Trailforks Aids Rescue of Injured Mountain Biker in Penticton, BC

May 27, 2019 at 15:47
by trailforks  

The Penticton Herald reports that Trailforks assisted in the rescue of an injured mountain biker on the Three Blind Mice trail network in Penticton, BC. The free trail map app Trailforks is Pinkbike's sister company.

After a rider was injured on the Bronco trail, her riding partners used Trailforks to send rescuers her exact location. Because of the rider's injuries and the area's terrain, Search and Rescue manager Kelvin Hall chose a helicopter extraction over a ground stretcher team. Hall recommends all backcountry users download Trailforks.

The rider's condition is unknown at this time, but we'll update this as soon as we know more. We wish her the best in her recovery!

Success Story Trailforks Search and Rescue
From when Trailforks met with Park City Fire Department to discuss search and rescue.

Trailforks SAR Interface

The Trailforks SAR interface shows your position with included accuracy bubble and the coordinates of the injured rider. As you travel towards the victim, the map auto-zooms in to always show where you are in relation to the target. You can reset the target if information changes and the interface will auto-reset zoom and location to include your location and target.

Success Story Trailforks Search and Rescue
The Trailforks user side emergency interface.
The real power of the module comes in the accuracy of the Trailforks data and the outdoor usability of the map interface. When you have to glance down at the map in full sunlight, having accurate trails overlayed on our high contrast custom basemap makes location acquisition quick.

On the Trailforks application user side, there is an option to use the emergency button which will both dial out to emergency services and provide their location in large latitude/longitude numbers. On some phones, when tracking is not being used within the app, the location that the phone reports can sometimes be way off. Some phones will try to use Wifi triangulation or other means to estimate location. Using the handy emergency feature in the app will force the phone to try to get a good GPS fix and report your location in big and easy to read numbers.

Usage of the 911 dial-out feature in the Trailforks app is not required for the SAR module to work, as they run independently. Often the PCFD relies on the 911 dispatch to provide the GPS coordinates as reported by the phone.

Trailforks also has a database of local emergency numbers, so if you're travelling and have an incident and pull up the emergency page, the regions local emergency number will be shown. Bike Parks can even enter their SAR number rather than riders calling the local towns 911.

From the emergency page you can also "Share" your location which will generate a link. When sent and opened by another user a pin of your location will open on their app or website.

For more information on how your SAR Group or Rescue outfit can get better connected, send an email to: support@trailforks.com


88 Comments

  • + 218
 Trailforks is the shit!

