Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Exploring Dirt Roads

The plan. Click to go to Bikely and see the route.

I like finding new dirt roads and exploring areas that are not traveled frequently. These two goals go hand in hand. On Friday, I'm going to check out a stretch of forest that I've looked at a lot online, but have not actually ridden much. The section in the picture above is about 18 miles of logging/back roads between Freeman and Green Acres. From the looks of it, we'll see some good climbs and lots of dirt roads and hopefully some nice views.

Sometimes it's hard to find a route through these kinds of areas. If you go to Google Maps and look at this area, this route is not apparent unless you toggle between Map view and Satellite view. Those are apparently two different data sets of the same area.

I wish Google Maps or Google Earth had an easy way to export paths to a Garmin-compatible format (gpx). Instead, I have to load up the route into Bikely, then output as KML (because the gpx that Bikely outputs is not compatible with the Garmin software I use -- it used to be, but something changed), then use some freeware to convert KML to Garmin-happy GPX, then dump the GPX onto my GPS unit. This will give us a basic route to follow.

If you look at the satellite imagery of this area you see a bunch of dirt roads, so it's important to have something to get through them. I used to have a bunch of maps and carry a compass, which I was only sort of good at using. But now, with GPS, any Nimrod (sorry Tarik) can get lost and die in the middle of nowhere when the batteries die!

Blaine Update
  • Check out 100km; Jason is doing some good updates there.
  • Mr. Blaine is holding his own plus some. According to the Leader Board, David was first into Wise River checkpoint yesterday.
  • I worry for his rest.


Ken Paulman said...

I can't help but wonder if being a chef is David's secret weapon. I've always when anyone running a restaurant finds time to sleep, much less run a restaurant while putting in 100-mile training rides.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed by David's pace so far. As of Wise River he was only 7 or 8 hours off where Jay Petervary was last year when he set the current GDR record on a geared bike. If he can keep this up he's going to shatter Kent Peterson's single speed GDR record.

Incidentally it's pretty cool that David got a chance to meet Kent last year thanks to John.

bleckb said...

The ride looks interesting. From your house, it's probably 25 miles to the dirt road, maybe a little more, assuming you go Old Palouse. Looking for a ride partner? I'm not sure if I can get permission as Rachel gets back from Japan Thursday afternoon, but maybe, since I've been mister mom for three weeks, I can get away.

Hjalti said...

You might consider adding your dirt road rides to this:
It's pretty MD/PA specific right now, but it would be cool to see more places.