What kind of box is that?

Is perhaps the most frequently asked question about our bike. It is mounted on top of the front carrier.

In the box is the Forums charger; an amplifier that “inflates” the current from the alternator to an amperage sufficient to charge the iPad, provided we cycle fast enough. The Forums charger is equipped with a battery and I have noticed that as long as it is full it can keep the pad charged.

On the outside of the box there is a switch on one side with which I can take the power from the charger and put it on the lights of the bike. I can reach it while driving, which is very useful when we cycle into a tunnel. On the other side is the (waterproof) USB connection for the wire to the pad. The forums loader itself is not waterproof, so I put everything in a waterproof box, thanks to colleagues Erwin and Gert for their help with this!

So we navigate with the Pad. In full sun you don’t see much on that while driving. That is why I made a construction with some iron wires (wrapped in a loop and finished with heat shrink tubing) that turns the cover of the protective cover into a sunshade. For example, there is usually enough shadow on the screen to be able to see something on it.
Two years ago we were pointed out by another cyclist to the app “MapOut” that is only available from Apple. You can plan routes in it, but also download GPS tracks, as well as maps. Nice about this app is the Dashboard on which you can see the speed and altitude. When you tap on a route, it shows the altitude profile with a calculation of the total number of ascent and descent meters. It also displays the maximum ascent and descent percentage. This way we get a feel for the difficulty of the stage in advance and we can adjust the length of the ride if necessary. While driving, a blue dot indicates where we are. I have to make sure that the dot stays on the route. We used to cycle with a paper map. The size of the IPad (mini) means that I have an image of the route and the surroundings at the same time. A big advantage is the possibility to zoom in or out. This is particularly practical in urban areas. If there are no exits for a long time, I turn off the Pad’s screen. That saves power and gives the chance to charge the Forums charger’s battery.

Another app that we use a lot is “pocket earth” This app actually gives a finer map image, but does not have a dashboard like MapOut but does give a picture of amenities such as shops and overnight accommodation. That information does not appear to be complete in the countries where we are now, but you can be sure that what he gives is also there. You can also read more about navigation in a previous blog .
Pocket-earth can also “come up with” a route. This also applies to “mapy.cs” that we were recently pointed out, but in experiments with both in Greece we too often came to very difficult to cycle (unpaved) roads for our taste. Often I can already see on the map whether a road is unpaved if a route line is not drawn over it. This way we come across the advantages and disadvantages of planning a route yourself or using the long-distance cycling routes found on the internet. Both do not guarantee good roads, because here regularly a “through” road turns out to be unpaved, but usually they are good to cycle.

I now import the actual cycled route logged on strava back into pocketearth. With that I can make the overview of the entire trip:

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