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Author Topic: What are you 3 Flags folks (and others) using for route planning?
Posts: 6
Post What are you 3 Flags folks (and others) using for route planning?
on: March 7, 2017, 07:17

I used to use Microsoft Streets & Trips - it was awesome and worked well.

With that gone, what are people using? I think I must have tried all the online options at this point and they all stink - usually severe limitations on waypoint numbers etc.

What are you 3 Flags staff/planners using now that MS S&T Is gone for these large routes? Basecamp I suspect but that program too is very much no fun to use.

Thoughts? Suggestions?



Posts: 22
Post Re: What are you 3 Flags folks (and others) using for route planning?
on: June 22, 2017, 06:35

mmike; I still used microsoft trip and street 11,but I also check the route with google earth,works most of the time. ddominic

Posts: 6
Post Re: What are you 3 Flags folks (and others) using for route planning?
on: January 27, 2018, 01:45

I use and highly recommend an iPhone app called inRoute. It currently costs $30/year for a “pro” subscription (or you can pay $4 monthly). The pro version allows up to 100 waypoints and also includes charting of elevations, temperatures, curviness, (by time or distance), as well as wind speeds and sunrise/sundown times indicated on the charts. The pro version includes weather alerts too. I use inRoute to quickly plan my routes and alternates on an iPad or iPhone (the routes can be synced so that one created on your iPad is also accessible on your iphone), and then send the gpx files to my Navigator IV or hard enter the final route in Basecamp for loading onto the Navigator. Adding or re-arranging waypoints is much easier than using Basecamp. Waypoints can be color coded to easily distinguish lodging, checkpoint, food, gas stops, etc. along a route. Another neat feature is the ability to search for gas stations, motels, etc. at user selected intervals along the route or at a specified distance from a designated waypoint. The app developer has continued to improve the app with free upgrades from time to time, and I believe there is a free trial version available (but with some feature limitations.

Posts: 70
Post Re: What are you 3 Flags folks (and others) using for route planning?
on: January 28, 2018, 07:40

I find that old fashion paper maps is the best way to start the planning. If your a member of AMA or AAA they will give you all the maps and tour books you need. After I get the route planned then I go to to find hotels and then Maps to see exactly where the hotel is located and if there’s a McDonalds near by so I can get an Egg McMuffin to start my day. Even though I have a current GPS on my bike I still color copy the maps in sections and keep them in the clear map pocket on my riding pants. GPS is great but at times it makes me feel lost, I like to look at a map and see where I am in the world. The little screen doesn’t do that very well. GPS is great for planning fuel stops as well.

Posts: 75
Post Re: What are you 3 Flags folks (and others) using for route planning?
on: February 24, 2018, 17:30

I use a combination of google maps and paper maps to start once the written route is available. Last year (my first, riding a harley ultra ltd with gps) I wasn't able to get the provided downloads to work but was able to use the HD trip planning to develop my own daily routing which worked pretty well (1 operator error) by comparing my route to the published 3FC maps. Waiting to get started once route available. Very similar to Brian above but my screen is quite large so little problem seeing. I use a magnetic tank map sleeve for the section routing and carry the big maps in the bike.

Posts: 8
Post Re: What are you 3 Flags folks (and others) using for route planning?
on: September 24, 2020, 11:36

This response is about general route planning as I have yet to ride the 3FC. I'm sure I'll use it for that as well when the time comes. I use Google maps as a starting place. I usually know roughly where I want to go and I may have anywhere from 3 -7 places along the route that I want to include. I let Google do the routing and of course it tries to get me everywhere on as many interstates as it can. I then grab the little guy that represents "streetview" and drag it across a section of the map which highlights the map in blue and shows a lot of the roads that aren't showing up on your current level of zoom. Obviously I search the highlighted areas for the curviest roads between the points that I have previously selected. Upon finding a curvy road I then actually select a few "streetviews" of it to see what it looks like. I then move/drag the Google route off of the interstate and on to the curvy roads.
After I finish that I get the "share" link and transfer that to "GPS Visualizer" to convert to a GPX route. Unfortunately GPS Visualizer now requires a Google API key which is a small pain to get but it is free (so far) and I've prepared several routes and have yet to be charged. Anyway once GPS Visualizer has converted the google route to a GPX file, I then import it into Basecamp and fine tune it there. Another tedious task as it comes over as a track and needs to be converted to a route. I usually select 30 points or less when it asks how many points to use. Once you have confirmed that the route is generally how you wanted it to go and that Basecamp hasn't changed it too much then you need to go and check it point by point because of slight variations in maps there will usually be a few points that are just a little off near intersections and the GPS will have you do a right turn followed by a U turn when all you needed was a left turn. You have to grab those points and drag them to the correct side of the intersection. Sometimes they are not near an intersection and just off to the right of the road and they need to be dragged back to the lane you want to be in.
Well now that I've written it all out, it sounds awful! 😮
Still I've tried Basecamp as the starting point and it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-rrrrrrrrr constantly fighting it to make the route go where I want to and not where it wants to go.
On a rainy day, my tedious multi-step method is a great way to armchair enjoy a ride yet to be. I also consult Butler motorcycle maps to make sure I'm not missing some great nearby roads.

Posts: 15
Post Re: What are you 3 Flags folks (and others) using for route planning?
on: September 24, 2020, 18:39

I still use old paper atlas'. Rand McNally has "highlighted" scenic roads . The old HOG (Harley Owners Group) used to send out a new atlas every year that had dealerships and scenic road and roadside attractions but they stopped in 2020.

Once I figure out all the points I want to see, I just input them into my Garmin Zumo and let it make my can use Interstates or avoid interstates with the push of a button. My routes look pretty strait-line-ish....but they are roads I probably would have never traveled normally. This time of year would be especially scenic.....riding down the two-lane with the farmers harvesting / transporting crops to market...small one-stop-light towns....and No Tourists at the parks!

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