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Photo Rally Bonus Hunting – Links, Books, Google Maps

With photo bonus rallies being in the forefront of my riding-mind lately, I thought I would offer up some of the resources that I use to find interesting locations to ride to and places to see.

Blogs, Websites & Books

There are so many corners of the internet that can help to fuel your desire to get out and explore. The following books, blogs and websites  are just some of the ones I find helpful in searching for places to visit.

Blogs & Websites Books

I have also found that searching sites like Flickr, Pinterest, ADVRider also offer some good inspiration for thing to research and visit.

If you have a location in mind that you’d like to visit, chamber of commerce, city or town websites often prove to be good places to look for historical landmarks.

You can also try Googling for interesting KML files and maps. For example – say you’re interested in Old Long Island Burial Grounds. Perhaps someone has already done the work for you and was kind enough to share it with the world.

Sure, nothing beats good old fashioned riding by the seat of your pants, serendipity and exploring – but these links might help you get on the road to something you hadn’t thought of before.

Google Maps

If you’re anything at all like me, you spend an awful lot of time sitting at a desk each week. During these (seemingly endless) hours, my mind wanders to thoughts of places that I’d like to ride to.

And… just as soon as the ideas enter my mind, it seems they’re on the way out again. So, I’ve taken to marking these spots onto a custom Google Map. I then export the placemarks and put the waypoints into my GPS.

Creating Custom Google Maps

Google offers the following video on creating your own maps:

After you’ve created your custom map, you can go back and add, delete and edit entries at any time. Just select your maps from ‘My Places’ on the left hand side of your GMaps screen.

I created a map for the E2E Rally that I keep adding placemarks to so I don’t forget where I want to go. Eventually.

Just something to keep in mind when using Google Maps – if you just enter a word or phrase like saaaay – “post office” into the search field, it will pop up a ton of locations that you can then click and Save to Map.

That makes finding specific things and saving them to your map a snap.

GPSVisualizer – Convert KML to GPX

[edit] WOOHOO! The 4/1/13 Basecamp update provides KML support!

Google Maps allows you to export your custom map points out to a KML file. Since I cannot use a KML file in Garmin’s BaseCamp to ultimately load into my Zumo 665, I need to convert the KML file to a GPX file.

For that I use the great GPSVisualizer website.

On the surface it might sound like a lot of work, but it takes about 3 minutes to get your Google Maps KML, convert it to GPX and load it into BaseCamp.

Garmin BaseCamp

When I have a GPX file, I then drop it into Garmin’s BaseCamp. From there I can load the waypoints into my Zumo and have the ability to create routes.

I organize my waypoints into collections in BaseCamp by rally name or maybe by type so that I can easily find them on the GPS when I’m on the go.

Odds and Ends

After I’ve visited a location, I sometimes remove it from my Zumo ‘favorites’ just to cut down on the clutter or if I think it is a place I might not ever feel the need to navigate to again.

If I’m just floating around, going nowhere in particular – I let the ‘favorites’ screen on the Zumo stay visible. A quick glance will let me know how close I am to the nearest waypoints I’ve saved.

Good luck and happy exploring!

If you have any other recommendations or tips please leave a comment!

 

E2E Rally Bonus Stop Planning – Roadside Presidents

For the E2E Rally, I’ve been thinking about how I can string together historical markers, monuments and engaging sights to ‘theme’ my bonus stops. We’ve got 6 months to dash around and pick up points. Keeping things fresh will mean that my interest will stay piqued and I’ll be more likely to play through the whole time.

With one of the E2E Rally bonus categories being “Historical Landmark,” I think this app just might help in route planning…

Ridin’ Nerdy – Roadside Presidents

If you’ve read this blog for more than the last 3 minutes, it may not come as as shock to you that I’m a bit on the nerdy side. I like history, learning “stuff”, roadside attractions, visiting touristy and vintage locations.  I’m always on the lookout for blogs, websites and apps that weave my geeky interests into my motorcycle rides.

