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Your Sport Touring Motorbike Fix

Aug 30, 2023TranscriptCommentShare

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Ride With GPS

Robin interviews Alex Gay of RWGPS. Music by Otis McDonald. Download our feed here.

Transcript

As legible as we are intelligible ...

Robin: Travis is here. It's been a while. Great to see you, man.

Travis: I, uh, you know, had a Sunday, it was a heat wave in, uh, the Midwest. Right

Brian: now

Robin: high is 61 degrees here, so I reached out to Tim Clark and he was boiling. I know Brian's boiling. You're burning up and we have two days and nothing but rain and just constant cold. 61 degrees for two days

Brian: in Idaho. Idaho. Yeah. It's, uh, what was it? It was, it was coming down to the office. It's almost dark and it was 91 degrees, so on the, on the bike. So that is a broil. That's sad.

Robin: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Big shout out to Jake and Dave and Danielle. Those are the neighbor buddies of mine who are usually here, and they were just up here for a second and I did not come out to say hello, because I have been working on my motorcycle and preparing for our move to Colorado. So big shout out to those three dudes. Sorry I didn't join you for any whiskey this round, but let, let me get into detail. Hopefully this'll reach them and they, they might have an, have some ideas. Travis, you're here today to talk about the complications of modern motorcycles and the onslaught of things that can go wrong with them, that we have no idea how to remedy. They could strand us. Hey, guess what? It's funny you bring that up because it just happened to us. Our own Maggie, Dean's Triumph Street, triple R 6 7 5 20 16 model. Beautiful bike, lovely machine. She loves it there we are in Boise, Idaho. We had just ridden 200 and some odd miles and spent the night in Boise. Got some great Indian food.

Brian: Oh, Boise,

Robin: next morning, ride to breakfast. We're gonna ride the beautiful Route 21 back Epic. There we are in the morning out from breakfast and go to startup and. The fuel pump did not spool up. And when the fuel pump does not spool up, that means it is not going to start.

Travis: It's not going into run

Brian: mode. No.

Robin: This issue has bitten her in the butt once or

Brian: twice.

Travis: This has happened several times and there wasn't a clear, oh, it's because

Brian: of this.

Robin: There are four sensors, Travis, and I promise I'm passing this to you, but there are four sensors. Brian was a massive help. He said there may be a clutch sensor on that one. You gotta squeeZ in the clutch, yada yada. Lo and behold, there it is. Expand the clip, pull that out, and in order to pop the grommet out, what you have to do is first break the mechanism because there's no rubber grommet. There's this plastic, and then you shatter it outward so that the component no longer works at all. So now you know here we are and that's when I just feel the sun just. And she's on the phone with Brian and I just walk away.

Brian: Nice. Should've got a

Robin: Harley two up on the Beamer for five hours. The most constant temperature that I read on the dash, which is pretty accurate, 1 0 2, it has four sensors that could be the problem. One is the sideand switch, the other is the neutral indicator, which was lighting up green, so I'm pretty sure it's not that. Yeah, that should be

Brian: good. The clutch lever

Robin: that you smashed, broke it, pulling the cable out, these bikes. Yeah, there's a lot of complication. However, we get back here and I have to re lubricate the splines on the shaft drive of the Beamer. She comes out to the garage with me, helps me and sits in the chair with her Hanes manual and read it front to back. Awesome to actually, she just nailed it. What do we do? What do we do about these unnecessary things? You know, even my B M W starts in neutral. Travis, what do you

Brian: wanna say about this?

Travis: Yeah, so, yeah, I was thinking, you, you had mentioned this and, and told me most of that story. Um, and I've had my bike for a while. Like, part of the reason I bought the bike I did buy is, was its simplicity. It's a 2014 Honda NC 700 x, so it's fuel injected. It's got like an L C D display, you know, a black and white display. And, uh, that's about it for technology. It doesn't have a b s, it's got, doesn't have rider modes, doesn't have a toggle switch for things, doesn't even have cruise control, doesn't have l e d lights, doesn't have adjustable electronic suspension. Um, and that's probably the reason I got it, um, is it's like, oh, like I gotta change the oil and check the valves. Maintain the chain and the brakes and the tires. Um, and if it stops working, it's because there will be something that is visibly broken. Like there, there will be a severed wire or a crack in something, or you know, a corroded connector. Um, and so, and two of them, I'm kind of looking, I've had that bike since 2017. It's probably the longest I've ever actually had a single bike in six years. Um, it's like, well, you know, I'm kind of on the radar for a new one. Like this one I paid off two years

Brian: ago.

Robin: Here it comes. I know where this is going.

Travis: So I'm like looking, kind of looking, it's like, you know, nothing really, you know, sounds great. Like one, like I don't, like, I want like a, a mid-size bike again. Something with a little more power than the

Brian: nc Well that's about everything.

Travis: Yeah, pretty much. Um, the, um, you know, I really wish. I almost thought about talking about this, about how there's a bunch of great bikes that they don't sell in the United States, that they sell in the rest of the world. Like the Tracer seven, the tracer 700, something like that would

Brian: be, would be good

Robin: Tiger. The Tiger six 50 Sport,

Brian: whatever that is. You talked about Tiger 600

Travis: Sport. Yeah. Yeah, that's, but I think even that is pretty technologically, technologically loaded. 'cause like, I'm looking at, what did I look at? I looked at the, the new Strom 1000 or the 10 50 XT or whatever. Mm-hmm. Yeah. As they had one, they had one, the, the dealership over here. And, um, but it's just like, man, one, it just, it's feels huge. Like the front end of that thing is big. Um, you know, like the gas tank and ferrying situation just feels like there's like tons of stuff in front of me and yeah, it's like, uh, the color display and all the adjusts and the suspension and rider modes, and

Brian: it's like,

Robin: pour a soda on it. Just pour your soda on it, it'll

Travis: fix everything. Is this, if this breaks, like, well, how am I gonna fix it? I'm not, I'm gonna take it to the deal. It's gonna cost. You know, that's the old joke, right? Like when you, when, um, our friend had his B M W and something went wrong and the guy was like, some people can't afford to buy A B M W, but they can't afford to own A B

Brian: M W, Brian, you know, this guy.

Travis: Mm-hmm. But now it's, you know, now it's a, now it's a mid-level Honda, or mid-level Yamaha, or you know, Suzuki, where it's like there's so much tech on these and it's like, why doesn't anyone make a knot 200 cc dirt bike, you know, a real road bike. And then just like put that money. I mean, either make it cheaper, right? Like sell like a $6,000 seven, 800 cc makes like 80 horsepower. You don't need trash control, you don't need rider modes, you don't need electronic suspension and sell it for $12,000. But like, put that money into the chassis. Design the engine design, make it reliable, make it durable, or, you know, sell it for $6,000 or, you know, seven, $8,000. Make it cheap. Um, you know, the SV six 50 kind of used to be that, and now that's gonna get replaced maybe by the 800. Yeah. There's not a lot out there that, that's that. And I was looking at the, the CF Modo, this, like the Chinese company that just stir up that like ships one to your door and Yeah. And it's, I guess they want to be competitive and for what you get. It's priced nice. It's like $12,000 for their like top of the line Strom copy, basically. Strom ish. Yeah. So it's like 800 parallel twin, but it's the same thing where it's like, it's got cruise control and traction modes in a seven inch T F T display. And I feel like, yeah, like what happens when one of those wires gets bent or the chip gets corroded or some sensor goes wacko, you know, I'm all about, let's just, they're motorcycles, we want mechanically engineered, you know, make, make the fancy things, but like someone's gotta make. A bare bones bike. That's good. And I don't know if anyone

Brian: does anymore.

