Traveling and navigation (was: Concerning commuting by bike)
Am Sun, 28 Jun 2020 14:45:14 -0400 schrieb Frank Krygowski
On 6/28/2020 2:29 PM, Lou Holtman wrote:
On Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 8:02:23 PM UTC+2, Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 6/28/2020 1:31 PM, Lou Holtman wrote:
... come cycle here in the Netherlands.
We spent about four days in Amsterdam the year before last. The only
bikes we found to rent near our Air BnB were heavy upright Dutch bikes,
but we rode them all around the city plus out into some suburbs. We had
fun, but my wife was sometimes a bit nervous because of the crowds of
cyclists and pedestrians. The density there is amazing compared to here.
- Frank Krygowski
I mentioned it before cycling in Amsterdam is not
typical for cycling in The Netherlands. You should
have left Amsterdam and go into the countryside and small villages.
We actually tried that, but failed. Our BnB was one floor below the
apartment of this book's author:
and we tried to do Route 7, out northeast of the city center. But my
navigation skills failed me. We were on some bike path that left the
road, eventually took us into some sort of apartment complex and seemed
to give no way out. I could have used a Garmin.
You shouldn't have to.
When I'd like to use my motorcycle, for driving to an arbitrary German
town, all I'd need is a map in order to get there. In most cases, I'd
could do it without a map. Just find the name of the next major town and
use the signposts. Then find the name of the minor city on local
signposts. It even would work using a e-motorized bicycle called
"S-Pedelec", which is technically identical to a "Pedelec", which in
turn is a bicyle by law. The only difference being that a pedelec is
restricted to 25 km/h and enforces some kind of gesture with the feet,
while a S-Pedelec just is what was called "Moped" around here, a
motorcycle retricted to 40 km/h, before the law had been changed.
Pedelecs are forced to use mandatory bike paths, S-Pedelec are not. So
you may use the latter as you'd use any slow motorcycle.
So in essence, the problem in the Netherlands - and unfortunately in
Germany, too - is that you are prohibited from using many of the good
roads, so the signposts are mostly of less or no use.
A Garmin or any similar device surely could navigate you to and through
those meandering bike paths.
But I used it for a different purpose, most of the time, instead.
Before visiting an unknown teritory, especially on vacation, I locate
roads with mandatory bike paths by various means and route around these,
when possible. A mapping application and a good map is quite helpfull,
I still use the old Garmin application MapSource, because it works fully
offline and isn't as gamificated as later software on a laptop for that.
But any such program probably would do.
In 2008, I bought a set of quite expensive Garmin compatible and
routable IGN-Maps (IGN == Institut gÃ©ographique national) derived from
topographical maps with height information, for traveling in France.
Nowadays I'm just use converted OSM maps which work even better.
When riding around, since 2008 the Garmin 60CSx is both my bicyle
computer with speed and distance in large letters on display, when I'm
not navigating, or a map, when necessary.
Lately, I switched to the somewhat newer 64s and moved it to the stem.
Whether I'm navigating or not, the Garmin is always writing a track into
internal storage, I'm collecting these tracks and reuse them, when
necessary, by eliminating detours or by combining parts of different
tracks. But even when I do not, it is quite usefull to have a moving
map which shows the already visited places and roads, or just for riding
a track again, perhaps into the opposite direction, this time.
Just for illustration - and some bragging, of course :-) - below are two
identical maps of our bicycle trips in the Luberon region of France, a
low resolution one
and a somewhat larger one
These are from vacations between 2008 and 2018. In 2018, when we finally
where both retired, so we rented a holiday home there for two months and
went many routes again by bike, some of which we had already ridden in
2008ff, as well as some, which we knew from decades before, and of
course new routes, too. It was the longest vacation we've ever had, and
we very much enjoyed it.
All in all, these are about 2200 km, including about 30 km of
accumulated height gain. Most of those tracks overlap, because they
have been riden many times. No bicycle facilites, paths or
"infrastructure" where used, just ordinary streets and roads.
This year it didn't work out, for obvious reasons. Perhaps next year.
Summary: I wouldn't voluntarily do without the device, it is much too
useful both for planning and for the actual riding. The recorded tracks
are a good memory of beautiful travels, especially when combined with
Bicycle helmets are the Bach flower remedies of traffic
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