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  1. #1
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    How do you stay connected?

    I'm new to the area and staying connected has never been a problem on my previous trails. A lot of the riding I do is by myself and I've found my cell phone more often than not doesn't get reception out the trails.

    What are you guys using to stay connected, especially in an emergency situation?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan The VW Tech View Post
    I'm new to the area and staying connected has never been a problem on my previous trails. A lot of the riding I do is by myself and I've found my cell phone more often than not doesn't get reception out the trails.

    What are you guys using to stay connected, especially in an emergency situation?
    Welcome to the neighborhood.

    Recent thread on this subject:

    Surviving a night out, injured in below freezing temps and high winds?

    (It has some sleeping/bivvy bag-motorcycle-injury scenario-firearm content, but the stuff about locators is pretty informative)
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  3. #3
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    I don't worry about it. Of course, I was riding bikes way before mobile phones/GPS/Spot trackers/etc were ubiquitous.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    I don't worry about it. Of course, I was riding bikes way before mobile phones/GPS/Spot trackers/etc were ubiquitous.
    Good point.

    Back in the good old days, I just rode with a dog all the time. If I got hurt I'd just grab the dog's collar and yell "Lassie, go get help!"
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  5. #5
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    I ride often in places where I don't have reception. Bring a cell phone just in case, though. There are lots of places up in them thar hills where you can text but not call. Also, be aware enough to tell people where you're going, your route, etc.

    Oh, and get a CORSAR card, too. YOu can get them at REI or with a fishing/hunting license. It's basically search and rescue insurance.
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  6. #6
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    Part of the joy of moiuntain biking out west is the opportunity to get fully dis-connected.

    Of course that comes with a greater degree of risk and personal responsibility (which may also enhance the experience).
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  7. #7
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    A couple years ago, back home during our (local volunteer mtb advocacy group) yearly XC race fund raiser there was a guy who managed to inhale a wasp during the race. He chugged water hoping to drown it it down but it crawled up and it stung him in his esophagus a few times. His throat started to swell closed and he was having a rough time breathing. 2 other racers stopped and had cell phones, one called 911, one called a spectator there with them and told them to get emergency people down there asap. That guy literally had his life saved by people ridding with cell phones. Ever since that race I have never ridden without a cell phone again. I throw it in my pack and either turn it off or put it on airplane mode if I have a virtual trail map saved on it, but I never ride without it. I'm just not used to it not working if I NEED it to.

  8. #8
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    Well... to be honest - you may simply have to get used to it not working. There are a lot of remote places out here and IMO you shouldn't *COUNT* on electronic doohickies working.

    Sometimes a map and compass and the knowledge to use them are more valuable than any electronic gadget.

  9. #9
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    Cell phone == luggage, be careful.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Well... to be honest - you may simply have to get used to it not working. There are a lot of remote places out here and IMO you shouldn't *COUNT* on electronic doohickies working.

    Sometimes a map and compass and the knowledge to use them are more valuable than any electronic gadget.
    The man speaks wisely.

    Quite surprising considering who he is.

    It's just the reality of the world out here.

    #1. Cell phones need line of sight. To have line of sight to a tower wherever you happen to be up in them thar hills, there would need to be one on every little ridge top. Once you've crawled around out there you realize, just because the mountain looks like one smooth slope with a couple little wrinkles, it ain't. It's all full of little draws and gulches. From the ridge top you can often get enough signal to text, but not enough to make a call unless you're pretty close to civilization.
    #2. Population density out here just isn't what it is in, uh, more populated places. You can expect to get coverage in the cities and for the most part along the US highways and many of the state highways. But once you get very far from those things, there just plain is not enough incentive for the cell companies to build a bunch of towers. Lots of them would not get used for months at a time, if not more.
    #3. Even if you do get cell coverage from some of the places that are way the heck out there, it takes time often to get help to you. If you're dying because of an allergic reaction and you can't stay alive for more than half hour (sometimes longer), well, you're gonna die.

    I was on my way to Moab a couple months ago. I was with a paramedic (off duty of course) and we came upon a rollover accident on I-70. Cars stopped, jeep on its roof, the whole deal. There was totally cell coverage. We stopped because my friend needed to see if he could help even though he wasn't in his home territory. Turns out things were more or less OK, didn't look like the driver was in danger of dying or anything...

