How not to track a trail with a GPS device

It’s been great to be out three weekends riding in a row now and hopefully we can keep that up and do a few more longer rides.

The last two weekends have been at Swinley which were both surprisingly good. The first with Vaughan and Matt and was ridiculously muddy. Then the week after I went with Joe and Chrissy for an ever so slightly longer ride.

Lovely trees
Fun bit

This last series of berms were great fun and obviously great company too.

So this weekend the idea was to try and follow a new route and see how easy it is (or not) to follow a this downloaded from the net and then added to the Garmin. The other aim was to start upping the mileage a bit as rides have got shorter and shorter over the years. The first week it was 12, the second 14 so this week the idea was to try 24. Whilst those numbers sound low it is a lot harder off road than on. I do want to get to the point where I could ride 30 miles off road at a decent pace without too much hassle.

I found this one via singletrackworld.com so thought it would probably be ok after scanning around the map view. It’s hard to judge the quality of a lot of the routes out there generally but this looked like a good one.

The trail starts in Wescott rather than our usual Peaslake carpark stop so we headed out there this morning and got going after two service station stops – Matt was a little hungover. Seemed like a nice start to the trail and we got going and didn’t have too much trouble following the GPS. We got the hang of it and it seemed to flow quite nicely. It wasn’t until we got to Summer Lightning and followed it down to the bottom that we realised we had started going in completely the wrong direction. For whatever reason the Garmin doesn’t say “Turn around you’re going the wrong way” it just plots your position against the map. How annoying! Anyway we rode a few trails we hadn’t in a long long time and still had a good time. In future I’m going to take a screen shot of the start to avoid this.

The above is what we actually rode, 14 miles or so but with lots of the same ground being covered whilst we tried to establish what was going on with the map. I also didn’t start the timer straight away so there’s a few more miles to add to that. Regardless it was good to get out, ride some trails as well as test out the limitations or foibles. Hopefully we can go back next weekend and do it properly!

No pictures today apart from this one of us washing the bikes. Exciting eh?

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