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Old 05-04-2013, 06:24 AM   #1
ETD OP
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No GPS TAT advice & good southwestern CO dual sport rides?

Im planning to ride the TAT from TN to CO this coming September. Im not big on computers and am looking for advice on making the ride using only the maps and roll charts. I will be taking a GPS for backup situations. Is not using the GPS going to really slow us down? Any advice would be great!

Also we will be ridding for a week or so once out in CO. We will be ridding out of Durango. Id love to get some more info on any good rides out in that area?

Enjoy!
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:40 AM   #2
MUS
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TAT Navigation

I did the Tennessee section of the TAT two years ago and plan to do the New Mexico, Colorado and Utah sections in July of this year. I went with a group led by someone who has already done the whole TAT and he had it in his GPS. I was using the roll charts to follow along for the first day or two and atleast in the Eastern sections, it is very tedious. The big problem with using roll charts is the accumulation of odometer error. You have to reset the odometer at every turn which is crazy in Tennessee. I finally gave up and just followed the leader. I think once you get passed Tennessee, it might not be so bad because of the longer stretches between turns. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
PineyMountainRacing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETD View Post
Im planning to ride the TAT from TN to CO this coming September. Im not big on computers and am looking for advice on making the ride using only the maps and roll charts. I will be taking a GPS for backup situations. Is not using the GPS going to really slow us down? Any advice would be great!

Also we will be ridding for a week or so once out in CO. We will be ridding out of Durango. Id love to get some more info on any good rides out in that area?

Enjoy!
I'm riding at least the western half this summer, possibly starting in Trinidad (since I have a place to park my truck). Between now and then I don't really have time to sit and program all the waypoints, and from what I gather it takes quite a bit of time. I'm gonna do it with the maps and roll charts, using my 60Cx for back up. Might be a big mistake but I won't know till I try it

��

I'm not the the most computer savvy dude either, but I'm pretty good with a map and compass. Oh, and I'm excellent at being lost. I was gonna post up a similar question - thanks for doing it LOL
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:33 AM   #4
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I ride using the roll charts and once you get used to it, it is not a problem. Somewhat slower than using GPS routes, but you can navigate with few problems. You really do not need to be in a great hurry when riding the TAT and I think slower may be more enjoyable. As long as you get a early start, you can complete each day with no rush.

Many times if the next turn is at a T, I do not reset the odometer to the next turn and just ride to the T. I do use the GPS when I miss or make a mistaken turn and it is a great help then. I do not try to keep up with the total mileage and only use the odometer to measure distance traveled to the next turn.

Either way it is a blast!
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:42 AM   #5
wbbnm
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It is obviously a personal thing, but for me having a GPS with tracks on a preplanned ride makes for a far more enjoyable trip than navigating by trying to keep track of mileage to the next turn.

I did this for years using good geological survey type maps and while we always found our way out, we spent a lot of time feeling hopelessly lost.

The GPS is valuable if you miss a turn and don't realize for a while. It will tell you where you are.

Out west there are many dirt roads that do not show up on maps and can easily be within .1 mile of the road you want. So it is easy to make wrong turns.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:09 AM   #6
Abenteuerfahrer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETD View Post
Im planning to ride the TAT from TN to CO this coming September. Im not big on computers and am looking for advice on making the ride using only the maps and roll charts. I will be taking a GPS for backup situations. Is not using the GPS going to really slow us down? Any advice would be great!

Also we will be ridding for a week or so once out in CO. We will be ridding out of Durango. Id love to get some more info on any good rides out in that area?

Enjoy!

Sample routes:

You wanna look at this and follow?: via GPS



Or this and follow: via eyeballin'



You decide...

cheers...
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:03 AM   #7
3DChief
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I hope you get more accurate roll charts than we had for the TAT! I was not impressed with the accuracy of them and there were a lot of discrepancies with the mapped route and GPS. Sure, the mileage plays a factor, but my wife's (Write2ride) odometer was spot on with my GPS and my odometer and we still had issues. It was also a pain to organize the roll charts and change them out every few hours. I had every single track loaded in my GPS (Delorme PN-60W) and it took about 30 seconds to load the next one. Half a dozen button pushes twice a day instead of digging roll charts out of the tank bag, fumbling with tape and having to wind/unwind roll charts for 10 minutes several times a day.

I would not do it without a GPS for several reasons. #1, if you miss a turn, you still know where you are at and are able to find your way back on course. #2, entering the route and all the waypoints gets you familiar with the route and also lodging/camping, fuel, and food nearby. This gives you an opportunity to customize your trip based on your needs and wants. #3, you will be dealing with enough issues on the TAT already and navigation can be tough in places, even with the GPS, so why handicap yourself further?

If you don't have enough time to dedicate to spending a few hours entering in tracks and learning a mapping program and GPS, I would look for a different ride personally. I was a GPS/mapping (Topo 9, not intuitive at all!) dummy when I started, but could enter an entire state in less than an hour by the time I was done. Knowing your bike, gear, and electronics thoroughly is critical for a trip like this. It's not just dedicating the time for the ride itself. You will have stuff go wrong, and if you are not prepared or don't have the knowledge, it can get ugly really quick. YMMV!


