GPS NAVIGATION

Riders in the 1Zambia MTB Race will navigate using GPS Tracks only – a precise tool for navigation through real and remote African bush. The 1Zambia MTB route will be prepared for your enjoyment but it will nevertheless be a challenge to complete physically. Please do not let the GPS navigation become your biggest challenge.  You are encouraged to please get accustomed to your GPS device, and be especially familiar with uploading to your device, and following courses using your GPS map navigation screen.

FAQ

Will the route be marked?

No. This is for the safety of riders, as it is very easy for local village children to remove markers with obvious consequences. Due to the remoteness of the route we cannot afford to have competitors getting lost.

I HAVE NOT NAVIGATED USING GPX TRACKS BEFORE. HOW WILL I KNOW IF I AM ON THE RIGHT TRACK IF I ONLY HAVE A GPS?

You don’t need to know anything about orienteering, or need to be a Garmin expert. Just know that when you look at your screen – you are the arrow, and the race course is the fat line. You are on course as long as you keep the arrow point within the line. Monitor your GPS screen constantly as you approach route options on the course ahead.  Should the arrow point deviate either side of the line, immediately stop, turn around, and track back to the alternative path option you left behind. Riders should feel confident that navigation via GPS is very accurate, and most units have “Off Course” alarms which beep as soon as you are off the specified race route.

In order to navigate as above, all devices will need map orientation set to “Track Up”.  For Garmin users look in settings, system, map, orientation.

It is critical that all entrants are familiar with adjusting their zoom level in/out. We recommend a zoom level of 80m-120m magnification. Zooming in more than this will be disorienting, and it is not necessary in order to follow the race route.  Enjoy the challenge of navigating many kilometers of remote bush tracks with only your GPS to guide you.

WHAT TYPE OF GPS DO I NEED?

Preferably a light handle bar mounted GPS unit that can, upload a minimum of 10,000 track log points via USB and allow you to follow them.  There will be smaller 500 point files available for any devices that have restricted memory.  1Zambia MTB recommends one of the cycle specific Garmin Edge Series (Edge 500 and above).  Contact us at 1zambiamtb@gmail.com if you would like to place an order.

WILL WE GET THE ROUTES BEFORE THE EVENT?

Yes, we will upload them to a shared Google and Dropbox folder for you to download prior to the event. The route changes every year so do not assume you can use the previous year’s tracks for the current race. We will advise through social media and newsletters once the routes are uploaded on the Monday before the event.

DO BOTH RIDERS NEED GPS?

Yes – both riders will need to carry a GPS. This is an extra safety measure in case one device fails or gets lost.  Dual navigation will also benefit the team, as relying on only one rider to navigate will lead to more navigation errors.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY GPS RUNS OUT OF BATTERY LIFE OR STOPS WORKING AND I AM ON ROUTE?

You have to make sure every evening that your GPS unit is fully charged. If your unit takes replaceable batteries we encourage you to take a spare set. If you have a device malfunction you will need to follow other riders. We will also have our off-road rescue partners and sweepers ensuring all riders get back safely.

WHAT IS STOPPING ME FROM TAKING SHORTER ROUTES?

We will be monitoring through random check points along the route to ensure all riders are on track. This will also ensure we know if anyone is lost.

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