Robin: I have no interest in a bike that is over $9,999 anymore. That is my price limit now is 9, 9 9 9. Anything with that extra digit in there? We're done. And I don't want anything complex or anything that involves a difficult parts stream. It's going to be simple. It's going to be brass tacks. I will take injection over anything else and maybe cruise control. But I mean, I'm looking at like the Ninja six 50. I swear to God I am. And I'm thinking I could slap some really pricey luggage on that thing. Oh yeah. Gimme something dumb that looks decent, and that's my takeoff. Brian, what? You haven't chime in on this. What do you got, man?

Brian: Well, the couple things, one thing is there's some technology that is very much welcome. The whole reason, like I'm a vintage guy sitting in my garage is a 1983 GS eight 50 G Suzuki I've had for 25 years. It's 40 years old. Um, so I know, I know about No I'll, I know about, I know about low tech there. There's some stuff like, uh, like I finally leaped into a modern bike. Uh, I got a 2015 FJ oh nine, uh, it's now the tracer, but um, I leaped into a modern bike for mainly because I wanted a b s. Uh, I think that's pretty worthwhile. And yeah, I think a b s is pretty worthwhile. And also I'll say on a bike, you know, that's got 115 horsepower on a bike with a good amount of power. Um, I've put the traction control to use. You know, um, it's, I think it's, I think that's useful if it's good trash control. Now I've experienced like crappy traction control where it just goes and it feels like you're hitting a wall or, you know, suddenly the bike,

Robin: all of a sudden you're riding a washboard.

Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The trash control. And this Yamaha is very well done and you really, like, there are times you don't even know, you'll, you'll notice the blinking light, uh, like in Missouri, we're on a road that had on sea when it was, it had been really dry and it was kind of dusty. And I was starting to notice that little yellow light was blinking, you know, on corner exits a few times. I was like, maybe, uh, and I, you know, and it felt great, but maybe this was a little close to the edge of the street, but still, you know, I, I was glad I was there. You know, it's a powerful bike. It's a light bike. So there are a couple things

Robin: that are worthwhile. You brought up a couple that I didn't remember to bring up. Like when you brought up the traction control and the a b s, you're right. Before cruise control. I want injection. Yeah. I want a b s Traction control all take it

Travis: depends on the bike. Like Yeah, like definitely on that, that Yamaha Triple. But if you're on, you know, a 600 cc Yeah. Six 50 twin.

Brian: Yeah. That it's less useful.

Travis: It's gonna be hard. Yeah. Yeah. Unless it's like really, you know, you're on street tires in the mud or something like that. Well,

Brian: that's the

Robin: thing, so Brian and I usually aren't, we're we're, we like leader bikes, so usually Yeah. That said we Brian, you were saying go ahead.

Brian: Oh yeah, yeah. I say the other point and, and was also that, uh, the. The displays are actually cheaper than mechanical instruments, uh, to the manufacturer. Now, if you have to buy a new one, God help you, but yeah. Right. That's, that's, that's why, that's actually why they're moving to those displays, uh, because they're just cheaper than the, than the mechanical

Travis: instruments. Yeah. I just, they're hard to read. I, I don't like 'em. Yeah. Like, I'd rather have, I mean, or even just like the old L C D, you know? That's fine. I, those are pretty clear and like, honestly, I think the, the sweet spot and somehow Kawasaki did this backwards for years and years, but the sweet spot would be like digital speedometer and like an

Brian: analog

Robin: tech. Analog tech. Yeah. I love, I remember you saying that before.

Brian: Yeah.

Travis: For a long time, Kawasaki did it the other way and it was like, why are you doing this? Is

Brian: is dumb, right?

Robin: I, well, I think so in the end, are you able to perceive the information efficiently? Yeah. And make use of it safely. This is, that's what it has to do. I don't care if it's a digital screen. It's not what you do, it's how you do it. So if you receive the information and you're able to process it without having to stare at it, that's all good. But at the same time, this brings up the whole concept of Travis. When we were doing some wiring on the Beamer, Brian, Travis and I are in the garage and I was, was like, this is, this is frustrating. I mean this connector's busted. And Travis looks at it and he is like, he holds the connector up and he says like this, Why? Why did it have to be this connector? It's two wires. There's 40 sets of two wires all over this bike. And they all have a custom independent connector that's supposed to, right? Well it has to be that 'cause it's ification, it's like that, that kind of thing. Yeah. They could all be swapped out for anything. A

Travis: plastic connector that's like keyed with like five clips and like a waterproofs and it's like a spade connector and some shrink wrap would, would do this.

Brian: I was gonna say, when you're talking about B M W specifically and a lot of other bikes, you're talking about the can bus system. Yeah. And that is an example of a crappy, I get what it's for. I get, you know, you can run the whole bike on two wires. It's power, it's signal, yada yada. In theory, it's great, but you can't sit there with a test light and a rock and fix it. You know? And so that's a great example of technology that has gone too far. Can buss is, is it's great for manufacturing, it keeps the bike light, um, blah, blah, blah. But then you've got, every component is a lot more expensive because it's got a chip in it, because it has to interpret a signals that are meant for it. You know, so you're basically setting up an ethernet network on your fricking bike. That's an example of bad technology. A b s is great technology and like,

Travis: maybe it make, it makes sense too, like in a car where there's so much more components and you have, you know, you know, rear sensors and front sensors

Brian: and it's a complete ass pane in a car too.

Travis: Yeah. Cutting out that extra

Brian: wiring

Robin: as the president of the Robin Dean's opinion of B M W Society. Here's the pro tip, here's how you get around the can bus. You completely ignore it. You hard wire this giant relay to the battery and then you just, you're done. And that's what I did. I run everything off the relay. Oh man. Plus minus relay. Boom. I got a whole port set up. Like all the people that get 8,000 miles out of their tires versus people that actually ride have an opinion about like, Hey, you shouldn't do that because the can bus at the dealership, if you do that, they won't give you the good snacks out of the fridge next to the dealership service area. Like, no, I'm not playing that game with you. I bought the bike to ride it. I'm not subscribing. Yeah, that's the end all be all with this massive rant of an intro. Yeah. Yeah. Can I get to the, uh, some updates real quick for the website? Please. These are quick. We insist we corrected a weather page bug. Gotta love it when one of four remote weather data sources you rely on changes their system without notifying the users. In this case, t r O was asking for coordinates using a U R L that had a forward slash at the end. Oh no. They've suggested users remove that. That's right. A single unwanted character on the end of your weather page. It broke, busted everything wide open, so that's fixed. Uh, almost every episode of radio t r o is ready for advertisers. I went through every episode myself and removed spoken sponsorships between Travis, Tim, and myself so that we might eventually earn beer money on this thing. I've also moved the entire catalog from PA B and over to CAOs. We've used their plugin for tr.bike for years, and I thought, wait a minute. Why would I tolerate pod bean when castes is already in play? And that's it for this week's updates. Travis, welcome to your first experience with stuff our listeners might ask, and we hope they eventually will. I changed the title of this part because, hey,

Brian: it's optimistic. It's more optimistic. Yeah. We got

Robin: listeners. I'm looking at the records. We, you know, we're making about, uh, three to 500 downloads a week. That's not bad for a motorcycle podcast. Sweet. With that, Brian, what do you gotta say about it? If you'd

Brian: like us to field your questions, email, podcast@t.bike. If your question is selected from the large quantity we get, sometimes, uh, you'll get an answer. It may not be the answer or a good answer, but will be an answer. No guarantees is what we're saying. So if you're especially lucky, there may even be discussion. And

Robin: who's asking us what today? Brian? Oh,

Brian: okay. Let's see here. Oh, let's have a fight night. We've got Travis here. Let's fight in front of Travis. Let's do it. Let's do it. Let's get Travis to, to rumble here. So fight night, which US state has the best roads, the worst roads, the dirtiest roads, and the cleanest roads. Uh, Robin, I know you've ridden in more states than I have. And Travis, I don't know, maybe you've done all 50 states. I don't know, but uh, yeah. What, what's your, what, what's your answer? What? You go

Robin: first? I vote Kentucky. Really?

