Easy/Best app to document long tour? (page 2) - CycleBlaze

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Easy/Best app to document long tour? (page 2)

Mark WantTo Jacquie Gaudet

Jacquie, thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience. I can tell that you do prefer the fuller narrative! And that is really appreciated! All good points that I'll have to consider. I'm still working those details along with the million other details involved in setting off on open cycle tour in 2022. I hope to be able to use CycleBlaze to build that journal.  

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1 month ago
Mark WantTo Edward Hitchcock

Hi Ed, Oh boy! I can totally relate to your observations and appreciate your frank and pragmatic response. Only in my dreams will I be able to consistently provide detailed near real time input to a blog, and be fully present in every moment to experience and contemplate the whole world timelessly. I do want to capture those thoughts that change as you build into a rhythm of life on the road. That requires some discipline of time and practice. I don't necessarily think of it as a failure if one doesn't meet intentions -I'm hoping it's just experimentation and trial & error in the practice of finding what works at that time and place. It's true! You cannot record anything without changing it! My priority is cycle touring not becoming a mobile digital platform.   

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1 month ago
Mark WantTo Peter Brown

Hi Peter, Very sobering and practical information. Writing is hard and time consuming, especially when on the road. I like that you took the time and made the effort to come back after and curate the Brown's Folly journal. I'm going to read it this weekend! Learning how to manage accounts and devices is obviously a skill you have developed! I'm facing a real juggling act with a phone, digital camera, GoPro, and GPS head unit. How to (daily) and quickly selectively pull together files across apps and platforms seems confounding.     

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1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Mark Want

I (and others) do the writing offline and then copy/paste to the site.  I use the Notes feature on my iPad Mini but next time, I might try dictating into my phone or the iPad and just editing as needed.  I'm such a terrible typist without a proper keyboard that I have to edit anyway...

Be aware that if you copy/paste anything into your Cycleblaze journal, the map you've embedded might disappear so you will need to reinsert it.  Embedded maps are nice, though, since the reader can change the map view (if embedded from RideWithGPS).

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1 month ago
Mark WantTo Kelly Iniguez

Kelly, Thanks for hitting on so many key points. I, too, think I'll lose those details if not recorded in near real time. Even a busy morning's happenings can seem like distant memories while in the tent at the end of the day. Good luck keeping people, places, sites, events, emotions and thoughts clear after a day or two. I, too, value the daily toll of maps and stats provided by RWGPS/Strava/Komoot. So much cycle info packed into a little package. It won't be whether, it'll be how to record it all that I'm going to tripping over.    

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1 month ago
John PickettTo Mark Want

I haven't toured in a couple of years, and am new to this site this year. 

For my 2016 to 2019 tours I used a Wordpress blog to record my daily tour activities. It's in reverse order to a proper journal but it let's the people who are following me check up on me. I copied all my tour blog posts into CycleBlaze over the winter. It was tedious but it worked and now I have a second home for my thoughts. 

I just use my iPhone for this. It's not ideal but it gets the job done. 

I stopped worrying about editing my posts a long time ago. I accept the fact that when I am dog tired after a long day of touring, writing a perfectly crafted account is not going to happen. Fix the editorial gaffes when your tour is done. 

I am told that my writing style is matter of fact. I try to get the essentials of the day down and leave the verbal flourishes to after the tour. When I am done with a tour, I often write several posts. That's when I thank people who helped me along the way. Or describe equipment I used, didn't use, or wish I had brought. "Best of" and "Worst of" lists are good too. Inevitably I write something about how the ride transformed me physically and mentally. All of this post-tour writing is a nice way to revisit your adventure. 

One drawback to journaling at the end of a tour day is the fact that you're inevitably going to miss out on interacting with people. 

Hope this helps. Good luck.

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1 month ago
John PickettTo Mark Want

I haven't toured in a couple of years, and am new to this site this year. 

For my 2016 to 2019 tours I used a Wordpress blog to record my daily tour activities. It's in reverse order to a proper journal but it let's the people who are following me check up on me. I copied all my tour blog posts into CycleBlaze over the winter. It was tedious but it worked and now I have a second home for my thoughts. 

I just use my iPhone for this. It's not ideal but it gets the job done. 

