Finding somewhere new to ride that is safe and interesting is a challenge, particularly if you are not that confident with a map. Petra Studholme, a member of the Essex Bridleway Association, is keen to help more riders to explore the countryside and has come up with a way of sharing good routes that will encourage safe riding, away from busy roads.
Sharing good rides is made easier with ViewRanger
Petra explains that the Essex Bridleway Association (EBA) is working to preserve and maintain existing bridleways, create new ones, restore ancient rights of ways and encourage riders to try new routes. To facilitate this, she has been using ViewRanger, a GPS mobile mapping app to plot, track and share her rides.
ViewRanger, is an easy-to-use off-road GPS, it allows you to download to your phone a choice of free maps, or paid-for Ordnance Survey mapping. Once the map is on the phone it can be viewed without a mobile signal, however, your location is visible at all times using GPS.
A colleague of Petra’s introduced her to ViewRanger when he heard that she was riding in unfamiliar places.
She first used ViewRanger for a ride in Thetford Forest as she recalls;
“It is easy to lose your bearings in Thetford Forest because there are very few landmarks and every tree looks the same! I think I was the only person on the trip who didn’t get lost. I loved the app so much that day, I have kept using it.”
Now Petra is an active ViewRanger, using it to plan new routes and share them with friends, family and members of the EBA.
“The EBA organises about 10 rides a year and we look for routes that are about 12-14 miles long, although shorter options are also available. I get a paper map off a friend, plot the route online using myviewranger on the computer and then sync it with my smartphone. I can check how long the route is and if it is suitable for the other riders. It is also possible to add notes about meeting places etc.
“The other way I use the app is to explore an area and track where I’m riding. Afterwards I can upload my route and share it on the EBA Facebook page so others can enjoy the ride too.”
“I’ve recently discovered the sports computer setting which tells me how fast I’m going and what my top speed was. It’s amazing to see how fast we actually go!”
One of Petra’s most popular rides goes along to Holme-next-the-Sea / Hunstanton beach in Norfolk, where the EBA organises a 3-day short break holiday. Riding on the beach is an amazing experience for both horses and riders. Some horses are apprehensive but others enjoy playing in the waves straight away and have been known to go for a swim.
The ride begins at Courtyard Farm and it is 5 miles to the beach. Riding on Hunstanton beach – and indeed Holkham beach which is a short drive away and the EBA destination for the 3rd day of the holiday – is permitted 365 days of the year and has miles of flat golden sand (and some patches of rather sticky mud)
Petra has uploaded this route to ViewRanger and you can find it by searching “Beach Ride from Courtyard Farm” on the routes tab at my.viewranger.com.
“I always recommend ViewRanger to other riders. Nearly everyone has smart phones so it’s perfect, it just needs someone to prompt riders to download the app.
“Once I show it to people they are really interested and can see how useful it would be. It is so important always to know where you are when you are riding. It really has changed the way we ride.”
The Essex Bridleway Association (EBA) aims to get riders to explore the Essex countryside and use the many bridleways available to them, as well as helping keep the routes open for future generations.
For more information see.http://www.essexbridleways.co.uk/where-to-ride-in-essex.aspx
To view Petra’s recommended rides on your phone download the app for free and then ‘favourite’ Petra to see her routes. Alternative you can see them on a computer, go to http://my.viewranger.com/user/details/67818 register to see Petra’s selection.
About ViewRanger http://www.viewranger.com
ViewRanger is a UK based Outdoors Navigation mobile app specialist, it launched its first product in 2006. Every version of the app includes global mapping that can be stored offline and today there is a user community in over 80 countries.
Additionally in most European countries, USA, Canada and New Zealand the app can be upgraded to run full topographic mapping. The apps comprehensive feature set, its proven reliability and detailed mapping means that it is used by many Search & Rescue teams in UK, Ireland, USA & Canada.
The global community of ViewRanger users store and share their adventures using the app and the web based tools at www.my.viewranger.com. Over 300 official bodies, like Tourist agencies, book publishers, hotels and magazines also use the service to digitally deliver their expert trails for walking and cycling to smartphones.
Media contact for Augmentra/ViewRanger: Nina Beadle/ Rachel Holdsworth, PR consultants, Holdsworth Associates, Tel: 01954 202789, email: Nina@holdsworth-associates.co.uk, www.holdsworth-associates.co.uk
ViewRanger contact: Ian Pond, Marketing Director, ViewRangerian@viewranger.com +44 7973 200006
Outdooractive is the world’s leading digital platform for outdoor adventure, a virtual home for all outdoor enthusiasts. With our solutions we support people in living an active lifestyle. We encourage them to explore the great outdoors and inspire moments of connection in nature. In late 2019, Outdooractive acquired Cambridge-based ViewRanger, who had built a profitable business delivering an outdoor navigation app to a worldwide community of active consumers.