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TyreToGo (TYRE) TomTom / Garmin / GoogleMaps GPS Route  Mapping Utility 'how to' guide

TyreToTravel motorcycle route planning software TyreToTravel is the platform for searching, making and sharing routes. Tyre is the program that integrates Google Earth / Maps with Tom Tom or Garmin. Join us! Because life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. 

 
Tyre motorcycle route and trip planning software

>>> €5 Discount code for July 2013: AmPsTxKf25 <<<

www.tyretotravel.com

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Many thanks to John Chatel for writing and sharing the following great article on the use of TRYE for producing motorcycle ride routes and trip itineraries / routes for Garmin and TomTom GPS systems.
The original article can be seen along with many other great write-ups/articles by John on his website here: http://www.lifford-cooke.com/motorbiking

 
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TyreToGo / TYRE – a free Biker friendly GPS program
(How to Plan, Share and Upload a route to different GPS systems)

Why?
GPS is great for A to B routes. However this guide is aimed at motorcycle / motorbike riders - who don’t always want to take the quickest, most direct route (especially if it’s involves mile after mile of busy motorway).

It also aims to help people planning, or participating in group motorbike rides (which tend to focus on finding a more interesting “long way” round, using scenic routes with endless twisties, and great places to stop).

The start of group rides used to involve a lot of time stood round whilst a group of bikers gather round a paper map to plan and eventually agree a route for the day (and then spending the rest of the day hoping they don’t forget
the route they have just agreed).

Fortunately most Garmin or TomTom motorcycle GPS systems (and some car versions) can be used with a free programme called TYRE (Trace Your Route Everywhere) (NB They do mean EVERYWHERE) to allow the
route planning, to be done before hand via the internet using Google Maps, with input from your mates if you wish, wherever they live.
Which means - you can now just turn up and ride.

NB: Whilst the free version of TYRE is good for a small cost (€10 to €35 depending on the package you go for e.g. the ultimate 'travel friendly' versions, TYRE Pro on USB Stick or USB wallet card €30/€35 respectively)
Visit: www.tyretotravel.com for more details and to buy (July 2013 - quote DISCOUNT CODE: AmPsTxKf25 for a €5 discount)

Overview
This guide is in 4 parts. It explains in simple steps exactly how the free internet software can be used by bikers to:
(1) remotely collaborate and develop an agreed route, and then
(2) share, compare and adjust the route online with your mates, and
(3) Send it to everyone involved in the ride to upload as the final agreed route onto their own GPS
system. (If the group gets split up, everyone can simply follow their own GPS to rejoin the group).
(4) Find and use lots of other goodies which will allow you to find stunning biking routes

Once you know how the system works, you will find it easy to plan a short local run or arrange a month long tour crossing an entire continent. But that’s up to you…

How would you like your Instructions Simple or Detailed?
If you are PC savvy then the simplified instructions immediately below, should be enough to get you up and running. However if you hit problems, just refer to the more detailed step by step instructions further down the page which are
designed to make it simple for those of us who struggle programming the Sky Plus box!

Simplified instructions for using TYRE

Basic requirements
This assumes you have already the following programmes installed on your PC
- Google Earth (with the embedded Google Maps Utility);
- Your TomTom/Garmin GPS synchronisation programme;
- TYRE – download from here: www.tyretotravel.com (note language options;-)

Step 1 Generate and customise a draft route plan using Google Maps;

Step 2 To share your draft – select “Link” and send the URL by email to your friends for comment;

Step 3 Review their comments, update the route as necessary, Save, and recirculate as a final plan;

Step 4 Select “Link” and send the final agreed URL to your friends to upload onto their GPS

Step 5 Start Tyre and import the URL route plan using “File – Import from Website” option.

Step 6 Tyre launches the route in Google Maps (Can be quite slow) and then asks you to confirm its the right
route by Clicking “Import” at the bottom right corner. (A brief summary of the route box will appear in Tyre)

Step 7 Use Tyre to upload the route to your own “Garmin” or “TomTom”
(Depending on the GPS make you opted for, when you installed Tyre on your PC, there will be either a Garmin or TomTom menu tab - at the top of your copy of Tyre)
So for instance - click the “TomTom” tab and then choose either of these options:

- “Active Route” and then “Copy to TomTom as Active Route”
(This loads the route direct to your connected TomTom and makes it the active route which it will follow immediately. This option is greyed out if your TomTom is not connected).

