This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Samsung Galaxy,Android and Google maps in real life.

During a few days off in the wilderness (or between a nat'l forest and a town of 5000) I had occasion to actually use one of the gadgets and programs I mentioned in the earlier post.

I have to say that using the Samsung Galaxy tablet with the Android operating system wasn't entirely bad.  During 4 days of actual travel, I was able to update my route frequently because so many shops, hotels and restaurants have open wifi signals available.  So, although while out pedaling, the map I had available on screen would not refresh, the GPS marker would notify me of  my position and I would simply refresh the map at the next Mcdonalds, coffeeshop, gas station or bar.  Considering the unreliablility of cell phone carriers beyond major metro areas, I'm glad I didn't pay for the extra service.  I imagine that it would be very frustrating to not have cell coverage at exactly the wrong time.

In my case I did not ever pedal into the great beyond of the interweb, but was able to refresh the map when I stopped every 10-15 miles.  In one case the map really helped me negotiate around a flooded route that was impassable.  On the other hand, I don't think I can trust it completely because the Google maps bike directions are not great.  On the one hand the directions would have taken me 25 miles out of my way, and on another, they led me to a maze of gravel roads which were marked the same as asphalt on their program.
I saw roads like this

turn to this

without any discernible indication on the map.
I still think that, until google gets farther along in updating their directions, it is best to download

some maps from a bike specific source to keep from making a huge and exhausting mistake.

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