To find out which GPS devices are allowed and the Red Bull Romaniacs Rules and regulations for GPS please read 5.6 and 5.7 of the Regulations.
This section is about learning how GPS works and how competitors use it at the Red Bull Romaniacs hard enduro rallye
1. GPS – How does it work?
Your GPS device receives signals from satellites.
To tell you an accurate position, your GPS device needs signals from at least 3 satellites. If you get good signals from more than 3 satellites your GPS device provides even more accurate positional information.
The antenna of the GPS needs a direct view to the sky! The quality of the signal depends on many factors like weather or surroundings.
If you are riding through a forest, or in a deep valley the signal will not be as accurate as it would be in an open field, bad weather like snowfall, clouds or fog can affect the quality of the signal the GPS receives.
GPS Track - What’s that?
A track is a series of connected GPS points which form a virtual road. Tracks can be up and downloaded from and onto the GPS device, recorded and saved.
At the Red Bull Romaniacs you will navigate on a track(s) which we upload onto your GPS device each evening.
When you are racing, your GPS device must record where you are driving, when you reach the finish we view your recorded track to check that you stayed on the race track.
Waypoints – Possible lifesavers
Waypoints are points with exact coordinates. At the Red Bull Romaniacs we use waypoints for fuel points, rescue points and even for media camera points. In case of accidents or emergencies the easiest way to tell someone where you are is by creating a waypoint and providing the coordinates to the rescue team.
- by pressing and holding the MARK/ENTER key, on most Garmin GPS devices, you create a waypoint, this displays your exact position.
2. GPS - Why use it?
If track banners are missing or visibility is low
Riders can use the GPS as navigation tool to stay on track. In case you are confused about which track to take, or the marks are missing, viewing the GPS display provides you with which direction to take.
Know the track in advance
A GPS device can help you drive more intuitively because it shows you in advance which way the track goes, will shows in advance a corner coming, or that you can maintain a higher speed because you can see a long straight line track on the GPS.
In case of problems, know where help is located
Also we use GPS devices for safety (see Waypoints) - in case of problems, you can see where our rescue point vehicles are located beside the course.
If you go a wrong way, you can still find the right track
If you miss a turn or leave the racing track you will not see any more marks on the display. The safest way to find the track again is to return to the point where you left the course track.
Now that you know how it works, practice how to create a WAYPOINT.
Rescue operations are possible! and faster if we know your exact position.
You WILL be asked to demonstrate how to make a Waypoint and how to read it at scrutineering.
3. How does GPS navigation help?
GPS Navigation – How do I use it?
GPS Navigation helps you know where you came from, where you are going and gives a direction line to follow to get there.
The GPS Team will upload each night the next days race track on your GPS device(s). Before the start, you will need to turn it on and get a GPS signal.
You will then see the day's race track (a line) and a little man/arrow (that's YOU).
In order to navigate using the GPS, all you need to do is to keep the little man/arrow on the line (the track).
The zoom level is important
The trick is to set a zoom level that fits your driving:
- a zoom level (120m) will tell you your position on the track more exactly, but you will not see much of the track that follows.
- a zoom level (above 500m) won't tell your position on the track as exactly, but you will be able to anticipate the track and see what is coming ahead.
If you want to ride fast - watch the markings
Ride by looking for banners & marks on the track and checking your GPS to see if you are still on the right track. Trying to race by viewing only the GPS track will make your race time slower because too much time viewing the GPS screen, will can lead to not seeing the banners & track marks and viewing the what's ahead.
4. How should I use the GPS at Red Bull Romaniacs?
At Red Bull Romaniacs the GPS device is important because it is a useful safety device and keeps competitors on the course track.
During Red Bull Romaniacs you navigate by following the banners & markers on the track. These banners & markings are usually well placed and visible but it can happen that the banners or markings get stolen, moved or damaged.
This can cause competitors to get lost or to go on the wrong track, so check you are following the right track by checking your GPS display especially before crossroads or where you see race class marked intersections.
Recording – Why does my GPS need to be set to record?
When you are competing in Red Bull Romaniacs your GPS "must be'' set to record where you are racing. This allows us to check at the end of the day if you stayed on the right track. It also enables the TrackBack® function, that will show you on the map where you have been.
Tracks – How are they named?
The tracks you will be navigating with at Red Bull Romaniacs are named in a specific way so that the organizer or the competitors can’t make mistakes.
The tracks which are uploaded to your GPS device are composed of a number of parts, each of 500 points. The number of parts depends on the length of the day's course.
A track at Red Bull Romaniacs is named as follows: first the initial of the class you are riding at, followed by the number of the day and the part of the track. For example the name of the 2nd part of the track for the Experts class for day 3 would look like this: E3PART2 (E = Experts, 3 = 3rd day, PART2 = 2nd part of the track).
Parts of tracks – Where and how do I change to the next part?
According to the length of the daily course, the track will be split in a number of parts. The changing of the parts will be done only at the fuel points so you don’t lose precious time on the racetrack doing it.
To see what tracks are saved to your GPS device enter the menu, then select TRACKS and then LIST SAVED. Here you will see a list of the tracks saved to your GPS device and a section which tells you how much memory you are using (this memory is only for the track called ACTIVE LOG which is what your GPS is recording).
On some older Garmin® GPS devices you have to select the next part of the track (as described above) and select NAVIGATE. On the next screen select TO END. You have to change to the next part of the track at every fuel point.
On some Garmin® GPS devices you have the option to select “SHOW ON MAP”.
If you select this option for all parts you don’t need to change the parts at the fuel points any more because all parts are shown on your navigation screen at once.