Range of Light – Instructions for Accessing Ride Routes Electronically

When the RoL started in 1991 everyone relied on paper directions handed out to participants just before the ride. We estimate over 90% of riders now use some form of GPS navigation. 

We will continue to make printed route books available, but we are also looking for ways to make the electronic distribution of GPS files more efficient while maintaining the spirit of the original RoL (i.e., routes and destinations are secret and not published ahead of time).

The electronic GPS files will include all of the poker run questions.

For 2023, we will make the following options available at the GPS table on Friday and Saturday evening:

  •  Phone app users (Rever, Gaia, etc) – we will provide links via email or a QR code so you can upload the GPX files to your navigation app.
  • Garmin XT users – download files to your smartphone using the Garmin Drive app and then transfer them to your XT device via Bluetooth.
  • Other GPS users (including Garmin units that do not allow for over-the-air file transfers) – copy GPX files from a laptop via USB cable.
  • Some Garmin devices can share files peer-to-peer via Bluetooth.
  • Printed route books will also be available

(1)  Phone Navigation Apps including Rever

Before the event, make sure your phone navigation app of choice is up to date including a paid subscription if this is required to upload the club’s GPX files.  As far as we know all phone navigation apps, with a paid subscription, support the import of GPX files. First download the specific GPX file needed using either the email link or QR code. 

At the event, go to the GPX table (starting 5 pm) and show your wristband.  Your options will be to (i) scan a QR code to access and download the GPX files online; or (ii) request an email with the GPX file as an attachment; or (iii)  scan a QR code with a link to the club’s Rever page with the routes; or (iv) request an email with a link to the Club’s Rever page with the routes.

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. 

(2)  Garmin XT – Download via Garmin Drive

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

YOU MUST SET UP THE GARMIN DRIVE APP ON YOUR PHONE AND CONFIRM IT IS WORKING WITH YOUR XT BEFORE THE RALLY.  Our volunteers won’t have time to trouble shoot your app and if it’s not working you will need to get in line for a USB download.  We strongly recommend that you 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. 

Before the rally, install Garmin Drive from the Google or Apple App Store. Garmin Drive allows your phone to connect and transfer GPX files to your XT via Bluetooth. Installation is very straightforward - just follow instructions. As long as Bluetooth is turned on at both devices they should find each other.  You don’t have to remove the XT from your bike.

At the Rally, go to the GPX table (starting 5 pm) and show your wristband.  You will scan a QR code to access and download the GPX files online.  Alternatively you can request an email with the GPX file.  Use either the email link or QR code to download the GPX file to your phone. 

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 both 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.  Note that your GPS device will re-calculate the route using the device’s own map, which can result in slight variations from unit to unit depending on your map.  We have found that the route calculation is most consistent across devices if you select the “Shortest Distance” option.

Everyone who owns a Garmin XT is encouraged to follow the above instructions and get familiar with the process. It is the easiest and fastest way to upload GPX files. 

(3)  Other GPS Devices – Manual Dowload via USB

    This is the same process that we have used in the past.  We suggest you bring your own USB cable just in case your device has an older or different plug type.

    At the Rally, go to the GPX table (starting 5 pm) and show your wristband.  A volunteer will plug your device into a laptop and download the files.  This is easy but the line could be long, so be patient! Check out this Video for what to do after the file is transferred to your device

    (4) Route Sharing Between Garmin GPS

    In case you haven’t noticed, we are very focused on ensuring all riders register and sign the AMA liability waiver.  Please do not use this file sharing option to give files to anyone who does not have a wristband.  Riders with wristbands that have compatible devices can save a lot of time by sharing routes with each other. 

    Route Sharing over Bluetooth is a Garmin feature supported on the following devices.

    • 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.  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.


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