Ride With GPS

What is RWGPS and why are we using it? 

The HCC committee has taken out a club membership with the route planning app called Ride with GPS (RWGPS for short). We have done this in order to manage our routes better and to make all routes in our club library easily accessible to all members. The club membership also gives you access to a number of the otherwise subscription only tools within RWGPS.

RWGPS is an online platform designed specifically for cycling enthusiasts to map, plan, navigate, and record bike rides. While there are several route planning apps on the market RWGPS is one of the best rated. We chose it for a combination of reasons including positive personal experience, the reliability of its mapping and routing tools, and the club membership package. 

RWGPS enables you to map your route by inputting a starting point and destination or dropping pins on a map. You can then follow the turn-by-turn directions on your head unit or mobile phone telling you when and where to turn (including voice guided if using the app on your phone). The RWGPS app tracks metrics during your ride such as distance, speed, elevation gain, and more.

Setting it up is quick – download the mobile app and create a free account. Sync RWGPS with sensors or devices like your heart rate monitor or power meter for additional data. The platform really excels by providing access to the world’s largest database of curated cycle routes covering road, mountain, gravel, and fat bike disciplines. Millions of activities spanning picturesque to challenging rides near you and globally have been uploaded by users over the years. Explore the vast RWGPS database, search popular cycling spots, preview routes, and save favourites. After your ride, you can review maps and graphs breaking down all the performance statistics while out on the road or trail, analyse your efforts and share your activities with friends.

Notes: 

All local routes appear in the library with the prefix ZZ. This is to facilitate library organisation and to make it easier for members to find a nearby route quickly. You can also use the column headers and tags within the library to search for routes of a particular type (e.g. gravel), location (N,S,E,W), distance or elevation gain. 

You will need to use the web version of RWGPS (either on your laptop, PC, tablet or mobile phone browser) to create a new route. You can only do so via the RWGPS mobile app if you have a personal, paid subscription. Unfortunately this function is not included with the Club membership. 


HCC club membership of RWGPS

One major advantage is creating, discovering, and sharing club routes. The club admins can upload preferred new routes directly to the group page. If you have a route you’d like to share then please simply email it to one of the admins listed below or use the contact form and they will do it for you. Search to ride popular routes in our area which a fellow club member has already tested and approved. You’ll also find some routes from further afield, both in the UK and overseas, under Collections. Once you’re back, your rides auto-upload to your personal profile. 

Benefits for club members

Here are some of the key benefits of having a Ride With GPS club membership compared to using the free app:

Access to a library of vetted club routes pre-loaded into the platform rather than needing to map your own rides

Enhanced Route Planning and Navigation Features: access advanced route planning tools, allowing for more detailed and personalised routes, including live tracking and turn-by-turn directions

Club Ride Coordination: efficiently organise and coordinate club rides, ensuring everyone is on the same page with route details and meeting points

Collaborative Route Sharing: seamlessly share routes within the club, facilitating a collaborative approach to discovering and enjoying new cycling paths

Club administrators can add and organise events like meet-ups, races, and charity rides to a shared calendar

Option to upload private club routes visible only to members, keeping favorite routes exclusive

Photo hosting and commenting enable members to share ride stories and celebrate achievements

Priority Support: receive priority customer support to address any issues or inquiries promptly, ensuring a more streamlined experience for club members

See also: https://ridewithgps.com/help/club-benefits/


How to sync and load routes onto your Wahoo or Garmin head unit

Note: we all have the option of following a route, with turn by turn directions, in the RWGPS app on our mobile phones

While the following may sound complicated, it’s a lot easier than it reads: once you’ve done it once you’ll find it a doddle.

WAHOO

It’s simple to export routes to your Wahoo for group riding:

Connect Your Wahoo Device: ensure your Wahoo device is connected to your smartphone using the Wahoo ELEMNT app

Select and Download Routes: in RWGPS, choose the route you want to ride with the club. Click on “Export” and select the Wahoo ELEMNT format

If you have the Wahoo app, use the RWGPS mobile app to transfer wirelessly. Tap the route, select “Share” then “Export to Head Unit” and choose Wahoo Fitness. It will automatically sync via Bluetooth

Alternatively, connect your Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt or Roam to your computer. Locate the exported route files and copy them into your device folder labeled “Courses” to load them. Open the Wahoo ELEMNT app on your smartphone. Navigate to the “Routes” or “Planned Workouts” section. Select the option to add a new route and choose the route file you downloaded from RWGPS. Sync the route with your Wahoo device

On your Wahoo device, go to the “Routes” page. You should see the uploaded route. If you don’t see it you may need to hit Sync. Select the route, and your Wahoo will provide turn-by-turn directions

Tip: if you “pin” a route within RWGPS it will automatically transfer to your Wahoo the next time you sync your head unit. Not only that but, should someone edit a route you’ve previously pinned, you’ll get the updated version once you sync.

GARMIN

First, when logged into the Club RWGPS page, click “Export” on any route you want to transfer

Choose GPX or TCX format – Garmin devices use both formats

If you have the Garmin Connect app, use the RWGPS mobile app to export files wirelessly via Bluetooth. In RWGPS, tap the route, select “Share” then “Export to Head Unit” and choose Garmin Connect. It will sync automatically

Alternatively, connect your Garmin to your computer with a charging/USB cable. Once connected, locate the “NewFiles” or “Courses” folder on your Garmin device. Copy and paste the TCX or GPX file you’ve downloaded into the appropriate folder.  This loads them for navigation. Disconnect your Garmin device

Turn on your Garmin. Go into the route menu to access the newly uploaded Ride With GPS routes. Select the route activity to immediately start turn-by-turn navigation for the chosen route

Tip: so long as someone with a Garmin has downloaded the RWGPS app onto their Garmin device, via Garmin Connect, then they can pin a route on their mobile phone or desktop computer and the head unit will see it. Alternatively, the head unit should also see a route via a shared link on a mobile or desktop. When you click on the link it will ask you whether you want to download and ride.  


Finally … for those who want to dig a little deeper … some helpful links below

Tip: if ever there’s something you’re unclear about when using RWGPS, or there’s something you’d really like to be able to do with it, then there’s a 99% chance someone else has asked that question before and that several people will have made a YouTube explainer video on the topic. So the fastest route to an answer usually comes by typing “RWGPS how do I xxx” into Google. Most often this lands you on the relevant RWGPS support page or “how to” video tutorial. 

A link to the RWGPS Quick Start guide: https://support.ridewithgps.com/hc/en-us/categories/6849793243035-Quick-Start

A good overview of the RWGPS club membership, with links to additional detail about several topics. It’s also a good gateway to the RWGPS web site which has many useful articles and videos about the app and how to get the most from it: https://ridewithgps.com/help/club-benefits/

The RWGPS Help Centre: https://support.ridewithgps.com/hc/en-us

Another RWGPS help page with more detail on a range of topics: https://ridewithgps.com/help/