    So we get back up to 80 mph. We drive for 10 minutes. Then, after all that time, there goes the ambulance, probably coming from Green River, UT.

    My point? Even on an interstate highway, with somebody placing a call right after the accident, that person was at least 40 minutes from somebody getting there to help.

    So, if you're going to play outside here in the big open west, be prepared to take care of yourself. Don't expect your cell or any other damn thing to save your life. Don't take stupid chances. Bring food water and clothing.

    That is all.

    Once again, welcome to the neighborhood.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    The man speaks wisely.

    Quite surprising considering who he is.
    Damned by faint praise.

  11. #11
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    The real question is whether you're an air-cooled or a water-cooled VW tech. If water-cooled, it's AMFYOYO, but if air-cooled, there will be a disturbance in the force & I will personally save you or have one of my minions do it.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  12. #12
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    I guess my simple answer to the original question is I don't. I still rely on the old, this is where I'm going and this is when I'll return if going solo.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF View Post
    The real question is whether you're an air-cooled or a water-cooled VW tech.
    He is an air cooled VW tech. Here is his picture as proof.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How do you stay connected?-caveman.jpg  


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moustache rider View Post
    He is an air cooled VW tech. Here is his picture as proof.
    Rock and stick, eh? That would make him a water cooled VW tech.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    I ride often in places where I don't have reception. Bring a cell phone just in case, though. There are lots of places up in them thar hills where you can text but not call. Also, be aware enough to tell people where you're going, your route, etc.

    Oh, and get a CORSAR card, too. YOu can get them at REI or with a fishing/hunting license. It's basically search and rescue insurance.
    You can get it online: https://dola.colorado.gov/sar/orderInstructions.jsf

    I do mine 5 years at a time.

  16. #16
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    Yup, the way I handle it is I tell people where I am going, ride within my limits, and I bring my cell phone along in case I have coverage. If I am going on an epic ride I try to bring a few friends along. And I carry an epi-pen during wasp and bee season (though I am not at all sure I would be brave enough to use it on myself)

    Seriously though, for most weekday rides, you are going to be close enough to the populated areas of the Front Range that the odds of someone happening along before you die of exposure or bleed to death are pretty high.

    I am amazed at the number of folks out there who worry about how to defend themselves if they are attacked by mountain lions, or what to do if they get injured and don't have phone coverage, or how to avoid getting lost if their GPS malfunctions... it is a wonder they ever leave the pavement.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  17. #17
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    I just ride with enough people to take care of my butt. One to help me get my bike to the nearest road, one to pick me up at said road, one to put my bike in the car and take me to the hospital, and one to pick me up from the hospital and take me back to my car. Works pretty well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post

    I am amazed at the number of folks out there who worry about how to defend themselves if they are attacked by mountain lions, or what to do if they get injured and don't have phone coverage, or how to avoid getting lost if their GPS malfunctions... it is a wonder they ever leave the pavement.
    Me too. I ran into a guy in the forest just today that was geocaching. Older guy, up from Denver, didn't know where he was in unfamiliar terrain. Battery on his GPS had died and he didn't have a map. Seriously? Bring a map and figure out how to use it man! Fortunately I was there to help him out. He had no idea.
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  19. #19
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    I don't rely on a cell phone, it doesn't get reception, hence this thread, but you guys are probably right, there's no reason to try to be prepared for the just in case, it's a lot more logical to live in fantasy land and pretend nothing can ever happen then it would be to just toss a locator beacon in my camebak and hope I never have to touch it.



    I do appreciate the replies that have been on topic and helpful. That first link to the other thread had a lot of good info in it.

  20. #20
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    +1 for "fantasy land" brah
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  21. #21
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    Denial is not a river in Egypt. I have a spot locator, never had to use it, but nice to know it's there. Aren't you glad you asked for advice on this forum?

  22. #22
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    1) Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Check in with them when you return.

