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What is Ride With GPS?

Ride With GPS (RWGPS) is a web-based bike route mapping tool that uses GPS navigation. It provides simple but incredibly accurate navigation via a smartphone "app". It also works with all Garmin Edge bike computers, Forerunner fitness devices and any GPS unit that can export a TCX or GPX file.

Using this system to provide our routes in an easy to use and convenient format means that, even if you have no map reading skills whatsoever, you won't get lost with Headwater! See GPS Route Notes for an overview and details of the holidays that include Ride With GPS navigation.

Do I need to pay to create a RWGPS "account"?

No, when you sign-up (or sign-in if you already have an account), you will be offered some choices about what "type" of account you want to establish. You just need the "Starter" account, which is absolutely free of charge.

However, when you are riding as a Headwater Customer, you will get the benefit of our "Club Account", which means that you will get all the features of the RWGPS Premium account. These include:

  • Clear "turn-by-turn" audio instructions – no need to dismount to read route notes
  • Downloadable routes that can be followed "offline".

Is it like Sat Nav?

It's similar, in as much as it will track your position along the route and you will receive both visual and audible route instructions along the way. It will also tell you very quickly if you have taken a wrong turn, but it won't re-route you.

How do I download my route notes?

Downloading routes to your Smartphone (iPhone or Android)

  • Download the Ride With GPS mobile app (via App Store of Google Play)
  • Sign into the mobile app using your existing/newly-created Ride With GPS account ID) NB: click on "I have an account" NOT "Create an account").
  • Tap the icon in the upper left corner of your phone screen to go to the options menu.
  • Select the My Events option.
  • Select your holiday itinerary ("event"). All your routes will be listed.
  • Tap the icon in the upper right corner then select: "Download All". Depending on the speed of your internet connection download should only take a matter of minutes.
  • To check that your routes have been successfully downloaded, click again on the icon in the top left hand corner and this time select "Available Offline" and your downloading and/or downloading routes should appear as a list.

Downloading routes to your GPS (eg Garmin) Device

  • Different options exist depending on the type and age of your GPS device, so please go the "Help" tab on the RWGPS website and click on the "Garmin and other GPS devices" to learn about the recommended settings for your Garmin or other GPS unit, and how to transfer routes.

Should I download my notes before travel?

We strongly recommend that you download the routes before travelling as it's more likely that you will have a reliable and fast WiFi connection. It also gives you the opportunity to check you've got the required storage capacity on your phone.

How much storage will the routes occupy on my phone?

As an approximate guide, we estimate that a typical 8-day Headwater holiday might occupy around 120MB of storage, so you'll need to make sure you have enough storage capacity.

Will I need a data connection to follow the routes using Ride With GPS?

No, once the routes are downloaded to your smartphone you don't need a telephone or data connection to follow the audio "turn-by-turn" cues. Your phone just needs to be able to receive a GPS signal, which it will be able to do with mobile data disabled.

How much battery power will I use?

We recommend that you disable all unwanted wireless connections, for example, Bluetooth, WiFi and mobile data, or switch your phone to "Flight Mode" whilst you are navigating. We also suggest that you allow your screen to go to screensave mode (the audio will still continue). These actions will preserve battery life and ensure that you have plenty of power to run on throughout the day. In our testing, we've found that the app is very battery-efficient – but you should also start the day with a fully charged battery.

What if I lose signal or have technical difficulties en route?

We have thoroughly tested all our RWGPS routes and have not experienced any satellite "blackspots", so we are very confident that you won't experience interference with the GPS signal whilst you are cycling.
However, your Rep will provide you with a hard copy of your routes at your briefing just as a back-up in case of any technical difficulties en-route.

Can I have a paper version of my route notes?

Yes, you can either download and print the detailed route notes from the "Event" page on the RWGPS website (click on "Print Map and Cue Sheet" next to the route description). Alternatively, give us a call and we will print them out and post them to you. Additionally, your rep will have a copy for you at your welcome briefing (see above).

Do you provide a phone holder for my bike?

Yes, we provide a "Universal" Weatherproof Phone Mount that attaches securely to your handlebars. It can be "angled" to suit your preferred view and has a plastic window so you can take photos along the way if you wish.
The holder is suitable for all standard size phones up to the dimensions of a Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7. If you have a "plus" size phone, you will need to bring your own holder with you.

Where will I find out about places of interest along the route?

We have marked places/sights of significant historical or cultural interest along the route and these are embedded in the route map as "POIs" or "Points of Interest". You just need to click on the little information icon on the map (this is the same whether you are viewing through the website or the app).

We have given additional audio "cues" to tell you about POIs if they are off-route, should you choose to take a detour and visit them.

Where possible, we have also embedded a link to the relevant website so that you can find out more and can pre-plan things like visits to museums, which might have limited opening hours or need to be booked in advance.

Do you recommend lunch stops?

We identify in the route description for each day where there are particularly nice places to stop for a lunch or refreshments.

The volume on my phone isn't that loud - will I be able to hear the audio instructions outdoors?

With your phone mounted on your handlebars we have found that most of our customers have had no difficulty hearing the audio cues and if you should miss one, it is very simple to review the cues to clarify what the instruction was. If you want absolute certainty that you won't miss a cue however, or, if you have hearing difficulties, you might want to consider bringing a Bluetooth earpiece with you. However, for safety reasons, we would not recommend you riding with speakers in both ears.