Labor Cost to Develop a Route

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

  1. Research and prelim mapping / 1 to 3 hours
  2. Drive time to / from the route (2 riders) / 2 to 8 hours
  3. 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.
  4. Re-mapping the route based on the test ride. Color coding. Cue sheet. / 1 hour
  5. 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
  6. Writing a route description / 3 to 5 hours
  7. 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.

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