My thoughts regarding electronic gismo's on tour

I sometimes find myself somewhat confused with the modern way of thinking by potential cycle tourist these days. On one hand they seek advice with regard to touring in the cheapest possible way. Then a few posts later they are seeking advice on buying all the latest electronic gismo, for navigation and comms, the total cost for these items are often into some hundreds of pounds.

In some cases more than the cost of the proposed tour if it is just a short few days that is proposed.

I appreciate that I come from a older era, where we toured both at home and abroad with just paper maps, and in the days international phone calls had to be booked a few days before, so a tour outside the UK meant we disappeared from our families until our postcards arrived from distance parts to tell them we were still alive at the time of posting.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti modern Electronic gismo’s I have my GPS and my Mobile phone,

I just worry that potential cycle tourist seem to worry too much about venturing out on tours feeling naked if they don’t have all the gismo’s. Any thoughts?
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I think people in life in general are becoming too obsessed with smartphones and the like.
 

MarkF

Legendary Member
Location
Yorkshire
I have a £4 phone with no net access, no GPS, nowt. There is nothing I like better on a tour than to sit back with cold beer and open up the big paper map and let my imagination fire up, you can't replicate that with anything else. For me GPS and other stuff would take a lot of the pleasure away, I don't want to never get lost and I don't want to know exactly where I am going or to be staying the night, it's an adventure away from real life. :smile:
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I've got a 30quid phone (posh is me), 2G, no GPS etc, and it only even gets switch in when I'm on call for the SAR team. I can think of nothing worse than being tethered to a device like a mobile phone, becoming one of those sad buggers who walks up the road staring at the screen, or sat in the doctors waiting room mesmerized by it, or nattering in a loud voice on it in public. Get a life people.
 

yello

Legendary Member
Just different innit?

I guess in an age where connectivity and being instantly contactable are the norm, it does feel (as you say) "naked" to go without. When you only had paper maps and booked international calls, you were still travelling with the latest tech. So there's not a great deal of difference. I'm sure there were travellers in that era that equally said 'what do you need maps for? I just sniff the air to decide my direction'.
 

Sara_H

Guru
I just like to keep in touch with the folks back home, so having the phone helps. I get quite home sick even when away just for a couple of days if I can't speak to son and the OH.
Also my navigational skills are appalling, so being able to switch on the phone and get directions us a big bonus for me.
Probably would get our in my own without the reassurance of the phone TBH.
 

Hill Wimp

Fair weathered,fair minded but easily persuaded.
I can see all points here and my touring this summer will combine paper maps with pre downloaded online maps.

I do have a smartphone but the data will be turned off so it will be wifi only when we find some. I am looking forward to not having to talk to someone on the phone, being on call and not having to think 3 miles ahead everyday.

I think @yello has a point, the tourers with all the gadgets tend to be younger and the gizmos are just everyday items to them.They will eventually realise that they can live without half of what they take and that actually its a lot nicer too.
 

xilios

Veteran
Location
Maastricht, NL
If the technology is there why not use it?
We used to tour with paper maps and for the most part we still use our compass. But we would never think of leaving home without our smart phones and a tablet which have all the maps we need (off line), if we get lost there's gps to see where we are, we can check out weather forecast so we don't end up on a 1300m hill in a nasty storm, and these are just a couple of the many benefits.
We always tell everyone that we will only turn the phones on between 19:00 and 21:00 in case they would like to get in touch.
 

Falco Frank

Über Member
Location
Oup Norf'
Technology is a tool to be utilised or not, you choose.

I (mostly), enjoy trying to master it and try to see the positives it brings. We could however, all go back to riding penny farthings ;)
 

Hill Wimp

Fair weathered,fair minded but easily persuaded.
If the technology is there why not use it?
We used to tour with paper maps and for the most part we still use our compass. But we would never think of leaving home without our smart phones and a tablet which have all the maps we need (off line), if we get lost there's gps to see where we are, we can check out weather forecast so we don't end up on a 1300m hill in a nasty storm, and these are just a couple of the many benefits.
We always tell everyone that we will only turn the phones on between 19:00 and 21:00 in case they would like to get in touch.
Oh glad you popped in @xilios. I have just read your travelogue where you cycle from Omaha beach back home to Maastricht. I see you mention the Maas is a bit industrialised on the Eastern side as you approached Leige. Myself and @hopless500 are touring from Utrecht in July onwards through the Netherlands, along the border with Germany into Belgium and then France. We will be leaving Leige for Charleville Mezieries hoping to travel along the Maas can you advise us which point to swap sides to avoid this area?
 

xilios

Veteran
Location
Maastricht, NL
Hi,
The main problem was between Liege and Huy which we recommend you stay along the N617 and avoid riding on the Eastern side along the N90. In Belgium they have a nasty habit of cutting off the cycling paths (for road works and such) without any warning and dumping cyclists on dual carriage ways with heavy truck traffic. And that's what happened to us. It's not just just near Liege they've done it in many places all the way to France.
Once in Huy its best to cross the river where there is a very nice car free cycling path to Namur. If you can plan it on a weekend it would be a lot better.
At Namur its also best to cross again.
 

Hill Wimp

Fair weathered,fair minded but easily persuaded.
Hi,
The main problem was between Liege and Huy which we recommend you stay along the N617 and avoid riding on the Eastern side along the N90. In Belgium they have a nasty habit of cutting off the cycling paths (for road works and such) without any warning and dumping cyclists on dual carriage ways with heavy truck traffic. And that's what happened to us. It's not just just near Liege they've done it in many places all the way to France.
Once in Huy its best to cross the river where there is a very nice car free cycling path to Namur. If you can plan it on a weekend it would be a lot better.
At Namur its also best to cross again.
Thanks thats really useful to know:okay:
 
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