Within the cue sheet (i.e. turn by turn directions) of each of the rides I post, I have the following disclaimer:
This ride, like most adventure / gravel rides, has a lot of nuanced turns. The easiest way to follow the ride is by downloading the GPS file to a Garmin device or using the Ride with GPS app for iPhones and Androids.
“Do I really need a Garmin or some other electronic device on a gravel ride?” I would say yes! Here’s why. Maps can be out of date and things change. A Garmin like device gives you your exact location, shows your path history, and shows the proposed route. (Note – I am not advocating not carrying a map, but carrying a Garmin like device along with a map.)
Case in point. In the summer of 2014 I mapped out a ride called Sherman’s March. A classic 5 star ride. This ride is part of the Oregon Travel, Best Gravel Rides, (www.rideoregonride.com), is listed on this site, and is in hard copy in a few bike shops.
This week a friend of mine rode the route and sent me this email ….
Found a couple of errors in the cue sheet … one of the gravel roads has been removed – as in they completely covered it up and it isn’t even a single track.
Gone? Really? I really couldn’t believe it. I drove out there myself to check it out. Yes, it was gone as the picture shows.
The moral of the story … with gravel rides be expected for the unexpected. Road signs change, roads disappear, the road surface can change from bad to good or from good to bad, the road has become washed out, etc. Things change! To me, gravel riding is much more of an adventure and more remote than most mountain bike or road rides that I do. Sometimes I see not a single person (car, bike, foot, whatever) in a 3 hour ride.
Be safe out there, be prepared!