Brian: For all of them. I

Travis: For the worst and the best. And the dirtiest.

Brian: Yeah. Actually,

Robin: maybe. Maybe. Okay. For the best riding roads. Yeah. I vote, oh, I vote West Virginia.

Brian: Yeah. You're not wrong.

Travis: I'm partial to, to Wisconsin. Um, which I feel like is, despite our constantly talking about it, uh, a bit of a hidden gem. Like people don't think great riding roads in Wisconsin. There's tons of great riding roads in Wisconsin. Um, but yeah, the, you know, the hills of Wisconsin are not the mountains of West Virginia. Mm-hmm. Um, and I think, yeah, like West Virginia, 'cause like the Appalachias have, you know, that higher. Altitude radiation that makes the roads twisty, but it's not so high. Like the Rockies and the Cascades out west where they, there's only one road. So like, there's still roads in West Virginia where it's like, yeah, there's some great roads in California and Colorado and, and, but it's like, there's usually only one.

Robin: Yeah. 'cause they're cutting through granite, you know, they're like, we gotta cut diamond with diamond.

Travis: And it's like, how do we get over this 12,000 foot pass? Whereas like in Appalachia it's like, oh, it's, you know, 1200 feet so we can actually build roads on these mountains. And

Robin: I think Wisconsin's super personal to me, so I understand what you're saying.

Brian: I was gonna say, when you say Kentucky, I'm like, you know, you're not wrong. That's they. And the thing is about Kentucky is, and, and I, I didn't, I, I live right next door to Kentucky. I didn't understand this until we, we actually were looking for dual sport roads, we're looking for gravel. We couldn't find it in that part of the state. In, in eastern Kentucky. Um, just immaculate pavement used beautiful stuff there. Um, and West Virginia is great too. Uh, I just got back from a dual sport trip to West Virginia too. So if you think the paved roads are great, I. Oh my god. You know?

Robin: Yeah. I mean I bumped it over to West Virginia just because it was the only next level up where it was like a, like that state says hold my beer to everything. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. And Kentucky's pretty, you know, do a bourbon about their approach to all things. Mm-hmm. But like, I remember following Brian, he had an introductory rally where he just got his feet wet with Kentucky. And I didn't, I mean, I knew it was good. I'd ridden through there a few times and I kept thinking, we'll have to get back to this. I bet you Brian knows it. He finally pulls something together and we were riding a ridge line road. And I just remember that it had been the grand finale of the day and it was just sweeper to the right S-curves. Left, right, left, right, left, right, left, left, right. And eventually all of us were left. We could not take it seriously. We couldn't, we couldn't maintain a straight face 'cause it was. Just unending, grippy, banked perfection that we didn't, none of us had ever been on before. It made no sense for it to go on like that, you know?

Brian: Yeah. Robin was inarticulate at the end. He was giggling nothing. He was, he was clapping like a seal. He was flapping his hands, or, or he laid, he laid down in the grass and, and kicked his, I mean, yeah, it was, that was, that was a, that was a damn good ride. And it's a good, been a good ride every

Robin: year since to take that and step it up to West Virginia for me to go outside and say that West Virginia's gonna rank up from there, that's hard for me to do. But having run sevens and that, that West Virginia Day, that day two, yeah, like nobody's talking, I have to

Brian: say for, for dirtiest roads, I'm gonna nominate my home state, Indiana. If you don't learn how to cope with gravel and dirt and cow poop and everything in the road, and if you don't learn how to cope with all that crap in the road in Indiana, you're just not gonna ride very far or ride very fast. I, I don't know what it is, but like we won't, in Indiana, we won't pay for anything that you don't actually put tires on, so there's no shoulder, so everything ends up in the road. There's no thought as to water flow. When you're in the twisty roads in Indiana and Southern Indiana, I mean, they're great roads and so forth, but if you're from outta state, people are like shocked. They're horrified. They're like, oh my god, what's a lot of gravel? I'm like, oh yeah, that's just how it is. You just kind of try to get in the tire trucks and don't get too worried. You

Robin: know? By the way, this is a theme in National Park back roads. So you got the main national, oh, let's go with national forest roads. Yeah, because national parks are not fun to ride in. National forests are a blast to ride in. So the back roads of a national, uh, a national forest that is actually paved, that's probably a, an access road that leads to a dirt t intersection. And I'm thinking of one specifically, namely, uh, New Mexico, 52 59, uh, New Mexico, 1 52 is. Epic. It is perfection. It is gorgeous. Devil's Highway, Arizona, same thing. Amazing because you have a start point and a destination point, but 52, 59 in Arizona, if you're a paved rider on a sport bike as I usually am, you're at a start of pavement that goes into nothing where the cow hands are confused by your very existence. They don't know if you speak the same language and then you stop at a T intersection that is nothing but dirt and then you're doubling back. That is a dirty, dirty road. 'cause the gravel preseason, when it's just hitting spring, it is all desert sand and red clay. Yeah. That's slippery. Yeah. That's just thematic.

Brian: You know, I haven't

Travis: been to the northeast that much, but yeah. Wisconsin would give Indiana a run, especially like on the back roads. Like I feel like if you're around the farms, you have the gravel. Yeah. All those right angle corners around, uh, the farm. Yeah. Properties.

Brian: There's a lot more cow poop in Wisconsin.

Travis: And uh, well when you get into Amish country, there's ho horse poop. Yeah, yeah. Oh, and the, the walnut trees, the black walnuts in the fall. Do you guys get those? Oh yeah. Yeah. Those are, those are dangerous. Slicker and snot. And those are the, I mean, I'll take gravel over our black walnut mess any day.

Robin: What's a sport called? Highlight where you have the thick Yeah. Hard rubber ball. You throw it like a bullet. It's like riding over one of

Brian: those covered in snot. Yeah. Yeah.

Travis: I'm just gonna say Wisconsin for all of these. I dunno. Yeah.

Robin: That will bring us to our interview. I managed to lock down an interview with the one and only Alex Gay of ride with gps.com. Alex is basically the proxy for all communication technical between the engineers, atwood gps.com, and prospective customers on either a individual or corporate level. He took the time to sit down with us and answer all the questions that I, Travis and the one and only Brian Ringer managed to pile on. Let's hear what he has to say. Alex Gay, welcome to the show. Thank you for being here. We've got a bunch of fun questions. We use Ride with G ps on T bike, dedicated all the time religiously. It is Bible for map planning. It is our go-to for all things. It has led our commercial motorcycle tours when we lead our commercial tours in various states. Our flagship tour being the seven riders, seven states in seven days. I and my sweep writer always have your app loaded and running, guiding us along the way and notifying us as we program it too. We tell it what to tell us. We have it alert us to things we know concerned about. We use your software strictly. It's the best we've seen. We've tried a good many different platforms and since I think we've had this since 2017, I don't remember how old my count is, we've used it constantly from that time for all things motorcycling. So Alice Gay, welcome to the show.

