Trek Women
September 25, 2008

Can I Use My "Phone A Friend?"

Telephone I've been busy preparing for the Trek WSD Breast Cancer Awareness Ride on October 11th.  At the shop I have been put in charge of the whole thing (how's that for trust 3 weeks on the job?)  So, while it was easy for me to deal with things like flyers, website promotion and food ordering, creating routes for a 10 mile and 25 mile ride has been a little intimidating.

The area surrounding the shop doesn't have the most "cycling friendly" roads.  And, because the ride is meant to be casual and welcoming to everyone of all abilities, I want to ensure that everyone will feel comfortable (and address all those "how many hills?" questions I've been getting.)

So, yesterday I came into the shop with my bike and then headed out to scope out some roads and tentative routes.  Twenty-one miles later I had experienced roads that dead-ended (geez Google Maps - you coulda told me!), roads that were entirely too trafficked, and roads that were just not that scenic to ride.  In my frustration with the routes I thought would be fine, I made a key error in judgment.  I decided to explore additional areas, not necessarily knowing where they would lead.  Twenty minutes later I was completely lost.  I should have known better - some of the housing developments in this area are notorious for circular streets and confusing layouts that leave you turned around without clear direction on where the main roads lie. 

I had no map, I had no fancy GPS device.  What I had instead was my lifeline  - the phone-a-friend.  I always carry my cell phone when I am out riding.  It slips easily into a jersey pocket and you just never know when you might have that sudden weather, flat, or mechanical issue that you just can't handle.  Luckily, my phone address book is chock-full of friends who work with or near readily available computers to help navigate me and (this is key here) not laugh at me or question why I need them to Google Map me out of somewhere.  It only took two calls for me to find a friend at their computer who could lead me out of my mess.  Turns out I was less than a mile from where I needed to be but the phone-a-friend lifeline saved me another 30 minutes of riding in circles. . .

-Jen

PS.  The phone-a-friend also works when you need advice on why you just can't seem to get the stinkin' pedals off your bike.  (I speak from experience!)

Comments

Jen-

You could try the satellite version of googlemaps or google earth to help you determine a route for your event. I've found lots of unknown trails in my area this way.

-Lisa

Posted by: Lisa | Sep 25, 2008 11:53:11 AM

Hey Lisa,
I was using MapMyRide to look for some local routes to see where people were riding in the area. Problem was that didn't really tell me where the difference was between road, trail or those people who make up their own routes that include riding on the wrong side of the road. (That's where I got in trouble on the first section).

Jen

Posted by: Jen | Sep 25, 2008 1:32:49 PM

wow. thanks for the mapmyride tip.
i didn't even know the page.
just moved to the us and use the bike to commute and ride around in nyc.
verena :)

Posted by: verena | Sep 29, 2008 10:42:29 AM

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