Author Topic: Simple route finding on PBP  (Read 2547 times)

Simple route finding on PBP
« on: February 03, 2019, 02:49:27 pm »
I have managed to register a spot on this year's PBP on the back of a 600 last year. I realise there'll be over 6000 riders on the road with me but I would imagine there could be the odd occasion where you might be 'out on your own'. Do you think it's really necessary to carry a phone or GPS with mapping/routing apps to facilitate navigation or is it OK to 'wing it'?? I realise there must be a few route placards temporarily erected for the duration of the ride but of those who have completed it previously, would you ride it 'blind'? I fancy doing it unencumbered from electronics, keeping my dynamo just for lighting. Maybe a couple of sheets from a road map in the back pocket?
Finished with my woman 'cause she couldn't help me with my mind

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 02:55:45 pm »
Every turn is marked with an arrow, reinforced by additional arrows after turns, with crosses on roads where people go wrong. Close to large towns the signs tend to be higher up on lamp posts and the like. At the end the signs tended to get stolen, so the route is marked with fluorescent paint on the tarmac. A map is a good idea.

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 03:12:30 pm »
Merci beaucoup!! A map it shall be.......maybe..........a lot to do between now & then.
Finished with my woman 'cause she couldn't help me with my mind

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 03:24:47 pm »
I've had occasions in '07 and '15 where I found the GPS useful. In '07 on some deserted road in the dark, just me and Vorsprung riding together, not another soul in sight. I was very tired and struggling to think clearly so it was helpful to know I was on route.

In '15 I recall being on the way back, day 3, and in some small-ish town the signing wasn't very clear or maybe already some theft had occurred. Again not many riders around at that point - and it was nice to have a line to reassure me I was on route.


Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2019, 05:48:44 pm »
If you’re taking a phone anyway (and I presume you are), an app and a copy of the route weighs nothing.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2019, 06:11:58 pm »
If you’re taking a phone anyway (and I presume you are), an app and a copy of the route weighs nothing.

Would certainly be my approach.  If you're already carrying a suitable device (eg. for communicating, taking photographs or logging your ride), there's no reason *not* to carry a map.

But fancying "doing it unencumbered by electronics" suggests the OP has not carrying a phone in mind.  In which case a dead-tree copy of the route map at whatever density you can bear seems prudent.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2019, 06:12:26 pm »
People who say you don't need a GPS for PBP becaus ethe route is signposted, whateve tend to be fast(er) riders used to riding in a bunch who naturally share the navigation effort.

Speaking as somebody who rode large chunks of PBP solo, I found a GPS 'invaluable', and if riding again I'd *also* take a map and a list of the major towns along the way between controls.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2019, 06:23:36 pm »
...

But fancying "doing it unencumbered by electronics" suggests the OP has not carrying a phone in mind.  In which case a dead-tree copy of the route map at whatever density you can bear seems prudent.
Indeedy. [I didn't know you'd ridden PBP Kim!  ;)  ]

I rode in 2007 - before most people had GPS - and did looooong sections on my own. Or with 1 other vvv tired rider (sometimes with no English!). With the routesheet in a pocket, but never looked at it. 2011 was very similar, but I occasionally rode with Manotea (who presumably had a GPS, I didn't notice ... )

Do bear in mind that the route is much less laney than most UK rides - think Welsh events, not Sussex!

[The routesheet was actually more of a list-of-town-names-and-road-numbers stylee, so probably wouldn't be great on its own, but actually Quite Good for getting back on route using road signs. If that makes sense ... ]
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2019, 06:38:32 pm »
...

But fancying "doing it unencumbered by electronics" suggests the OP has not carrying a phone in mind.  In which case a dead-tree copy of the route map at whatever density you can bear seems prudent.
Indeedy. [I didn't know you'd ridden PBP Kim!  ;)  ]

I don't think having ridden PBP is a requirement for either reading the OP's question properly, or considering it prudent to carry a map of some kind when riding on unfamiliar territory.  No matter how easy to follow a route might be, there are always reasons that a map might be useful, if only for emergencies, or to be able to estimate your progress because you've eschewed easier methods of doing so.

Others have commented on how much you're likely to *need* a map in order to follow the route.  I wouldn't know.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2019, 06:44:33 pm »
Don't worry - I'd happily take your navigation/tech advice, even on an event you'd never consider riding  :thumbsup:
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2019, 07:00:27 pm »
Sadly lots of riders see it as OK to take arrow signs so some kind of plan B may be helpful. 

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2019, 07:03:16 pm »
It is OK to collect PBP direction signs, provided they are outbound signs collected well after any rider could possibly be using them. I've collected signs at each of the last 5 PBPs; always according to that rule. Taking signs that somebody might need is a bastard act.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2019, 07:38:08 pm »
It is OK to collect PBP direction signs, provided they are outbound signs collected well after any rider could possibly be using them. I've collected signs at each of the last 5 PBPs. always according to that rule. Taking signs that somebody might need is a bastard act.

