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Anyone else stop to ask for directions?

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Anyone else stop to ask for directions?

Old 04-12-15, 08:46 PM
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h2oxtc
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Anyone else stop to ask for directions?

I left home this morning without printing a map of a new route that I planned on MapMyRide. I've driven most of the roads at some time, but as we all know it's not the same when you're on a bike. You can't just turn around and ride that hill again, repeat.

So I decided to ask for directions, my wife would have been proud. I was riding a narrow two lane country road when I came upon a woman walking two golden retrievers. I figured she had to be a local. So I asked her for directions to get to Carrs Landing, not my destination but a nearby community that would get me on the right track. She thinks for a bit and then says, "turn left at the next road, then right at the next and follow the road as it bends ...". It's a good thing I knew a little bit about the area - where she was generally directing me would have added about 1000 feet of climbing.

Then it occurred to me, "can you tell me how to get to Tim Hortons?" She replies, "of course, that's easy! Turn right at the next road, then left and follow the road to the end."

My apologies for non-Canadians who may not appreciate the context. Tim Horton's is a Canadian icon - coffee chain. If you don't know where the nearest Tim Hortons is, you're not Canadian. I knew that my route would take me past the local Tim Hortons, so off I went thanking her for helping me with the directions.

I can only imagine how exhausted I would have been if I actually followed her initial directions.
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Old 04-12-15, 10:00 PM
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I can't think of any time that I've needed to ask directions. I've ridden so many routes around here, I seldom have to go far without encountering a landmark. Or if I'm more lost than that, I can usually know what cardinal direction I have to head until I'll find something more familiar.

but just the other day I caught up to a guy riding and he asked me for directions. I told him what he needed to know, and we rode together for a mile or so. It seems he was new to biking, and even though he lived much closer to the spot where I encountered him, he didn't yet have that "bike map" in his head.

This has been discussed before, but a funny thing about bike geography/navigating is that I can know where I am on a bike, but put me in the same place in a car and I won't necessarily recognize it. Or every once and a while I realize that two places I thought were separate localities were really the same, but one I knew by approaching it from a quiet road by bike, and the other from a freeway by car.
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Old 04-12-15, 10:35 PM
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I've asked for directions several times. The only problem I have ever had is the person helping sometimes doesn't appreciate that I'm on a bike and will provide directions using a very busy road with no shoulder, when a quieter route was proven to exist latter on. But overall it works for me.
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Old 04-13-15, 02:05 AM
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I stopped and asked for directions when I climbed Mt Tam last year. The written directions I had were a bit vague in one section, and the path not really well marked, so I asked someone for directions. Unfortunately, either I messed up, or he left out a turn, because I got all kinds of lost. Fortunately I had my phone so I was able to use the GPS to figure out where I was and where I needed to be. I figured I did several hundred feet of "extra" climbing, but since climbing was the point of the whole ride, it wasn't the end of the world.
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Old 04-13-15, 04:12 AM
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Tim Horton's? Why yes, right over there.....
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Old 04-13-15, 04:48 AM
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I stopped a few times to ask directions over the years.

My favorite was stopping at a bar in a little town in France while cycle touring and my chain had broken earlier on the road and my mending attempts were not quite working (chain tool pin was messed up). The bartender basically yelled at me for coming into his place with greasy hands.....then all hell broke lose....all the old men lined up with drinks in front of them gave it right back to the barkeeper telling him that I was a young stranger needing help, have respect in a way that only the French can do. It got really loud really quick. The oldest fellow (maybe 85 years old) gets up and takes me arm and arm to a cycling shop maybe 600-800m away. He insisted to walk me there personally. It was a nice chat. The bike shop owner would not take any money from me. The old fellow stayed with me until he was sure the bike was good. Those French are a Paradox.

I used to get lost all the time when my case of Lymes disease was at its worst but my bike was hung up then, I'd get lost in the car.
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Old 04-13-15, 07:42 AM
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I think getting lost is half the fun of cycling. When I have taken longer trips into places I have never been occasionally I have had to ask for directions. People are generally pretty nice. Can't ever remember anyone being unpleasant. Not having a GPS on my bike means I either just go on till something becomes familiar. Usually on a longer ride I preplan with Map My Ride and print out a little reference map at home. Its a fact that cycling has taught me the names of many streets even in my own neighborhood. For many years I sailed a small boat in the bay here and my wife always said I knew all the islands but did not know the names of the streets two blocks away!
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Old 04-13-15, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by KenshiBiker View Post
I stopped and asked for directions when I climbed Mt Tam last year. The written directions I had were a bit vague in one section, and the path not really well marked, so I asked someone for directions. Unfortunately, either I messed up, or he left out a turn, because I got all kinds of lost. Fortunately I had my phone so I was able to use the GPS to figure out where I was and where I needed to be. I figured I did several hundred feet of "extra" climbing, but since climbing was the point of the whole ride, it wasn't the end of the world.
And here I thought my wife would be proud of me for asking for directions. The first things she said was, "why didn't you use the GPS on your phone?"


Originally Posted by RR3 View Post
I stopped a few times to ask directions over the years.

My favorite was stopping at a bar in a little town in France while cycle touring and my chain had broken earlier on the road and my mending attempts were not quite working ... Those French are a Paradox.

I used to get lost all the time when my case of Lymes disease was at its worst but my bike was hung up then, I'd get lost in the car.
Love the story!


Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
I think getting lost is half the fun of cycling. When I have taken longer trips into places I have never been occasionally I have had to ask for directions. People are generally pretty nice. Can't ever remember anyone being unpleasant. Not having a GPS on my bike means I either just go on till something becomes familiar. Usually on a longer ride I preplan with Map My Ride and print out a little reference map at home. Its a fact that cycling has taught me the names of many streets even in my own neighborhood. For many years I sailed a small boat in the bay here and my wife always said I knew all the islands but did not know the names of the streets two blocks away!
I've been riding many of our local roads for years and I still don't know them by name. "The road by the lilac farm", or the "past the firehall", or ... "just follow me".
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Old 04-13-15, 08:22 AM
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As a member of the local bike club, and a member of the Great Plains trails network here in Lincoln, I always carry extra maps produced by the city and GPTN. When someone stops me for directions, I always give them a map. Its a good ice breaker to maybe get new members for the clubs.
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Old 04-13-15, 08:33 AM
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Nope. Half the fun is finding your way back.
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Old 04-13-15, 08:57 AM
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I manage in countries that I have not been to Before.
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Old 04-13-15, 10:07 AM
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"Which Timmy's? The one coming into town, the one in the middle of town, or the one leaving town?"
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Old 04-13-15, 10:11 AM
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Nope. In 2009 I was looking at buying my first smart phone. I was sold the instant I tried out the maps application. Life changer.
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Old 04-13-15, 10:17 AM
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One time in Vermont I asked a man how to get to Stanwood. In a typical laconic New Englander fashion he replied: This is the Stanwood road. It goes to Stanwood.

Charlie
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Old 04-13-15, 10:22 AM
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I did a 2+ month tour thru England, Wales, Normandy, Brittany, and down to Aquitaine without a map. In France, I just got off the Ferry and followed D routes along the coast and side tours inland. I guess I was lost the whole time. Must admit Britain was not much fun without a map and eventually I did purchase one somewhere between Snowdonia and resplendent Liverpool but the cold rain and bleak sights fetched me onto the next train to Dover for a ferry ride. I guess I actually did ask for directions in Liverpool....how do I get to the train station and out of Dodge.
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Old 04-13-15, 10:43 AM
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Ordinance Survey Maps of the British Isles , are much better than the common maps sold in the US.
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Old 04-13-15, 10:56 AM
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I seldom ask for directions, but not because I'm ashamed to illustrate my ignorance. It's because other people are afraid to do so. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten directions from people purporting to know what they are talking about, only to be sent off in the wrong direction.

But I'm not afraid to do so ... I just take it with a grain of salt.

Several years ago, some road construction had us completely lost on the Devil Mountain Double. While we were standing there conjugating over the best way to proceed, I interjected that we should just knock on someone's door and ask. I found out later it was nearly midnight (I thought it was much earlier) ... probably not such a great idea, eh?
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Old 04-13-15, 11:05 AM
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Once in a while if I'm in another state, I'll have to ask which way is which. Or if I'm in an unfamiliar area I'll find a LBS and ask for suggestions on where to ride. But that often leads to spending more time than I'd like to with a nice bike shop guy shooting the breeze.
I've been asked for directions a few times, always an iffy proposition.
One 4th of July, I came across a rider looking lost, so I asked if he needed help. It turns out he was from England, finishing a west to east cross country trip. Chatted a while, a nice fellow, with a good sense of humor when I reminded him 'we won'.
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Old 04-13-15, 11:54 AM
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yep, it happens when trying new routes
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Old 04-13-15, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
While we were standing there conjugating over the best way to proceed . . .
I can just imagine a bunch of bikers standing by the side of the road saying: "Amo, Amas, Amat . . ."

Now, if you meant "cogitating", that's something else .
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Old 04-13-15, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
While we were standing there conjugating over the best way to proceed . . .


Originally Posted by KenshiBiker View Post
I can just imagine a bunch of bikers standing by the side of the road saying: "Amo, Amas, Amat . . ."

Now, if you meant "cogitating", that's something else .
I'm somehow reminded of some young adult fiction, "Good Times/Bad Times" I read way way back when I was a young adult, in which conjugating had an entirely different meaning.
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Old 04-13-15, 01:32 PM
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I have asked directions on several tours, and agree that sometimes car drivers who don't bike recommend routes that are not bike friendly. My best luck has been to ask questions / discuss routes with touring cyclists who are heading in the opposite direction. We each can discuss routes and/or camping sites and/or restaurants based on recent experience, which can open up some new options.
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Old 04-13-15, 02:11 PM
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I got lost once on some singletrack trails. There wasn't anybody there to ask. Just kept riding around till I saw daylight.
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Old 04-13-15, 02:48 PM
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On my weekday rides there's a prison located in the boonies where I ride. Here lately, I've been stopped by cars asking me how to get there. I guess I have that I know where the prison is located look. In any case, I've told them "I've never been to the prison, but if you go such-n-such you will see a sign, I guess you can follow the signs from that point..." :|
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Old 04-13-15, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I'm somehow reminded of some young adult fiction, "Good Times/Bad Times" I read way way back when I was a young adult, in which conjugating had an entirely different meaning.
Now that's a visual!

I knew conjugation had a lot of different meanings (e.g. general, mathematical and grammatical), but I hadn't heard that one!

I meant the term to be used in the general sense: "the forming or existence of a link or connection between things" as in "we were here, then went there, so that means we must be here."

Speaking of this kind of thing, a friend and I were on a ride recently. We were standing in a restaurant where I asked:

"Would you like a sweet roll?" (I wanted to patronize the restaurant and bought two, even though I only wanted to eat one).

Which she heard as:

"Would you like to roll?" (as in ... would you like to get back on the bikes)

Which I heard as:

"Would you like to go for a roll." (As in, well, you get the idea)

To which I replied (motioning to a storage room visible from the counter of the restaurant we were standing in):

"I dunno, it doesn't look very comfortable back there."

Ah, the unexpected joys of being 50+. Maybe this should be posted in the hearing aid thread.
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