Getting Started on Ride Spot
Updated: Mar 9, 2021
Once you've set up your Affiliate profile, there are a couple ways to start building your route library.
The first step is to make a quick plan. We recommend looking at your best selling categories and picking 2-3 routes per category. Make a list of the routes and check them off as you create them. Another approach is to ask your staff where they like to ride and create a route list of "staff picks" to share in the store. For more ideas on selecting your routes, check out our Best Practices guide.
We recommend drawing your routes in our Route Builder (more on that below) BUT if you're short on time and want to get your routes in quickly, the fastest way to establish your route library is to import routes from other devices or mapping platforms. This is also very helpful if you're collecting routes from other people like your staff, colleagues or ride leaders.
If you've documented your routes on other platforms, export them as GPX, TCX or FIT files and then import them into Ride Spot. (Log in>Create>Classic route>Import route).
Once the route is imported, give it a name, short description and save it before moving on to the next route. If you have a picture (or a few) from along the route, be sure to add it. Repeat this process to get your most popular and useful routes in Ride Spot.
Importing routes is a fast and easy way to make your routes discoverable, but we highly recommend you trace them in our Route Builder after importing to give your riders the best possible experience.
Route Accuracy & Safety
It's common to see imported routes begin and/or end at locations that are not ideal for your riders (i.e. your house). Even if you recorded the route with the specific intent to import and share, it is possible to unintentionally misguide your riders - potentially into a very dangerous situation!
GPS devices are not perfectly accurate, so it's common to see "drift" in the route. The recorded track might be 10-20ft off at any point, so while you're riding on a bike lane next to a busy road, the GPS track might depict you riding right down the middle of the road. If a rider is following your route, trusting that you've provided them a safe route, and ends up in a dangerous situation, it will leave a very negative impression or potentially put them in harm's way. The example shown here depicts the opposite - the line appears parallel to the road (which is a sidewalk), but the correct route is on the road.
Importing a route basically gives your riders a line to follow, but does not help them navigate accurately. You will need to draw the route on Ride Spot to generate the turn-by-turn directions (shown at the top of the app),navigational audio cues, and the written cue sheet that will appear on the back of your RideCards. As is true with all route-building platforms, navigational cues are not transferred with the other route data, even when you use a TCX file*. Cue sheets are still handy for navigating a route without an electronic device and many riders will appreciate having them to navigate or as a backup to their device.
"What about Mountain/Singletrack routes?"
In general, base maps don't recognize singletrack as infrastructure like a road or a bike path, so you can't trace it like a road/gravel route. So, for mountain/off-road routes, we recommend just importing a clean route and providing key trail information in the description. It's also a best practice to label your off-road routes with the skill levels required to enjoy the ride (For example: Beginner, Avid, Technical, Death Wish...).
Pro-tip: Take pictures of technical sections and photoshop in the "line" you recommend along with some notes to help riders approach the section more confidently.
To trace your imported routes, go to the route and click the "Edit" button under the map. In the edit mode, hover over the map and click on the "Update Route" button that appears. This will open the Route Builder with your route showing as a line to trace over. You can then click along the route to add your cues/waypoints. To edit your cues, you can click directly on the cue in the right column or click on the blue polygon on the map itself.
Once you save the new route, be sure to click "Save" at the bottom of the next page/Ride Story page to complete the route update.
Our Ride Spot team is standing by to help trace your routes if you need some help. Send us an email if you're interested.
Once you have 4+ routes in the system, you can export the pdfs and order RideCards. To export a RideCard PDF, go to the route you want to save and click on "Save" to see the download option. Once you've downloaded the PDF's you'd like printed, you can order them here.
*TCX files do contain the navigational cues, but are only readable by GPS units.