Guidelines for RUSA Permanents "Ride with GPS" Route Files



The Ride with GPS (RwGPS) file will be the primary route document for a permanent. Its cues must contain all the information formerly expected in a route sheet. Riders who desire a printed route sheet can print one themselves from the RwGPS file. 

Important changes to all controls

Control times are self-attested. Riders may show proof of passage with digital photographs. The time embedded in the photograph's metadata is sufficient. A rider using a brevet card notes the arrival time. No third-party initials or receipts are required. 

Ride with GPS file requirements

The RwGPS file you provide will serve as the primary source for the route. In general terms, the RwGPS file must contain every entry that a route sheet would contain. The file must meet these requirements:

  1. Controls must be in the list of cues. Use Add to Cue Sheet to add controls. (Important tip: Added cues, and any cue you edit manually, will be lost if a route segment is recomputed. Protect edited cues by placing a control point on either side using Add Control Point.)

A cue's Notes field is what is displayed on gps devices, spoken by the RwGPS phone app in Voice Navigation, and output to a printed cue sheet. Notes is the field you edit to add custom information.


  1. Set a control cue's Type to Control.
  2. The location of controls should be specified as precisely as possible. Preferably the start and finish controls are near a business. Provide the name and address of the business.
  3. All controls are self-attested as described above. Specify what item or landmark should be photographed if the rider is using photos.
  4. Place the elapsed time limit for the route in the Start and Finish control cues for easy reference by the rider.
  5. Intermediate controls are not timed. You may add reference times if you like.
  6. Follow every control with a departure instruction telling the rider how to leave the control. For example, “Left from store,”  “Continue on trail,” or “Return the way you came.”
  7. Mark controls with POIs (Points of Interest). Reviewers will be able to assess control placement at a glance. Riders will have a mental map of where they will encounter controls.

    Noting other useful locations with POIs such as restrooms and resupply points is considerate for riders but not required.

    Placing a POI does not create a cue entry! POIs have no influence on the route track or cues!
  8. Railroad tracks and other severe hazards should be noted with a cue entry of type Danger. Examples of hazards are bad railroad tracks, a grating on a blind curve, a location that typically has gravel on the road, a tight curve on a fast descent. In general, you should note anything that might take a prudent cyclist by surprise. Take into consideration whether the hazard might be encountered at night.
  9. The beginning and end of gravel roads should be noted. If the road quickly alternates between paved and graveled sections, just note the beginning and end of the entire section.
  10. RwGPS frequently generates superfluous cues which should be deleted lest they cause confusion. Examples are small changes in road alignment that generate a Turn instruction on a straight road, or a road name change in the middle of nowhere with no road signs. In many cases such instructions add no useful information and should be deleted.

    When a road's name changes usually it is sufficient to note the new name in the previous instruction, such as: “Turn left onto Alpha Ave / BC Beta Blvd” (BC=becomes). When the name changes at an intersection, it may be good to leave the instruction as a landmark, editing it to include the name of the cross street, such as “At Chross Rd, continue onto D Dr.”
  11. At traffic circles (roundabouts) set the cue type to the overall direction change to give the rider an idea of which way they should be going after exiting the circle.

    Edit the cue if necessary to add the exit number. For example, if entering a circle from the south and exiting west at the second exit, the cue type would be Left and the instruction should be something like, “Take the 2nd exit onto West Rd.”

    Sometimes RwGPS generates a cue at the entrance to a traffic circle and a second cue at the exit. Delete the exit cue. Ensure all the necessary information is in the entry cue.
  12. RwGPS occasionally fails to generate a cue. You can see where cues are located by selecting Show Cue Icons in the Options pane. Please inspect your route closely for missing cues. To fix a missing cue do this: 
    1. Place a control point on both sides of the turn.
    2. Move one of the control points to recompute the route segment. Doing this should generate a cue.
    3. If this fails to generate a cue, place a cue manually with Add to Cue Sheet.
  13. Sometimes RwGPS generates a cue like "Turn left at the Burger King" instead of "Turn left onto Hamburger Heights." Thus you should check each cue to ensure it references a road name.
  14. Please do not edit RwGPS's automatically generated cues for brevity. Write custom cues in the same style, eg, "Turn left on X St." Some riders rely on the RwGPS phone app's voice navigation which reads the contents of the Notes box.

When you send your route to RUSA make sure its visibility is set to Public.