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  1. #1
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    i just got a couple maps of the SF bay area. one that's west of the east bay hills (berkeley, el cerrito, richmond) and one that is east of the hills (moraga up through antioch). i just finished plotting a route that gets me from berkeley to the antioch bridge, which is bike accessible, and i want to know the mileage of the route. my plan is to go from berkeley, over to antioch, then up and around the north bay to novato, and back around through san rafael and sausalito, over the golden gate, then take public transportation back to the east bay. i just need one or two more maps, and to take a day and drive the planned route.

    so...my question is this: what's the name of that little tool/device that you roll on a map and it gives you the mileage? or should i just use string? the problem with string is that i have two seperate, two-sided maps already, and i don't think string will stay put with my cat around.

    so, yeah, what's the name of the tool, and what kind of store would have one?

    oh yeah, i could've dreamed that such a thing exists, but i'm pretty sure that it does.
    Last edited by OneTinSloth; 06-30-05 at 04:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    There are tools available... I think I remember one brand: 'Map Mate' or something like that...

    I am a geographer myself and don't own anything like that... I don't even use a string. Usualy a ruler and bit of guessing does the job for me. Otherwise, since you plan to drive your proposed itinerary, you could simply use your car odometer to measure the distance.

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    yeah. the odometer idea occured to me, but i want to set the route and find out the mileage first...

    i just DLed KLIMB, and according to that, i've about 168.6 miles and 5270ft of climbing. i'll probably do it over the course of a couple days.

  4. #4
    Out of Commission OC Roadie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
    i just got a couple maps of the SF bay area. one that's west of the east bay hills (berkeley, el cerrito, richmond) and one that is east of the hills (moraga up through antioch). i just finished plotting a route that gets me from berkeley to the antioch bridge, which is bike accessible, and i want to know the mileage of the route. my plan is to go from berkeley, over to antioch, then up and around the north bay to novato, and back around through san rafael and sausalito, over the golden gate, then take public transportation back to the east bay. i just need one or two more maps, and to take a day and drive the planned route.

    so...my question is this: what's the name of that little tool/device that you roll on a map and it gives you the mileage? or should i just use string? the problem with string is that i have two seperate, two-sided maps already, and i don't think string will stay put with my cat around.

    so, yeah, what's the name of the tool, and what kind of store would have one?

    oh yeah, i could've dreamed that such a thing exists, but i'm pretty sure that it does.
    There's a couple of different pieces of software that work pretty well for this.
    I use Microsoft Street and Trips (I think that's what's called). You can download a free trial version for 30 days. This software does not have elevations. Dolorme has a program, I forget it's name. It's similar to the Microsoft softwar but will give you elevation profiles. I'm sure if you Google either of these, you will find their sites.
    If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, then come sit next to me.

  5. #5
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
    i just got a couple maps of the SF bay area. one that's west of the east bay hills (berkeley, el cerrito, richmond) and one that is east of the hills (moraga up through antioch). i just finished plotting a route that gets me from berkeley to the antioch bridge, which is bike accessible, and i want to know the mileage of the route. my plan is to go from berkeley, over to antioch, then up and around the north bay to novato, and back around through san rafael and sausalito, over the golden gate, then take public transportation back to the east bay. i just need one or two more maps, and to take a day and drive the planned route.

    so...my question is this: what's the name of that little tool/device that you roll on a map and it gives you the mileage? or should i just use string? the problem with string is that i have two seperate, two-sided maps already, and i don't think string will stay put with my cat around.

    so, yeah, what's the name of the tool, and what kind of store would have one?

    oh yeah, i could've dreamed that such a thing exists, but i'm pretty sure that it does.

    This must be the time of year we all start planning trips with maps. The tool exists, I have seen them too. If you find out where to get one, I want one too. I've been doing it backwards, riding the route and writing the results on the map after the trip.

    edit post one minute later (duh)............

    Bingo..... http://www.draftingsteals.com/catalo...ns---maps.html

  6. #6
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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  7. #7
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    SWEET! i'm totally picking one of those up!

    i'm lucky enough to live in an area that already has KLIMB maps set up, but that'd be handy if/when i venture outside of the bay area.

  8. #8
    Senior Member meanderthal's Avatar
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    I have the one that 2manybikes cited. It's brand name is ALVIN, and is quite accurate if used carefully. Make sure, when you start a trace, that you have first rolled the wheel backwards (to the underside of the zero mark) and then back to zero, as there's a bit of play in the wheel-to-pointer linkage. If you don't, the pointer may not begin moving until you've moved a bit past the start point, and your first readout will be short by that amount.

    Lew
    An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. - G. K. Chesterton

  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    TopoUSA will create routes, calculate mileage, elevation profiles, etc all day long a lot faster, and probably more accurately, than using paper maps.

  10. #10
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    does topoUSA cost money?