So I can't blame you for getting lost towards the end in 99.  Eventually I saw a line of red lights in the distance on my left, and managed to wend my way across to join them.
http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/pbp/stories/99_Ian_Hennessey.html

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2019, 07:55:11 pm »
I think I had the same problem that year. Should have gone left near the top of a hill with trees both sides but we actually went straight/ veered slightly right-ish?

That incident was what made me so militant about only collecting signs that nobody else might need. Riders should always be aware that somebody will probably be behind them (84hr starters and unfortunate folk a little behind the cutoff) and they are the ones that can least afford to get lost.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2019, 08:04:48 pm »
I seem to recall that we got our souvenirs from a stack of arrows that they left at the finish in 2003.   Saved time going back to find one the next day before riding home.

BTW from comments on other threads I’m not sure we should be telling stories from days of old.  We should be making way for new riders.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2019, 08:13:31 pm »
Nice to think that the experienced riders are just blocking the way for the newbies. My intent is to keep riding PBP until either I can't finish it or I don't want to do PBP again. I haven't reached that point yet.

The percentage of repeat offenders at PBP is actually fairly small. http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/pbp/recidivistes/main.html shows that finishing many (say >3) PBPs is comparatively rare. Most folk roll up for 1 or 2 PBPs before moving onto other things. Some others fall in love with the event.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2019, 08:20:30 pm »
On topic, though.  I had convinced myself that I had never been off-route during a PBP but Lurcio reliably informs me that we got thoroughly lost on an early edition.  I have no recollection of it, but sleep deprivation formed a large part of my early rides.

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2019, 08:24:59 pm »
On topic, though.  I had convinced myself that I had never been off-route during a PBP but Lurcio reliably informs me that we got thoroughly lost on an early edition.  I have no recollection of it, but sleep deprivation formed a large part of my early rides.

I think it was 95 I led a large group of Italians off-route (followed a return arrow by mistake). I quickly realised my error, stopped and gesticulated.  They all swept past into the distance; I turned around and retraced the 200m to the route.

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2019, 08:29:28 pm »
In '07 on some deserted road in the dark, just me and Vorsprung riding together, not another soul in sight. I was very tired and struggling to think clearly ...

ha, and just to add to your enjoyment I had to stop and have a kip on a haystack.  In the drizzle
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2019, 08:36:36 pm »
I have no GPS and my phone stays in my bag, only used for ride logging. I've à crappy Nokia for texting those who may be concerned about my progress, so for navigation I'll be doing what has always worked in the past...
A) follow the routesheet. French ones are quite easy, once you get used to them
B) follow the signs.
C) follow the other folk
D) follow my nose
In the Event of A--D failing I have
E) retrace to Junction and start at A

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
  • Is it possible for a ride to be too long?
    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2019, 09:22:19 pm »
I have no GPS and my phone stays in my bag, only used for ride logging. I've à crappy Nokia for texting those who may be concerned about my progress, so for navigation I'll be doing what has always worked in the past...
A) follow the routesheet. French ones are quite easy, once you get used to them
B) follow the signs.
C) follow the other folk
D) follow my nose
In the Event of A--D failing I have
E) retrace to Junction and start at A
Ridden it once in 2011. Had a GPS and it saved me going off route twice, that I can remember. When it is dark, you are on your own, tired and there has been a long distance between controls you can ride a long way before you question where you are.

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2019, 09:55:51 am »
I have no GPS and my phone stays in my bag, only used for ride logging. I've à crappy Nokia for texting those who may be concerned about my progress, so for navigation I'll be doing what has always worked in the past...
A) follow the routesheet. French ones are quite easy, once you get used to them
B) follow the signs.
C) follow the other folk
D) follow my nose
In the Event of A--D failing I have
E) retrace to Junction and start at A

The one time I went off-route, [on the first of 4 PBPs] was in a large group of mostly French riders. Once we hit a straight road, those at the front realised they had missed an arrow, as there were no more red lights ahead. We followed the rider with Local Knowledge to get back on route; the three Americans in the group were heard discussing whether to follow, but turned back to retrace.

Buddying-up in the dark, even very loosely, is a good idea though - especially when in the later stages and tired.

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2019, 10:23:56 am »
Here is a link to an my excel version of the 2019 route sheet taken from the brochure.


https://www.dropbox.com/s/v2s9hm24pooybxk/routesheets.xlsx?dl=0

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2019, 10:45:42 am »
In 2007 I rode sans GPS but with the route sheet and maps. The arrows (over 6000 of them according to the ACP) were all reflective and showed up well with a head torch. Without it they were a bit hard to find at night.

In 2015 I did it with a GPS powered from the dynamo and permanently back-lit. Luxury.
Où sont les merguez d'antan ?

SPB

Re: Simple route finding on PBP
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2019, 11:15:45 am »
I'd never thought of connecting my gps to my dynamo fed E-werk to have always-on backlighting at night, only for charging or emergency power.  What a good idea.  Ample juice to run gps, head and taillights concurrently?  (I guess now that we use LED lights with dynamos rated to power incandescent bulbs there might well be)