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RE: Marking an Endurance Ride with a GPS

Then you have places like Egypt where I, as the owner of a Garmin III
Plus, am the only person we know who can actually make a reasonably
scaled map of our riding area. Proper maps of the Egyptian desert are
scarce as hen's teeth and probably even illegal, knowing the army.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani
Cairo, Egypt

-----Original Message-----
From: DreamWeaver [] 
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 3:51 AM
Subject: RC: Marking an Endurance Ride with a GPS

Kat -- nobody is advocating marking any endurance ride solely with gps 
waypoints.  That doesn't mean it won't be useful for ride managers to
how to mark a trail so they can provide accurate maps and directions to
riders, or offer the waypoints to the riders so they can have them as a 
backup which can be really valuable since so many trail markings are 
tampered with.  On a ride recently, riders were out till 11:30 p.m.
of trail tampering.  GPS waypoints cannot be tampered with, and maybe if

just one rider out of several happen to have a GPS they can pull it out
figure out what to do.  The waypoints this summer were handy, but IMO,
not required.  There were hundreds of historical trail markers and the 
written directions were sufficient for more than rider to follow the
without any problem (and without a GPS).  k

At 03:58 PM 11/15/01 -0800, you wrote:
>While I have no complaints about the Duck having marked the trail for
>summer's XP with a GPS and was ecstatic to actually get riding
>and maps that were actually useful in helping find the trail :), I must
>confess that I dislike the idea of it becoming common practice for
>endurance rides to be marked in this way (other than the part about
>given good directions and a good map).
>And here are the reasons:
>While I encountered absolutely no problems when the instructions
>that we ride 5 miles west down a section line, turn north at Avenue J,
>ride 2 miles up the section line, turn west...etc, when the waypoints
>so that they were yards apart instead of miles apart the map became
>unreadable AND (more importantly) it became necessary to focus your
>attention on the GPS (and map and instructions?) in your hand rather
>the horse underneath you and the trail ahead of you.
>It requires that the rider almost consistently do something that I
>hours every day as a riding teacher telling my students NOT to
>down (a serious failing of many a rider, and almost all novices).
>I found it to be almost the equivalent of driving while talking on a
> takes your hands and your mind from much more important
>business at hand (which is keeping your hands on the steering
>and your eyes and attention on the road/trail).
>As I said, I fully understand why the Duck marked 2000 miles of trail
>that way (and know that even that was a colossal effort) and have
>absolutely no complaints, but I honestly would hate for it to become a
>standard practice at all endurance rides, especially for any ride that
>not have the rather simple overriding instruction of "head west."
>I mention this (rather out of the blue), because the question about GPS
>Units reminded me that I do think that it is worthwhile to mention that
>there are very good reasons for not marking an endurance ride in this
>(I will admit there are some very good reasons for doing so too, but
>think that they are outweighed by the safety reasons for not doing so).
>Additionally, another reason for not doing so it that there is no way
>a rider to know if or whether s/he has actually followed the marked
>Getting to the vet checks and the finish line is NOT the same thing as
>following the specified trail.
>There were certainly several times at the XP where I can honestly say I
>have no idea whether I had followed the trail or not.  There were times
>when I was sufficiently confused and maybe off course (and had no idea
>to exactly WHERE I might have gone off course, that I didn't bother to
>to figure it out, I just picked a way point that I knew was well ahead
>where I currently was and rode straight to it.  I have no idea what, if
>anything, I may or may not have add or cut out by doing so).
>This, of course, can be done by anybody who wants to intentionally
>(and the same can be said for any trail marked in any other way), but
>problem for me here was that unless you are looking at the GPS
>(and there are really good reasons for not doing that) there is no way
>know if you have actually followed the trail.
>I would be interested in anybody else's views with regards to this
>Orange County, Calif.
>Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net,
>Information, Policy, Disclaimer:

Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net,    
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