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Nothing slows you down more than a guy with a map

Old 07-30-19, 10:19 AM
  #1  
Joe Bikerider
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Nothing slows you down more than a guy with a map

On Sunday I was taking my usual loop through the East Bay town of Walnut Creek. I like to cross Ygnacio Valley Road at San Carlos and cruise through the neighborhoods. I'm pretty slow and the streets are wide and traffic very light, typical suburban area built in the 1950's. I know that because the swim club, Rancho San Miguel is celebrating their founding in 1959. A group of three riders passed me but then I soon caught up to them standing in the road looking at a map, they seemed to be deciding to turn left. I asked where they are going and got the reply "Diablo". My reply "you're going the wrong way". So I continued on, I could see the locally famous mountain straight ahead. After getting through the neighborhoods I came out on Walnut Ave and turned right heading up. Looking back to the left I could see those three riders. They came by and I said "told you so". I hope they had a nice ride but they could have done better and learned something by just looking around them and following the obvious route. I'm a fan of keeping the map in my pocket and figuring it out on my own, it's way more fun. Even worse is slavishly following some computerized route.
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Old 07-30-19, 10:25 AM
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best to know where you are going and equally important is how to get home.

What aids you may need are rider dependent, and really unimportant.
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Old 07-30-19, 10:25 AM
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I wonder what it was that compelled you to inform them of their "error." I routinely ride to my wife's workplace for a lunch date-- the shortest route is just over 26 miles. But I might take 30, 40, or even 70 to get there.

How would you have responded if a complete stranger told you, out of nowhere, that you're "going the wrong way."
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Old 07-30-19, 11:18 AM
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What's a map?
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Old 07-30-19, 11:23 AM
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"You're going the wrong way" wasn't helpful. Good thing they were smart enough to have and consult a map. According to your description they were going the wrong way. Imagine if they didn't have a map.

When touring in unfamiliar territory I still prepare paper cue sheets. I call them my PGS: Paper Guidance System. The unit never needs charging.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:09 PM
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Wildwood
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
What's a map?
As a former Wilderness Ranger, it's funny to see people 'kinda lost' and upset that there is no internet connection, or their battery expired.
Even funnier is people who expect directional signs to be posted in the Wilderness.

"Where's your map?" Always a Ranger's 1st question.


OK, back to cycling.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:50 PM
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I like maps...and charts...land or sea dependent.
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Old 07-30-19, 02:39 PM
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Old 07-30-19, 03:14 PM
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I can see things off in the distance right now, but I'm not sure I could determine a more efficient route to get to them by just continuing to navigate by line of sight as opposed to a map or guidance system of some sort. I'm no spring chicken but I do much better with my Garmin than anything.
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Old 07-30-19, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by literal trope View Post
My guess would be envy.

The OP is trapped in the flatlands and inhabits the MUPs. He is unable to actually ride Diablo (a frisky climb that tops out at 3849’) and the bitterness associated with his limitations colored his response.
LOL, that cracked me up !!
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Old 07-30-19, 04:40 PM
  #11  
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Living in the suburbs of a large metropolitan city I occasionally have to venture downtown somewhere, usually to pick up something I found in the classifieds, I try to plot out a route that avoids major arterial roads, and this always means there are dozens of turns into secondary and tertiary roads. As much as I can I try to commit the route to memory, but I, too, have a PGS, @indyfabz, that I have to consult from time to time to make sure I've made the right turns. It's not unusual that I might have made a wrong turn somewhere and have to stop to look at my directions.
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Old 07-30-19, 04:48 PM
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Similar situation in my locale. Madison is on a narrow isthmus between lakes, so the roads are not neatly laid out in a grid. And I just can't remember the geography for ****. Out of town, there are lots of winding roads due to rivers and hills, sometimes poorly marked. A couple weeks ago I took a wrong turn at roughly mile 35 with my daughter, roughly 90 degrees F in the shade. I wanted to be darn sure we knew where we were going, someone waiting for us at our destination. The cell phone came out. Upon arriving back home, there was my map, on the dinner table. Oops.

For longer rides, I usually print out a crude map that's good enough to recover from getting lost. I also find a compass to be helpful -- I consult it after every turn to confirm my bearings. It's a combination bell and compass that's typically found on kids bikes.
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Old 07-30-19, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
Even worse is slavishly following some computerized route.
I don't know about that, I like spending quality time with ridewithgps designing a cool route. Then while on the bike, a voice from the phone in my pocket tells me where to turn, leaving me to enjoy the ride.

