CannonTracks - Great Divide Ride

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Rockies' started by Cannonshot, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Jax Off again.

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    Hi Cannonshot!
    My name is Jack.
    I have been digging around for several days in hopes of gleaning the knowledge needed to do the CD ride next summer. :bow ! you are by far the most prolific and helpful THANK YOU! :) You have inspired a great deal of confidence.
    I haven't been able to find an earliest/latest ballpark date for starting/finishing with a reasonable amount of confidence that the passes will be clear(esque) of snow.

    PS I have been enjoying your other ride reports as well! So much fun! Thanks for the documentation.
    #41
  2. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    I just finished Cannoshot's CDR. It was fantastic, with no missed turns at all! :norton

    For those of you new using tracks with the 60 series Garmin, here are a few clues:

    1. Make sure your laptop loads up the appropriate maps that coincide with the tracks you transferred. It should be automatic during the data transfer, but I had to do it twice to get the maps. The transfer process will prompt you to have the appropriate maps loaded so you know you got them.

    2. After transferring Cannoshot's tracks to your 60, you should see his data on the 'Tracks' page (keyed from the primary menu). Cannonshot's tracks are numbered 'Track 1', 'Track 2' etc. There is a lot of stuff there so you have to scroll down to find the Tracks. I wanted to highlight each one and study it to insure I had everything. However, I found I couldn't highight and check each track because I think there was too much data for the storage capacity of my 60. In fact, it wouldn't even scroll past Track 7, so I eliminated everything but the tracks and gas stops I wanted for my ride. That freed up memory space so I could highlight each track and study the section in the comfort of my condo with the GPS satellite search turned off.

    With the GPS off, I zoomed in on the track selected for study and made sure the underlying roads were named. This occurred at 800' zoom. At the time I thought that this mode was what I would be following during the actual ride.

    I started out riding with the GPS in that mode at Union Pass Road and it worked, but the map would not 'track-up'. That made following the tracks hard and slow. Not only because I had to do a mental backflip to figure a right or left turn, but because at 800' you out ride the map page pretty fast! :lol3

    By the end of the second day I realized that I was making this ride too hard and dangerous, for fear of running off the road trying to read that screen. Something was amiss. I kept fiddling with it and fortunately, discovered that a) the entire track was laying right there on my standard 'Map' page. and b) the standard 'Map' page had the proper 'track-up' orientation. Suddenly, riding the tracks was as simple as it can get! I didn't even have to zoom in much because the arrow would clearly leave the breadcrumb trail when I missed a turn. Viola! :huh

    How could I have been so stupid for so long? All I had to do was page over to 'Map' when I was near the course and there everything was plain as day. The Tracks page isn't used for riding at all!

    I'm still learning, but think the 'Tracks' mode selected from the main menu is simply for finding the desired saved route from a collection, or modifying one. In the Tracks mode, the screen is always oriented Track-North.

    Another thing I learned is if I 'panned' on my standard Map page to see what's ahead, the device would automatically change orientation mode to Track-North. To get back to Track-Up, I simply had to tap the Page button through all the page options until the Map page came up again. Presto...it was back on Track-Up. :D

    Cannoshot advised me last spring to just try a few trips with my new 60 and it would become more obvious. Sadly, I only tried one trip and all I did was ride to a location and use the 'backtrack' feature to see what tracks looked like. As a result, it took a couple days on the CDR before the Garmin's mysteries revealed themselves to me. Once they did, I got handy enough to manipulated the thing on the fly. I see now why so many inmates use these things. They are not as simple as an auto-routing street device, but they are still pretty simple to use, and the easiest way to follow a route along paths or roads not on most published maps.

    My next challenge is to learn how to make my own Tracks and configure them for sharing.

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    Thanks Cannonshot!

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    :clap
    #42
  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Hi Pantah! Glad you had a great ride and that the track file proved useful.

    You shouldn't have had any problem loading the file with regard to the unit's memory. The GPX itself is less than 200 KB.

    Since there are 665 waypoints and 20 tracks in the file, it is important to clear out all saved tracks and maybe even all saved waypoints before loading the file to make sure that the capacity for tracks and waypoints are not exceeded. I think the 60 series runs 1000 waypoints and 20 tracks max.

    The maps I selected for the ride (including Canada) using Topo come up to about 1.2 MB.

    Hope this clears up that issue.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    #43
  4. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    congratulations on your ride and GPS experience.

    I just knew you were on the wrong map page when you started describing your panning problems. Glad you figured it out okay. I went thru the same angst a couple of times.

