I've had a few requests for tracking during the Grand Depart event. So I will go ahead and set up the BT 700 on Trackleaders (http://trackleaders.com/).
If you would like to make use of this service I will get you a form to fill out and it will cost you $15 USD to get on the tracking board (paid to them not me). You can use your own device (SPOT or InReach) or rent one from them for about $70 USD. They have told me that it is cheaper if all rental units are shipped to me at once and then I distribute them to riders who ordered them. After the event, riders are responsible for returning rental units to Trackleaders.
This is really a great way for family and friends to join along and get a bit of a feel for the event. All riders have to do is turn it on - battery life should last the entire route. Using a phone app for tracking will require charging your phone 2 or 3 or 4 times a day. To get an idea of what it is like have a look at http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide19 which is live at the moment.
As of this morning it looks like there are 4 riders signed up on TL. Are others planning on signing up? I've done numerous other grand departs of bikepacking events and there are many benefits to having most everyone tracked on Trackleaders -
- family/friends can follow along and see who you might be riding with, how you compare with other riders (if way behind - maybe there is a problem), etc.
- having all riders listed on TL provides a chance to see where everyone is from, what they are riding, etc.
- people you run into on the route (including businesses) are curious about the event and telling them to go to trackleaders.com allows them to learn more and follow along with your progress and others. Businesses have been known to stay open past closing time to provide services to a rider that is on the way.
- it is likely that many from the bikepacking community that are considering this event in the future will be checking in to see how many riders turned out, where they are stopping for services, where they are spending their nights, etc. I fear that some will assume that few riders showed up for the ride if not many are being tracked on TL.
Anyway - just a little feedback from someone that has done 11 of these events in which almost everyone (in many cases everyone) was on TL. Including other Canadian events like the BC Epic 1000 and the Alberta Rockies 700.
Other thoughts on the pros and cons of being tracked? Are others using the SPOKZ app that was mentioned in another thread?
This will be my first time using Trackleaders. Am I correct in assuming:
1) You stop tracking a few minutes before reaching your destination so that your exact camping location is private.
2) You start a new track each day when you leave and Trackleaders then grabs your real time position from your public share page?
I am using an Inreach, and plan on turning it off at night to save battery.
1. I've heard of that being done but haven't done that myself. I often send an "check ok" message from my Spot (gen 2) so my wife knows I'm done for the day and okay and so she can see where I'm at.
2. Not sure about Inreach devices but I think Spot Gen 3 and Spot Trace don't need to be turned off. My gen 2 does have to be turned off every 24 hours (I think). I also like to save the batteries which usually last for 5+ days.
last day to rent a spot! They will probably get sent out to Matthew in the morning.
You can probably register your own unit right up to the start of the event. It would be great to get a few more folks signed up. I don't have any connection to Trackleader I just know that it is a cool part of these types of events.
I was considering not signing up since so few others had. But my wife coerced me into it as it is a great way for her to see exactly where I am on the route (how far I've gone, etc.). And it looked like we were up to 9 so figured we needed at least 10!
Still hoping that many others will consider it since the signup date has been extended. The page is up on Trackleaders - http://trackleaders.com/bt700-19 Take a look. If you're on the page you can share the URL with family/friends and they will enjoy following along!