    2) Know where you are going. If you've never been there, get a map, a trail guide, read a trail description, look at the area on google earth. Do this even if you are going with someone who has been there dozens of times and "knows the route". When you are riding, stop at significant junctions or landmarks, look at your map and make sure of your route.

    3) Bring what you need to fix your bike for common mechanicals. Bring a layer of warm clothes (even in summer you can get caught in weather). Bring adequate water and food for your ride, plus a little.

    4) Take a buddy with you. It is more fun to ride with someone and you have backup.

    5) By all means take your cell phone, your GPS, and your SPOT. But batteries and signals fail (as you have already found out). So having the LOW tech stuff that does not fail is important. Because some places you can't "stay connected". And electronics are no substitute for adequate planning and good common sense.

    6) Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Check in with them when you return.

    Is that more useful for you?
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    1) Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Check in with them when you return.

    2) Know where you are going. If you've never been there, get a map, a trail guide, read a trail description, look at the area on google earth. Do this even if you are going with someone who has been there dozens of times and "knows the route". When you are riding, stop at significant junctions or landmarks, look at your map and make sure of your route.

    3) Bring what you need to fix your bike for common mechanicals. Bring a layer of warm clothes (even in summer you can get caught in weather). Bring adequate water and food for your ride, plus a little.

    4) Take a buddy with you. It is more fun to ride with someone and you have backup.

    5) By all means take your cell phone, your GPS, and your SPOT. But batteries and signals fail (as you have already found out). So having the LOW tech stuff that does not fail is important. Because some places you can't "stay connected". And electronics are no substitute for adequate planning and good common sense.

    6) Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Check in with them when you return.

    Is that more useful for you?
    GOTWA. It's not just a bankrupt airline.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokefork View Post
    Aren't you glad you asked for advice on this forum?
    I'm assuming that you're being sarcastic. Dude comes in and asks for advice cause he heard second hand that someone swallowed a wasp at some race he was at. Doesn't get the answers he wants apparently. Posts a b!tchy response in which he comments on using a beacon. Obviously he had his answer already. What do you want?
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    ...6) Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Check in with them when you return...
    What if there isn't anybody on earth who cares if you live or die other than three cats and your mortgage lender?
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    What if there isn't anybody on earth who cares if you live or die other than your mortgage lender?
    Fixed that for you. Cat's would celebrate the death of their captor.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCS5280 View Post
    ... Cat's would celebrate the death of their captor.
    Hmm, not so sure about that. They would be emotionally devastated by the lack of kibble in their bowl come sundown.

    And who's going to be there to let them out.

    And let them back in.

    And let them out.

    And let them back in.

    (lather, rinse, repeat)
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Hmm, not so sure about that. They would be emotionally devastated by the lack of kibble in their bowl come sundown.
    They're cats, no need to worry about them:


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish View Post
    I'm assuming that you're being sarcastic. Dude comes in and asks for advice cause he heard second hand that someone swallowed a wasp at some race he was at. Doesn't get the answers he wants apparently. Posts a b!tchy response in which he comments on using a beacon. Obviously he had his answer already. What do you want?
    When I posted this I wasn't even aware there were beacons. I was hoping to find info ABOUT the different beacons/trackers/locator/emergency type devices, how they work, the pluses and minuses, what works better than others, what people have heard first hand experience with ect. I wasn't aware that was to much to ask out of the local mtb community.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan The VW Tech View Post
    When I posted this I wasn't even aware there were beacons. I was hoping to find info ABOUT the different beacons/trackers/locator/emergency type devices, how they work, the pluses and minuses, what works better than others, what people have heard first hand experience with ect. I wasn't aware that was to much to ask out of the local mtb community.
    Ryan,

    I would encourage you to focus on the "welcome to the neighborhood" aspect of this. If you have really thin skin, you are not going to enjoy the mtbr Front Range forum. This is more of a feel free to dish it out but be very prepared to take it kind of place. There are some good people here, and there are some mean bastids. Curiously, some of them are both.

    My best advice? HTFU.



    And one more thing: Inquiring minds want to know, water-cooled tech or air-cooled tech?
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Ryan,

    I would encourage you to focus on the "welcome to the neighborhood" aspect of this. If you have really thin skin, you are not going to enjoy the mtbr Front Range forum. This is more of a feel free to dish it out but be very prepared to take it kind of place. There are some good people here, and there are some mean bastids. Curiously, some of them are both.
    Shut your whore mouth, a$$hole.

