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Cue Sheets

Old 09-26-23, 03:41 AM
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Cue Sheets

Hello all,

I am new here and was wondering who all uses cue sheets during their rides?

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Old 09-26-23, 06:06 AM
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The vast majority of both my road and mt. bike rides are on roads or trails I am familar with, thus do not need navigational help. For the occasional ride where I need navigational help, usually an area I am travelling to, I will typically plan out a route in RWGPS so as to get a handle on the distance, then I will tweak as needed and save. I will then download that route to my Garmin GPS device and navigate that route with the device giving me turn-by-turn directions. It works very well.

Last edited by Steve B.; 09-26-23 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 09-26-23, 08:38 AM
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Welcome to BF.

Cue sheets haven't been mentioned in a very long time in any of the conversation here I can recall. Most of the navigationally challenged have moved to GPS. I just look at the route a few times before I depart if I'm doing something new. I have missed a turn sometimes. Never a big deal. That's just more chance to explore.

Though if you are doing this for competitions where a wrong turn will make a difference, that's a different set of criteria to consider.

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Old 09-26-23, 09:02 AM
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GPS units have largely taken the place of cue sheets. Riders now create routes using RideWithGPS or other software and upload the route to their Garmin or other navigational device. Although among randonneurs it is said that you can tell the GPS users because they ride 100' past the turn and then come back to it. That said, when I plan group rides, I always publish cue sheets along with the TCX file for the route and of course the link to the course on the appropriate app.

I create cue sheets from a CSV file created by the app. My wife and I ride a tandem. She's the navigator, while I'm in charge of keeping us on the road and alive. She likes to have both a cue sheet and a GPS unit. The cue sheet allows her to look several turns ahead, while the GPS only counts down to the next turn and then only in the last 100 meters does she see what the turn is. Hence that saying about randos using GPS while riding somewhere they've never been before. Reading what I've written, I wonder why I don't increase that to 200 meters. I'll ask her about that.
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Old 09-26-23, 09:16 AM
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Wow, I've been cycling for over 30-years, much of which were on long-distance, self-supported cycling adventures and making routes for my commutes to work and I've never heard of cue sheets. I just used maps. Maybe I used them, but just didn't know it



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Old 09-26-23, 11:55 AM
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They used to hand out cue sheets on organized rides, like centuries.

Our local club rides would supply cue sheets at the ride start, also.

Nowadays, they just provide a link to a ridewithgps page. You can download this to a GPS bike computer, or simply run the ridewithgps app on your phone.
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Old 09-26-23, 03:19 PM
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Yeah, I even used to have "Cue Clips" on all of my bikes, so that I could know where I was going on group rides. They looked like this




But it's been years since I used a paper cue sheet or saw anybody use one. Everything is .gpx files on head units now.

The .gpx files do have cues, though. Just no sheets.
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Old 09-26-23, 03:20 PM
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Yeah, I even used to have "Cue Clips" on all of my bikes, so that I could know where I was going on group rides. They looked like this




But it's been years since I used a paper cue sheet or saw anybody use one. Everything is .gpx files on head units now.

The .gpx files do have cues, though. Just no sheets.
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Old 09-26-23, 03:22 PM
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(I don't think that this thread belongs in T&N. It's more of a "General Cycling Discussion" topic. Maybe the mods would move it?)
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Old 09-26-23, 04:27 PM
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Do you mean like the "cue sheets" that some pros stick to their stems or bars, listing climbs, important race points, and/or fuelling times?

I've only ever done it once, when I was scouting out a loop of a gravel course. Actually found it pretty handy as it gave me a good idea of when the climbs were approaching.
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Old 09-26-23, 09:59 PM
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This is one of my cuesheets, just to show an example. I've added some personal fueling instructions. Pretty hard to remember anything when I'm doing something like this. It folds into quarters to fit my waterproof cuesheet holder.
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Old 09-27-23, 05:06 PM
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Ridewithgps will generate a cue sheet for you. I know of only one organization, LA Wheelmen, that still insist on cue sheets (on the double century at least). I made my own route based on the cue sheet they provided. I figure if I'm spending a few hundred $ on a GPS enabled computer with a decent screen, I'm using it not to get lost. I'm in the north and the clubs around me always have GPS routes published.
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Old 09-28-23, 03:56 AM
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I'm probably one of the few people left in the world who still uses paper cue sheets. My Trek Domane has one of those velcro cue clips on the handlebars. I haven't been doing charity rides for a while but for several years I did a bunch and used the paper cue sheets they handed out as a backup to the road markings they put on the roads. At this point, I know my way around a number of various routes in my home state so don't use them on a regular basis but there are times where I'm following a route I haven't done for a while and still use one. For some reason, I haven't gotten around to buying a bike gps.
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Old 09-28-23, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
Yeah, I even used to have "Cue Clips" on all of my bikes, so that I could know where I was going on group rides. They looked like this




But it's been years since I used a paper cue sheet or saw anybody use one. Everything is .gpx files on head units now.