I’ve long been a fan of Roadside America. I use their website, iPhone app and have their GPS travel guide on my Zumo. So, it would seem that downloading their Roadside Presidents app for the iPhone would be a natural fit. The Roadside Presidents app gives you the same irreverent slant that their roadside content does – just with a Presidential twist.

Interested in checking out a statue of William McKinley’s VP – Garret Hobart? (Isn’t everyone?) What about the rock where Alexander Hamilton rested his head after being mortally wounded in a dual with Aaron Burr? Right! I bet you didn’t even know you wanted to see such a thing. That’s is precisely why this app is so important ;)

The app uses your phone’s location services to deliver up these delicious (and weird) Presidential road stops. I’m certain some of these places will find their way into my E2E Rally photos.

Maybe they’ll show  up in yours too?

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Grrrr! My New Ural Yamal TShirt

While I was at Ural of New England last weekend, I got a Ural Yamal tshirt.

 Olga, proprietress and fabulous lady, designs the shirts that are for sale in their shop. LOVE!

What the heck is a Yamal?

Read about the beautiful orange beast: 2012 Limited Edition Ural Yamal

While I was in the back of the shop, I got to see a Yamal that was being prepped for its new owner – who I met later in the morning. As it turns out the couple live just a hop, skip and a jump away here on Long Island. Small world, being made even smaller one funky Ural at a time :)

Road Trip: Visiting the Revzilla Showroom in Philly

My daughter Chloe recently outgrew her textile riding jacket. Having her sized and fitted into a decent piece of gear for the upcoming season was something I wanted to do in person. The biggest challenge? Finding someplace with a good selection of quality gear and a range of sizes available to try on.

*lightbulb* 

Revzilla.

As a very satisfied online customer for a few years now, popping in to their new brick and mortar showroom seemed like a perfect idea. And… we could get cheesesteaks while we were in town. Win-Win! 

When we walked into the retail space we were greeted by a salesperson – Bobby. We went on to work with him throughout our time in the shop. He was patient, accomodating, knowledgeable and above all friendly. He didn’t give that full court obnoxious sales press that I hate so much.

He was clearly familiar with the products and was able to answer any questions we had and made recommendations where appropriate.

Bonus Points: He was able to look at me and my daughter and correctly size us by sight for REV’IT jackets.

 

What was different about our shopping experience at Revzilla, when compared to other motorcycle retail spaces?

Selection

The biggest differentiating factor. Helmets, boots, gloves, jackets, pants, full suits – all in a range of sizes, fabrics, brands and price points right on the floor.

On top of that – after eyeballing a few items, Bobby checked the computer to see what they had in their onsite warehouse and brought out different color and size options in more than one of our potential choices.

Attitude

Though the store is stocked with some high end items I never got a whiff of that pseudo-exclusive, douchebaggy vibe that some stores take on. Sure they sell upscale brands like  Rukka and Klim but they also offer middle of the road brands for folks whose pockets aren’t as deep.

Attentiveness

The sales staff were readily available. They seemed to know the line between being pushy and being absentee.

If you’ve been a fan of Revzilla online store, you will have a great shopping experience in their showroom – it feels like a natural extension of their webfront.

The Goods

After looking through the jackets and having carte blanche to choose whatever made her heart sing from leather to textile to…whatever, Chloe selected a REV’IT Levante jacket in silver and a pair of Held gloves.

She is her Momma’s girl :)

And with me being the curious type – I tried on a jacket. Or two. And I may have accidentally bought a REV’IT women’s Airwave for the summer and a REV’IT women’s Ventura because… because Bobby was a good salesperson.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

It’s defintely worth a stop-in.

Revzilla

Showroom Address:
4020 South 26th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19112

We’ve Pretty Much Got Gloves Covered Around Here

Don’t you think?

I had no idea we actually had this many pairs (19). I think they’re making babies in the closet.

Have you found yourself with gear that seems to multiply on it’s own?

There’s a rule they don’t teach you at the Harvard Business School. It is, if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing to excess. – Edwin H. Land