iphone

Trip Planning for a Multi Day Solo Ride

One of the maps I created from my last solo trip several years ago down to NC

One of the maps I created from my last solo trip several years ago down to NC

I’m going to be riding this week somewhere. Initially I was thinking of going back South, towards the Carolinas, Virginias and Tennessee. I really love the riding down there, so I guess I just am drawn to going back there. I’m open to going North instead, but I don’t honestly know much about the riding in that direction.

Unfortunately the weather this week has hampered my leaving on time because if I don’t absolutely have to, I would rather NOT ride in the rain all day for 2 days. So I will leave as soon as the weather lets up tomorrow, or Tuesday morning if need be.

Someone asked me about my trip planning and what / how I am going to plan for something like this. Well, for me, it’s not going to be too much work, but I will be thinking about the following things.

But I won’t know exactly what I’m doing until I sort out all the people that i want to meet up with first. I know people have lives, so I certainly don’t expect everyone to meet me on my schedule. I will likely play a lot of my day to day destinations by ear.

Me and my friend Tamela meeting up 4 years ago in West Virginia. That was a fantastic trip!

Me and my friend Tamela meeting up 4 years ago in West Virginia. That was a fantastic trip!

Who Do I Want to Visit? Who Wants to Meet Up, and Where?

I’ll be looking a routes and using an online planning tool, Furkot.com. It’s my favorite tool for long distance planning because it takes in to consideration your mileage per day, hours you want to travel, breaks, gas stops and hotel stops. I can also take the route and import it into my iPhone app, InRoute. It’s freaking amazing.

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How Many Points Do I Have for Free Hotel Nights?

(I’m NOT a moto camper, this queen needs a real bed and shower)

Who can say no to free hotel rooms? I have some points with Holiday Inn Express so I will likely route some nights onto those if I’m not staying with a friend. We’ll see.

What’s My Daily Budget?

Of course, doing a trip like this costs money! Hopefully between the free hotel nights and 1 or 2 friend’s couches, I will only have to pay for my food and gas. Not too bad. I’m a huge Waffle House Fan so i will be looking for those as much as possible. :D

Am I the only one who LOVES Waffle House while traveling? #smothered #covered

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What Gear?

For this trip, I’ll have to take my trusty Revit Neptune GTX Suit. It’s a full multiseason suit with two removable liners; one is waterproof and the other one is thermal. So since the temperatures are going to be cooler from the high 40s/low 50s at night to mid 70s in the afternoon, depending how high the elevation is I’ll need something very versatile. I know that it’s going to rain on my way out of Philly and possibly coming back in next Monday. #firstworldproblems

I also will be taking my cool weather, waterproof Rukka Gloves, and my Dainese Torque Out boots. I do have Daytonas for when there’s heavy rain riding but if I’m only going to be in light to moderate rain, I don’t mind my Dainese because they’re water resistant and that’s good enough. The majority of this trip is dry and cool, so I can easily make those work. Daytonas are so bulky and heavy, it’s hard to go back to that kind of touring boot when you wear lightweight sport boots so much .

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I’ll also be wearing my Shoei RF-1200 because I need a quieter helmet, and my Bell is SO LOUD (even with earplugs). It’s also so tight, that for 8 hours a day it’s just too much. That’s really my summer, light riding helmet. I decided not to spend money right now on the Cardo Freecom 4+ headset that I’ve been drooling over. I will probably wait until Summer.

The reason I want to convert is because of the JBL speakers and the jogdial! Oooooohhhh. It has a very low profile, just like my current Sena 10R. But with these two vastly different features, I think it’ll jut be a much better headset overall. And the fact that it’s waterproof is a HUGE bonus.

What Luggage?

With my Triumph, I always use my Kriegas. They’re simply the best traveling luggage for low profile, waterproof, non saddlebag-hanging luggage with maximum volume. For trips like these, I have 40 Liters of packable space which doesn’t include my little Cortech tankbag.

Emergencies?

For emergencies, I’ll have my AAA membership and my AMA membership handy. I’ll also find the closest Triumph dealers and metric line dealers that might be able to help me if I have to get something fixed or serviced. My bike is in pretty good shape, so I don’t anticipate any issues but if I do, these will be my main lifelines.

