How does the ride navigation work?
This is a self-led GPS ride; all riding is on your own. You are responsible for your own riding. You will be given a GPS map file and instructions on how to use your Garmin GPS unit. People will hook up in small groups of less than 6 riders and tend to ride together. You are not encouraged to ride alone. You are responsible for your own riding and yourself.
(see my ride Navigation Video)
Are you right for this ride?
When something goes wrong on a ride, would your riding friends say that you are more likely to need help or more likely to give help? You should be in the more likely to offer help camp. This ride is filled with riders that are more likely to give help, so most of the time the riders never need help. Additionally there is all the normal stuff, come prepared to maintain your bike, fix your bike on the trail, repair flat tires, deal with bad weather and rain and make a joke or two.
How do I make the GPS stuff so easy?
I develop very high quality ride maps custom for our ride. They come from much of what I and others have ridden. I take the best from all my rides and make new ones.
(See my Custom Ride Maps Video)
Note from me, gpsKevin
My goal for this ride is simple: great riding. So you can count on great routes and places to ride.
But in addition, the ride is about discovering new places, meeting new friends, seeing new parts of the Southwest.
Q:What will the weather be like this time of year?
A: In August, the weather is most often nice, could be a little hot in the lower elevations and it can be cold in the morning and in the mountains. But sometimes there can be rain. Wet and muddy routes can force us to change our plans. Come prepared with extra gear for cold and wet.
Q: Would this be a good ride for new riders?
A: No, this ride is for intermediate and experienced riders only. The riding has easy route choices and tough route options. Each evening we will study the following day's choices. You will find lots of supportive people at the ride.
Q: What bikes are right for this ride?
A: Bikes including and in between the Suzuki V-Strom and the KTM990 all can do well by choosing the easy or hard route options.
Q; What do I do if I don't have a Garmin GPS?
A: Buy one, you need it, we will show you how to use it. You can get a great one for under $200 bucks. ( See gpsKevin's gps recommendations)
Q: Is the riding really on my own?
A: Yes, but almost everyone hooks up and rides with a friend, or a new friend or me.
Q: What gas mileage range do I need?
A: 150 miles will cover the longest section
Q: Could I do the ride with the only the use of the State Wide Map?
A: Not really the maps are meant to be used in conjunction with your GPS
Q: Is the COBAT an official route?
A: No: there is no governing body that has declared any official COBAT trail. The route given here is merely a collection of open existing routes across the state. They are subject to all local laws.
Q: Can the route be ridden in the north to south direction.
A: Yes, no problem, just ride it backwards against the GPS arrows.
Q: How do I check my GPS to see if the SD Card is working?
A: There are two ways you can check your GPS.
1. See the trail on the GPS yourself. Turn on the GPS and zoom out to about 50 or 30 miles. Use the cursor to pan over to an area where you know the trail should be. Now begin zooming in. Wait for the gps to refresh it's screen as they can be slow. As you zoom in you should see the trail as a Wide Bold Blue line made up of arrows. OK, good job, you did it right.
2. Check to see if the map is in the GPS unit's memory: The steps to do this vary depending on which Garmin gps unit you have (and there are hundreds). Most work like this:
Alternate 1: From the "Map" page select Menu. Then select "Setup Map" then scroll down and select "Select Map." Now you can scroll down and read the maps in you unit. You should find a map called "TAT gpskevin." Make sure it is enabled and you are done!
Alternate2: Some GPS units (like Nuvi's) work like this. Select "Settings" then "Maps" then "Info" and now you should find the map "TAT gpskevin." Make sure that it is checked and you're done.
Alternate3: Some work like this. Select "Tools" then "Settings" then "Map" then "Map Info." You should find the map "TAT gpskevin." Make sure that it is checked and you're done.
Again, your gps may have a different way to access the maps, but the download does work in all Garmin gps units with a card slot. Sorry, there are just too many Garmin gps units for me to go through them all.
If you are new to this stuff or having trouble I will help you at the ride.
Q: What are Custom GPS Ride Maps?
A: Custom GPS Ride maps are electronic maps designed specifically to show the paths and path choices for a particular ride. The maps show the paths as clear bold lines so the riders can easily see them even on small screens. The lines are often comprised of groups of arrows or chevrons so that riders can easily tell the recommended direction of travel. The lines come in multiple colors so that riders can easily choose between Hard and Easy options. Custom ride maps make ride navigation much easier than ever before.
Q: Why do the ride lines show up as White Lines rather than the expected Blue, Red and Green?
A: There are two possible reasons for this:
You have your gps in Night Mode or Auto Mode and you are seeing this after the sun has set. Solution is to put your gps display into Day mode only. See your manual, to do this it depends on which Garmin GPS you have. Or wait and it will work fine during the day.
You may have a Garmin 78 and it is in Marine Mode. To fix this: Disable Marine Mode: Select: Menu, Menu, Setup, Marine, Marine Charts Mode: Off
Q: When I purchase GPS Maps on a microSD Card what is included on the card?
A: The chip will include the image files used to create the maps and a gpx file that contains all the Tracklogs and Waypoints for the ride. This gpx file can be read by capable Garmin GPS units or by Windows based PC's.
Q: Why do we use Custom Ride Maps and not Tracks or Routes?
A: Ride maps function the same as Tracks, however ride maps are made with much higher accuracy and clear line types and colors, The lines can also include arrows to help riders with direction of travel. Additionally riders do not need to know anything about tracks or which one they maybe be riding. So this makes it much easier for the riders.
Q: What are Tracks and why are they not recommended?
A: Tracks (or sometimes called Tracklogs) are a collection of electronic breadcrumbs that can describe the desired path. There can be thousands of these electronic data points to describe one path. Each ride can be made up of many sets of these paths. As a result, the number of Tracklogs for a ride with several choices can become very confusing. Therefore I do not recommend that riders use tracks as it can often create confusion. Tracklogs are often included on the MicroSD card for those riders that would like to import them to a PC and edit them to create their own ride.
Q: What are Routes and why are they not used?
A: Routes are paths that are created by your GPS unit based on the internal maps that you have. This enables your unit to give you turn by turn directions. Routes are calculated based on lots of different parameters like shortest distance, fastest time, and many others. However we as riders would like to choose our own specific path. And often our path does not include known roads that would be in your GPS map set. Therefore, to avoid traveling on undesired paths and constant off route recalculation, we do not use Routes and force your GPS to display our desired path only.
Q: What are Waypoints? and how are they used?
A: Waypoints are sets of coordinates that identify a point in physical space used for purposes of navigation, otherwise known as a landmark. Waypoints are used to describe all kinds of locations on these rides like scenic points, river crossings, lunch stops, motel locations, and camp spots. Most of the microSD cards include a set of ride specific waypoints. Depending on your GPS model, these waypoints can either be automatically included in your GPS or you may need to import them into your GPS.