Tim
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #8
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Interesting points everyone is making.
If I was to use a GPS for primary navigation would it be possible to get a file from someone who has done the TAT before and load it to my GPS? Would you just buy maps for back up or not at all if you are using the gps for navigation? Im sure it has been asked here before, but like I said Im not great with computers.

also:
Anyone got advice on southwestern CO dualsport rides?
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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We carried the paper maps with us in Write2ride's top box. I also took a compact US atlas with the states tabbed and the rough route highlighted so I could see at a quick glance what was close by and roughly where we were.

I think it is possible to buy the tracks from Sam now that you could load onto your GPS. It depends on if their format matches your GPS. I still recommend mapping it yourself: you learn a new skill, you get more intimate with the ride you are taking, and if there are any problems with your navigation, it's nobody's fault but your own. To me, one of the coolest things was seeing the actual places that I had mapped out 6 months before and had a mental picture of, remembering road names and sections that were tough to map out, and finding out that the real thing was nothing like I had imagined. By learning to map your own routes, think of all the cool rides you could make up and new roads that you never knew existed. That is where I use my new-found skill at mapping, since I just moved to Montana last fall and don't know the area and the cool fire/logging roads yet. I spent all winter making different routes of varying lengths and it kept me occupied and in the game while waiting on riding season! Next best thing to real "helmet time".


Tim
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:24 PM   #10
One Less Harley
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roll charts were pretty much spot on. if you had problems I think it was user error..sorry to say.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
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We rode the TAT last year and primarily used the roll charts with GPS for backup. What you need is a good aftermarket odometer ( like an ICO, I think a Trailtech Vector has a thumb control) and it needs to be able to be adjusted up and down in 0.1 mile increments, ideally with a thumb control. That way at each intersection, if the mileage is different to the roll chart it can be adjusted easily. Also if you take a wrong turn and go back you can re adjust at a corner. The route sheets are 99.9 % right. There are a few weird bits in Oregon and SAMs maps of Oregon are to small a scale to be much use.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:59 PM   #12
3DChief
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Our maps didn't match our roll charts right out of the package, so I think that narrows down the problem pretty quickly. Maybe you'll get lucky, we didn't. We ordered our maps from Sam in December 2011, right as he was making the change over to the new TN route and I got the impression that the stuff we got was the left-overs laying around his shop. Between TOPO 9 and the paper charts, we were able to figure out the route, but the first few days were pretty tense as her navigation with roll charts and mine with GPS didn't agree. It was more of a double check and to give her something to do, but it was frustrating for both of us. We finally gave up on the roll charts in OK and just went with GPS.

OneLessHarley, I was following your ride report as I mapped and used some of your notes in my mapping. I appreciated the pictures and descriptions that made the route make more sense.

As far as the odometers go, as I said both bikes were spot on with the GPS within a tenth of a mile in 100 miles. But it was a good lesson learned, I've moved on and embraced technology, I'll pass on future use of roll charts unless I create them myself.


Tim
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:59 PM   #13
gasgasman
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I DID THE WHOLE RIDE WITH JUST THE ROLLCHARTS . SAMS ROLLCHARTS AND MY ODO
WHERE RIGHT ON. I DIDNT TAKE THE MAPS AND GPS WENT BELLY UP AFTER THE FIRST DAY.
YOU MAY WONDER IF YOU ARE GOING RIGHT BUT YOU ALWAYS RUN INTO A LANDMARK
THATS ON THE ROLL CHARTS
IF YOU EVER RODE ENDUROS YEARS AGO YOU KNOW HOW TO USE A ROLL CHART AND IT BRINGS BACK SOME GOOD MEMORYS
GO FOR IT!
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:13 PM   #14
One Less Harley
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I needed the GPS, to double check myself for those moments when not paying enough attention to the charts. I found the roll charts pretty much dead on, the GPS was just used to point out when I screwed up. ODO, settings were acurate, lots of times my ODO was off between turns, usually up or down 0.01, I constantly readjusted it at the turns, pretty easy with the DRZ trip ODO. I had the old charts for TN to Utah, then the new color ones the rest of the way. I do remember some places in NV where the trail was hard to find with the roll charts, plus Oregon will be a challenge even with roll charts. But really the charts are pretty darn good, most of my/ our problems was misinterpretation.

I did do the NEW TN, MISS and part of AK, last year solo, and I'm navigationally challenged and found the charts very good. trust me if I found them good then they must be accurate...as I suck at navigating!!!
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:28 AM   #15
kingrj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ETD View Post
Interesting points everyone is making.
If I was to use a GPS for primary navigation would it be possible to get a file from someone who has done the TAT before and load it to my GPS? Would you just buy maps for back up or not at all if you are using the gps for navigation? Im sure it has been asked here before, but like I said Im not great with computers.

also:
Anyone got advice on southwestern CO dualsport rides?

I have already transcribed the Colorado and Utah TAT maps I purchased from Sam to .gpx files and will be glad to share them with you AFTER you have purchased the maps from Sam. Sam did the heavy lifting and all I did was convert to the GPS files so he deserves his due. You will want to buy his mapsets anyway as a back-up.

kingrj
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