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Pale Rider
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528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know we are in the Information Age, with phone GPS apps that update daily, and Bluetooth satellite GPS systems... But the reality is: cell phones don't have 100% coverage, even in the USA, there are dead-zone's, where service does not exist; the electronic satellite GPS systems can, and do, fail. Most have rechargeable, internal batteries which will eventually wear out, and won't recharge; map updates can fail, and either delete all maps, or load a bogus map for you, for another part of the world (we updated our GPS the night before leaving for a 9-day trip; next day, we pulled it out to find an alternate route due to road construction, and we discovered our USA map had been replaced with a map of Guam!...).

We have always had paper maps on our bikes. We even used a grade school technique to waterproof them. When our satellite GPS showed us a map of the South Pacific island of Guam, we laughed, then we pulled out our well-worn, and much abused, paper maps. We determined out best alternate route, and we completed the rest of our 9-day trip, without incident. We had the most wonderful time, even though we reverted back to mid-20th century technology.

To acquire up-to-date State maps, in the USA, visit a tourist information stop, along the Interstate Highway systems, as you travel through the area. They will give you a new State map, for free. When you get back home, apply clear Contact Paper (clear, peel-n-stick, vinyl) to both sides of the maps, leaving a 1/4-inch/6mm border, to prevent water from soaking into the paper, when in use on a tour ride, in the rain -- it happens, be prepared!

Clear Contact Paper is available from stores like Wal-Mart. It can be found in the kitchen supply aisle, where the cupboard shelf lining materials are located. The cost is around $5 for a roll which will likely cover around a dozen State maps, or more.

If necessary (and it usually is), cut the map in half, and cover both pieces with clear Contact Paper, but make sure to label them with a permanent marker, if needed, so it will be obvious what State each map belongs to. After covering them with the Contact Paper, be sure to fold them, however you like, so they can be stowed away, easily. The Contact Paper will make them stiffer, but vastly more durable.

When you leave on a trip, be sure to pack the State maps needed for your trip. They will provide you with routes for your trip, which you can then use water-based, overhead projector pens on, to map out your route, make notes on the map, etc. When you are finished, you can clean off the markers with water, or a window cleaner solution, and a paper towel. Grease pens will work, as well, but they typically only come in one color -- black. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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Female Rider
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9,311 Posts
On our trips we do pick up those state maps. I* fold them to the area we are in and then if it looks like rain I put them in one of the gallon size freezer baggies we carry. I ride on the back of our Vision and carry this in my jacket or hold it between Randy and myself.
 

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282 Posts
On our trips we do pick up those state maps. I* fold them to the area we are in and then if it looks like rain I put them in one of the gallon size freezer baggies we carry. I ride on the back of our Vision and carry this in my jacket or hold it between Randy and myself.
I do the same.
 

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Female Rider
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9,311 Posts
Ms Eye has a great way of planning your route though. Besides that you, like us, enjoy getting lost sometimes.

We have a GPS. The main reason we use it is so we will know which side of the highway our exits are on. This helps us so much in those big cities during rush hour...which I really try to avoid!! Ours also has a feature to warn us of accidents, road construction and heavy traffic in big cities.

It also has helped us find motels and their phone numbers many times. I hate having to drive around trying to find one with vacancies or one that doesn't charge an arm & a leg.

All that being said, I never leave home without my Atlas.
 

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Pale Rider
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528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Moni. Pearls of wisdom scooped up, and filed away for future reference. Our current GPS only has POI's, no live-feed capability. Like most things, a modern GPS has its place, and its uses. I like the exit bit, as that has hung us up more than once: the exit was on the wrong side of the roadway, so we had to ride a bit further. Truth be told, it was because we weren't paying attention to the posted signs, because we were riding in heavier traffic, so there was a great deal going on around us (information overload...).

Thanks, everyone, for the responses. I like GPS's, don't get me wrong, but I've found them to have limitations. I am also middle-aged, and while I work in the hi-tech industry of PC's, I am still a fan of the Old School. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,700 Posts
GPS can get you in so much trouble. I got it one time by the command "turn now". It sent me down a one way street that I didn't realize was until I saw the cars coming at me. So I hate the things.
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,700 Posts
I just use my iPhone but siri doesn't understand Texan either. Damn yanks!
 

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On The Road Again!
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3,848 Posts
Recently, I tried repeatedly to get decent paper maps. By decent, I mean detailed maps (like we USED to have) that show the backroads and county highways, as well as the major roads. Every one I've gotten so far has sucked. No detail. No back roads. Luckily I still have some old ones of my area that DO have the details.
I can't speak for AAA maps, since I don't belong to AAA. I dropped them like a hot potato years ago after I was left sitting for three hours on a saturday night with a broken car.
After about four calls to AAA, I was told that the tow truck driver was at a party and he would come get me when the party was over.
I kid you not!!!
 

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433 Posts
I forgot all about these - and I LOVE maps - so thanks for the reminder! I'll need to pick some up, and I didn't know about AAA, so thanks Eye!

As an artist and technician I love that maps are aesthetics and information wrapped together. I love old maps, with hand-drawn illumination. I love new maps, especially topographic, that show the beauty of the land itself in detail. I'll have to remember to get some for my next adventure. I only rely on my GPS when I absolutely have to, and it's a pull over and check kind of thing, since I have no speakers/headphones. Good reminders...
 

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99 Posts
You can buy water proof paper and print your own maps on a home computer. I have a GPS but like to keep a set of paper maps in the bag just in case. Like using a map or any tool (GPS), they are not to be followed blindly, you should still me using the MKI eye ball.
 

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Senior Member
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10,756 Posts
I have a set of waterproof road and trail maps that I leave I the Ural. Out in the hills most of the areas I ride there is no cell service. Got to have a old fashioned map (and a compass too)
 
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