Alex: Thank you Robin. Thank

Robin: you for having me. Did you ride today or yesterday and have you ridden recently?

Alex: I haven't ridden today. I think I'm gonna ride in my basement later where it's 10 degrees cooler compared to my office here. I ride around the city a lot and so I'll uh, run some errands later after work Sunday. The last sort of proper ride I did was the Bridge pedal, which is a annual event here in Portland where they close down streets and particularly all these bridges that are most of the time only open to cars or more. A few different freeway bridges that you can ride across. A couple thousand people do it and pretty cool to get some good skyline views and sunrise view of Mount Hood at 6:00 AM on a Sunday morning without any cars surround. It's pretty cool.

Robin: What is your working job title over at Wrightwood G P

Alex: Ss? So I'm our relationship manager, so that means I work with our clubs and events, tour operators, tourism bureaus, bike shops, websites, other businesses that use our software to communicate routes and events to their audiences, whether that's their, their club members or tour guests, participants, customers. I've been here for almost six years where I started out on our support team, working with individual users, making sure that they know how to use our route planner. From our, our side of things to their device, all sorts

Robin: of stuff like that. It sounds to me like you are the proxy, charisma representative who can bridge information in a way that is receivable by your demographic. Does that sound right?

Alex: Uh, you could say that I'm here on the podcast today, so I've been on a number of other podcasts. I host our infrequent YouTube live presentations when we wanna demonstrate some new features. You'll see me on live YouTube videos. Oh, that's cool. Presented at a, a conference or two and representing the company in real life, or, or virtually, or

Robin: our newest co-host and longtime friend of mine, Brian Ringer. He asks some of the most interesting questions. In his words, it looks like ride what g p s is based on bicycle riding. You've also added riding a motorcycle to the route slash ride planning activity menu. We found it incredibly useful for motorcycling. Was this expected or surprising?

Alex: No, it's not. The company was co-founded by our still current co-owners, Zach Ham and Colin King. Zach was going to University of Oregon. Colin was at Oregon State and they were both computer science majors. Um, and they were also childhood friends growing up outside of Portland in Oregon. And they rode motorcycles,

Robin: no motorcycles are dangerous.

Alex: Before they rode bicycles, they rode motorcycles and they created what is now ride with G P S to plot motorcycle routes and then get them onto an external device. 'cause at that time it was just a website and no mobile app. And so eventually, And saw that, oh, there's a lot of crossover. You know, what a motorcyclist would want in terms of route planning and navigation is what a cyclist would want. And initial uptake of the platform was more on the cycling side, but our first logo was a bicycle helmet as well as a motorcycle helmet. So it's not surprising, but years since then, this was established as a business for coming up on 16 years. Marketing side of things is more cycling focused, but the product side of things, you can apply it to many different things, whether you're riding a bike, motorcycling, or some other activity that requires

Robin: navigation. I think the current logo even represents both biking and motorcycle or just navigation in general. I like to see the logo as a bicyclist or a, a sport biker, somebody who's on a sport bike kind of cruising forward, you know, that's pretty cool like that. His next question, are there features or settings that you're working on that us motorized folks, as he calls it, have been asking for recently?

Alex: You know, a few years ago we released

Robin: heat maps. Oh yeah.

Alex: Heat maps show where our users are writing and then so recording rides and saving it to their account, and it was requested for a long, long time. We released it a couple years ago and then a little while later we released personal heat maps to show not where other people are writing, but I. Or you've rid your library of rides that you've recorded with a lot of motorcycle riders who use our software, we've found that a lot of them also ride a bicycle. And with a new hire that we have and some opportunity for us that I think we'll eventually get to and that's been requested, is how do I segment out my bicycle rides and my motorcycle trips separately and visualize them different? So whether that's in my personal heat map or in the global heat map, you know, I only wanna see where other motorcyclists are riding. I wanna see where other road cyclists or gravel bikers or dual sport riders are riding. So, I think there will be ongoing work and figuring out how we can do that and how to display it, and then how to segment out your activities that are recorded and saved to display that visually. And then when you're planning a new route or trying to find a route that's already been planned, you can overlay all that information to see, yeah, I've ridden on this road, but oh, I see that there. This route cuts off this way and I haven't been down that road, and I want to go discover it now. I wanna go see what, what's at the end of

Robin: it. Okay. This brings two things to mind then. One is I don't think I've used that at all, and it sounds like one of the coolest features I could request. How does your user base breakdown, or do you know? Uh, bicyclists, motorcyclists and the motorcycle subdivisions, cruisers, twisty roads, tours, dual sport ATVs, jeepers sports cars, backpackers, hitchhikers, anything. Do you have it broken down really finite or

Alex: ornately? We don't really track that type of user breakdown. When you're saving a route, you can say what it's for, but I don't think we've done a lot of work tracking like this is good for this type of cycling. You know, road gravel cycling or mountain bike or touring dual sport. But I do know that a lot of different people are using as beyond just bicyclists and motorcyclists work with a good number of. People putting on dual sport tours, putting on car tours. There's a lot of Porsche Club of America chapters that have a, a club account with us, the B M W Motorcycle Owners Association as an account with us.

Robin: Yeah, those guys are elitist

Alex: and then tour operators that offer hiking tours or walking tours. If you have a very specific navigation need, we can probably fit. Oh, another one that always stands out to me is endurance horseback riding. Got a number of people putting on events for horseback riding races. That's always a, an interesting thing

Robin: to see. I never even thought of that. You know, as soon be air traffic control and everything. The experiences, service is really interesting and that's another one that. Having used your, your system for so long? I haven't heard of that either.

Alex: Yeah, so experiences is a feature on our mobile app where typically a tour operator would be able to provide a group of routes and guidebook pages all on our mobile app. The tour operator would have some routes planned, either it's a daily itinerary, a packing list, uh, who's going on the tour. Really anything that you would maybe print out ahead of time in your packet, that handout to tour guests, you can just have that in as a digital, digital thing that is all available on our mobile app. And then when the tour guest accesses it, it's downloaded offline, so you don't need cell service to access. The routes and the turn by turn voice navigation for the routes as well as the guidebook pages. So a lot of tour operators providing that to their guests. Whereas a few years ago they were using another feature in the tour operator account called Events where events would just provide the routes and offline maps and navigation. So experiences add the guidebook option and makes it a little easier to access all of that package on the mobile app. So you don't need an account, you just access the experience using a shortcut that you type in or scanning a QR code. So it's um, a little different than how you might be sharing routes now if you're sharing routes with your tour guests now. But it makes it really easy, especially for self-guided tours, group tours, it sounds. And a trail bike. A lot of the tour operators offerings now, you know, you can send guests out to ride on their own and not have to stick with the group, not have to, you know, follow someone. They add all this nice information to the guide, give them enough of a leash to maybe see what's off the route, if there's something nice to see off the route, or where to stop for lunch along the way. Nice things

Robin: like that. That's actually something that we're looking to do anyhow, uh, with our storefront on t r o is to start providing these things. So I'm gonna have to look really carefully at your setup so that maybe we'll bridge them directly from g p s over to our storefront for self-guided motorcycles. It's, uh, pretty cool and it also brings up the fact that, yeah, we see so many. Well, you know, a phone versus a G Ps unit, if you don't have internet access, you're gonna eat up your bandwidth or something like that. And honestly, with the offline system, the only thing you're using is your G P S triangulation. And that does not use bandwidth. It doesn't involve bandwidth, it only involves triangulation. So it's really, uh, energy efficient to do that. Even with your phone, what are some of the most requested features that look it's already in there? Uh, a

Alex: lot of stuff, having been around doing this for over 15 years, there's a lot of features and you know, we're always figuring out how do we better display this tool that someone that doesn't know about, uh, you know, and I think our support team always ask good questions. How do I do this thing? They would ask like, well, what's your goal? And we might not have that exact thing, but there's usually a way to achieve it. And so one of those that stands out to me is being able to plan multiple routes at the same time in the route planner. Oh, absolutely. If you're planning a tour, you can have day one and day two or day three as many rats as you want, all side by side planning simultaneously. Or you can have the short, the medium, and the long version all side by side. So having that is makes it really easy to just visualize them all at the same time, see how, where you're gonna deviate from one to the next, or how they connect back in to finish out the route at the end of the day.