I’ll carry just a few things might come in handy as far as tools and supplies:

  • Antigravity Microstart Power Supply with me in case I need a jump

  • a tire gauge

  • zip ties

  • folded duct tape

  • folding leatherman

  • allen key tool because pretty much everything on my bike can be tightened/loosended with 4 metric sizes

And that’s it! I can’t prepare for everything, so I’ll do my best and know that I can call for help if I need it. I’m mostly going to stick to paved, highway roads and will let my husband know what I’ll be doing every day so if I’m alone, someone knows where I’m headed.

InRoute, a way to navigate with your iPhone and Sena!

Finally, what I've been waiting for. A reason to replace my Garmin Zumo. Which may not happen immediately, but I foresee this as a really, really great tool.

I know, I just published my Garmin Zumo 390 review but now I found what I have been searching for! An iPhone app that lets me import the GPX file I need from Furkot and then it reads the turn by turn directions into my Sena SMH10R.

This iPhone app is called InRoute Route Planner. It's a free app but it comes with optional upgrades, which I'll gladly pay for. The free version allows for up to 24 locations in a particular map I think. It's $2.99/month or $24.99 for the year if you want up to 100 locations per map. So I went ahead and bought a year. Why not? 

If I can successfully use this app for all my turn by turn navigation, then adios Garmin! Fingers crossed, as we leave for Port Jervis in the morning on a quick overnight :)

Update August 2016

I've now been using the InRoute app exclusively for the past two months. It has definitely done its job and very well, I might add. 

There are two things that I've wanted my phone to do for me; navigate and then give me turn by turn directions through my Sena SMH10R Headset so I don't have to look down or check to see what the display is showing.  Although it has some minor issues to resolve, overall its the best navigation option I've ever used. 

Back in June my husband and I ventured north to Port Jervis, NY. We left early Sunday morning and then headed up to the border as far as we felt like going. Then we grabbed a hotel for the night once we got into New York. 

Opening GPX Files

The photo above is the ambitious ride route I laid out for us. You can download a copy of the GPX file here. :)  All you have to do is either create a route on a website such as Furkot.com, save it as a .GPX and then open it easily on your iPhone (there are others I'm sure, just use whatever site or software application you want to create the GPX). (Or, alternatively you can create a route on the fly right inside the app. We'll get to that part in a bit, so keep scrolling if you want that part.) 

I use iCloud Drive (in addition to Google Drive) so all I have to do is open my file. Once you create the GPX on your desktop, you could also just email it to yourself too. Once I've found my file, I just tell my phone how I want to view it. 

inroute_openingfiles

In this instance, I want it to "copy to InRoute". If I already have another route or map open, it'll ask me if I want to Restore Route. I Choose Restore. 

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And then voila! I have my ride route. All I have to do is hit GO and we're off. My Sena starts talking to me and I'm ready to ride. 

Creating Routes on the Fly

However, sometimes you just need to make a quick route without a computer nearby. This is my favorite feature. I can instantly create a route, tweak it and then share it with my husband so he can also lead part way. It's as simple as putting your finger exactly where your destination is. As soon as you do, it asks you if that's going to be your Start, a Waypoint or your Destination. For this example, I choose Destination. 

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But I really really really don't want to take the turnpike there. And this map much like other maps might assume you do. No Thank You. Maybe I want to visit the infamous stretch of road where I lowsided last year to see if they patched up the entire roadway or not. So I place my finger at on the road and it drops a pin. I select Waypoint.  

Now, we have a decent route!

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But let's just say that I want to make another stop along the way, just for fun. 

Crap. Now things are in the wrong order. No problem :) Click on the little 2Way Sign in the upper left corner. 

Now you have this handy option to Optimize Waypoint Order. SO handy. You can also rearrange points manually here too. If you select a particular point you can then delete it. 

Now that I've rearranged the order, I have a proper route. 

Then when it comes to sharing this route with the man, I just text it to him like any other image or file on my iPhone. 