  11. #11
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    I just go with an ordinary compass used to draw circles. Probably best to get one that can have two leads in it, but sharp point are OK (they just leave little pinpricks in the map, and actually prevent the compass from slipping).

    Put one point (the starter point) on your start location. Open up the compass so the other point goes to the first significant corner, then place that point on the map where the corner is. Now, swing the compass so the "starter point" is behind the direction of travel, but the compass is aligned with that new direction after the corner. Put the starter point down on the map, and open the compass up more for the next straight bit. Keep following this procedure until you have a sizeable opening on the compass, then measure it against the scale on the map. Record that intermediate distance, then restart the procedure for the next sector. It sounds a little more complex than it really is.

    I've used it to plot randonnees and it is very accurate for moderate to large-scale maps (100:000 to 250:000). It is wonderfully accurate on street atlases. And cost is all of what? $3 at a stationery shop, and you don't need dial-up. broadband or Windows!

  12. #12
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
    does topoUSA cost money?
    Yes. Most good things do.

  13. #13
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanderthal
    I have the one that 2manybikes cited. It's brand name is ALVIN, and is quite accurate if used carefully. Make sure, when you start a trace, that you have first rolled the wheel backwards (to the underside of the zero mark) and then back to zero, as there's a bit of play in the wheel-to-pointer linkage. If you don't, the pointer may not begin moving until you've moved a bit past the start point, and your first readout will be short by that amount.

    Lew
    Thanks for the good advice.

  14. #14
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    Something that is obvious when you think about it, but most people don't: map projections are isomorphic views from above, so the distance along a road on a map is only directly correlated to the actual odometer distance if the road is perfectly flat. In hilly terain (the Bay area comes to mind), the distance you travel on the map and the distance you actually roll can be quite different.

    Just something to bear in mind.

  15. #15
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    OneTinSloth

    Map Measurer = Opisometer

    Another option is to drive it and use a GPS.


    LastPlace

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotAbel
    Something that is obvious when you think about it, but most people don't: map projections are isomorphic views from above, so the distance along a road on a map is only directly correlated to the actual odometer distance if the road is perfectly flat. In hilly terain (the Bay area comes to mind), the distance you travel on the map and the distance you actually roll can be quite different.

    Just something to bear in mind.
    Agreed.

    I discovered this with my Garmin GPS the other week. I usually set my GPS with a way-point to get me to one direction. The GPS will tell me that it's ten miles to get to that way point. If it were a straight line with no hills, that would be the case. It amazes me how it often takes 12 - 15 miles to arrive at my detination!

  17. #17
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    The "technical" name is a Meilograph.. I'd just say map measurer. the one I have was given to me years ago, but doesn't list a manufacturer. I'd suggest an outdoor recreation store or posiibly a book store. you may want to spend some time walking through the yellow pages. Usually, the map legend will tell you the scale of the map and a ruler & adding machine will give you approximate miles. Be careful crossing the Antioch bridge..it's 1 lane each direction and narrow. Don't plan on using it during morning or pm commute traffic times, between 10:30am-2:30pm at the latest would be between commutes. Week-ends are busy too with rv's and vehicles towing boats. The Berkeley hills will give you some fantastic views of the bay area and bridges on a good day.
    Expect lots of traffic on hwy 160 off the Antioch bridge and on hwy 12 across the delta to fairfield. Both have some room for bicyclists, but don't count on a lot of curtesy from drivers. 12 is a major route between I-5 and I-80, so lots of trucks & traffic. I might be able to give you some info on your other routes if i know the names of them. I've riden a little of the Berkeley hills and into richmond. 0^0

  18. #18
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneTinSloth
    SWEET! i'm totally picking one of those up!

    i'm lucky enough to live in an area that already has KLIMB maps set up, but that'd be handy if/when i venture outside of the bay area.
    Mine just came in today. It seems as if it's a little better than using a ruler and being very careful.

    Given that:
    Bike odometers, car odometers, maps, and actually trying to follow a route with the plan measure can never be perfect, I guess it's OK.

    I have a map that has a few century routes marked off on it. I have ridden the routes and written the bike odometer readings on the map. Most of the 50 to 52 mile routes measured with the bike come out to around 48 miles or more with the new tool. I'll never know what the biggest inaccuracy is. I would guess the map not having the hills showing, and some of my bike computers don't have the exact dimension in the program to set for the tire size are the two biggest variables. For example my flight deck computer does not have the exact dimension needed for 23 mm tires. I can go above or below the right number. I went above on that bike as it was closer. That means that bike is optimistic, that would fit perfectly with the results I got, meaning the plan reader is probably closer. I need to check my other bikes find one that I think is more accurate and try it.

    The best thing was, that on a couple of alternate routes, I could compare them with the plan measure and see which one is shorter. I was surprised about which one was shorter. That's helpful.

    I am glad I have this thing?

    Undecided, until I try a route with a bike that has a more accurate computer. When I do that I will post the results.

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