Robin: So you must know that our customer support is gonna pick right up after this with me, just just hammering you with questions on how to do all these things with my already existing motorcycle tours. How about this one? What's a feature that people want that just doesn't exist? With our own laws of physics?

Alex: I don't think we're bound by the laws of physics with our software. At least I like that. In real, in real life. I'm standing on the ground, not floating away. But if you can think of a feature, it is probably possible. It's just a matter of do we know how to do it? Do we have the resources to make it possible? How much time is it going to take us? What's the end benefit to us? You know, will it be liked? Will it be good? Will it give us new users? Will it get us new subscribers? What I think is very frequently requested that that doesn't exist within our laws of physics. Something that we could do. Yeah. We don't have that. People are requesting all the time dark mode, at least in navigation.

Robin: Uh, yeah. That requires less power from the battery to flash white light outta the screen.

Alex: Yeah, definitely. So less battery consumption, easier on the eyes if you're riding at night or if you just like the, the dark theme look. Yeah. A lot of reasons why ask our mobile developers why we don't have it. And it, it does really sound like a lot more work than you would think it is, but with some other developments here more recently, I think we're getting a little closer to it, mainly with how we render maps on the screen. Yeah. So recently we have a new map style that's a different version of an old map style. If you look at, uh, the website now, it's called R W G P SS cycle, and that's a vector map. Sure. Rather than raster maps, which is like the old style of the R W G P S maps. Yep. Raster indicating It's just a big plot of images all stitched together. Yeah. Which makes for a lot longer load time because these are individual images. It limits resolution, it limits the granularity like in between Zoom levels. Whereas Vector is basically just like layers and layers of pieces of data that is overall much smaller file

Robin: size. It's beautiful in that you can have four pixels that are checkboard next to each other, and if you expand that out to 500 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall, you'll get four perfect squares next to each other. It just expands on the visual that's available to it.

Alex: Am I right? Yeah. And so how it helps on the website is that, you know, you can, well, maps should be loading faster because it's smaller data. You've got basically an infinite amount of zoom levels, whereas before, you know, you might be at some Zoom level, and then the next step is either too much

Robin: or too little zoom. That is going to be so smooth.

Alex: Yeah. But what really makes it exciting and interesting to me is we'll have a lot more ability to take other data that we don't have now. So, If we wanted to add private property boundaries that could be added as a vector layer if we wanted to add cell coverage that could be added as a vector layer, snow level. That's one that's really interesting to me at, with, um, living here where that really dictates the seasonality of different routes is what snow is on the ground. Yeah. Which passes are open. Yeah. That will open up a lot of opportunity for us to be able to give you the ability to toggle those on and off when you're planning a route or navigating a route on the mobile app and just having more data, more tools to give you more confidence of where you're gonna be riding that. Along with, we have this map now, it's called R W G P S cycle, and the intention is to have other maps that are R W G P S Mountain Bike or R W G P SS Moto or. All these different map styles that are tuned to a certain audience. So if I was going to become a moto ride, I'd wanna know like, oh yeah, these are the best roads for a good motorcycle ride, instead of where it's the best for a road bike ride or a gravel bike ride. So we'll be able to give you more options to show that

Robin: visually. It sounds to me like you guys take your feature requests extremely seriously and you've already been continuously developing for the better outward in terms of performance, accessibility features, things that even vetted users such as myself, didn't know were there just because we've been so busy enjoying what's already known. Who are some of your buddies in that? What are some good companion maps, apps, websites for ride g p s? Have you guys partnered with anybody specific? Uh, Butler. Twisty road finder curvature I, I like best. Biking roads is pretty good. What do you got? What

Alex: I use the most, and I think what a lot of coworkers use and we work with them closely is called Epic ride Weather, where you're able to select a route that you've planned or pinned on like G P s and open it in the Epic ride weather app. And then you plug in, I'm going to start on August 17th at 8:00 AM My average speed will be X and it will give you a weather forecast, not just when you start at the starting point, but at the very, you know, far end of your route. You'll have a weather forecast when it predicts you will get there, because weather, especially if you're like climbing elevation, that weather

Robin: can change at the top. It'll shift it every way. Point. Yeah. We've spent years perfecting our, is today a good day to ride weather for wherever your locality is? And I've thought about, we'd like to expand that to point to point, but why reinvent the wheel if there's something as good as epic ride weather? I'm gonna have to point some people

Alex: to that. Give me a good idea of do I need to bring an extra layer? Do I need to bring a second pair of gloves when the first pair inevitably just is

Robin: soaked through every

Alex: time? It just gives you the confidence of what the ride will be like at 2:00 PM when I'm a few thousand feet higher than I was at the start of my

Robin: ride. Brian wants to know what's coming next for Redwood g p s, what whatcha excited about that's coming next that you haven't already

Alex: mentioned. Well, one of them is weather related. Our newest hierarchies working on, uh, we can display wind data in the route planner. Baked into ride with G P s, not having to leave to use a different app. That's gonna be good. And he'll be the person working on these other map layers that I mentioned, but Wind being one of the first projects he's working on. Another thing coming up that is almost done and should be out pretty soon is a new page on our website to discover routes. It'll be called Explore, and it's something that we have on the mobile app now. But now we've kind of translated into a website view for a long time. We've had the find page on our website where you can plug in starting point or route name, how long you wanna ride, and elevation gain. And we give you a list of routes. And so this will be similar, but it will all be visual. There'll be a full screen map that you can see routes. Where they start and where they go, how they might overlap one another, being able to plug in where you start. Uh, maybe a description, elevation, distance, but then you can also overlay the global heat map your personal heat map and see what you could be writing. So that's coming up. Another thing that has been happening and ongoing is soliciting feedback on routes. So for a long time we've had many, many, many routes and haven't always been able to show what's good, what's the best route, why should I ride this one

Robin: over this one? That's a slippery slope. There's a lot of character involved,

Alex: right? Yeah. And so what we have been doing, and our, it's a continued focus, is after you navigate a route that you interacted with, In some way on our website or app will ask you, how was it? Did you like it? Did you not like it? What kind of writer is it good for? Do you wanna leave a comment? And so, especially in the case of a route that you yourself didn't create that information would be given to the person who did plan it. And if you had constructive feedback, they would see it. You would say, oh, this bridge is gone and I had to detour. Or, I really love that you add points of interest so I could know where there was water or there was food along the way. Those reviews, those recommendations help others see it too. Because if you gave a review and then I was looking at that route, I could see that you wrote it on this date. Okay, so there's no snow up on the pass. I can write it or. You had other feedback that is valuable to me and so I think it's helping other riders go on better rides and have confidence that this will be a good route to follow. Because without information like that, how do we display that this is a, a high quality route? And if real life people are using it, then that I think is a good indicator that it's a good route to use instead of just hoping, oh yeah, this sounds good. Let's try it. And then maybe it ends up that

Robin: route. For you, group think aside, community understanding and knowledge is key to, it's gonna be part of Safe travel. Yeah. In the route planner, do the different layers have a different effect on which API is being called and how it gets from one way point to the next? Yes.