The .gpx files do have cues, though. Just no sheets.
I still have one on my touring bike.
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Old 09-28-23, 09:09 AM
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I use paper cue sheets for tours when I am not familiar with the route. Sometimes, like when touring out west, they are not needed on some days because there may only be a few turns. Off the top of my head, I can think of one day off the top of my head that was 61 miles long that had only 3 turns, including the turn out of the campground to start the day. In those cases, I might make notes as to the distance of services, like stores, and possibly climbing beginning and ending mileages. And at the end of the day, cue sheet can be used to help start campfires. Try that with a GPS unit.
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Old 09-28-23, 01:04 PM
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I have a couple of there things, just the size of a quarter sheet, waterproof, Velcro to bars. I think they were sold through cycoactive. Don't seem to be on the market anymore for the reasons expressed in this thread. Too bad.
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Old 09-29-23, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Although among randonneurs it is said that you can tell the GPS users because they ride 100' past the turn and then come back to it.
This is silly, of course. People (including randonneurs) have problems with cue sheets too (including this one). The people who said this were staunch "traditionalists" or people who didn't really know how to use the GPS units.

There was a fair amount of resistance of randonneurs to using GPS (partly, because they weren't "technically" allowed). And they invented all sorts of rationalizations of why GPS devices were "bad" and ignoring all the problems with cue sheets.
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Old 09-30-23, 04:45 AM
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Agree about move to digital cue sheets - when I create rides/tours, I'm downloading route to my Wahoo Bolt. Club rides publish GPS files on RideWithGPS, I don't think ride leaders even bring paper cue sheets anymore.

Back in the day, a local guy used to make and sell cheap cue sheet holders. These days I'd be outraged over how many watts the it was costing meI

bought one that looked like this, it is still in my garage somewhere:

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Old 09-30-23, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan



Fun fact: Those little black plastic clips were made originally to attach suspenders to dolls.

We used to make route sheet holders for our bike tours. At one time, we had about 1000 of those little clips.
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Old 09-30-23, 11:45 AM
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I'm a big fan of cue sheets. A gps is fine, but if you don't know the course, a backup cue sheet is really good to have. Also, if you don't know the course, following along on a map ahead of time is a really good idea. Ride with gps makes pretty good cue sheets now, although I still think it can fail to generate a cue under certain circumstances.
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Old 09-30-23, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
(I don't think that this thread belongs in T&N. It's more of a "General Cycling Discussion" topic. Maybe the mods would move it?)
Good thought. Thread moved from Training to General
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Old 09-30-23, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist
Do you mean like the "cue sheets" that some pros stick to their stems or bars, listing climbs, important race points, and/or fuelling times?

I've only ever done it once, when I was scouting out a loop of a gravel course. Actually found it pretty handy as it gave me a good idea of when the climbs were approaching.
Most Garmin GPS units will have ClimbPro. You can see the climbs listed on the route beforehand, and when you get to them, it will tell you how much longer you have to suffer.
Important points (rest stops, etc) can also be noted on your route and it will notify you when you approach one.
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Old 09-30-23, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
I'm a big fan of cue sheets.
Why?

Originally Posted by unterhausen
A gps is fine, but if you don't know the course, a backup cue sheet is really good to have.
Why?

This is confusing anyway. Not sure why you qualify this with “if you don’t know the course”. If you “know the course”, you don’t need a GPS. So, a GPS would be a waste (not “fine” at all). You don’t need a cue sheet either.

There might be some utility if the GPS quits on you but carrying another GPS would be more useful. GPS units don’t quit (such that you’d need to use a cue sheet) as often as some people appear to think anyway.

There might be some value in having something list stops. But, while cue sheets include stops, you don’t need a cue sheet to have that.

One big problem with cue sheet is getting back on if you get off them. Properly used, GPS units help you avoid getting off course (easy to do with cue sheets), stay on course, and get back on course (cue sheets, by themselves, aren’t good for this at all

Once I started using GPS units, I stopped using cue sheets. I suspect keep using cue sheets with GPS units because they aren’t confident in using the GPS.

Originally Posted by unterhausen
Also, if you don't know the course, following along on a map ahead of time is a really good idea.
Since people are likely carrying phones anyway, a cheap and easy thing to do is load the course onto an app that uses offline maps. This can be useful if you get really lost or need to investigate options to the course.

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-30-23 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 09-30-23, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
Good thought. Thread moved from Training to General
With a user name like “Pacing Sticker”, it seems like spam.

https://pacingsticker.com/

These aren’t cue sheets. So, the question about “using cue sheets” is odd.

The “I’m new here” seems disingenuous.

Last edited by njkayaker; 09-30-23 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 09-30-23, 03:41 PM
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I do, on solo rides. (On club rides, I just follow the person in front of me.) I use paper because I do not want the radiation of wireless devices, plus, they would not look right on my vintage bike. Stuffing the cue sheet in my jersey pocket is a very convenient option.
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