First off, it’s an honor to be invited as a guest author on Bear’s ALC Page. I hope my words can live up to his wise advice. 2015 will mark my second time participating in the AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) and my first year as a Training Ride Leader (TRL). I’m an Iowan by birth, and found my way to Sacramento via Colorado, Grand Cayman, Providenciales and most recently San Francisco. I’m 57 years old, married to the love of my life and currently on a work sabbatical (but looking hint hint.)
But enough about me and on to the subject at hand…
Where am I? A scary thought if you are out on the road and your training group is nowhere to be found. This exact question is why we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the route prior to heading out on a training ride.
- Ride With GPS (RWGPS) is a mapping and cue sheet creation tool used by most TRLs to create the routes used for training.
Click the link to open RWGPS and load the route.
- On the right hand panel you will see the distance and elevation (climbing.)
- On the left hand panel notice the cue sheet with a turn by turn guide. If you mouse over one of the cue’s you will see a help bubble pop up on the map that points to exactly where the turn takes place.
- Similar to any map service, such as Google maps, you can zoom in, pan out or click and drag the map to center on the desired focus area.
- At the bottom of the map is the elevation profile. If you click over the profile you will see a corresponding blue dot on the route map showing the corresponding point of the climb or descent.
- You may need to pan out to see the blue dot if your are zoomed in.
Once you have reviewed the route you can use the print features by printing first the map and then the cue sheet. If you sign up for a free account with RWGPS you can use the print map and cue sheet to PDF option which will email the route sheet to you.
- Pro-tip: A PDF copy is very handy to have saved to your phone in case you lose the route sheet on the ride or forget to pick one up.
Keep in mind the route is subject to change. For example, in the days before the ride, the TRL will usually ride or drive the route to check for any road hazards or detours due to repairs, construction, etc. Once home, if changes are needed, the TRL will edit the route before printing the route sheets that will be handed out at sign in.
Speaking of route sheets, please see Bear’s prior post on how to read route sheets, “Do I turn right or left? How to read a route sheet.” which is also an important skill to have!
Please take a moment and watch this video tutorial demonstrating the above steps.
Thanks for reading and watching. We strongly encourage you to take the time to review your upcoming training ride routes. It will give you much more confidence when that scary thought happens… ‘where am I?’.