Alex: Yes, it does. We offer two different routing APIs. One comes from Google Maps and the other comes from Open Streett Maps via a service called Graph Hopper, which one that we call is dictated by which map style you're using. And so Google Maps would be when you use the Google Map layer, Google satellite terrain, and hybrid when you're using any other map styles. So R W G P S cycle, O S M O S M cycle. Also outdoor Esri topo, U S G Ss options. Uh, those are all calling Graph Hopper for open streete map routing. And so you have two windows side by side and you start at x on Y. You might get a different result between those two options, whether you have the Google Map style open and then a non Google map, you might get two different results. So, Keep that in mind when you're planning. But then within that, on the right side of the route planner, there's routing options. So walking, cycling, and driving. And each of those will have their own routing profile, uh, tied to its respective a p i, whichever map style that you're, you're on. So walking will prefer where someone walking might want to be routed on. And I find myself sometimes using walking to create routes for a bicycle. Walking will put you on quiet streets, probably where there's sidewalks, other pedestrian sort of infrastructure. But then it can also go opposite down one way streets. Whereas the cycling option is going to prefer bicycle infrastructure, quieter streets, and driving well prefer faster roads. It's probably not gonna put you on the quiet bicycle street or neighborhood streets. And follow, you know, where you would be driving or motorcycling especially, but sometimes to get the route exactly how you want it, you might need to choose between certain styles or depending on maybe what kind of, um, motorcycle ride you're going on. You might need to choose between different styles. And I find on the type of bike riding that I do, maybe you need to quickly use a walking path to get you from one point to the next or more frequently. What open Streete maps has tagged isn't accurate in real life. So this happens, and I understand that all of this data is hard to manage, but sometimes there's things labeled as walking only that I know in fact are rideable on my

Robin: bicycle. Oh, it's always changing. That's, that's city data and accessibility. 2023e13-interview: Yeah.

Alex: So I only use that when I know it's true. Um, but. Sometimes you it, it works best when you're toggling between those routing options or sometimes between map styles. You and you can be halfway through a route that you've planned using Google Maps and then switch over to the R W G P SS cycle style and it won't impact what you've already planned. The roads that you already planned won't change, but only what you create going forward will be using that open Streett map. A P I or graph a p

Robin: i I wanna soften the blow of what might sound like snarky laughter for me. Ride with G P S has provided a platform decorates your screen with all of these edits and options that you are in charge of by way of APIs, meaning off server data sources, that they know how to tap into an access. However, Redwood G p s isn't responsible for the behavior of that particular. Off server data point. And in the case of Google Maps, it may do things like, uh, Brian noticed like, it's telling me I can't go over a bridge that I know for a fact is there, but it is telling me I should take the bridge that doesn't exist. I said, Hey, switch it to a different source. And immediately it corrected everything form. So that tells you, this is not a data source, it's a data popul that is sourcing data. It kind of brings in my next comment, which is I've struggled with reverse route once or twice, you know, so usually I'm just like, oh, it's Google. They can't be wrong. I always Google the Google with the, so if I reverse route, it should be perfect. Oh, look at that. And then I would notice when I zoom in that it's taken what was and turned it into, we're gonna try to put you in the oncoming traffic lane. And I, you know, because it's not R W G P S, it's causing this. Am I wrong there?

Alex: I hope you weren't put into oncoming

Robin: traffic. It drew the map backwards and wanted me to be an oncoming as though I was bicycling up the sidewalk, but I was in driving mode and I blame Google. I don't blame you. I blame Google and I know what's going on there.

Alex: We do have a little power over the graph Hopper call. Yeah. With O S M data, uh, we do have our own recipe for that. We are able to leverage, of course, all of the cycling metadata that OpenStreetMaps has, but we also leverage our own data of popularity where we know people are riding. So that's kind of tied into global heat map where we know that people ride on this road, even though it might not have the dedicated cycling tag in open street maps, but we know that it is popular because. Our users are users recording rides and saving them to their accounts, and that helps us understand that information better. So reverse route, why it would put you in oncoming traffic. It usually is good about if your original route is on a one way street, it should take you not along that it would take an alternative road. I can't really say why it wouldn't put you into oncoming

Robin: traffic. It's just a point in any conversation with any other person in the world where we always say, well there's always room for improvement and it will improve. You know, it just, it develops as time goes on. I've trusted you guys for so long, it's been my favorite. I'm actually considering new features for our own G P S map sales over at T R O, which will have turn by turn direction and I want them to have printable, turn by turn directions. And you guys have an a p i. Is there a way to provide. Map images and turn by turn directions using your a p i and saving it to a cached source and making it printable for, uh, different site's. Viewers,

Alex: we offer our own printed turn by turn directions. Now you can download a P D F or a Word doc with cues. You can also access that same information on a route by route basis through our a p I. I know another, a couple other, uh, bicycle clubs. Their queue sheets formatted very specifically. And so they have an a p I that calls for a specific route after plugging in it's, uh, ID number. And then we, we feed them that information images. I don't know about that, but if you want an a p i, we could certainly get you set up with one. It wouldn't, uh, it wouldn't contain any sort of route planner. If you had data that belonged to rides, routes, or users, you could

Robin: call on that. I remember at printing the queue sheets, I always have the option to have the map on the sheet as well. It's a beautifully displayed map. I also love the fact that I can enter my own announcements as waypoints. I can have it say specific words of my own choosing before a known hazard. For example, there's one corner in our biggest tour where as you approach it, I am told in my own typed out text robin, slow the heck down and stop at that weird looking yellow barn on the right side because the next turn is a very strange turn and I wanna keep everybody safe. That is brilliant. Do you have any plans to expand on that type of functionality in any

Alex: way? What did you have in mind?

Robin: What's missing? I could ask for the option to have the icons that I've placed on the map. Play a, a minor chime when they appear on screen. That's an opportune food stop, but it's, you know what, it's too early. That kind of thing.

Alex: I think that's been on our minds and often, sometimes a point of friction with users is I added these points of interest, but why wasn't I alerted when I was

Robin: navigating? It's a minor thing, but it's a thing.

Alex: It's a thing that we hear about frequently and we've been thinking about it here too, is if you add a point of interest within a certain distance of the route line, why don't we give you a little hint and say, Hey, do you want to add this to the Q sheet too instead of just, you know, letting you add it and move on. Because how you have to do it now is I add my point of interest, my food stop, but then in the queue sheet I need to add a custom queue saying food stop on the right or water source on the right. Something

Robin: like that. It should definitely be a setting though, or maybe I wanna hear on one day and maybe not the other. Yeah. Is anybody considering the idea of you making dedicated tangible equipment machines similar to the idea of a G P Ss unit that's rugged, that's ready for two wheeled handlebars doesn't have the same problematic and dated tech pitfalls that known platforms

Alex: do. No hardware sounds

Robin: a lot of insurance.

