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Old 03-01-10, 02:06 PM   #1
ddez
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Mileage counting?

How do you tourers keep track of mileage?GPS,bike comps? What do you do?
I just use a map as a general idea. Carrying stuff that needs charging or batteries anymore than i have too is a pain for me.
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Old 03-01-10, 02:35 PM   #2
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Garmin Edge 705, MapMyRide, BikeRouteToaster, etc. They all work. I got a ridiculous deal on a Garmin Edge and tend to use it more than anything else, but it does require charging every 2-3 days. Not a problem for me, but it might be for some.
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Old 03-01-10, 03:00 PM   #3
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Carrying stuff that needs charging or batteries anymore than i have too is a pain for me.
You and me too, with the exception of cp and cam. The rest I call "fiddle factor." I tour with a state map. Google maps will quickly tell me how many miles the trip covered. As far as where I am between map points, I just estimate with time and speed. After a while, you get real good at estimating speed.
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Old 03-01-10, 03:15 PM   #4
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I use a regular bicycle computer. Something standard like the Cateye Mity 8. I really like having a speedometer and odometer.

If you're worried about battery life, stay away from wireless models. In my experience, wired models last for thousands of miles and quite a few years, whereas wireless models last nowhere near as long.
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Old 03-01-10, 03:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ddez View Post
How do you tourers keep track of mileage?GPS,bike comps? What do you do?
I just use a map as a general idea. Carrying stuff that needs charging or batteries anymore than i have too is a pain for me.
I don't see where non-GPS bike computer batteries are much of a "pain". The batteries in the ones I have owned last tens of thousands of miles if not more. Even wireless models batteries last more than long enough for a coast to coast tour and more. One of my companions on the TA still had the same batteries in her wireless one (still working) two years later when I last saw her.

GPS battery life on the other hand is usually pretty poor. So I can see them being an issue.
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Old 03-01-10, 05:22 PM   #6
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I use road signs when available and then a map. I found that when I had computers on my bikes it took away from the experience, "Oh no, my average is only 12km/h!" It got kind of depressing. After finishing a tour it would be nice to know exactly how far I went, for bragging rights, but my daily enjoyment is much higher without a computer/gps.
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Old 03-01-10, 07:14 PM   #7
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In my experience, 80% to 90% of cyclists have an inexpensive bike computer, and most bike computer batteries last at least a year. The simple solution is usually the best.
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Old 03-01-10, 07:34 PM   #8
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I love my Garmin Edge for local solo and group riding. I get to geek out on all the stats.. elevation,HR,Cadence and so forth. Including being able to see map details of my rides.

With the above being said... On tour it would be a pain is the butt. For one thing you need to have a computer to upload all the information or it just stops recording the details. When full it is nothing more than an overpriced basic cycling computer with GPS. You only have so much memory in them. If I toured with a net book maybe I would feel different. Since I don't tour with a net book it just ends up an expensive cycling computer that uses lots of power and that has to be recharged via usb or usb/ac. Fine for short tours but... You get the idea.

If I really wanted GPS while touring I would get a Garmin that uses AA batteries. Easier to deal with. Batteries last much longer as well. Plus I would just turn it off when I didn't need it. If I turn off my edge computer I record nothing. So I'd still need a basic cycling computer to keep track of miles.

So...... I'll stick with my Planet Bike wireless. Past experience tells me that I may have to change batteries over the course of a 4000 mile ride. Can be found in just about any drug store and I'm all set again. I've never had a problem with wireless using all that many batteries and they are cheap.
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Old 03-01-10, 08:48 PM   #9
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I have a bike computer for each bike and record my mileage on a spreadsheet and an online database. The batteries last at least a year and perhaps more if the computer is equipped with auto shut off after few minutes of inactivity.
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Old 03-02-10, 12:27 AM   #10
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With the above being said... On tour it would be a pain is the butt. For one thing you need to have a computer to upload all the information or it just stops recording the details. When full it is nothing more than an overpriced basic cycling computer with GPS.
You may need to upload, but not often...

I find that a day's worth of riding typically generates around 1MB of data. My Garmin Edge 705 has about 460MB of storage when it's empty. That should, in theory, be enough room to ride for 365 days straight without an upload. The trick is to set the "Data Recording" mode to "Smart Recording" rather than "Every Second". Smart Recording gives you all the detail you need if you're not working with a power meter and it dramatically decreases the size of the files. Turning the device off at the end of each day and starting a new ride the following morning also helps.
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Old 03-02-10, 01:37 AM   #11
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I use a normal everyday bicycle computer. Put the battery in and it lasts for a couple years. Then I type the information into an Excel spreadshee, into bikejournal, and into Big Dogs ... but not while on tour. When I'm touring I just write it down in my journal.
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Old 03-02-10, 05:02 AM   #12
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I run a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx while we ride. I wrote some code to parse the tracks into a PostgreSQL database which records distance, elevation etc. The tracks also load to polylines on a google map so you can see the actual route. The whole process takes maybe 2 minutes to complete every night after we set up camp.

http://db.goingslowly.com/
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Old 03-02-10, 07:23 AM   #13
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I calculate distances from the map.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:42 AM   #14
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You may need to upload, but not often...

I find that a day's worth of riding typically generates around 1MB of data. My Garmin Edge 705 has about 460MB of storage when it's empty. That should, in theory, be enough room to ride for 365 days straight without an upload. The trick is to set the "Data Recording" mode to "Smart Recording" rather than "Every Second". Smart Recording gives you all the detail you need if you're not working with a power meter and it dramatically decreases the size of the files. Turning the device off at the end of each day and starting a new ride the following morning also helps.
Mine is a Edge 305 sstorket... I'm pretty sure the memory ability is much less. I found that after as little as 4 days of touring I wasn't recording any additional info. Mine is in smart mode.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:02 AM   #15
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I use simple bike computers. I go with wired. They're cheaper and the batteries last longer. Keep it simple I say. Your opinion may vary. I used to write down the figures at the end of every day's ride for later inclusion in my journal. Now I dictate same into my mp3 player. I do my online journaling after I return home.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:15 AM   #16
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I go with wired. They're cheaper and the batteries last longer. Keep it simple I say.
Yep.

I have found wireless models of several brands/models that I or folks I ride with have used are prone to bogus readings due to interference. It is annoying to come out from lunch to find that interference from a neon sign in the window caused the computer to register mileage while the bike was parked.

Additionally some have to be started by pressing a button rather than just starting to ride. Again annoying to look down and see that you forgot to push the button after lunch.
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