Like this ride from last Saturday.
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Old 07-30-19, 06:32 PM
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Hey I still have a front handlebar bag with a map case. I take it on multi day tours so you know the map doesn't get wet if it rains.
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Old 07-30-19, 11:46 PM
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I know exactly where you are talking about and I’ll bet they were deciding because the “bike route” signs tell you to turn left when you can in fact go straight and still reach Walnut Ave. Not too dumb of them if they’re not familiar with the roads.
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Old 07-31-19, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
I'm a fan of keeping the map in my pocket and figuring it out on my own, it's way more fun.
I agree, however, it can get deadly really quickly in desert landscapes like Vegas, for example.
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Old 07-31-19, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
I hope they had a nice ride but they could have done better and learned something by just looking around them and following the obvious route. I'm a fan of keeping the map in my pocket and figuring it out on my own, it's way more fun. Even worse is slavishly following some computerized route.
Some of us don't want to "follow the obvious route".
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Old 07-31-19, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
I'm a fan of keeping the map in my pocket and figuring it out on my own, it's way more fun.
What’s the point of carrying a map if you’re not going to whip it out to irritate fellow riders from time to time?

-Matt
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Old 07-31-19, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I don't know about that, I like spending quality time with ridewithgps designing a cool route. Then while on the bike, a voice from the phone in my pocket tells me where to turn, leaving me to enjoy the ride.

Like this ride from last Saturday.
+1. If I’m riding in an unfamiliar place I use a combination of Strava, RWGPS and google street view to figure out where the locals ride. When we went to Girona I used the training routes from Robert Gesink and a couple others to plan our daily rides. Took us through some very obscure quiet paths (including a few gravel roads) that we’d have been unlikely to find without some advanced planning. I load it into my Garmin but it’s not that hard to keep the rough route in your head along with the key roads and turns. There’s usually 5+ riders so someone always has a map on their phone for backup.

If I see riders from out of town looking lost I’m inclined to stop and chat and direct them on the best route. The most direct route through a city is seldom optimal for cyclists.
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Old 07-31-19, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
I'm a fan of keeping the map in my pocket and figuring it out on my own, it's way more fun. Even worse is slavishly following some computerized route.
Maps are so 1999.

You plan a route on ridewithgps.com selecting the most pleasant looking streets for riding, split it into 60 mile chunks so Garmin's bad software doesn't crash, download it to your GPS, and follow the turn directions when it beeps at you.

That avoids unpleasant surprises like a road that's smooth in Monterey county becoming a bone shaking lunar landscape crossing the San Benito county line.

Often the most obvious route is not the best.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 07-31-19 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 07-31-19, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Often the most obvious route is not the best.
Occam's Nail Clipper.
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Old 07-31-19, 02:47 PM
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"I told you so" really wasn't necessary.

Its one thing to offer help and another to rub it in someone's face.


-Tim-
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Old 07-31-19, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by here hold my ha View Post
You are spirit animal.

This is exactly what popped in my head when I read the OP
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Old 07-31-19, 06:24 PM
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This post made me laugh thanks!
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Old 08-01-19, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
On Sunday I was taking my usual loop through the East Bay town of Walnut Creek. I like to cross Ygnacio Valley Road at San Carlos and cruise through the neighborhoods. I'm pretty slow and the streets are wide and traffic very light, typical suburban area built in the 1950's. I know that because the swim club, Rancho San Miguel is celebrating their founding in 1959. A group of three riders passed me but then I soon caught up to them standing in the road looking at a map, they seemed to be deciding to turn left. I asked where they are going and got the reply "Diablo". My reply "you're going the wrong way". So I continued on, I could see the locally famous mountain straight ahead. After getting through the neighborhoods I came out on Walnut Ave and turned right heading up. Looking back to the left I could see those three riders. They came by and I said "told you so". I hope they had a nice ride but they could have done better and learned something by just looking around them and following the obvious route. I'm a fan of keeping the map in my pocket and figuring it out on my own, it's way more fun. Even worse is slavishly following some computerized route.
So, at what point did they slow you down. Was it when you were "helping" them? Lol. Did you try to kick their bikes over too?

Maybe change the thread title to: Being an ******* to other riders will slow you down.
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