Alex: Hardware sounds very, very, very, very difficult. And I commend anyone. I commend Garmin and Wahoo and all the other device makers for doing it because it allows us to send routes to them, uh, and we can focus on our software and just route planning and navigation.

Robin: But you keep it, it so polite and professional. I respect that.

Alex: mobile app is great for navigating and. You probably have a smartphone and you can get our app on it and navigate routes on that. And I do that myself. You know, I navigate routes using my phone. I have a quad lock that fastens to my handlebars. I know people who don't wanna put their expensive phone on their handlebars, but they have a dedicated phone for navigating where you just read my mind. It doesn't have a data plan. It only connects to wifi, so you can still download routes offline. I've seen Zach, one of our co-owners, I don't recall the make or model of this phone, but looks like a brick and it has incredible battery life. It looks like you could throw it off a three

Robin: story building and the tough book of smartphones.

Alex: Yeah, it's just like a pretty affordable Android phone that our mobile lab works on. Great. You can navigate it. It's got loads of battery. And you don't have to necessarily have a data plan. And so a phone like that, you could probably find for a few hundred dollars compared to, you know, a new iPhone or Samsung or Pixel pushing a thousand dollars. And same goes with, uh, your Zuo or other modo focused standalone device. So our app, I think, works great for that. It's got navigation, it's got color, zoom in and out real easy with

Robin: your fingers. Yeah. It's like all you need is a wifi connection. Yeah.

Alex: So if you're at home ahead of time and you make sure everything's offline, then it works great. Or if you are in a pinch, you can maybe make a hotspot with your primary phone and get your routes updated through a

Robin: hotspot. Very good. I, and it's like if you're cheap like me, go down into your basement or find that old bin box of electronics. Bust out that old. Pixel one, or whatever you have that you, you just thought you'd never have any use for, realize you're not using it anyhow. Reset it. Convert it into a GPS only thing that's not connected to any service plan. And you've got yourself a G P S unit that makes use of the ride G P Ss app as a default. And when you get home, and you can either leave it out in the bike, in the rain and it'll fry and you can throw in the garbage after or take it to an electronic score. You know, let's be green about it. Take it to the electronic store and recycle it. That's what it's waiting for you for. You've had it forever. You're not using it. That's all you need. Where Alex, are you planning on riding? Next? I'm

Alex: planning to go to, uh, national Forest about 90 minutes from Portland called the Gifford Pincho. It's kind of straddles Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, where there's, uh, pretty spectacular gravel riding this particular route. It's on router, G P Ss. You can look it up. It's called Fire and Ice. The name after the volcanic area, but then also there's an ice cave along the route. So this is like year round ice. There's a ladder that you can scurry down and cool off a little bit, especially on a hot August day. So plan to get out there.

Robin: Maggie. D's gonna love that. I just wanna thank you so much because Alex is standing in a 400 degree kiln of an office right now. Politely fielding all these questions so that you, the listener, can pick what I consider to be the finest in data built route planning and custom voice guidance. As a result of this interview, I get to explore features I didn't know were there, and so I can't thank you enough. Alex Gay for ride with gps.com, visit their services, sign up for it. Alex, thank you so much

Alex: for being here. You're welcome, Robin. Glad to be.

Robin: Again, that was Alex Gay with Redwood g p s. You can check out wrightwood gps.com, rwg ps.com if you like. Alex actually reached out to me via email and followed up with a question that he had to think about for a second that Brian asked. 'cause Brian asks all the coolest questions, the stumble questions, right? He said. Uh, hi Robin. Thanks again for having me on the podcast. Actually, Alex, the pleasure was all ours. I wanted to follow up on the question, what are some of the things people have done with ride with G P s that have surprised you? Namely me, namely him. Alex was surprised by people using the route planner to create very intricate routes for things like snowplows, garbage trucks, ice cream trucks, or an interesting company that contracts drivers to follow routes and grade road surfaces for repair. Despite being unfamiliar with the route or area, being able to navigate on our app and get directions. Great app. We've used it for years. Thanks, Alex. I think it's time for Brian's Tiny Tasty Tool Tips. These are Brian's tiny, tasty tool tips. They're tiny,

Brian: they're tasty. I'll pick this one out because this one actually came up, uh, you alluded to this earlier, but, um, basically don't be afraid to use phone a friend. If you're facing some weird issue on the road. Um, you know, call someone who might have a clue. Or even if they don't have a clue, maybe they're sitting somewhere with the air conditioning, maybe they've got access to Google. You know, maybe just hearing your friendly voice will help you calm down and work the problem.

Robin: Calm down. Yeah, just work the problem. Work

Brian: the problem. Relax. What's that? Uh oh, the Martian? Yeah, just working the problem, be an engineer and so forth. So that, that's, that's less of a tool tip and more of a like problem solving tip phone a friend and, you know, and that's what I answered the phone and it was Maggie and I was like, oh, well this is a surprise. Hi. And I did my best, you know, I don't know if I got anywhere. It was a chaotic situation. There was talking, you

Robin: did everything right. You did all the things that needed to be done. You did it. Exactly correctly, right? You were helpful? Yes.

Brian: Okay, good. I hope so. Even though you didn't get the bike started, that would've been nice. But anyway, I've, yeah, I've, I've done that for people and it's, it's really been helpful. And, uh, yeah, there was a good friend of mine, he's, he is no longer with us, but, uh, I would, he's an engineer and I would call him to work through a problem. He was really good at those thought experiments and really good at working through that stuff. Like, okay, here's what I'm getting in this carburetor, blah, blah, blah. And we would work through it logically and we could usually come up with something, uh, from there. What about you, Travis? What's your, what's your tra what's your, what's your tiny tasty tool,

Robin: tip of the day? Well, hold on. I'm gonna pull, I'm gonna pull this one on, on Travis first too, because Travis can do the, he's actually pretty good at it as well. I think Travis is a lot more annoyed if you are resorting to asking him for help because you can hear it in the delivery. So if he's talking you through the logic of anything having to do with the bike, you hear, okay, well, Because the science says that this, because in order for that to happen, this has to be that and the voltage needs to be this. 'cause otherwise the amage and output isn't gonna sync up with what that needs to be. So thanks for letting me figure that out. I just lost that much more time to my brain cells, you know?

Travis: Mm-hmm. It depends how the problem is presented. It's a bit like Wesley in, um, princess Bride, where he's like, where they need to storm the castle. And it's like, what are our assets? His strength, my steal your brains. That's it. Maybe, maybe if we had month, if we even had like a, a cloak, well, how about this cloak? Why didn't you list that among our assets? That's how I feel. A lot of times it's like, wait, I feel like there's a piece of information missing here. I feel like I don't have enough to go on. Tiny tool tip. Crescent wrenches are underrated. Buy a good crescent wrench. With the little screw, you know, the any size wrench and, you know, uh, people, people like to think that they just round nuts off. But if you get a good one, I bought the, when the Sears closed in our town, I went and got like, The top of the line, cra, I mean, I wouldn't have ever paid like 60 bucks for whatever they wanted, but I would pay like 30 and that's what I paid for it. And it's like, it's really nice like that. Everything's super flat and machined very cleanly, and it like grips nuts really tight. The loop on the end of a crescent wrench is really good to get extra leverage on like a hex key or something else that's small. Like you, you know, you put a hex key in and make sure it's like tight, um, or you're gonna strip it. But it's like if you need a little more on a hex key and you just have the little, the little thing, or you need to use like the skinny side of a hex key, for some reason, you put the loop of crescent rinse around it and now you got a big lever and you can, you can torque it and you can use it as a hammer. I mean, anything's a hammer if you believe in

Brian: yourself, but if you

Robin: use it wrong enough. Yeah, I remember Travis having a, a cold steel aluminum pipe or something like that, that would just create leverage. He, he would keep that on a, on a trip or was that me? I don't know. It was a whoever.

