TomTom Application Issue

Quick post to say that we’ve been notified that TomTom have now released an App update with a power save feature that has the instruction “enable if you are NOT using a 2.1A charger to prevent battery discharge”. This option must be enabled with our current charger as it produces a 1 Amp output.

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iPhone 6 and Samsung S5 cases

Our new Twisty Ride iPhone 6 and Samsung S5 cases are on their way! You will see below the pictures of our 3D printed prototype. We’ve been working hard on this one here are some of the highlights:

  • We remain the only case that is certified IP55 waterproof when the charging cable is plugged in (and without too but that’s easy). Good for high speed riding in heavy weather, or even sailing for that matter.
  • The screen and lens material now comes from 3M and presents higher resistance to scratches as well as greater clarity than our previous models (and most of the competition too).
  • Whilst the iPhone 6 is noticeably larger than the iPhone 5, the overall case dimensions have been kept roughly the same as with our iPhone 5 model thanks to a completely redesigned bottom end.
  • We now have a headphone socket for the iPhone 6 (although your headphones’ connector must be the same size as the standard Apple connector).
  • The case will also be available with for the Samsung S5.
  • Our new charger will be based on a standard USB connector (but modified to be waterproof) to allow other components to be charged.

Production should complete in Feb 2016, in time for the riding season. (or sailing). Stay tuned!

Twisty-Ride-iPhone6

Technical News

Two quick technical news:

Motorcycle Journey Planner

Google has just deprecated its Maps API v2.0 which means the functionality of our motorcycle route planner is somewhat diminished. We are working hard on fixing this and hope to have an updated engine for the start of the riding season.

Apple iOS 7 and Third Party Chargers

Some of our clients reported an issue when charging their iPhone 5 after the iOS 7 upgrade. This is a known issue that Apple has introduced with iOS 7. There are a number of lawsuits that have been filed against Apple as this can be construed as anti-competitive.

A number of workarounds have been published on the web but with varying degrees of success. The one which seems to have worked best so far is to follow Apple’s advice to “reset all settings” on the iPhone (thanks Jonathan S!).

In the meantime, we have gone back to the drawing board and have now just released a new iPhone 5, 5S and 5C cable which fixes this issue. If you have a proof of purchase (order # or picture of your TRI501CON cable), please contact us at puncture@twistyride.com to get more details on the modalities of a replacement.

That’s all folks!

Best Brews Addendum

Every now and then we receive emails from readers on their favourite place to stop on a ride. We published our own list of best brews a while back. Here is an addendum.

Loomies

Loomies, Winchester, Hampshire

“You need to ride out to Loomies on a weekend along the A272 from Winchester and then back along the A32 towards Alton and on to Basingstoke. Brilliant roads and Jane at Loomies is just the greatest character you will ever meet.” (Ian)
http://www.loomies.co.uk/

HCafe

H Cafe, Dorchester on Thames, Oxfordshire

“H Cafe is another family owned business that seems to have been there for ever and a day. A very friendly place where bikers of all shapes, sizes and types gather for a greasy breakfast, cup of tea and a chat. Highly recommended.” (Ian again)
http://www.h-cafe.co.uk/

DomsBikeStopDom’s Bike Stop, Leominster, Herefordshire

“I would heartily recommend …Dom’s Bike Stop, just outside Leominster, on the A44 towards Worcester.
It’s a wonderful oasis offering a friendly welcome and the most amazing bacon and sausage sarnies from their own home-grown free range pigs. Check out their Facebook page, but check before you head out whether they’re going to be open!” (John)
http://www.ifancyafryup.co.uk/cafes/england/herefordshire/leominster/doms-bike-stop.html

RhodesMinnisRhodes Minnis Bike Meet

“The bike meet is held on Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm and is also open 7 days a week 10am-4pm.
We welcome all bikers and bike enthusiasts, of all motorcycle types and engine sizes.
Come join us, it’s a beautiful ride out to get here, with a warm welcome when you arrive and fresh food, hot & cold drinks, inside and outside seating areas and hard standing parking.
Whilst having your food & cuppas, you can feel good, knowing you are helping to contribute to the costs of running the Animal sanctuary.” (Lorraine)
http://rhodesminnisbikemeet.weebly.com/

To Helsinki and Beyond

Somewhere in Sweden

From time to time, we receive interesting requests from fellow bikers riding into the sunset. Today it’s John, taking a month off to go to Helsinki:

I’m planning to ride over to Helsinki towards the end of July, returning sometime in August, and I was wondering if you could give any advice?
I put Helsinki in as a destination on the route planner, and got some very interesting suggestions, which seemed to run out of steam once it got beyond Germany.
My intended route is to take the tunnel across to Calais and head up towards Hamburg, then up to Denmark, Sweden and across to Finland, then returning by dropping down to Estonia, and thru Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and back virtually the same way thru Hannover.

Helsinki is well known to Twisty Ride since it is the place where we held our 2011 general assembly. And it is AWESOME! Especially in summer with very long days and an entire population keen to enjoy them. The main issue with the countries that you will be going through John, is that they are rather flat which, in turn, makes the roads quite uninteresting. We’ve driven a fair bit in mainland Sweden and Finland and, well, it’s more Harley territory than KTM Duke. Plus reindeers are everywhere including the middle of the road so you need to watch out. The only salvation in this type of terrain is to stick to the coast. The sea brings the dramatic landscapes and the twists and turns which put a smile back on the biker’s face.

Our website will not be able to compute such a large trip (too CPU intensive). However you can break it down into smaller pieces and plan them individually with it. The other point to note is that our coverage of the North is not great (help us by adding roads here). The alternative is to bring a map with you and every evening plan your road for the next day (Michelin maps highlight scenic roads and the twists are apparent). We used to do that a lot before creating the website.

Smartphone, GPS and the Sahara: The Return

The story so far: a small number of TR crew members took the support truck to the Sahara to participate in a rally with one twist: the GPS navigation would be done entirely with two mobile phones. Yep… the rally organisers were a bit surprised at first. But then we won it so it wasn’t such a crazy idea after all. The rest of the 60 odd participants were mostly on big Garmin GPS units with a few having specialised off road products with very detailed maps.

We used two applications (more on why we choose them on this post):

We downloaded the map tiles to get a full country (Morocco) coverage at a medium zoom level (zoom 11 on Backcountry) and a selected number of cities at maximum zoom level (zoom 16 on Backcountry).

Findings:

  • You really need zoom 16 everywhere around the route’s track. We discovered that quickly and were able to download the missing tiles on the hotel after day 1 so no biggies.
  • With the tiles in, the accuracy and topographic information provided by the apps was great (especially Backcountry) and in fact better than most of the Garmin units. There has been a number of instances where we have been able to compare the decisions we made with competitors and found out we did better because we had more information than they did.
  • Phones are not super rugged (hence our case) so we were a bit concerned. We only had one issue when one of the phone overheated and decided to shut down. Thankfully we had a backup. The Garmins did not overheat but there has been two reported issues where the unit couldn’t lock on satellites.

Bottom line, it worked really really well. Did I already mention we won the rally? At £10 per app, instead of £300+ for a serious off-road GPS I think it is a no brainer.

A direct result of this adventure is that http://www.twistyride.com will be modified this coming year in order to become compatible with these apps. Indeed, with the Garmin app requiring to be constantly hooked to a data connection (not good if you intend to go on a different country) and TomTom dropping the support for ITN files (why TomTom, why?) we believe that the two apps we used for the rally are what is needed for serious touring.

Erg Chigaga