  32. #32
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    !

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Shut your whore mouth, a$$hole.
    You are the worst kind of d-bag! Don't let me catch you alone, b!tch. One of these days you will regret crossing me.

    Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  33. #33
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    I spent a weekend and $200 to get Wilderness First Aid training. Shocked how unprepared I was.

    I also carry a spot device if going into the backcountry. The Front Range has so much traffic I don't worry about riding alone but I do tell the wife where I'm going and when I should be back.
    2012 Rumblefish Elite, 2015 Minnesota 2 Fatbike, 2010 Superfly 100 Carbon, 2014 CAAD 10 roadie

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan The VW Tech View Post
    I'm new to the area and staying connected has never been a problem on my previous trails. A lot of the riding I do is by myself and I've found my cell phone more often than not doesn't get reception out the trails.

    What are you guys using to stay connected, especially in an emergency situation?
    my two cents, get a Verizon cell. They seem to have the best backwoods coverage....at least you'll better your odds that way...
    The more out of shape you are, the steeper the hill looks.

  35. #35
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    FCC rules require cell service providers to put through all 911 calls even if comes from a non customer. So for emergency calls it doesn't matter who your provider is. The model phone itself probably makes a difference.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan The VW Tech View Post
    A couple years ago, back home during our (local volunteer mtb advocacy group) yearly XC race fund raiser there was a guy who managed to inhale a wasp during the race. He chugged water hoping to drown it it down but it crawled up and it stung him in his esophagus a few times. His throat started to swell closed and he was having a rough time breathing. 2 other racers stopped and had cell phones, one called 911, one called a spectator there with them and told them to get emergency people down there asap. That guy literally had his life saved by people ridding with cell phones. Ever since that race I have never ridden without a cell phone again. I throw it in my pack and either turn it off or put it on airplane mode if I have a virtual trail map saved on it, but I never ride without it. I'm just not used to it not working if I NEED it to.
    I remember that event well.

    Don't let the sour gits on this forum get you down. It's always worse when the weather turns and they can't ride... It's not like the moderated CAMBr forums. This is the Wild West. Now back on topic....

    As you know cell coverage here is spotty at best and non existent in many cases. I realized my riding could be potentially life threatening as I often ride by myself out, of cell coverage and with no one around in terrain that can often be, euphemistically, described as bone breaking.

    This year I corrected that. I bought this.
    How do you stay connected?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1355375863.462752.jpg

    It's the Delorme InReach Satellite Communicator. It does GPS tracking, two way satellite text messaging as well as the standard SOS.

    The unit is nice in that it is tough, clips onto the pack's light belt, and it is easy to use as it connects with my iPhone.

    The downsides? It's fairly expensive and it requires a subscription. It's also pretty heavy. Buts it's robust.

    I would never ride off the grid without it these days.
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 12-12-2012 at 09:44 PM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I was on my way to Moab a couple months ago. I was with a paramedic (off duty of course) and we came upon a rollover accident on I-70. Cars stopped, jeep on its roof, the whole deal. There was totally cell coverage. We stopped because my friend needed to see if he could help even though he wasn't in his home territory. Turns out things were more or less OK, didn't look like the driver was in danger of dying or anything...
    Red Jeep Wrangler YJ? If yes, I heard of the wreck, I know that guy and appreciate you stopping.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiebrett View Post
    Red Jeep Wrangler YJ? If yes, I heard of the wreck, I know that guy and appreciate you stopping.
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was red. It's been a couple months now, but I'll bet it was your friend.

    How's he doing? When I saw him he was sitting in the barrow pit with people around him and he had the 1000-yard stare.

    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    So, if you're going to play outside here in the big open west, be prepared to take care of yourself.


    Wilburness first aid, a vital skill to have...
    We splinted and stabilized my foot with jackets, zip ties, and a lil duct tape.. (in hindsight, should have used bike pumps for more rigidity) and self extracted.


    self reliance and self sufficiency, without them, your bound to be screwed eventually.

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