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  • Writer's pictureTobie DePauw

Mountain routes made easy.

Our Affiliate support team is often asked about route building for mountain bike rides. “How do we post mountain bike routes?”,”Do we have to draw the entire trail on the map?” and “How can I possibly post every trail in our area?” are just a few of the frequently asked questions.

With paved or gravel routes, we recommend drawing your routes in the Route Builder so that you can generate helpful turn-by-turn directions and a cue sheet for your riders — but for mountain bike routes, we suggest importing the route instead.

It’s nearly impossible to draw/trace a mountain route in the Route Builder and yield a functional result. It would require inputting control points meter-by-meter to create an accurate trail map, and even then it wouldn’t generate the turn-by-turn directions because the underlying map data doesn’t contain that information. Unless you have limitless time and patience, we recommend simply importing a route instead.

Importing routes is a very quick and easy process, but it's important to take a moment to check the route for a few key issues before you import it:

  • Make sure it is a “clean” route (which means it doesn’t start and end at your house.

  • Look for gaps of service (which appear as straight lines on the map).

  • Confirm the route doesn’t just look like a bowl of spaghetti when displayed. Sometimes this is hard to avoid, so if your route criss-crosses and doubles back on itself, be sure to be clear in your description.

Instead of aiming to show every trail at a specific location, consider sharing multiple trails as one route/ride instead. If you prefer to ride “Landslide” to “Funcle’s Dilemma” down to “Double Dragon” and it takes you 90 minutes, ride that route and post it on your profile as one 90-minute singletrack ride. Include the trail names in the description and add some pictures of your favorite sections. If you are trying to share a ride in a trail network with many overlapping trails, try and include helpful tips so riders can stay on the right course.

Another pro tip: If there are technical sections on the trail, take a couple pictures before the section itself so riders can anticipate the upcoming section and feel more prepared. If you have suggestions on what lines to take or which side of the trail to stick to, add that to the notes or draw your line on a photo. By adding images and information to your route, you can help put riders at ease and make them feel more confident before their ride.

Here’s an easy step-by-step process for posting a mountain bike route:

  1. Record the ride to create a “clean” route to import. Track it with your personal Ride Spot account on the app or by using a gps device.

  2. Take photos of key parts of the trail. Include features like confusing intersections, any technical sections on the route, as well as notable landmarks before said technical sections.

  3. Export the route from your personal account or your GPS device and import it into your Affiliate account. (Create > Classic Route > Import Route)

  4. Add the pretty pictures you captured on your ride.

  5. Add a description with helpful trail information such as parking, trail direction, good spots to hit before or after the route, or anything else that can help riders have a great experience.

  6. Save and Share!

Please reach out if you have questions or if you'd like assistance in uploading your routes. We are at your service.


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