- “Copy to TomTom Home” (This will save a copy of the route onto your PC so the next time you connect your TomTom to the PC it can be uploaded to your GPS).

(Similar options apply to Garmin)

More basic GPS unit will only allow one route, so if you are planning a week long trip, you may want to save each URL with a suitable name e.g. – Monday, Tuesday etc. Take a laptop and upload each route overnight ready for the next morning. Better units like the TomTom Rider 2 allow you to store several routes in the Itinerary planning area which you can select as required.

Detailed instructions

Start here
Bikers own loads of different makes and types of GPS units, quite a lot of us have figured out you can stick a car GPS unit into a tank bag and use it on our motorbike. However the different makes are not directly compatible, so we need to start by using a free open access planning tool which we can all use and once we have agreed a route, let everyone export it to the required GPS format.
Hence we need to start by installing on our PC/Mac a copy of Google Earth (and with it the inte.g.rated Google Maps utility). Its free ( BUT if you don’t want Google as you default search engine, or Chrome installed as your default browser then make sure you tick the opt out boxes before running the install programme).

Fingers crossed – as long as your IT kit and internet connection is up to it, then after a while you should now have a working copy of Google Earth.

Preparing your first route to share with friends
Launch Google Earth (there is a new icon on your desktop). As necessary dismiss any hints or tips, and after a few minutes you should end up with an outline view of planet Earth.
(Be patient - Google Maps/Earth are very data intensive programmes, so things will take a while on slow ADSL / broadband connections. Just make a cup of tea…)

Selecting our route start point
You can select anywhere on the planet but why not use either your own home address/postcode or whatever central meet point you intend to use – like the petrol station.
Start by putting the “post code and country” for that location into the “fly to” box and it should “home in” automatically on where you intend starting from. (In my case I used Chatel 74390 France)

As the view “homes in” you may see lots of blue markers start to appear on the map – Don’t Panic these simply flag up possible places of interest nearby – but more of that later – so for now we need to switch to the “Google Maps” view, as follows>

Click on the “File” tab and scroll down and click on the “View in Google Maps” option

After a while a second window will appear with the same area but in Google Maps view.

Choosing a destination
Most bike rides tend to be circular which understandably causes most GPS route planning programmes great distress if you select the same location for the start and end. So we need to cheat and effectively break the ride into two bits, by choosing a suitable intermediate destination and use that for now. So select somewhere in the general direction we would like to ride to and definitely want to visit or pass through – e.g. the place you plan to stop at for lunch.

So now click the “Get Directions” link. Then enter our start point in the box marked A and our intermediate destination into the box marked B and click “get directions”.
(In my case I used Thonon-Les-Bains, France)
In a few minutes you should get a proposed route clearly marked in Blue on the map - which will probably be the quickest most direct option.

If you don’t like the proposed route and would prefer to go via somewhere else you can see on the map, then its very easy to modify the route. Just move the mouse onto the marked Blue route near where you would like to change the route. (a message should pop up saying click to change route) When the message appears just click and hold the left mouse button at a point on the route – then whilst keeping the button pressed - drag the route over to the place you want to go through - then let go of the mouse button. (If you have done it right a reworked route incorporating that place should appear. You can do that process indefinitely until you are happy.

So here is an example of How to do that
Rather than simply follow the main road straight down the River Dranse valley, I think it would be nice to bypass the village of Chevnoz and instead go via the twisties on the Col de Forclaz pass.
To do this I moved the mouse onto a bit of the route beside the village of Chevnoz – and as the mouse moves above the route, a prompt explains “click to change the route” – so that is what we do. Just Click and hold down the left mouse button and move the mouse pointer until it reaches Forclaz and the let go.
After a few seconds the system calculates the route and updates the directions, distance and time information.
We can repeat this trick as many times as we like until we have the outward le.g. exactly as we want it.

Once we are completely happy we need to save it into a format which we can send to our mates. So look on the right just above the map where you should find a symbol marked “Link” – click on that and two choices of link will appear (I tend to use always the first which is a paste-able link which you can add straight into an email)
(Use the second option only if you intend to post a route onto website).

So place your mouse somewhere above the highlighted blue text and then right click and choose “copy”.