The only downsides of the app that we've discovered are:

  1. It uses the Apple Maps Engine. For some reason, and I'm not quite sure why, it won't interrupt my intercom conversation with my husband to give me the directions. I have to toggle back to my phone to hear it. I'm ok with this for now, because it's a small sacrifice to have a much better app interface such as this. Google Maps and Waze don't do this, so it's definitely possible and most likely a feature they have to program into the app (something about APIs to tell the phone that it's an incoming phone call, not just music - per my mobile app developer expert husband). 
  2. The Northeast is full of roads and highways with multiple names. Look at this one for instance. You can see that Route 143 is also known as "Ontelaunee Trail". It might tell me one or the other, so I have to trust it when it tells me to turn somewhere. It doesn't always do this, but often enough that I try not to worry as much if I'm turning at the right point. 

A couple of fun features is that it offers temperature, humidity and a few other details along your route, super handy. 

Those are the main features that I use on the app. I'm sure I'll discover more as I use it further. 

Other than those two details, I don't foresee going back to the Zumo anytime soon. The only thing I still might need is a waterproof case which is easy to come by.

In order to have my phone easily accessible on the bike I purchased this Ram Universal X-Grip cellphone holder. All I had to do was take off the Garmin Mount from the Ram Arm and swap it for the X-Grip. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sena SMH10R Firmware Update

sena_smh10R  

Attention all Sena fans, firmware updates were announced for many of it's products this past month. My beloved SMH10R was one of them.

If you need to update the firmware, you'll have to plug your Sena in with the charging cable, then connect it to your pc or mac. Links to the Device Manager software and instructions are at the bottom of the press release page.

Happy Bluetoothing!

First Ride 2015 on My Triumph and Navigating with Garmin

triumph street triple R motorcycles riding pennsylvania Ahhh that was a great ride. This was my first official ride with the Philly Moto Girls (only women can be members, but significant others are always invited to join rides).  And my first long ride on the Street Triple !!

I mapped out this ridiculously insane route, but sadly, my written maps have failed me yet again. I seem to get lost on every adventure because these are all new roads for me!

I've been trying to figure out a way to navigate on my iPhone and have found a few apps that do this. Unfortunately I have found them to be clunky, with the interfaces being rather difficult as to allowing me to import my google maps. But even if they did let me do that, I would have to pull over, take my phone out and pull off my gloves. And if you know me, I don't sacrifice protection for convenience. I'm not going to give up my incredibly protective riding gloves for something that has touchscreen-ability. I love my gloves!

So I bit the bullet and on a friend's suggestion (Thanks Anthony and Kate!!) I purchased a used Garmin Nuvi 765T, the car edition. It was $80 on eBay, and I have the option to return the sucker if it lets me down. I NEED the ability to import routes, and although I could maybe do it on Navigon, that doesn't eliminate my need to remove my gloves to use the iPhone even if it's mounted on my bike.

garmin_nuvi_765T

The other benefit to this particular model is it was less than $100 and it does essentially everything the Zumo does but for less! I'll need to figure out mounting options but I just didn't want to invest $500 in something that I don't *really* need. For $80, I couldn't pass this up.

I will do a couple tests next week and post a mini review. I can't wait to use it on my trip on the 13th! I'll be heading to W. VA (weather permitting) to visit my friend Tamela Rich so we can ride together through the mountains. Yippee!

I just have to say that I LOVE this bike. It's everything I'd imagined and I just can't wait to go riding again with her. She's smooth, powerful and just perfect. We even rode some dirt together!

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One thing that I really love about this bike is the handling. Every corner, stop and start is smoooooooth. The throttle doesn't twitch nearly as hard as the SV and is far more smoother when accelerating and decelerating. I can't say enough good things!

I'll be doing a more comprehensive review after my long trip next week.

Sena SMH-5 Bluetooth Intercoms

shoei qwest sena smh 5 So I finally got around to updating the firmware on my SMH-5. If you have a Mac and have been trying to update yours, I highly recommend finding someone with Winblows. My husband and I tried at least 10 times to update it using the Mac software and couldn't get it to work. I rarely use my VMWare machine so it didn't occur to me to try that.

So I downloaded the PC version and voila, it worked the first time. Sena, you need to fix your Device Manager for Mac software!