Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shortage of Data

Our Sturgis trip is coming up fast. I’m not ready. There is so much to do and I seem to have little time to prepare. I might have the time, if I could figure out what I need to put aside until later so I can focus on what I need to do now. I pop open the MapSource file to work on the GPS routes. The task seems daunting, and I feel I won’t get it done. I remember the POI Factory web site that Rich pointed me too last year. This could save me some time. It was very helpful in gleaning all the waypoints for the lighthouses on our Maine Lighthouse Tour. The site did not let me down when I searched for Sturgis waypoints, and Rich even assisted in converting some data for me that I easily transferred into my files.

While I was lining up a route using the new waypoints, it occurred to me that I may be reinventing the wheel. Surely someone out there has already done a batch of routes and would be happy to share them along with their experience too. After all, 500,000 people head to Sturgis each year. So off to the New England Riders I went and posted my plea for Sturgis routes. It was another Richard that came to my assistance. Not only did he have GPS files, he had hard copy maps and flyers of all sorts to share if we wanted to meet.

“What can he possibly say to us?” Andy said to me.

“How will you know if you don’t talk with him!” I responded in utter disbelief that someone would pass up the opportunity to dig up something that could be useful.

I am often accused of suffering a malady called “shortage of information” syndrome. I suppose it’s true. When I think I don’t know all I should about a topic, or if I think others know about something I don’t, it causes me to feel deprived, lost, uniformed or possibly jeopardized in some way. This compromised feeling results in habits that annoy others, or sometimes just amuse them. Both of these reactions do not leave me feeling the best. Andy relents when I tell him of the hard copy maps Richard has. He likes to touch, feel and read maps, “like in the good old days.” It was my ticket to meet Richard and his lovely wife Irene.

While I read some “fun facts” aloud from one of the flyers, Richard readily perceived my “need to know” and joked with the others questioning if I were the keeper of facts and figures. (Or something to that effect.) Wow. I am so transparent that complete strangers can spot my need for detail even on first meeting. However, a visit with Richard proved to be valuable after all. He had great advice about sections of highway we should avoid, helpful hints, and great stories about the Sturgis area. Even Andy agrees. Of course being me, I had to point out once home, that you don’t know what you don’t know until you do.

Having my personality quirks so visible to the world may not feel comfortable, but I take solace from Stephen Covey’s words, “When we are left to our own experiences we constantly suffer from a shortage of data.” EXACTLY Mr. Covey! And thank you for the great quote I can use anytime someone feels I need treatment for my “syndrome.”

1 comment:

Willie aka NomadWillie said...

I know exactly how you feel. For our up and coming trip I have well over 600 waypoints, that include the National Parks, BBQ joints, water towns, National Landmarks and some plain ole adhoc points to visits. Yet somehow I feel I am missing something or will miss something that just might be more important than these 600 spots.

Is it a malady, a handicap, a disease or is it a gift.