Garrett County, Md
June 23, 2018  
Navigation Options - Cue Sheets, Phone Apps, Garmin & GPS Devices
The Garrett County Gran Fondo Garmin is proud to provide top-of-class navigation options for the five routes, including printable cue sheets with maps and elevation profiles, generic and Garmin-specific GPS files for use with GPS bike computers and watches, and online RideWithGPS and Strava routes for phone navigation via these mobile apps.

On event weekend the roads will be painted with arrows and nothing more than a bit of attentiveness while riding is needed for navigation. However, if you ride with a cell phone, or have a Garmin or GPS bike computer or watch, it does not hurt to come prepared with the routes loaded into your devices. And, the printable cue sheets are always nice to have available for peace of mind and for awareness of what is yet to come.

Table of Contents

Printable Cue Sheets

We offer two types of cue sheets for each route to satisfy all preferences.
  1. a simple, concise text-only cue sheet that lists just the turns and distances
  2. a more informative cue sheet that also includes maps and elevation profiles for each section of each route as well as the location of each cue sheet turn marked on the map and profile

Route Simple Text Cue Advanced Cue with Map + Profile
Garrett's Greatest 25
Fabulous 44
Masochistic Metric
Savage Century
Diabolical Double

Phone Navigation via RideWithGPS or Strava Mobile Apps

You can use your phone for navigation via the free RideWithGPS or Strava mobile apps. Both apps offer similar functionality including turn-by-turn directions and voice navigation, but with one critical difference being that only RideWithGPS supports the downloading of routes and maps to your phone for fully functional offline use.

We strongly recommend RideWithGPS over Strava for navigating the Garrett County Gran Fondo routes due to RideWithGPS's capability to download routes and operate in offline mode. Many miles of the GCGF routes have spotty or no cell coverage, so the ability to navigate and use the maps without cell connectivity is critical.

This preference for RideWithGPS navigation aside, we realize that Strava is the dominant player in the space and the preferred navigation app for many cyclists, and thus we provide for you the five GCGF routes in both RideWithGPS and Strava.

Follow these steps to set up your phone to navigate the Garrett County Gran Fondo routes with RideWithGPS or Strava:

Step RideWithGPS Strava
1. Login or Create a New Account Login or Create Account Login or Create Account
2. Link the Event or its Routes
With Your Account
Click RSVP on the RideWithGPS Event Page for the Garrett County Gran Fondo "Star" desired routes by clicking the star next to the name on Strava's route page Similarly, you can "star" all the GCGF Strava segments to mark them as favorites
3. Install the Mobile App
on Your Phone

4. Download Routes and Maps
for Offline Usage
Main Menu => My Events then select GCGF.
For each route desired, select Download and "Save Map and Route"
5. Ready to Ride - Step 1
Put the App in Offline Mode
Main Menu => Settings and then select the Offline Mode box.
Optionally to save battery, turn your phone's cellular data off
6. Ready to Ride - Step 2
Select the Route and Go!
Main Menu => Available Offline and then choose the GCGF route desired. Hit Go Ride when ready! Under Record Activity, choose Load Route. Choose Use Route for the route desired and Go Ride!

Garmin and GPS Files

If you have a Garmin bike computer or other GPS device, you should use it. We provide TCX files for Garmin GPS bike computers as well as generic GPX files that can be used by a plethora of devices. Download the appropriate files and follow the instructions below for loading the file into your device.

Route GPS Files
Garmin TCX Generic GPX
Garrett's Greatest 25
Fabulous 44
Masochistic Metric
Savage Century
Diabolical Double

General Instructions for Garmin and GPS Device Navigation
  1. Download the desired TCX or GPX files to your computer from the table above. Reference the device-specific instructions for whether to use TCX or GPX for your device.

    Generally, the TCX file is preferred for Garmin devices as this format embeds the turn-by-turn navigation information. The TCX files are set to notify 75 meters before an approaching turn, though in the real world this varies quite a bit.
  2. Connect your Garmin device to a computer via USB.
  3. Use a file explorer on your computer to open up the USB connected Garmin drive and browse into the Garmin folder on the device. Copy the downloaded TCX or GPX files into the NewFiles folder contained within the Garmin folder.
    Note that older Garmin Edge devices (200 and 300 series) are not browseable and thus you will need to import the TCX files into Garmin Training Center or Basecamp and then use the Send to Device option within these applications in order to get the routes onto the device
  4. Disconnect your Garmin device and the routes will now exist in your Courses on the device.
  5. Different Garmin models operate slightly differently, but to use a course that has been loaded onto your device, power the device on, open the Menu, then choose "Training", then "Courses", choose the desired course, and finally select "Do Course". Then press Start and ride your bike! For most Garmin devices there are multiple view modes for following the actively loaded course: cue sheet mode, breadcrumb map mode, normal bike computer mode, etc.... Experiment with your device to see what you like best.

