- ABOUT US
- Escape NY
- Message Board
Better Cue Sheets
Better Cue Sheets
OR HOW I LEARNED TO QUIT WORRYING AND LOVE RIDEWITHGPS
By: Mike Kocurek
Part One - The Basics
"Oh well," we think, "RideWithGPS will make me a cue sheet — how bad can it be?"
"Wait. I know this route — this is just a right turn after the George Washington Bridge, a left onto E. Palisade, and then a right onto 9W. What's all this "slight left" and "sight right" crap?"
"Maybe I'll just stay home. 'Real Housewives of Tenafly' isn't going to watch itself."
Fortunately, RideWithGPS has tools that will not only let you clean up a route, but also annotate it to indicate pit stops, the tops of major climbs, and hazards on the road. This guide will work you through turning the above route into a lean, mean, cue-sheet machine.
Cleaning up the route in RideWithGPS, as opposed to transferring the data into Excel, and cleaning it up there, has many benefits:
This tutorial will walk you through cleaning up a route that's correct, but not quite optimal. You'll start with a route that has many unnecessary turns, and even a few mistakes, and end with a route suitable for both cuesheet and Garmin navigation.
And important points will look like this.
Let's get started.
Before we get to the cleanup, let's make a local copy of this route so we can make changes.
You should now be in the RideWithGPS editor, editing a copy of "BCS - Cold Spring (Version 1)":
Now that we're familiar with the basic layout, let's get rid of all those stupid turns.
So the route begins by going over the bridge, and making a right onto Hudson Terrace:
Then, at the end of Hudson Terrace, you make a left onto E. Palisade Ave, and then a right on 9W:
...and you stay on 9W all the way to Piermont (around mile 15), before turning right onto Rockland Road.
The trick to fixing this mess is knowing where all these stupid turns are -- to do this, you need to make cue entries visible:
You should now see a bunch of orange markers along the route:
Every one of these markers corresponds to a cue sheet entry!
If we click on one, a little bubble pops up:
This is how you tweak cue entries.
Additionally, clicking on a row in the Cuesheet column on the left will pop up the bubble for that entry on the map:
(I clicked on the entry marked in gray, on the left, and the map scrolled to show the editor for that entry)
Now that we know how to edit a single entry, we can go ahead and clean up all those stupid turns. Let's start at the bridge, and work our way north:
I'm already feeling cleaner. Now let's clean up that stretch along 9W. That first "slight right" is totally stupid -- zooming in on the map, it's clear it's confused by the fact 9W becomes a divided road:
(This marker is that first "slight right to stay on..." entry. Network Doctor must think we're idiots.)
It's cleaning time:
We should now have a cuesheet that looks like this:
Much better! But what's up with this "Left onto Orbach Way" and "Right onto Albany Post Road N" thing? We're still on 9W, here!
The map makes things more clear:
That "left, then right" is totally wrong. RideWithGPS has us going the wrong way on 9W, for a little bit. Orbach Way? That's the road to the left where Alpine Scout Camp is.
Stupid! Let's fix this.
We could go and delete these two turns off the cuesheet. But then the GPS track would still be off, and people's Garmins would beep-beep "Off course!" for this stretch. We hate beeping; it ruins the mood. Let's tweak the GPS track so it stays on the right side of the road:
This is a "Control Point", meaning the route is pinned at this location. All changes to the route happen between control points, so creating one here guarantees any changes we make further north don't impact the ones we made further south.
Much better! You can use this tool to make other similar tweaks, too. One thing to keep in mind are those little white control points — when dragging the route, you're dragging the whole section between two control points. So if there's a big, long stretch, and you want to tweak a small part in the middle, it's worth sticking a point just above and below, so you don't trigger a full re-route. If you ever need to remove a control point, just click on it (while in "Add/Remove Control Point" mode) and it'll disappear without changing the route.
This is looking good! Let's remove some more:
We now have a cuesheet that matches reality:
Can't stop now! Let's keep heading north, and continue clearing out stupid entries...
...wait a second -- look at mile 20.6:
Looking at the map...
Sometimes RideWithGPS misses a turn entirely. If this happens, click the "Add to Cuesheet" tool in the left column. You can now click anywhere along the route to add a cuesheet entry.
This is looking pretty good! Let's clean up the last few stupid turns, and shorten some of the overly-long road names:
You should now have a cuesheet where each entry is a *real turn*, with road names that peopleactually use. Not bad for a few minutes of cleanup! Let's save our changes.
You should now have a route / cuesheet that looks like this one: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/5320077
Good job! Now you can actually go for that ride, after all.
Coming in part 2: Pit stops, summits, and robots.