    I think my 60 csx will only take 500 waypoints. I know it will only do 20 tracks at 500 points apiece.

    I used to create tracks using Delorme software. It has commands to create track from a route. But it is tedious going back and forth, especially if you are changing your trip a lot during the planning stage.

    Now I just create a route in Mapsource and manually draw the tracks using the track tool. Once they are drawn they are ready to share. This is also a bit tedious, but it goes fast and is a good way to spend a cold winter day.
    #44
  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Just so there is no confusion about loading the file that contains 665 waypoints . . .

    <TABLE id=playlist cellSpacing=0><TBODY><TR class=odd><TD>Waypoints/favorites/locations: </TD><TD>1000 </TD></TR><TR class=even><TD>Routes: </TD><TD>50 </TD></TR><TR class=odd><TD>Track log: </TD><TD>10,000 points, 20 saved tracks </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    As I mentioned, you will likely want to make sure you cleared all waypoints and tracks from your unit before loading up for a trip.
    #45
  6. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    Thanks for the congrats and I'm pleased to know I am not the first to make that map page error. :D

    I have a Mac so I have to use a software similar to Mapsource called RoadTrip. I haven't been able to find a track tool on it yet. I can import tracks created by my GPS or others, but I haven't been able to find a way to actually create a track route on the software. Hopefully there is a way to do it or there is an update that offers that improvement.
    #46
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    You could try to live with routes instead of tracks when you can't get tracks. I would certainly think your software can create routes.

    I tried to use routes for navigation for almost 10 years and finally gave up. Every time I tried, something would go wrong. A big problem is that the GPS unit will not neceessarily choose the same route that you see on the computer. As a minimum you have to ensure that the routing options on the unit are the same as on the computer. These are things like not avoiding dirt roads, shortest distance/time, etc.

    I use lots of waypoints. I make hard waypoints so they always show as opposed to the via points created by the Mapsource routing tool. But on my 60 there is a limit of 50 waypoints per route.

    I also dislike some routing features like auto-zooming, auto-recalculation, etc. I have recently learned that you can turn these off.

    I believe I am in a minority, but I always use track north. It is confusing when you are heading mainly south, but I don't like the display rotating whenever I go into a turn. It is too hard to reorient myself.
    #47
  8. theBikeman

    theBikeman Dual Sport Rider

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    RoadTrip is outdated go to Garmin's site and get the free BaseCamp for Mac it does tracks and many other things RoadTrip doesn't. Not as good as MapSource but usable.
    #48
  9. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    Thanks - I downloaded BaseCamp. I need to fiddle with it. I saw the tracks tool so I guess I can now draw my own tracks. For some reason my maps are not showing the detail I need, though. I didn't have much time to play with it, but I will tonight. I tried both the global map and my Citynav North America. I don't think the latter loaded, though.

    Thanks again!

    Edit: All better now. BaseCamp works with the detail of my NA maps. Will learn the tracking tool next.
    #49
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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  13. Sasquatch2112

    Sasquatch2112 scatology expert

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    Col,

    Thanks for your hard work. I am going with another group this summer. Heading out early August from South to North Going to hop on somewhere in Northern NM and take it as far as vacation time allows. :clap
    #53
  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Thanks. I'm envious of your trip. Hope you have a blast!
    #54
  15. Ddgfarm

    Ddgfarm Been here awhile

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    Wanted to post a big thank you to Cannonshot for these CDR tracks. I just finished riding the CDR for 12 days and my buddies and I used these tracks. It was great having the all the waypoints on my GPS so you could get a sense of upcoming sites as we rode along. After a few days we didn't bother taking paper maps with us anymore.

    We made it from a couple of miles from the Canadian border to about Cuba, New Mexico. We took a day to explore Yellowstone. We did all the "fun" stuff, including Fleecer Ridge, Lava Mountain Trail and Wickes Tunnel.
    #55
  16. rpet

    rpet Awesometown

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    ^ exactly!
    #56
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Thanks! I'm glad they served you well. Sounds like you had a great trip!
    #57
  18. jprhode

    jprhode Adventurer

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    Just wanted to add my thanks for the extremely helpful tracks and planning file. We had zero issues related to routing. In our experience, it would be wise to pay attention to the waypoints highlighting muddy or rocky/steep sections. Some of them are a bitch under the wrong circumstances.

