While there are still those who like to use Cycle Oregon as a chance to disappear for a week, most of us would go through a very ugly – and potentially dangerous – withdrawal process if we had to give up our gadgets cold turkey for any more than a few hours. Fortunately, that’s not necessary. In fact, there are so many different ways to stay connected and keep in touch that we need an entire blog post to cover everything.
Even if you feel like going incommunicado, there are still some useful electronics that help you navigate the course and campsites, and even find your friends. We’ve got you covered there as well.
GPS and Mapping
The fine folks who do the beautiful course maps you’ll get at check-in have also loaded course maps AND campsite maps onto Maprika. Maprika is a sweet smartphone app you can use during the day to track your progress on the road. At camp, you can use it to find your way to the beer garden and even find your friends (who are probably already in the beer garden).
If you don’t have a smartphone, you’ll have to rely on smoke signals or birdcalls or carrier pigeon to keep track of your buddies. In that case, you’re on your own.
If you’ve got a GPS bike computer, you can also download the daily course files here (these files will be removed after the event):
When you click on the link, you’ll see source code. Go to the File menu and choose “Save As” to save the .gpx files to your desktop. From there, it’s a matter of dragging and dropping on to your Garmin.
We’ll be visiting some pretty remote places, so staying in constant contact on the road isn’t going to happen. However most of the campsites have cellphone/data connections depending on your carrier (can you hear me now?). In addition, many of the campsites located on school grounds have computer labs that are available to you for a very small fee.
If you’re a blogger or want to share your Cycle Oregon experience with your friends and family via social media, make your way to The Blogmobile. There you’ll have access to connected laptops you can use to blog, Facebook, Tweet, Pin or otherwise tell the world about your daily acts of valor. The Blogmobile is open from 3:00 until 10:00 every day EXCEPT the days we’re in Ashland (which is the most wired/connected place we’ll be all week).
Getting Charged Up
If you’re looking for a place to charge your gadgets, look for the Community Cycling Center tent in camp. They’ll top you off for a small daily or weekly fee, which goes toward the great work they do.
A Window on Cycle Oregon
If you aren’t able to join us this year, you can follow all the action over the Internet, including:
https://twitter.com/cycleoregon (Twitter users please use #cycleoregon in your Tweets)
http://www.flickr.com/groups/co2012 (post event)
The Oregonian and KGW will also be creating content all week, and we’ll providing links to it on our Facebook page.