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Ride VeloViewer tiling in Japan

Yeah...? Channing's MaxSquare can be touched. (I teased you before about printed maps, @joewein. Sorry! But hopefully maps.me liberates you from that particular indignity.)
Yeah, I still carry a printed map of my Max Square in the map pouch of my front bag.

I was just teasin @Karl about tiling in Saitama because ultimately that's how he'll stay ahead of me on the Max Square.
Thing is, getting to Oku-Tama is over a two hour train ride, Chichibu is close to three hours. Getting to Saitama is only 90 minutes.

My Max Square tiling has been essentially #NoRinko (with just a handful of rides involving the car). It's not particularly efficient, but I prefer bike rides over train rides even when the riding isn't rural. It's only when the NoRinko version would end up being way over 200 km in a day that I do something different, such as an overnight stay or driving somewhere and then doing a loop from and back to the car.

Given how much I prefer the mountains, I will do a handful of rides into the hills or more with just a tile or two each time, followed by single ride in Saitama with a dozen tiles or two. That seems like the right mix to me. I wouldn't want to do Kanto plain rides weekend after weekend.
@joewein I prefer to rinko through the city stuff and get to the good stuff sooner. City riding with all its hazards, just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Also, if I plan on doing any hike a bike stuff, it always seems to take twice as long (or more) as I think it will so the train gives me more daylight time to tackle the trails. But I admire your long rides and how you manage to ride through rain, darkness, cold and traffic without fail. Impressive.
Hi all. I did the ride out of Kanuma, Tochigi, as planned. It was about as tough as I had expected, i.e, "Ouch!" But the scenery and autumn colours made up for it. I plotted the loop in both directions and decided to go counter-clockwise - mainly because the shrine at 40 km with associated noodle shops would offer a nice break between the two big climbs, as opposed to no guarantee of food going in the other direction until the same point, which would then be at 65 km and after most of the hard work. The only disadvantage of this approach was that the last 40 km were all downhill and then flat, which got a little monotonous by the end.

Exploring Kanuma Loop 107.6 km, 1,840 m climbing, +46T

RWGPS says I climbed 2,039 m. It certainly felt like more than 2,000 m of climbing to me. Whether or not it's under-reported on Stravr, it's my most climby-est single ride this year. So... yay! (Also: ouch!)


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The roads were quiet, and very pretty. It's a great route that I will probably do again. The lady at the noodle shop at the shrine said I'd missed the best of the autumn leaves by about two weeks, so maybe I'll try it at the top end of November next year. But I also saw many cherry trees, now bereft of leaves, so maybe hanami season will be good too.

Of my six tiling diversions ["Gotta catch them all"] only one turned out to be unpaved, and it was mercifully short.

This ride fills one of the five gaps in the north end of my max square. Four to go; none of them easy rides.

I took lots of photos. Whittled them down after I got home, but still have lot. Thumbnails, then:

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I picked up two tiles in a sunset ride to near Haneda airport. The first one covers the northern half of the airport. Normally to get inside it you have to go through some tunnels that are off-limits to bicycles (and one of them is an expressway tunnel), but then I realized that a couple of meters of one corner of the tile intersected with Keihinjima Tsubasa Park, a bit of Tokyo bay waterfront popular with anglers.


After pocketing that tile I headed over to FamilyMart Port Store Oi Nanbu near Jonanjima to clear another tile to the north of the first one. These two tiles are the only ones on the east side of my Max Square that were missing to allow it to expand east two columns once I clear a bunch of tiles in bulk around the northeast corner. That's about as far as I can expand easily to the east. Then I will have to work on the north and the west which is nice because west means mountains - not easy but fun!

@Half-Fast Mike Looks like a great day on the bike and some great pics. Yesterday was really nice weather for it.

@joewein Staying closer to home, eh?

I spent the day doing house cleaning...or 'tile cleaning'. Had two pesky tiles to clear up around Oku-tama. Both required hiking. One of them was the one @joewein cleared last week. Using his info, I decided to get it by using much of his route. As he said, the first part was steep. The bike route was paved then unpaved then paved, then unpaved, but a bit steep. I stashed the bike then hiked the rest. As Joe said, it was pretty flat so a pretty quick hike to-tile-and-back. Nice refreshing day on the bike.
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are you guys checking in real time where and when you hit a new tile?

I was always biking blind and would have to upload from home and then check on veloviewer on the laptop.
are you guys checking in real time where and when you hit a new tile?

I was always biking blind and would have to upload from home and then check on veloviewer on the laptop.
I always overlay my route onto Mapsme.com where I've also overlaid my Unexplored Tiles map. Putting my route on Mapsme give me a backup in case my Garmin fails and also allows me to see when I cross a tile border. I can't confirm it until I get home and do an update on VV, but usually it tracks pretty well (plus, I go a bit further past the tile border as insurance...having learned my lesson the hard way).

