As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we set out to check how the GPS loops were up to the mark.
Marty’s son, Tom – the Dualsport Australia IT guru – had it all figured out and both the Strike Genius and Marty’s new Garmin Etrex were loaded and ready. The Strike is a bit of a problem because it’s not designed as an off-roader’s GPS, and Marty hasn’t been able to find any topo maps to load on there. The result is that sometimes the routes wander off or multiply and go all over the shop. There’s more red lines than a drunk’s eyeball sometimes.
In any case, a good crew lined up for the chase. Phil Davis and his spanking new DR650, Marty H and his spanking new DR650, Chris Gibbins and his spanking new 990, Gav Gill and his love of a good spanking and his BMW, and me and my daggy old Dominator.
In general things went fairly well. Whenever the Strike had a map to work with it was fine. Tom had used what looked like 50,000 waypoints so’s I wouldn’t whinge about the track running off the side of the trail as it sometimes does, and Marty didn’t have anything much to say about his Garmin, so I guess it was fine.
We ran the Bellingen-Willawarrin leg because we knew it well and it’s a great ride. The weather was perfect and the trail mostly fairly dry, so there was some dust in places. After a glorious, no-stress dawdle down The Horseshoe, stopping here and there to look at a few sights, deal with some fallen trees and compare notes, Marty decided he was too hungry to hang out until Willawarrin, and we should short-cut to Taylor’s Arm for a snack at The Pub With No Beer. Everyone was hugely in favour of this idea, and off we went.
After lunch we ran the less adventurous side of the loop, back through Bowraville. There’s bitumen on this side of the loop, and some really nice, broad, well-kept dirt road, so we poked along, digesting our lunches and taking things easy.
Gav was taking things so easy he had a little lay down near one of the bridges and bruised a few ribs. He elected to head home along the highway.
So it looks at this stage as if the GPS routes will be okay, as long as you have a Garmin. I was wondering whether we need to cover Magellan as well, but none of us could think of anyone using a Magellan. They’re great units, but they don’t seem very popular with the bike guys. I don’t know why that is.
Here’s a couple of the pics put in context…