Say you are the leader of a ride and you need to follow a route. Or, you’ve just bought a copy of the London Cycle Routes eBook and you want to follow one or the rides. Or, you are cycling a sportive from London to Brighton and you want to have the route handy.
Oddly, this is something that perplexed me immensely when I first started cycling. What were you supposed to do? Memorise each turn of the route? Have a small cue sheet in your pocket? Pin the route to your handlebars?
Fortunately, as time moved on, my simple, primate brain was saved by technology. I now have my iPhone “pinned” to the handlebars whenever I’m following a new, unfamiliar route. The GPS illuminates my position with a simple blue dot and I follow the line. Much like a child working out a simple puzzle.
But let’s just say you don’t have an Android phone or an iPhone or a Garmin GPS device and instead have an old Nokia phone that you refuse to upgrade. Or, perhaps you don’t have a KML file and you want to follow a ride the old fashioned way. Using a map or a cue sheet which has the turns listed.
The alternative then is to have some kind of map clipper like you see on the handlebars of motorbikes around London. Side fact: That’s often cabbies learning every single road in London for their “Knowledge” exam.
A slightly more expensive alternative is the Rixen rotating map holder. The reviews on Amazon seem very positive however there’s a review on Wiggle that states the protective cover started to rip within a few days of using it so you might be better off sticking with the Zefal.
Not as ideal, but worth mentioning, is the Silva Map Trail Case. This has straps to hang it around your neck. Although, when you are cycling, I can see how that would be quite a pain and also not great for quickly referring to directions.
If you are not a fan of paying money for things and much prefer a DIY approach, then there’s a couple of good tutorials on the internet on how to create your own bicycle map holder.
Related: GPS devices for cyclists