PS. If you meant that you don't want to wait to verify on VV if you actually got the tile or not... I donno if there's a way. If there is a way to do that, @Half-Fast Mike will know it.
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are you guys checking in real time where and when you hit a new tile?
Yes. As far as possible I like to plan the ride and ride the plan.

Sometimes I absolutely don't want to go further along a rindō than necessary, but absolutely want to go far enough. In other cases, a road/path may pass so close to a tile border that only one edge of it may or may not be in the tile. Or there may be no path at all and I'm on the beach (see below) or a cliff, or some other folly.

My Garmin Edge ("Michiko") can display multiple routes on the map simultaneously.

Garmin doesn't play nice with the Unexplored Tiles .kml from VeloViewer, even after conversion kml->gpx. For Garmin, a route must be a single continuous line, whereas .kml files can be collections of lines or shapes and don't have to be continuous or contiguous. Garmin just displays the first square from the file, then stops :sly:

Therefore, in addition to my route plan, I also create a grid for the day with Manual Mode in Stravr Route Builder. It takes a little time, but is a good chance to check the main route and make adjustments.

So, this pair of Stravr routes:
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On Michiko, I'll set them to show like this:
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Michiko shows the recorded track as a cyan line. This may not be exactly the same as the route, either because of GPS vagaries or because there's no road or path, like this example where I'm scrambling up a mountainside - trying and miserably failing to follow the red line.

Once I've confirmed that the cyan line has crossed the red border, I know I have the tile. In this example, there's about 150 m to go.

By the way, the two examples above are attempts on the same tile, 15 months apart. @Karl knows the one.
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Another option using the phone is with VeloViewer itself. On either the Activities or Routes page, there's an option to show the phone's current GPS position.

However, I'm always conscious that Garmin and iPhone may not be showing/recording exactly the same GPS position. Sometimes - especially when I'm moving slowly, which is more often than I'd like - it takes a few seconds for Garmin to catch up and show definitely that I'm over the line and into the tile.

Here's an 'edge case' from last Wednesday. The colour is not great in the photo.

Red lines are the grid: a very small section of beach is in the NE tile.
The thicker outlined 'spike' is the route I'm following: I had to manually draw this in, as Route Builder wouldn't route to such a ridiculous location.
The thin cyan line is the recorded track: I took a couple of shots at it, between the waves, to make sure. If couldn't be sure, I would have gone paddling.


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are you guys checking in real time where and when you hit a new tile?
I always use Google My Maps on my Android phones to check against the tile borders. After each tiling ride I download a KML file and upload it to Google My Maps for this. I open the app on the map page while I have network access. My Maps is not available for iOS, but there are alternatives, as Mike explained.

@Half-Fast Mike's approach seems very organised. My approach is more spontaneous. I don't map routes before the rides but play it by the ear. Often I will just go for a single tile or two tagged on to a ride with others or rolled into my "Century a Month" goal. Even if I go for multiple tiles, I'll decide what exactly to go for or where to stop for the day based on how much progress I make, what the weather is like and how I feel.

If I am not crossing the tile on my way to the next tile but just dip into it to touch it, I'm extra careful to make sure it will register. I don't take any chances. That can mean going 100 m beyond the border, or lingering inside for 10 minutes and walking around while taking pictures, or making separate recordings on phones with Strava and/or RWGPS when my main recording is on the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. Nothing would be more frustrating than having to redo the exact same route another day just to get a tile you thought you already had.
What about a "Tiler" thread prefix?

Given that the thread is more about all things tiling and less about ride offerings, sounds like a good idea.
@thomas: if @Karl - as threadstarter - agrees, I'd suggest renaming this thread to "VeloViewer tiling in Japan" - that way other folk could find it in a search and/or ignore it more readily.
I see plenty of development has gone into rideeverytile.com recently. Interesting (to me) to browse the heat map and see where nobody has been yet.

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I found the following at https://rideeverytile.com/tiles/planning_a_ride

A free route planning option​

If you don't fancy paying for the Strava route planner, there is a free option that does a great job too. Firstly, head over to your VeloViewer summary page and click the little "KML" link next to your Max Cluster score to download a KML representation of your visited tiles. Next head to https://brouter.de/brouter-web. Click "Load" and then "Tracks". Select the KML file you just downloaded from VeloViewer. The map will be overlaid with tiles that are near your max cluster but not IN your max cluster - perfect for planning a ride to expand that cluster. The route planner is pretty nifty and even has features that Strava does not such as colour-coding the route to highlight climbs. Click "Export" to save the route to a .GPX that that you can then import into your device.
Good info. Thanks..

But then, I beg to differ with the "tiles nobody's visited" info.

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