1. Ride with GPS -- route creation and editing

To start a route, hit PLAN from the main menu, then type an approximate location into the "Jump To A Location" drop down box (right of screen).  This will get you to the general area of your route ... then scroll the map to the exact location ... in this case the Bethlehem Park and Ride.

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Once you find the starting location, click on Satellite for the map style (upper right) and zoom in a couple of levels so you can see the parking lot clearly.  The + zoom button is lower right.  The screen below is annotated to show different features that will be discussed.

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Annotations:  the chevron in upper left shows or hides the cue sheet area, the left panel.  For route creation you need to have this displayed.  I had one ride leader who complained that he couldn't see the cue entries.  The chevron must have been clicked to hide them and its function was not obvious.  The cues themselves will be displayed in the left panel as they are created.  We will see more later.

2. Ride with GPS -- MHCC Club page

To join the MHCC club on Ride with GPS (rwgps), first you create a rwgps username.  Even a free basic username will work.  Then contact me (fkelly12054@gmail.com), tell me your rwgps username and I'll send you a link.  Most people taking this class live will already be members.  One of the advantages of the club area is that even free basic usernames in rwgps can use the Print to PDF capabilities when they are on the club page.  Using that requires a paid membership elsewhere on rwgps.

Once you have joined the MHCC club page on Ride with GPS (rwgps), you can access it whenever you sign on by going to home/ profile and clicking on the club link as shown here:

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When you come to the club page, you should see something like this:

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3. Ride with GPS -- features other than route creation

Rwgps is a full featured web site has many capabilities beyond route creation and management.  We will look at a few here.  But before we do, please note that rwgps has a very nice help system of its own.  Just hit HELP from the top menu line of most screens and you will see the help options. 

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With that said, some of the capabilities you might be interested in include:

  • store records of your rides and be able to analyze them
  • create segments (KOM) points and compare results both for yourself and for other riders
  • find rides and routes in your area or in areas that you are visiting
  • download routes to a GPS device (Garmin or smartphone)
  • get turn by turn instructions while you are riding (also, Garmin or smartphone)

 

Getting Starting and ending points in Parking Lots

The steps:

1.  Using rwgps plan a route feature,  locate the parking lot you want to use.  I am going to use the Schodack Park and Ride for this example and develop a very simple map to illustrate the step by step features.  When you have centered the parking lot on your screen, go into satellite view and it should look like this:

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Note that we zoomed in enough so that we can see the cars in the parking lot. 

The next screen capture shows the steps needed to put the first turn just outside the lot and going in the correct direction.  Since mapping software can't deal with so-called "routing" in parking lots you have to switch into draw lines mode (right side of screen) first.  Click toward the back of the parking lot.  This will put in a starting point.  Now add a control point (still in draw lines) on the road (route 150 in this case) just outside the parking lot.  Switch to follow roads mode.  Then add another control point a short distance up the road.  Then add a cue sheet entry between these two points in the direction you want to go.    Shown below:

Making Ride With GPS routes start and end in Parking Lots

Very brief introduction.  Ride With GPS (rwgps) is a bicycle route mapping product and web site that our bike club is using to generate maps and cue sheets for routes.  These need to be accurate and reliable.  This article is written for ride leaders who are developing routes on rwgps and already have some familiarity with the product.  The rwgps web site has plenty of introductory material, including videos, on developing and modifying routes.  Here we are focusing on a common problem:  getting routes to start and end in parking lots accurately.

Here's the deal.  RWPGS uses software routing engines developed by Google, OpenStreetMaps and others.  These engines are primarily focused on ROADS!  A parking lot is not a road.  Neither is a bike path or rail trail or the woods.  To make a route use a parking lot or rail trail, you need to use the draw lines tool and know how to integrate that tool with the follow roads tool as well as strategic placement of control points and manual entry of cue sheet entries.  It gets a bit difficult at times, especially if you are fixing up a route that was not done perfectly in the first place.