Creating cue sheets

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Anonymous's picture

How does one create cue sheets? I hear bits and pieces about programs that can do the bulk of the work. Are there programs that do that? How does one - me - learn how to make cue sheets? I'd like to learn how. I'd like to lead rides with cue sheets. I'd like to submit some of these rides for inclusion in the Club library. Any ideas? Thanks

Anonymous's picture
Robert Shay (not verified)
Delorme and Garmin software...

"I've been able to make cue sheets using Delorme Topo software ($50 for Eastern Edition - I use this for making custom routes for my Computrainer) and, separately, Garmin Mapsource software (about $150 for national edition - I use this for my GPS system). They are point, click, drag, drop route creating software packages. You can use one or the other. The advantage of the Delorme is that it will also give you elevation changes where the Garmin software will not.

You can print the cue sheets out or print them to a file in microsoft excel software. I've found that they require editing for simplicity. For example, there will be five line entries ""bear left, bear right, etc"" directing you to stay on the same road when you only need one line entry. With editing you can drop/consolidate about 25 percent of the original line entries which makes it easier to use. These software packages do make it easier to create cue sheets but it will still take some effort and require a VERY GOOD to EXCELLENT working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and computers.

I believe both software packages are meant for an electronic GPS system.

I can send you unedited examples if you drop me an email. I can't put attachments on this message.

P.S. I agree with John Z's work effort assessment below. It will take two to four hours to build a usable cue sheet with either of these software packages depending on what you add to the basic cue sheet.

Separately, Hank S. I was thinking about building some cue sheet routes/rides in CT - covered bridges of Fairfield County, covered Bridges of Litchfield County, mansions of Greenwich/Bedford, etc. Is it possible to add pictures to the routes in the ride library?


Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)


My advise is to do the A Sig so you will first learn the basic routes and go from there....

Just joshing. My take is somewhat different. NYCC has a vast array of talent who come to the table with different skills. Most people work in some field where they have depth of knowledge of Excel or Word where they can generate cue sheets in formats that fold neatly in a user-friendly manner. Look at Kay Gunn's cue sheet on her Sergeanstville - Green Sergeant's Covered Bridge ride: 2 tabbed, tabled pages. My eyes glaze over at the ability to generate work like this. And she is not alone in mastery of formating technique. Others do it in Word. John Zenkus is a wizard of pdf cue sheets. Look at this masterpiece: The cue sheet on side one with profile. The map on side 2.

So far, I haven't had the time or initiative to master these forms. I simply use Word and the tab key to organize my columns, somewhere between the Stone and Bronze Ages. However, the most important aspect of creating a ride/ route is accuracy. I use National Geographic's TOPO! Northeastern USA 10 CD-ROM set. After downloading all of the CDs in our region onto my hard drive I am able to trace routes obtaining accurate distances. By magnifying the screen 2 or 3 times and using the shift key I am able to trace curves on roads down to a connected series of straight lines. I then round the resulting segment either up or down to the nearest 1/10 of a mile. However, TOPO! does not list all road names. For this, I have a set of Hagstrom maps for each county in our region.

I suppose you could do everything totally on the cheap with Google maps. So many ways to skin this cat..."

Anonymous's picture
Ed (not verified)

It is considerate to save the cue sheet as a pdf. This makes it available across all platforms.

Anonymous's picture
Christy Guzzetta (not verified)

"That's my problem Hank (one of them,anyway). I've been doing the SIG so long I just hop on my bike at the Boathouse and say ""Saddle River Road"" and my bike goes there. ""Croton Resevoir"" and presto, I'm there. I have no idea where I'm going, how I got there. How can I lead rides if I can't tell people how to get to where we are going? I gotta learn how to make cue sheets! Maybe there's a course. . . . ."

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
"""Maybe there's a course . . . ."""

"""If you take our course, we'll give you training on how to organize and run both day and weekend trips. Map reading, ride planning and design, group dynamics and decision-making, leadership style, and bicycle equipment are all covered, as well as many other aspects that go into making you a bicycle leader.

5BBC Leadership Training

Starts 5/23/07. Just the thing to keep you busy post-SIG. We'll see if you can figure out a way to reconcile double-rotating-pacelines with point-drop-sweep. I'll put in a good word if you like. Heck, I'd re-take the course just to watch the fun. :)"

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)

Christy, you've probably led more rides any anyone else in NYCC. Obviously you must be doing it right. If you want to document the route on a cue sheet you need to know the start and finish plus the route between the 2 points. You look at a map, plot the route then break each leg to its turn with the mileage. Jeff Vogel is Mr Simplicity himself. He uses fingers on the scale of miles and writes it down; no fuss. Is the turn a right, left, etc? Write it down. I run through it once when I am done just to check if I have my turns correct. Fred Steinberg's: go/do/at is a straighforward way of arranging the information in an easy-to-follow format. If you want to get fancy, add a column for a running total of mileage. Fluid stops/ delis/ restrooms are a nice touch. If you are into flash, contact one of the authors of a cue sheet design you like that is on the Ride Library and ask them to work through a route with you. Tell them you know Fred....

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Routes and Cue Sheets

"I start with National Geographic's Topo. I also have the Delorme topographic but I prefer National Geographic's interface. I lay out my ideas and experiment with options until the route is finalized.

For the cue sheet, I use Excel. My spreadsheet is constructed such that I can readily add, change or remove segments of a route. I never use any software to provide directions, turns or distance. Once my route is laid out in National Geographic Topo, I split the route into all its segments to obtain the distance from turn-to-turn; while tedious, it helps me learn the route and is absolutely precise. I also obtain my elevation profiles from National Geographic Topo.

I use Delorme's Street Atlas USA to create maps. The biggest issue here is determining a resolution that provides enough detail to be useful; generally, I leave out ""known"" areas. For example, the map I provide for the Cold Spring -> NYC route only covers to the GWB.

Finally, I put it all together with Adobe Acrobat Professional, which allows me to add comments, train schedules, cell phone numbers or any other required information. I would estimate that once I have the route designed, making the final cue sheet takes about 4 hours."

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