Now launch your email programme and paste the link we have just copied into the text area of a blank email – you may want to add some sort of comment like “Outwards route as follows:- “
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=74390+Ch%C3%A2tel,+France&daddr=46.31611,6.626816+to:Thonon-lesBains,+France&geocode=FVWowQIdsP9nACnn6VBfUKGORzGQkORBLqsIHA%3B%3BFXeZwwIdztliACmT

We will finish the email later so for now just minimise the email programme and lets get back to our planning and create the return e.g. of our journey.

Creating the return journey
Basically we repeat the steps above, but this time I set Thonon-les-Bains as my start point and Chatel 74390 France as my end point and surprise it suggests a route straight back along the original direct route. (notice it ignored the bit via the Col d’ Forclaz). Yes it will get me home but it’s a bit boring. So how about a pleasant ride beside Lake Geneva and returning home via Le Bouveret in Switzerland? With luck I could even find somewhere selling Toblerone bars.
Sounds good - so lets change the route using drag and drop, as before.

To be honest Chevnoz is never a fun place to visit, so why not pick on it again and simply drag the route away from it. Just click and hold and move the route Northwards until it locks onto the road beside the lake near Le Bouveret (just on the South Eastern edge of the lake) . – in a blink its realised that if I want to go via le Bouveret then it would be a good idea to keep going and return to Chatel via the twisties on the Morgins Pass – which is a much more interesting return journey so exactly what I want to suggest to my mates for our next ride out.

Obviously you can always extend the route using drag and drop as much as you like (perhaps via Manchester or Stockholm – it all depends on how long you want the ride to be) NB Each time you tweak the route Google Maps helpfully provides new directions and rough times and distances – which can helpful if you need to plan refuelling stops. Beware Google maps can crash if you create a spectacularly complex route. Hence saving your route often and breaking a long trip, into day rides of no more than 500 miles, makes sense.

Anyway when you are happy the route is going where you want. go to the “link” box and click on it and paste the link into the email we started writing earlier – but this time add some words of text to explain what it is e.g. “return route as follows”:
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Thonon-lesBains,+France&daddr=46.384833,6.835556+to:74390+Ch%C3%A2tel,+France&geocode=FXeZwwIdztliACmT_wZxiT6MRzGAlrrkKqsIBA%3B%3BFVWowQIdsP9nACnn6VBfUKGORzGQkORBLqsIHA&hl=enGB&mra=dp

Time to share the draft route with your mates
Now we need to complete the draft email by adding the email addresses of your mates together with a Subject and any pertinent narrative like – Subject “Fancy a ride this Sunday? Text - I suggest meeting at Premat garage at 09.30 leaving by 09.45, coffee stop in Thonon-les-Bains and lunch and possibly a swim in the lake in Le Bouverets, then returning via Monthey and Morgins by 15.30”. Check your spelling and then hit send and put your feet up until they respond.

Sure enough over the next few days, two people come back saying nice idea but can we also visit (1) Anthy les Bains in France and (2) Aigle in Switzerland? And they both are worried in case they need a fuel stop. So now it looks like you need to identify somewhere suitable to refuel, and also modify the original routes you sent out. So start with the email you sent out. Click on the first link you need to amend. That will once again launch Google maps (assuming it is not already running) and show the original route. Find a suitable place to divert from the original route and drag it westwards to Anthy les Bains. I think somewhere near Champagnes looks ideal as there is a nice section of new dual carriageway road to have a blast on.

That looks great, so again copy the link into a blank email with a suitable comment e.g. amended outward route via Anthy sur Leman - now 65 Km about 90 minutes – hope that suits everyone. There is a filling station at the Carefour in Anthy. (How did I find out? – all will be revealed in the goodies bit at the end.)
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=74390+Ch%C3%A2tel,+France&daddr=Unknown+road+to:46.346928,6.427002+to:Thonon-les-Bains,+France&hl=enGB&geocode=FVWowQIdsP9nACnn6VBfUKGORzGQkORBLqsIHA%3BFUa9wgIdvCRlAA%3B%3BFXeZwwIdztliACmT_wZxiT6MRzGAlrrkKqsIBA&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=2&sz=11&via=1,2&sll=46.31164,6.66002&sspn=0.258013,0.512924&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=11

Now to tweak the return route in the same way, so again click on the draft return route link which you sent out in your original email. As before it launches Google Maps and shows the original return route via the Morgins Pass.
Now those of you who know Switzerland will appreciate that Aigle is actually a couple of miles East of Le Bouveret on the far side of the Rhone valley. However Le Bouvreret is already just on the edge of the map so you may be wondering how do I drag the route to somewhere not even visible on the map?

