Range of Light – Important Information for Garmin GPS and Phone Navigation Users

When the RoL started in 1991 everyone relied on paper directions handed out to participants just prior to the ride. Around the year 2000 consumer GPS navigation systems started to become available.  15 years later cell phone navigation apps started to appear. 

To maintain the spirit of the original RoL (i.e., not publishing routes ahead of time) volunteers with PCs downloaded GPX files directly to Garmin GPS on Friday and Saturday evenings. This practice will continue for the 2022 RoL along with the printed route sheets. 

The RoL grows in popularity every year and in 2022 plans were prepared to support a rally attendance of up to 300 riders.  Since probably over 90% of riders now use some form of GPS navigation, in 2022 we are looking for ways to distribute the GPX files more efficiently. 

The plan for RoL 2022 is to send emails with links to next day’s rides to all registered precipitants and/or provide printed and scannable QR Codes at the event. Either way this will provide a mechanism to allow the download of a selected GPX file to your phone. In addition, for REVER users, a link to a shared REVER routes will be also provided using the email and/or QR code mechanism.

See below for some details on how to import GPX files into various devices. 

Importing GPX file using Phone Navigation Apps

All phone navigation apps, with a paid subscription, support the import of GPX files. First download the specific GPX file needed using either email link or QR code. 

Open the Files app on your phone and the GPX file will be in the download section. Select the file and then the SHARE function. Select the specific navigation app that you plan on using and the app should open with the route displayed. 

Garmin XT Users – Downloading GPX files via Cell Phone

For owners of the Garmin XT, it is possible to download GPX files via your phone.  The following description explains the steps you must take to be able to make this work. 


The following these instructions will allow you to be ready to ride without waiting in line  

Before you can download GPX file to your Garmin XT via phone you first need to install on your cell phone the app GARMIN DRIVE. GARMIN DRIVE allows your phone to connect to your XT via Bluetooth. Installation is very straightforward - just follow instructions. As long as Bluetooth in your phone is turned on and the XT is powered up, they will easily find each other

Stay away from, and DO NOT INSTALL, Garmin Explore. It’s a really dumb app and its design intent includes messing with your GPX files. 

GARMIN DRIVE app allows your XT to receive smart notifications such as live traffic data and weather information and can also take a GPX file located on the phone and send it to the XT. For this to work you first need to have the GPX file on your phone. In the case of this year’s RoL, use either the email link or QR code described above to download the GPX file. 

Open the Files app on your phone. The GPX file will be in the download section. Select the file and then the SHARE function.

The GARMIN DRIVE app will show up as a SHARE option. Select the GARMIN DRIVE app and the app should open. (It maybe that on your phone the GARMIN DRIVE App will open immediately on selecting the GPX file). Stand close to your Garmin XT, make sure Bluetooth is enabled on the phone and the XT.   

A GARMIN DRIVE window will pop up saying “GPX File Received”, select “Send” and you are done. 

On the Garmin XT to see the route go to 

Apps -> Trip Planner -> Saved trips and you may see the route already. If not then select wrench symbols in the top left corner, then select import. All downloaded GPX files should show here. Select the one you want to import to Trip Planner. The route GPX file is then converted into a form that the GPS unit can perform turn by turn navigation and will show under Trip Planner -> Saved Trips

Everyone who owns a Garmin XT is encouraged to follow the above instructions and get familiar with the process. It's easy and it avoids the need to remove the XT from the bike to install a NorCal GPX route. It will also save everyone’s time at this year’s Range of Light. 

Route Sharing Between Garmin GPS

Route Sharing over Bluetooth is a Garmin feature supported on the following devices. So even if you don’t have a Garmin XT, you can save yourself a whole lot of time, and avoid lining up, by finding someone who has one of the above Garmin, and also has the GPX file you need on their device. 

•Zumo XT

•BMW Motorrad Navigator V

•BMW Motorrad Navigator VI

•Zumo 395

•Zumo 396

•Zumo 590

•Zumo 595

The two Garmin need to be turned on, Bluetooth enabled, and be in fairly close proximity. 

To route share:  On the Garmin that already has the GPX file installed, open the route to be shared in Trip Planner. Then Select the wrench symbol in the top left-hand corner and then select Share. Select Bluetooth.  Then follow instructions on both sending and receiving GPS.


If you are using Rever there will be QR Coded at the check in desk.  Open your camera App, scan the code and it will automatically open the route in Rever.  


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