Device-Specific Instructions

RideWithGPS provides excellent device-by-device information on whether to use TCX or GPX files, how to load them, and how to operate the device. We will not attempt to reinvent this wheel, so direct you to the RideWithGPS instructions instead..

Recommendations and Food / Fluid Locations for Unsupported Ride Attempts

The Garrett County Gran Fondo routes cover very remote territory where cell phone coverage is poor at best, and towns with stores and markets are few and far between. It is not our responsibility to provide advice to those attempting unsupported rides on these routes, however because we know that people will ride these routes on their own throughout the year and we want everyone to return home safe and sound, we will provide some recommendations to assist self-supported attempts.

First, cell coverage is spotty, so make sure others know what you are up to and where you are going.

Second, weather can change quickly and dramatically in the mountains, so be prepared for wide range of weather throughout the day.

And last, you won't be within 50 miles of a bike shop or anything to help with mechanical issues, so make sure the bike is in good condition and plenty of tubes, pump, etc...

With all that said, here are suggestions on where to go to get fluids and food throughout the Garrett County Gran Fondo routes.
  1. The only town the routes pass through with gas stations or markets on course is Friendsville at mile 21. While early in the ride, you absolutely want to make sure you leave Friendsville fully topped off.
  2. There is an outdoor hose bib at Aid Station 2 - Stockyards at Keyser's Ridge. However it cannot be relied on to be unlocked, so our suggestion is to go 0.8 miles off course north on US-219 where there are multiple gas stations and a McDonalds.
  3. In Bittinger there are no food options, but a few potential fluid options. At the MD-495 crossing intersection there is a little general store and post office. It seems to rarely be open so should not be counted on, however if open soda and snacks (likely expired) can be purchased there. Call ahead to see if they'll be open: 301-245-4444. Alternatively the Bittinger Fire Hall (location of Aid Stations 3 & 6) has an outdoor hose bib which may be on, and if really lucky, the Fire Hall itself may even be open. And, finally, the Lutheran Church just down the road at the intersection of Brenneman Rd and Maynardier Ridge Rd is usually open and there is a water fountain and bathrooms. Be respectful if you resort to this option.
  4. There are very few options from Bittinger all the way back to Bittinger again (58 miles for the Diabolical Double, 34 for the Savage Century), so it would be prudent to go off course to Howe's Market on New Germany Rd. Instead of following the routes on Shale Rd to New Germany Rd to Twin Churches Rd, it is suggested to continue straight on Otto Lane to Howes Market on New Germany Rd and then New Germany Rd to Twin Churches Rd as shown here.
  5. There are limited options in the Lonaconing / Barton region on MD-36. Immediately at the T intersection with MD-36 in Lonaconing at the base of the long descent is Coney Pizza where soda and chips (and pizza) can be purchased. Roughly a mile off course to the left (north) on MD-36 are two gas station / mini-marts. While a bit out of the way, this diversion will also take you past the very cool Lonaconing Iron Furnace, a remnant of the coal history of this region and a great place to sit and eat your pizza or mini-mart food. The Barton Community Park where Aid Station 4 is located has restrooms with water. These should be unlocked and available, but you never know... You want to make sure you leave Barton fully topped off as there are no reliable options from here all the way back until Bittinger.
  6. On Savage River Rd about 1 mile before Aid Station 5 at Big Run State Park there is a little hunting/fishing market. It is for sale and seems to be rarely open (maybe now never open?), but if you are lucky and it is open you can buy soda, snacks, and yummy ice cream sandwiches. Do not rely on this. Or call ahead to see if they'll be open for you: 301-777-0001. There is a waterless toilet facility at Big Run State Park, the location of Aid Station 5, but no water here.
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The Garrett County Gran Fondo Benefits Garrett Trails