Building the discs

December 10, 2012

The maps have to be checked in detail

Getting these discs – there are three currently under way – in shape to where we’re happy to offer them is taking a little time, so for those wondering, I’ll post updates here and you can see where they’re up to.

The first disc will have routes and tips – fuel, food, accom, camping, phone numbers and so forth – for what should be around five days of comfortable and scenic riding between Moonan Flat and Woodenbong in NSW. It’s all comfortable riding for everything from big BMWs to Postie bikes, and it’s mostly dirt road. There’s no hard-core trail, although there are a few sections that are trail rather than dirt road, and will need some care on bigger bikes. It’s intentionally accessible riding for all kinds of dualsport bikes. There’s no enduro-style riding outlined on any of the routes.

So to kick off all the information has to be edited and straightened up for spelling and consistency. That’s what’s happening right now. It’s taking far longer than it should, but there it is.

Once the copy is sorted out – and we’re sure it agrees with the maps, which is turning out to be a real challenge – the whole lot will go off to an artist to be put together into a good-looking package. Then they’ll be pressed (copies made for sale), and we’ll be off and running.

So right now the first disc is at the editing stage.

February 12, 2013

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we set out to check how the GPS loops were working. Because they’re converted from Google Maps routes, I wasn’t sure how accurate or reliable they’d be.

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 really 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-Willawarren leg because it's a great ride. This scene isn't on the route, but it's on the way to meet the route, so it counts.

We ran the Bellingen-Willawarren leg because it’s a great ride. This scene isn’t on the route, but it’s on the way to meet the route, so it counts.

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.

Dealing with a few fallen trees.

Dealing with a few fallen trees.

Lunch at Taylor's Arm. No need to ride to Willawarrin after all.

Lunch at Taylor’s Arm. No need to ride to Willawarrin after all.

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.

Big, wide roads after lunch. Great scenery.

Big, wide roads after lunch. Great scenery.

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.

TF

March 22, 2013.

Un-fricken-believeable! I think I’ve finished the copy!

No wait…there’s a few bits and pieces I need to check with Marty. D’oh.

Still, the bulk is done. As soon as I can nail Marty down to ruin through the whole thing start to finish, we’ll be off to art.

No way. NO WAY!

Phew. It’s taken ages.

Worth it, but. The info is gold.

TF

3 comments

    • tom on January 4, 2013 at 2:05 am said:

      No-one forgets the DR guru, Vince! All we need is for our phone calls to match up. Otherwise, your answering service and my answering service will go on chatting to each other.

      Maybe it’s time for another session of coffee and scones with jam’n’cream. Just say when! I’ll be there!

      TF

  • Dean Anthony on June 28, 2013 at 5:20 am said:

    hi Tom just wondering how the disc is coming along just bought an etrex 20 and keen to learn more on how you transfer the tracks on the disc to the gps hope to hear from you or MARTY HARDCORE soon .
    cheers Dean.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *