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Ride with GPS

Now available on many 2019 boat bike tours

General information:

Ride with GPS (RWGPS) will be available on all our own BBT tours (tours for which Boat Bike Tours is the operator), NOT on all ‘partner tours’. You can see if the availability of RWGPS is mentioned under the inclusions of each tour.

What is Ride with GPS?
Ride with GPS is an app that you can download for free on your mobile phone. Your phone then becomes your own cycling navigation device, a bike route mapping tool for cyclists. This option is an addition to Boat Bike Tours’ traditional printed route notes and printed maps. BBT has partnered with Ride with GPS to provide you with a way to download tour maps and daily itineraries directly to your smartphone. You will be able to use voice navigation on all the routes and access your tour content anytime, all from your phone. Four weeks prior to your cycling vacation, BBT will email you a code you can use to access your tour. An account is not required.

How does it work?
An email with an access code will be emailed to you four weeks prior to your tour with BBT. Download the free Ride with GPS-app for iPhone or Android and tap “Enter Code” on the sign-in screen. After you have entered your code, you will be asked to enter your name, and then you will be taken to the download screen. Tap the download button to download all your tour content to your phone for offline use.

When (how long before the tour) will I receive the routes to download onto my phone?
You will receive the maps and routes approximately four weeks prior to your tour date. The emailed access code will allow you to download custom BBT maps and route notes to your smartphone for your specific tour, so that you can preview your daily rides. An instruction page will be included in your email.

Can I receive the email with the link and code sooner than four weeks prior to the tour?
It will not be possible to email you the code sooner than four weeks before the tour. You will receive the most up-to-date maps and routes at that time.

About the phone:

Does it matter what kind of smartphone, or operating system I have?
Ride with GPS is available for either iPhone or Android phones. The app requires the following system levels: iPhone iOS 8 or newer, or Android 2.3 or newer.

Do I need to be able to use data and be on Wi-Fi?
Prior to your departure, simply download your tour package for offline use. You can access and navigate all your content offline. The Ride with GPS-app can be used while your phone is in Flight Mode. This uses no data.

Will the application drain my battery?
The app does use some battery. You can conserve your battery by taking the following steps:

  • Put your phone on Flight Mode while riding
  • Keep the screen off as much as possible when you are not riding
  • Close all other apps
  • Turn down screen brightness
  • Charge your phone whenever you have access to an outlet

We highly recommend bringing a portable cell phone power bank to recharge your phone on the go. Ask your local cell phone store about options. We also recommend a local electrical adaptor if traveling to a foreign country.

How much phone memory will be occupied by the downloaded maps and routes?
The phone memory used in downloading your tour package will vary depending on the length and geographic coverage of a route. A typical tour file will take about 30 MB of space. Using broadband connection speed, the download should take less than a minute. Once the download is complete, you will be able to access your tour package and all information will be included. If phone memory space is an issue for you, please contact your local cell phone provider for information on ways to free up your phone’s memory space.

How do I delete an Offline Map to free up my phone memory?
Your tour package will automatically expire and delete a few weeks after your tour. If you would like to clear the data from your phone before then, you can do so by deleting the app or clearing storage through your phone’s settings page for the app.

How will I see the map?
You will use the turn-by-turn voice navigation. A visual cue for a turn notification will flash over the lock screen to go with the audio alerts. While cycling you should not need to see the map unless you want to stop and turn your screen on to look at it.

What if I have my own GPS device?
Ride with GPS can export GPX files to your own personal Garmin GPS unit. Please note that your experience will not be as full since GPS units have fewer features. For example, there is no turn-by-turn voice navigation and the cues will be truncated to 10 characters.

How will my phone be attached to my bike?
On some of our ships you can buy a simple silicon mount to attach your smartphone to the handle bar. We advise you to bring your own mount if you have one. The price for the silicon mount is € 2, and it is suitable for all smartphones.

Will my phone be protected from rain?
When it rains, we suggest that you keep your phone protected in a waterproof jacket pocket. If you prefer a waterproof case, like the armband exercise cases made for this purpose, please bring it along from home.

How will it work when I am on tour?
When navigating the route you will get the following instruction cues via both voice navigation and on-screen alerts. A “cue” is a specific direction i.e.: turn right, et cetera:

  • Spoken Alerts – Spoken directions from cues = Turn-by-turn voice navigation.

The app will use the phone’s text-to-voice function to read the cues back to you.

  • Advance Cue warnings – Announce next cue after completion.

Right after you complete a turn, if your next cue is some distance away the app will say “Turn left in a quarter mile”.

  • Nearing cue warnings – Announce cues when approaching.

As you approach a turn, the app will beep 10-12 seconds before the cue.

  • Visual Alerts – Show cues over the map.
    This option will show the cue description in a box just over the map.

Audio Alerts – Emit beeps to announce cues.

Off-course alerts – Play warning tone when off route. If you go off-course, the app will continue to beep at you every two minutes as a reminder that you are off course.

What happens if I go off the route?
If you wander off-course then the app will give you a notification beep. The app will give you a prompt as to the direction and distance to get yourself back to the course from where you left it. You may wish to stop and look at the map on your phone’s screen to better visualize getting back to the route.

User tips:

Suggestions to keep your phone safe:

  • Protect your phone with a drop-proof case and a screen protector.
  • Always keep your phone with you when you are not on your bicycle.
  • When removing your phone from the bike mount, always have one hand on the phone.
  • Always have your phone on Flight Mode while riding.
  • Check your battery level during the day and keep the paper route notes with you as a backup should your battery die. Consider bringing a portable power bank to recharge your phone during the day.
  • Recharge your phone completely each evening.
  • Safely stop on the side of the road should you need to access your phone while riding.

Who do I contact for IT/technical support if I am having trouble with the Ride with GPS application?

  1. First look at the Help document here:
  2. Secondly, email questions to [email protected]

Boat Bike Tours will not be responsible for any loss or damage whatsoever to your smartphone, nor for any data charges incurred at any time. It is your sole responsibility to take care of your personal property.

To be able to use the app during your tour, you have to do some homework and make sure you downloaded your tour package ahead of time. Our tour leaders will only have limited time to help you during the tour.

The app can be a great help for guests who booked an independent or semi-guided tour or for guests who want to go on their own during a guided tour. Please note that on guided tours, our tour leaders will not necessarily follow the downloaded tracks. They might adjust the route depending on the weather conditions and the skills of the group.

We would be happy if you would like to try the Ride with GPS-app and the features it provides and share your experiences with us. Please do not expect the voice navigation to be perfect. But with your feedback we can improve this tool for future tours.