I stopped worrying about editing my posts a long time ago. I accept the fact that when I am dog tired after a long day of touring, writing a perfectly crafted account is not going to happen. Fix the editorial gaffes when your tour is done. 

I am told that my writing style is matter of fact. I try to get the essentials of the day down and leave the verbal flourishes to after the tour. When I am done with a tour, I often write several posts. That's when I thank people who helped me along the way. Or describe equipment I used, didn't use, or wish I had brought. "Best of" and "Worst of" lists are good too. Inevitably I write something about how the ride transformed me physically and mentally. All of this post-tour writing is a nice way to revisit your adventure. 

One drawback to journaling at the end of a tour day is the fact that you're inevitably going to miss out on interacting with people. 

Hope this helps. Good luck.

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1 month ago
George HallTo Mark Want

Mark;

You have gotten some good advice already.  I'll add my own based on using Cycleblaze to record my latest tour.  Here are some things you can do that make it easier to keep a journal;

1.) Set up the journal prior to leaving on tour.  You can set up each day's page in advance - it won't be public until you make it so.  So you can have the basic outline all established in advance.  If you feel confident on your daily routes, you can go ahead and create the RWGPS maps and insert them in each day's entry.   Don't worry if you take an extra rest day or otherwise get off your schedule - you can simply add a page or change things before you make the page public.  

2.) You can write all the introductory stuff (why are you doing this tour, where are you going, equipment lists, etc.) in advance and wait to make it public until you are ready.

3.) During the tour, you can use your phone and record using each day's page to record notes during the ride - then at night you can simply flush out those notes a bit to have that day's entry.   I found that I could use voice-to-text entry during the day and sometimes enter a paragraph or more at a time with relative ease.  Of course, you have to have good cell service for this to work, and there will always be errors you have to correct later.  I even got to where I could reach in my handlebar bag, get the phone, and dictate things while riding!  Sometimes I got a garbled mess doing that, sometimes it worked ok.   When I didn't have good cell service, I just entered notes in my phone and referred to them at night to write a more detailed account.

4.) If you use your phone for pictures, you can upload them during the day when you make a rest or meal stop - if you have good service.  I carry a DSLR camera with me in my handlebar bag, so that doesn't work for me - but sometimes I also grab a quick pic with my phone. 

5.) You must decide if you are going to just use your phone or take a better computer with you.  I find it much easier to write and edit journal entries on a real computer, so I have carried either a tablet computer or a netbook with me.  I also carry a mouse for the same reason.  Having a bigger screen, mouse, and a USB connection to transfer photos from my camera are essential for me.  But I'm not a weight-weenie so much as most folks are.  

On my last tour, I had my phone, netbook with 12 inch screen, DSLR with normal lens and a telephoto lens for wildlife, gopro video camera which I mounted on my helmet, and accessories including chargers for the computer and DSLR and a USB thumb drive and cables for the DSLR and gopro.  This is certainly more than you need for a simple journal with a few pics each day. The only thing that really adds much weight and volume is my DSLR and extra lens, and I long ago decided that the extra weight didn't matter - I take the camera because that's me, I have always had a camera along.  

The last thing I will add is a tour just wouldn't be a tour without creating a journal.  You forget the details as time goes on, but when you go back and read your journal you remember.  Sometimes I get emotional when I read about an especially challenging day on a tour years ago, because I am reliving it.  It does take some effort to create a journal, but it's more than worth it.  I write the journals for myself, and also for my family.  I won't be around forever, but my children, grandchildren, and friends can always read my journals and vicariously experience the adventure. If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, did it really make a sound?  If you go on an epic tour and don't write a journal, will anyone know or care that you did it?

Best of luck, looking forward to reading your journals. 

Buddy (another old Boomer)

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1 week ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo George Hall

"a tour just wouldn't be a tour without creating a journal.  You forget the details as time goes on"

This is one of the main reasons why I document our tours.  I can't tell you how many arguments with the missus over what had happened on/at a particular day/place that I have won because I can refer back to my journals.

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1 week ago
Ken YatesTo Mark Want

I just started using CycleBlaze but I had been using the description section in Strava.  I not down some thoughts along with a few pictures from the days travels to correspond with the GPS data that uploads automatically from my Garmin when I get to my days destination.  It's filled the role of light documentation for a good while, just enough to jog the memory when revisiting them. 

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6 days ago