Well we need to scroll the map. One option is to simply hide the details by clicking on the nice little double blue arrows you can see at the top left corner of the map. This allows a bit more of the map to be displayed.
But as that is still not quite enough to see Aigle (or indeed Berlin, Amsterdam… ) we need to use plan B which is to use the scroll map arrows. If you look on the left side of the map you will see a faint circle with 4 blue arrows marked. As we want to move right we need to simply click and hold down on the right one (pan right) and sure enough the map scrolls eastwards – once we have moved the map enough to see Aigle then simply let go the mouse button to stop the map scrolling.

Now we can amend the route following the usual process – fingers crossed its starting to become familiar. So we find a point on the existing route and click and hold the left mouse button and drag the route until it goes via Aigle, and then let go. Simple…
Right all sorted – well now we need to make a new email and send the update links to all you mates confirming the rendezvous and any other info. All we (and all your mates) now need to do is copy the route from “Google” format to our own GPS as follows.

Step 1 - Go to the TYRE website, choose the language you want and then install the programme on your PC/Mac.
Step 2 - connect you GPS and it will probably start to synchronise and update its map database. Leave the GPS connected.
Step 3 – Now start TYRE – there should be an icon on your desktop.
Step 4 – click on the “File – Import from Website” option to import the outward URL route plan.
Step 5 - Tyre will launch the route in Google Maps (Can be quite slow). Confirm it is the right route by Clicking on “Import” at the bottom right corner. (A summary route box should now appear in Tyre)
Step 6 - Use Tyre to upload the route to your own “Garmin” or “TomTom”

(Depending on the make of GPS you opted for, when you installed Tyre on your PC, there will be either a Garmin or TomTom menu tab - at the top of your copy of Tyre)

So for instance click the “TomTom” tab and then choose either of these options:
- “Active Route” and then “Copy to TomTom as Active Route”
(This loads the route direct to your connected TomTom and makes it the active route which it will follow immediately. This option is greyed out if your TomTom is not connected).
- “Copy to TomTom Home” (This will save a copy of the route onto your PC so the next time you connect your TomTom to the PC it can be uploaded to your GPS, or stored in the Itinerary Planning area).
(Basically similar options apply to Garmin.)

Step 7 – once the map has copied over, disconnect your GPS and check the outward route is installed as the active route.
Step 8 – Repeat adding the return route using steps 2 to 7 above BUT this time DO NOT save it as the active route just save it to the GPS memory and give it an obvious name which you can find when you have completed the outward le.g. of the journey e.g. “Sunday return route”

Disconnect you GPS and check you can find the return route on your GPS, it should be lurking in the Itinerary Planning area of your GPS.

Reference terms

GPS – Global Positioning Systems - navigation systems using amazingly accurate location information supplied from a bundle of satellites orbiting the planet coupled with some occasionally inaccurate mapping data supplied by the GPS unit manufacturer.

Google Earth - A free internet based mapping tool

Google Maps - the integrated free mapping and route planning facility within Google Earth.

TYRE (Trace Your Route Everywhere) – a free software programme developed in the Netherlands which allows routes imported from Google Maps to be saved to a TomTom or Garmin GPS system. (Like most shareware programmes - if you use it a lot then you may wish to send a small PayPal donation to help develop this excellent programme.)

Other Goodies

Just switch back to the Google earth view and select the relevant “layers” to add detail to a map of the route. You will find petrol stations shown under “more”, “Place cate.g.ories”.

Just select the relevant layers and view your planned route in a topographic map and you can enjoy a birds eye view of the route looking down from above. Choose Terrain view to see mountains etc. This should allow you to spot possible places of interest near to your route – forests, rivers, hills, mountains, lakes etc. If you fancy visiting any of the places just take a note of their location and then tweak your route accordingly.

Layers are a really useful tool (but don’t select them all as they can get out of hand). I probably do not need to know the locations of nearby cemetries, dog grooming parlours when planning a bike ride.

Focus on adding just the overlays which will be helpful. For instance if you choose site-seeing – then nearby tourist locations will be flagged up on the map together with links to pictures and other information like entry fees, opening times, websites etc. Other free overlays which you may want to include are those which show hotels, restaurants, other places to eat, petrol stations, and motorbike dealerships.

Feel free to share these notes with your friends
John & Dawn
www.lifford-cooke.com/motorbiking

 

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