny conditions it sometimes becomes difficult to read. Also, if you are in an area with no cellphone coverage, it will continue to lose charge even with the battery plugged in.
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Old 05-19-17, 02:39 PM   #45
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I like using my iPhone for navigation, except that under very sunny conditions it sometimes becomes difficult to read. Also, if you are in an area with no cellphone coverage, it will continue to lose charge even with the battery plugged in.
The ridewithgps app can be used with cell-access turned-off (airplane mode but with the GPS enabled).

If there is no cellphone coverage and cell-access is enabled, the phone will use more power to try to locate a cell tower to connect to.

Since this thread is talking about particularly long rides, whatever you use for navigation shouldn't be using the cell network while navigating (it uses too much power and won't always be available).

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Old 05-19-17, 06:08 PM   #46
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The 5000mah battery pack I used now is no bigger than the phone itself. So the size factor is not really a factor. I don't have the phone display turned on most of the time while riding, because I am referring to my hard-copy paper cue sheet. I don't use the audio cues; I don't select Airplane mode while riding.

I turn on the phone display to see the time and distance travelled, which in turn gives me the info for a mental caclulation of elapsed average speed (which is the most important number for me throughout an randonnee). I have been through locations where cell phone reception does not exist -- GPS does not require cell phone reception, and the mapping that Strava uses can compensate when uploading the data. If need be, I can load maps.me again should I be expecting poor cell phone reception for an extended period, or if I am touring places such as America or Europe, because it can function without cell phone reception.

I have never bought into the Garmin marketing ploy. I have read of too many problems on BFs with Garmin's various models to have any confidence in buying them. I have a cell phone (Samsung Galaxy Core Prime, which is more basic than the S-series phones, but serves all my needs extremely well). It is mounted on the bikes with QuadLock mounts which I have found very secure. I can have access to my phone services, and have music playing without the need for earbuds. It also records my HR through Bluetooth connectiions; and if I had a BT cadence sender on the bikes, I would be able to record that, too.

I have recharged the phone twice on a 400+ randonnee and still have capacity in the pack for another recharge at least. If I need more, I have two other battery packs that are just slightly larger and heavier than the phone itself, and would like be needed on rides long enough to have drop bags, where they would be exchanged.

The only issue is when the weather turns damp and I don't want the phone to get wet. But then I just unhook the phone and put it in my handlebar bag (yes, another antiquated concept these days). That's when the wired bike computer is used (oops, wired! Another antiquated thing). I have considered wrapping the phone in plastic kitchen wrap -- the touch screen functions just as well -- and I might do that as an experiment on our next wet ride.
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Old 05-19-17, 06:39 PM   #47
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The more brevets I do the more I like having both. I use the edge 500 now but the 200 really saved my ride a couple times when it squawks at me for going off course. Some people love bonus miles but not me. On the next 600 or longer I'm gonna take my old 200 as a backup. The paper cue sheet is nice for seeing a whole bunch stuff at a glance but I've just started using 500's cue sheet so that's another handy thing I like. I guess that makes me a Garminion lol
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Old 05-19-17, 07:21 PM   #48
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I have never bought into the Garmin marketing ploy. I have read of too many problems on BFs with Garmin's various models to have any confidence in buying them.


The number of people on BF posting of problems is a small fraction of Garmin users.

There are all sorts of ways that people can use to do these rides.

Implying that people who don't really have problems are "buying into a marketing ploy" is silly.

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Thanks for your assertions. I am happy with my way of doing stuff. You can do what you like.

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Old 05-19-17, 07:29 PM   #49
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The number of people on BF posting of problems is a small fraction of Garmin users.

There are all sorts of ways that people can use to do these rides.

Implying that people who don't really have problems as "buying into a marketing ploy" is silly.
Exactly, and I have given my reasons why. I don't understand your attitude of saying this, but using the rolleye emoticon at the start of your post. Maybe it's an NJ thing, but I find it grating, and you really haven't contributed anything worthwhile in this post.

You also are starting to give off the air of someone who is a Garmin shill; do you have stock in the company?
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Old 05-19-17, 07:42 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Flounce View Post
Exclusively paper, and not the one they provide: I go through the route on ride with GPS and hand write out my own, with letter sizing and style that I prefer. It is an exercise that familiarizes me with the route such that I kinda know what to expect - roughly - before it comes up. Call me old school.

I tried the navigating on my Garmin 510, downloaded from RidewithGPS, I know navigating is not the right word, the pop up notification for turn ahead. It was glitchy and had too many false alarms.
Just my two cents here.
1. The quality of the cue sheet plays a huge factor here. I've ridden brevets with ambiguous, badly written instructions, and some with really well written ones. When I was a brevet organiser we used to do a "mock" ride with volunteers who did not know the route but rode with just the cue sheet and an cyclocomputer. Its not always feasible, but we did it whenever possible.
2. Nothing beats a little homework. Reading the cue sheet and looking at Google Maps and/or Street view is an incredibly good way to prepare for the ride. I once rode a brevet based just on cuesheet and this homework (phone had no GPS and cyclocomp magnet broke night before ride)
3. I purchase cheap android phone with no SIM card to use as a GPS. It works great; I use the OSMAnd app and on one trip it lasted without recharging for nearly 48 hours. (GPS wake interval was set to 2minutes with screen off and 5sec with screen on).
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