If you can handle digital navigation, you will never go back to a paper map. However, there are some downsides I have to cope. Firstly the limited accumulator power, easy to solver with a power bank, or second phone. More serious is a rainy day, my waterproof smartphone couldn’t stand raindrops following on the screen and got crazy. The watertight case was unsuitable either hard to deal with or fogged up. A simple homemade device is currently the solution. The overall advantage, I get every information I need, offline or online, on a fingertip.
The outworked GPX data leads exactly to and from the daily housing along the planned cycle route. These data are downloaded, stored on my smartphone and is the basis for “offline” navigation for the day. For navigation on the smartphone, I use Osmand with preloaded offline maps. Therefore I just following my “red line” during the day. If something unexpected happened, I do some replanning. However, that seldom happens.
For fitness, there is no need to be a winner of the last Olympic Games. A basic level of fitness is good enough. There is certainly no problem if you feel tired after the daily voyage. Problems might occur, also on the best cardio fitness level, when you not used doing cycling. There might be some problems not expected, such as knee ache, backache, some problems with tendons, etc. Such annoyance could seriously spoil your tour. Even worse if you get these problems on early stages on the trip. The best preparation to avoid these troubles is to carry out daily trips in advance.
Sometimes there might be some trouble during a trip, usually minor things such as puncture, brake adjustments or gear shift corrections. I always have the tools and a few spare parts with me so I can handle these matters. However, in 2014 I was permanently challenged by chain failure. The new chain has split up every few days. First I used my reserve pin, later I shortened the chain after each incident, at last, I bought a new one. Then I learned that certain chains only link with the original brand chainlink. Conclusion, sometimes I’m challenged by strange technical issues.