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I went for a ride yesterday to test my new SPOT. When I go on long rides Deb (wife) would like me to check in so she knows how things are going. On the last 2 trips there have been problems getting internet and cell service so the check-in was very unreliable (not my fault this time). The SPOT uses GPS satellites to get a position and Communication satellites to sent a message to a receiver in Texas, they send out an email or text message to the designated recipients. There are 4 different messages. You can write your own message for the first 3, OK, Custom, HELP. The 4th level is S.O.S. and Emergency Response Services are sent to your location. The HELP and S.O.S. message buttons are covered with separate guards so you cannot sent by "accident".
To test the system I decided to do an official Iron Butt Association ride. The lowest level is the Bunburner 1000, 100mi (1620 km) in 24 h. Start, finish, and at least 2 other points must be documented by automated receipts, which must have date, time and location. I decided to do the Around Lake Huron ride, It is already described on the IBA site and it cannot be short cut (one of the requirements for acceptance), and I have ridden most of the route and know the roads.
I started from Home, Toronto ON (first and last gas receipt at Brimley & Ellesmere) and sent SPOT - OK messages at all gas stops, Port Huron MI, Bay City MI, Otsego MI,(after clearing CDN customs, Sault St Marie ON), McKerro ON, North Bay ON, Bradford ON. I also sent a Custom Message, DELAYED, from the Sault Narrows bridge, the traffic across the bridge was backed up from Canadian Customs across the bridge past toll gates to get on the bridge on the US side, It took 1.5h to cross the 2 km bridge.
The SPOT worked very well. Deb got the check-in messages within minutes with a link to Google Maps so she could see where I was.
The ride was great....Cool temps, 15C...11C+ light rain...17C, I used my heated vest and grips. Overcast the whole day, no problems with sun glare. Only had light rain from Mackinaw Bridge to Blind River (5h) = 25%.. forecast was for 40%.
No mechanical problems of any kind.
I usually set the cruise control to speed limit +10%, Traffic was light, spread out and moving at the speed limit + 5, most of the time ( except for the Sault Narrows bridge). I pre-planned the route, gas , food and rest stops, on my Garmin GPS and then followed the plan. It was a long day, I started at 5:00 am and finished at 11:10 pm (18h) but I was not uncomfortable at any time. Today I do not have any new aches and pains.
I may now consider doing some of the multi-day Iron Butt rides.
 

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:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: Good for you got to get me a Spot as well :congrats:
 
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