Travis: Uh, yeah, maybe I do have like, I think it's a piece of an old trampoline. Yeah. In my, and it's like, it's like a four foot curved pipe and like sometimes you just throw that on the end of your breaker bar and now it's like that's what happens before you break the, break the torches up.

Brian: I've, uh, like I carry a six inch, uh, adjustable wrench and, uh, yeah, the Sears craftsman is no longer what it was, but, um, a, a really good quality one is sold, it's under the, uh, channel lock name and it's actually made by Orga in Spain and they're really good. Like I have a six inch one. It's kind of a wide mouth one, and you can, you can put it on an axle and you can stomp it and, and spin the axle net off. I mean, it's really super strong. But yeah. So I do carry one.

Robin: Do you wanna get into reheated rehash and do the third commandment? Sure.

Brian: Why not?

Travis: That you shall not take the name of the Lord God. And Dane is that? That's the

Brian: third commandment. You know, I wish I had lined these up with the actual commandments.

Robin: Reheated ash, tasty leftovers served hot and crusty.

Brian: In this segment, we'll read an excerpt from one of Brian or Robins past t r o blog articles on sport touring motorcycles and discuss. Does it hold up? Did Brian and Robin disagree? And Travis, what would they say differently? What would they add?

Robin: Now this one we've been returning to often. This is the 10 Commandments for the St Ride leader. We're on the third commandment. The number of hand signals shall be only three, and three shall be the number of hand signals. The less to remember, the better The following three signals are All a ride leader needs while you're moving and all are pretty obvious. So there's not much to remember. If you need to communicate something more elaborate, pull over and use your mouth, words and ear holes. We're doing a U-turn. This is one finger in the air, twirled in a circle. Yippy K, a rodeo style. Yep. A screwed up and made a wrong turn. So spread out, stay sharp, and try not to run into each other. This one is necessary and I've always needed it a lot because usually I realize I made a wrong turn pretty quickly, so everyone's still a little bunched up. U-turns are a somewhat surprising move. This is the one essential signal everybody needs to know. The other two would be, yo, we're going that way. Hand signals are not normally needed for turns, that's why we have, uh, you know, turn signals. But once in a while it's not obvious or you're coming up, uh, on a hidden turn or you're at a five-way intersection and something, so you have to resort to pointing. That kind of thing. Uh, the next one, pass me You Magnificent beast. This is a wave around with a left hand add. Creative flourishes of encouragement as you deem necessary. One other signal is needed on some vintage roads and dual sport rides where the bikes might not have kickstand. Cutouts as we call in the M s f Sideand. Brian, we don't kick anything. You left your side stand down. Dipstick is three quick horn beeps. This quickly turns into a formless group. Beep bang. But usually it's fairly effective. Alright, so I agree, except for the vehemently disagree with the word kickstand. That's just, that's mean.

Brian: So we don't That's an M S F thing. Uh, it's a sideand. Nice. Yeah. A

Robin: sideand It's a cutoff switch. It's not a kill switch. It's not a Yeah.

Brian: If

Travis: you are on a flying brick, it's a, uh, smokey start. Stand.

Brian: Yeah. Now this is shocking to people who like, uh, like, like if you're going on a ride with a, a couple of certain brands of people and, and, and motorcycles, they're actually gonna have a chart that's got about 20 hand signals on it. And you have to memorize the whole thing. And, you know, you have to know, you have to have a pretty good vocabulary in ao in, uh, a s

Travis: l. I see those memes every spring. They start coming around on the Facebook of like, no, the hand signals.

Brian: Yeah.

Robin: It's actually on the article and if you wanna know, the article identification number is 23 0 3 oh. So if you go to T bike slash question mark, P equals 2303 oh. That's T bike slash question mark. P equals 23. Oh three oh. You can read our 10 Commandments for the S St. Ride Leader as written by the one and only Brian Ringer. I'm working on a system to make it easier to read the identification number and just, they don't have to the question mark, blah, blah, blah. They don't have to do that, but haven't gotten there yet. So deal with it folks. Yeah, but we have the hand signal chart on there. I personally feel it's the best one because of its commentary about, uh, the Shrek movies. Yeah. And

Brian: like, these are the ones I found. That's all you need while you're moving. Otherwise just, just, just pull over and talk about it. Um, and the pass me signal is, relates to number two, where thou shalt pass and be passed. Yeah. So it's a little bit of a callback. Yes. Uh, you, you basically, you want people to stretch out over time and you want them to get further apart. You want them to get safer. And so sometimes people need to be encouraged, Hey, if you're haunting my mirrors, come on around. Go put on a show. Show me what you're made of, you're magnificent. Go for it. That's how it's done. Um, so we want people to encourage each other, you know, pass, you know, come on around, you know, that kind of thing. Um, and then the kickstand thing. Yeah, like the, the, I'm sorry. The side stand

Robin: thing. Thank you, Brian. You're welcome, Robin.

Brian: You're very welcome. Um, like on dual sport bikes, these, these damn things always fail, so you just, you take 'em out or you bypass 'em. Uh, and on vintage bikes, you know, more than once somebody's gone down because on a vintage bike it turns on a light on the dash, but it doesn't cut the bike off. Mm-hmm. Um, so, uh, we developed that on the, the vintage Suzuki world. You know, basically it just turns into beep, be beep, beep, beep. And everybody looks at their sideand. Yeah. They figure it out.

Travis: Yeah. I, I think the, uh, in that vein, the turns signal, the, like do the blinky

Brian: hand. Yeah. That can help. Yeah.

Travis: I mean, it's not like a safety issue, but you don't wanna be the asshole driving around with your turn signal on the whole time an

Brian: event. What Seinfeld

Robin: call, is it an eventual left?

Brian: And

Travis: eventually you're gonna turn that way, I suppose. But the uh, I do that all the time on my moped. 'cause it doesn't have the like center click. You just have to like slide it to the left and then slide it to the center and then slide it to the right and then slide it to the center. So I leave my blink run all the time on accident, even though I can see them. 'cause it's a moped.

Brian: Yeah.

Travis: Tune in next time for more discussion on all things specific to sport touring or universal motorcycling as a whole. For radio t r o, I'm Travis Burleson.

Brian: I'm Brian Ringer. And I'm

Robin: Robin Dean. Safe

Brian: Travis. Everyone I.

The Gist

Robin, Brian and Travis discuss motorcycle tech, navigation apps and the joy (or not) of Zoom conference calls. In typical fashion, we blink at CAN bus jargon only to laugh at immobilizer fails. Isn't being stranded fun?

Long story short, you don't need LED lights or adjustable electronic suspension to enjoy a ride. Then again, fuel injection, ABS and traction control are nice. Prepare to hear about pertinent pre-ride woes that will have you swearing at your ECU (until the bike starts).

Eventually, we're joined by Alex Gay of RideWithGPS.com. Alex helps us navigate the world of ... navigation. More specifically, he better explains the great platform that is RWGPS.

Guest Interview

Alex Gay

Alex Gay is a relationship manager at Ride with GPS. He's an avid cyclist who enjoys commuting, road, gravel and mountain biking. Take notes and discover your next great motorcycle ride using his platform insights!

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