I’m an obsessive. I’m also of German descent. And I also love maps. Smash these features together and you get someone who has to get into every nook and cranny of every detail of everything. Especially when it comes travel and planning. I drive people crazy, I know I do but I implore you to enjoy the crazy with me. It is your only option.
I have this road scholar thought process and it goes like this:
Know where (destination) you are going before you leave.
Know how (route) you are going before you leave.
If you are on the road and find you are lost, pull over and figure it out.
If you still can’t figure it out, go back home and start over.
Now I realize that we are all plugged in and have access to that wonderful device called a Smart Phone. Or maybe you also have a GPS. These I collectively call “Lazy Devices” because it lulls people into a false sense of security in thinking that these devices will save them should error occur.
Error will occur. Become one with that.
If I’m out on the bike for just a light cruise or heading somewhere that I’ve been to a number of times or even doing some light exploring I most likely won’t use the GPS, maps or research my path. But should I decide to get into some serious exploration and go on a “Lost Ride”, I’m likely to look at Google Maps and street view before the ride to get an “idea” of where I’m going and I will bring my GPS with me.
Now if I’m planning a long distance trip as I did last year and will do again this year, a multi-day 1000 mile plus ride…. I will research it ad nauseum. Utilizing Google Maps with street view, Basecamp, Harley Ride App and I will take notes…… and save them.
Saving my notes allows me to retrace my steps and make improvements to the trip AND plop the corrected data into the bike GPS with the proper waypoints. Do I need to do this? No. Will I do this? Yes. Why will I do this? I feel I wouldn’t be properly prepared if I didn’t do this. The packing, the gear, the bike, the food and all the rest of the preparation can go as smoothly as an ice cube on a frozen lake. But if my directions and route planning a even slightly off, it will throw my brain into a tizzy and I’ll be all messed up for the duration of the journey. One missed turn or stop could delay the whole length of the ride by minutes or hours. And no one wants minutes or hours of delay. So we plan.
Here’s how nutty I am. Although I will plug all this info into my GPS and Ride App. I’ll still carry the paper notes with me. Because, you know. Electronics do what electronics to on purpose.
Carry a pen or pencil also. You never know when that will come in handy to edit your notes.