So … what does it take to develop a route? Time! A lot of time. By pricing time, we have figured that it costs ~ $1532 in labor to develop a route. This is exclusive of vehicle costs and equipment costs.
To see how we got to that number, read on.
Elements to Developing a Route
- Research and prelim mapping / 1 to 3 hours
- Drive time to / from the route (2 riders) / 2 to 8 hours
- Test ride of the route (2 riders) / 4 to 12 hours
- Test riding a route includes skills such as loading a GPX route onto a navigation device like a Wahoo / Garmin, loading a GPX route onto an app that shows private / public lands, following a route on a navigation device, re-routing in the field when a route “does not go”, and navigating in unknown terrain in variable conditions. Further, it can involve being remote with little assistance in case of mechanical breakdowns or medical issues.
- Re-mapping the route based on the test ride. Color coding. Cue sheet. / 1 hour
- Picture editing. Usually we take over 200 pictures during a ride and cull this down to 20 pictures. Pictures are cropped and touched up for color and shading. / 3 to 5 hours
- Writing a route description / 3 to 5 hours
- Posting to website / 1 to 2 hours
- Creating picture slider
- SEO optimization
- Route page
- Map page
- Index page
- Home page
Steps 3 and 4 are usually repeated several times. If we are lucky, everything goes perfect on the first ride, but we have worked routes that have taken us 4 trips and 3 years to develop. For the following analysis we have assumed that it takes, 2 test rides of a route to make it a go.
Now, not all tasks carry the same hourly rate. To compute the total labor cost of a ride, we have used the following rates at the following hours
- Driving, Riding and Navigating a route: $20 / hour at 12 to 40 hours
- Writing / Editing / Mapping: $75 / hour at 7 to 15 hours
- Technical Tasks like SEO and Website publishing: $125 / hour at 1 to 2 hours
Thus, our burdened costs for labor in developing a route are:
- Driving, Riding and Navigating a route: $240 to $800
- Writing / Editing / Mapping: $525 to $1125
- Technical Tasks like SEO and Website publishing: $125 to $250
Thus, a typical route in labor cost is from $890 to $2175. Or, using the average, labor cost in developing and publishing a route is ~ $1532.