    Here are a few comments related to difficult or boring sections, and some suggested workarounds. We rode from South to North, so bear that in mind. We started in Silver City, NM. I'm on a GSA, and Cal was on an F650GS, both fairly heavily loaded.

    About 70 miles North of Hwy 152 (by Silver City) you come to a junction in the middle of nowhere between what's labeled as Highway (!?) 163 and 159. Both are dirt. It rained a ton around the beginning of August, and 159 was badly rutted and we later learned from other riders that sections of it were muddy and awful. Given the ruts, we took 163. There several sections of bad sand near the junction, but after that it was a dirt superhighway to US60.

    Leaving Grants, NM going North, the first 30 miles or so are awesome. Then you hit a bit of pavement, and turn right on San Lucas Rd. Keen observers will note several waypoints along this section that highlight washes, mud, erosion, etc. The first wash we hit was full of water, and we turned around. I later talked to someone who made it through this section on a lightly loaded 650, and he wished he skipped it. It's kind of a crap section anyway. Suggested reroute is to take 603 to 509, turn right at Pueblo Pintado on 197 and then into Cuba. This way you get the great forest section and skip the muddy desert.

    Between Cuba and Abiquiu, all is well until you get to the rocky sections of 31 Mile Rd. A good workaround if you need one is to take NF103 to NF316 and then Hwy 96 to Abiquiu. I made it over the first rocky section on the GSA, but it was more than Cal wanted to subject his bike to. And, the workaround was really nice.

    The washouts North of Del Norte could be a handful. But, if you take the highway east out of Del Norte you very shortly come to a well marked turnoff for La Garita - dirt superhighway and a good alternate in the rain.

    IMO, the whole section from Salida, CO to Como is problematic if it has rained recently, which it seems to do every afternoon this time of year. We took the highway, so I have no good suggestions. I really wonder if taking the COBDR North of Hwy 50 and then reconnect with the CDR near Kremmling would be better.

    The river crossing (labeled DeepFord) near Hwy 134 was running 3' deep when we went around it. I'm sure this can be done by many, but when there is a very short highway running through basically the same scenery, why bother?

    We elected to skip the Divide Basin section in WY because it is flat and boring. instead, from the CO-WY border we took CR-4 aka Haiwatha Rd to 430, and then 191 North from Rock Springs. This is also flat and boring, but it cut ~ 60 miles out, and we were able to go very fast and get it over with.

    North of Butte, MT, we skipped the interstate frontage road section (and the tunnel) and instead took Hail Columbia Gorge Rd through Lowland campground up to Boulder River Rd and then rejoined the route at the Interstate. Very pretty section of forest, and some great campgrounds. Worth a look.

    Again, just my opinion but the section of the formal route between Swan Lake and Columbia Falls, MT is intended for people on mountain bikes and fairly silly to ride on an adventure motorcycle. Left, right, left, right, left and on and on through neighborhoods etc. Just take hwy 35. It's very pretty, lightly traveled, and you skip the better farms and gardens tour and save a lot of time vs 20 mph through people's front yards.

    Similarly, if you must take a picture of the Canadian Border, continuing North on North Fork Rd along the western edge of Glacier is a better option in my opinion vs going to Roosville. There is an abandoned border crossing there to photograph if you want, and this is a very pretty road. We went into Glacier and camped at Bowman Lake, which is really nice, and I'm sure Kintla Lake is as well.

    Anyway, hopefully some of that might be helpful for someone.

    cheers
    Jason
    #58
  19. decodent

    decodent CyberGypsy

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    Wow Jason ... great info. Your workarounds sound good. I rode the CDR 3 years ago from south to north and was glad I did. It was nice ending up in the Canadian Rockies vs. the scrub brush and tumbleweeds around Antelope Wells. Some of my favorite riding was in the arroyo country of northern New Mexico. Anyway, congrats on a great ride!
    #59
  20. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I recently completed the northern section from Jackson WY to Banff so can't comment on the southern portion. But . . .
    I should go into Basecamp and make a gpx of this and send it to Cannonshot to post with his other tracks. The section of the route from Butte to Boulder was pretty awful. Your suggestion looks WAY better.

    Good point. I liked the nice relaxed roads that went through the Swan Valley but the section that went through the suburbs did seem a little silly.

    I'd call that an option but not necessarily a better or worse one. The ride past Camp Tuchuck and over Bald Pass into Eureka is a pretty good section of the route. Wouldn't want to skip that. From Eureka north to Roosville is totally skippable but that's only a fast 10-mile section so no big deal. Maybe do both?
    #60