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Old 07-31-09, 08:16 PM   #1
lisette
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options if i don't have maps, and want to leave for trans am in three days?

hey,

so i thought my trip was going to fall through because a friend canceled on me. but i've been training, and as of yesterday, decided to just go for it. to have any hope of finishing the whole thing before i have to start working though, i need to leave immediately.

and i don't have maps! what are my options? i was going to buy a bike gps. if i do that, are there gpx files i can download? or does someone have maps they're willing to part with (and send out super fast?) i can pay with paypal. i found a website of the whole tour online (on steve's bicycle touring site) but i'm not sure how I'd turn that into something transportable.

i just really, really want to do this. i have a ton to get done in the next few days. but i know i can. this is probably the thing that most concerns me. any help or suggestions you all have would be much appreciated

thanks!
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Old 07-31-09, 09:33 PM   #2
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Where are you starting?

Use the phone, call Adventure Cycling, tomorrow morning (yes they are open), have them overnight you the maps. Start Monday or Tuesday.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:17 PM   #3
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If you're going to get a GPS anyway, you can download the waypoints from Adventure Cycling.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/rout...0k&f=tagpsdata

How are you going to recharge the beast?
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Old 07-31-09, 10:20 PM   #4
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FYI, GPS is just horrible for long range planning - as in, figuring out where you're going to be at the end of the day. And the A.C. files include waypoints for all kinds of things other than the route (bike shops, camping, etc.) so do NOT expect to just load a file and start riding.
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Old 08-01-09, 03:05 PM   #5
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I'd much rather skip the gps and just use the AC maps. In fact I shipped my gps home a week or so into the Trans America. I just didn't find it very useful especially when using the AC maps.

Both of Valygrl's posts are right on (as usual).
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Old 08-01-09, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
FYI, GPS is just horrible for long range planning - as in, figuring out where you're going to be at the end of the day. And the A.C. files include waypoints for all kinds of things other than the route (bike shops, camping, etc.) so do NOT expect to just load a file and start riding.
Those waypoints for bike shops, campgrounds, stores, etc. are all in the GPS files that you can download from their site. But depending on the model of GPS they may not automatically download in a usable way - the waypoint name just gives a numeric designation and doesn't describe what each waypoint is. So you may need to keep a file that references the waypoint name with its description. The tracklog file of the route is what you'd need just to follow the route. Then supplement with the waypoints and descriptions to find places along or near the route.

As to recharging, I carry enough NiMH AA cells to keep the GPS going for a few days and also carry a charger. Many campgrounds have outlets available at convenient locations to recharge the batteries and I've also found restaurants to be willing to plug in the charger while I'm eating there (helps to have one of the quicker chargers for this). I run the GPS continuously so it also keeps a log of where I am at all times - makes it easy later to automatically assign exact locations to all pictures taken along the way. If you're just using the GPS to determine where to go when at a questionable intersection then you could just turn it on as needed and the batteries would last for a very long time.

Last edited by prathmann; 08-01-09 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 08-01-09, 04:39 PM   #7
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1. You can pick up maps along the way. I wouldn't want to carry a whole set of maps with me.

2. Go to your local AAA and get a couple maps for the first week of your trip.

3. Print off some maps from google maps or one of those online mapping programs (but know that their accuracy isn't guaranteed).
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Old 08-01-09, 04:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Where are you starting?

Use the phone, call Adventure Cycling, tomorrow morning (yes they are open), have them overnight you the maps. Start Monday or Tuesday.
You could also check REI, or a touring-oriented bike shop if there's one in the area. I was surprised to find that my local REI store stocks the Adventure Cycling maps that are relevant to our area in a hidden corner of the bicycle section of the shop. I know they have the complete Pacific Coast map series and at least the start of the Western Express, maybe others. There's also a local bike shop that specializes in touring; they have map and guidebooks in addition to racks, panniers, camping gear, and other stuff necessary for touring.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:49 AM   #9
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i would just get maps along the way.


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Old 08-02-09, 05:35 PM   #10
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AAA maps are fine for any tour in the U.S. Adventure Cycle maps certainly have some extra features but you are stuck with their route and can't easily divert if you want to or need to.
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Old 08-02-09, 05:53 PM   #11
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Real men or women don't need no stinkin map get the AC maps shipped to a Post Office general delivery and pick them up in a few days as stated above. How far do you plan on going in the next week or so? Do you know the area where you are starting well enough to use a regular map? Either that or wing it that would be a greater adventure for sure. Whatever you do keep us posted on your progress, sounds like fun.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lisette View Post
i found a website of the whole tour online (on steve's bicycle touring site) but i'm not sure how I'd turn that into something transportable.
If you haven't talked to AC and had the maps shipped yet, I suggest that you do as Stringbreaker suggested, but start out by looking at the route on the AC site and the site you mentioned above and redoing the same route in google maps for the first several days and then have AC ship the set of maps to you via general delivery at a post office along your route.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:33 AM   #13
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compass, due east I'm assuming if you're starting this late!! >: D
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