Just thinking out loud, but what if there was an option to alert nearby riders if you need help? Imagine you're riding just by yourself and you crash and need quick help...
  • + 37
 I really like that idea!
  • + 24
 Tagging somebody from pb team for visibility @radek
  • + 6
 This is a solid idea!
  • + 5
 Yeah, that's a cool idea. I built something similar with geo-fencing and alerts for a hackathon project while working for MapQuest a while back, basically would send push notice/sms to people registered to receive alerts when someone is using the directions as they approach a destination (ie: alert wife when I get within one mile of kid's school). I could see something like detecting when the accelerometer spikes followed by stop in motion (GPS) for certain amount of time create a geo-fence around the device/rider and send out an SOS beacon to devices within the geo-fence or whom enter the geo-fence. Basically trying to detect a fall in which a rider doesn't get up, I think that it would gobble up battery though.
  • + 6
 Yeah what if it is like the weather or amber alert in then US. I have been sitting in a restaurant and heard about 45 phones all go off at once with this type of alert. This would be awesome if I was riding and my phone when if to show me a rider is hurt on a trail next to me. I would change course to go help or wait with them for emergency services. I think we all would.
  • + 1
 @vjunior21: just circling back and thinking, it wouldn't even need to alert other riders, unless maybe they toggle on a feature. Could be as simple as sending an SMS alert with coordinates to emergency contacts that a user could store in the app.
  • + 58
 Technically all this is possible. I think what we would do is once an alert goes out, we could sync that "POI" to any app within that area. So if you are using the app in the area you would see this alert POI.
Sms can be done too.
But privacy, opt-in requirements and abuse are always variables that pose a roadblock to all of us having cool and nice things Smile
  • + 4
 @radek: I was not seeing this as a new “Call nearby trail angel when you forgot you spare tube” button; more like an add-on to the Call Emergency function. If you’re in a bad enough situation that you need other riders help, you’re likely going to need medical assistance. And having to call emergencies would be a pretty good deterrent to abusing this function. Trailforks would only need to ask riders once if they want to opt-in this function; and possibly set a radii (especially in high-population area or trail networks closed to cities). But yeah I agree that it needs to be well taught of so it doesn’t become an annoying feature and people disable it...
  • + 22
 Great idea until joeys start sending out help requests for flat tires
  • + 10
 @lognar: more worrying would be Joeys sending out alerts for wanting your new bike. Thieves have used similar tactics.
  • + 2
 @chacou: garmin does this and they will send a text to a designated number after a too quick stop and it stops if you move around
  • + 5
 @Loche: I like the idea of linking it with the call emergency services (or some other "deterrent" to joeys who are in a minor pinch). I'm definitely down to help other riders who are injured, but i dont want to be giving out tubes and cliff bars to every joey i see in park city.
  • + 1
 @winko: Oh, the Trailforks team follows this, don't worry!
  • + 1
 great idea.
  • + 2
 @chacou: Garmin has this functionality built into some of their Edge units when paired with a phone. Specialized also offers this from their helmet-mounted Angi sensor when paired with a phone. The Garmin is triggered by sudden decreases in speed based on GPS, so it can go off a bit easily even when you brake to a hard stop. The Specialized Angi system uses an accelerometer in the sensor to detect impacts.
  • + 1
 @lognar: easy enough to add a second I'm an idiot take my money button. Although as mentioned above criminals could take advantage I would argue most people seem to have no problem hopping in the back of an uber. Yet still a consideration.
  • + 1
 @BG101: @mekershner: that's right! I have a Fenix5 and Connect, just never use the Connect app so I forget about that feature. But I do use TrailForks especially when I'm on a new trail that I don't know about and want to track my GPS aside from my watch, which has waypoints but no maps. Also didn't think about that Specialized helmet, although that would only activate on a head injury I believe
  • + 1
 I like this! Being from Penticton this hits close to home, but there is a solid group of riders with wilderness first aid, so there’s a high probability someone will be nearby with at least some first responder skills.
  • + 2
 @radek: You guys are knocking it out of the park on the SAR features. Solid man Smile
  • + 1
 There could maybe even be a specific option to request help with a mechanical fix or spares .. then maybe be able to specify exactly what you need. Or better yet just AAA-bike edition haha
  • + 1
 Go to www.tocsen.com there'll you find what you're looking for. I already preordered one.
  • + 88
 i have that app loaded on the ipads at the fire station here, have used it 3 times now for exact point to see where someone is. Works amazing.
  • + 14
 Thanks for saving people dude!
  • + 12
 My buddy fell off a tall feature on the North Shore and broke his back in 3 places. Very lucky he didn't die or become paralysed. We called 911 and the local fire department responded. They used trail forks to find us very quickly in the dark. Super impressive. We are very lucky to have professional first responders like this, and trail forks is a great tool for them.
  • + 12
 Don’t forget, you still need cell service for this to be effective. I recently purchased a Garmin InReach Mini. It cost $350 CAD + $15/mo for the subscription service, but it uses GPS and pairs via bluetooth to your phone, so you can have two-way communicate with rescuers. Trailforks is a great solution if you can guarantee you’re within reception, but you may requite a GPS alternative if you are not.
  • + 19
 For sure, if your going into the actual backcountry you should have a better solution, Trailforks emergency features are not a replacement for that. But most riders on most rides are in areas with cell reception and an accident can happen anywhere.
  • + 3
 @canadaka: Plus one for the Garmin InReach system. SPOT is another option, but the limits to SPOT are that it sends a message to Texas that then goes to 911 services wherever you are located. This means (as someone I know recently found out) that 3-4 hours later, the police may show up at your location...not necessarily an ambulance. That's a long time to wait if you're seriously hurt. So anyone who is considering getting some communication back up for their rides, or those that routinely ride outside of cell range, should look seriously at the Garmin.
  • - 7
flag iangillies (May 28, 2019 at 12:46) (Below Threshold)
 No service needed on my iPhone. Trailforks works just fine in airplane mode.
  • + 4
 Overall post is fine, just a minor note—you are confusing the term “GPS” and using it to denote “satellite communications” or satphone/satcom device.

Garmins indeed use GPS, same as cell phones. The Garmin InReach differs from a cell phone in that it also has satellite uplink capability, i.e. it sends your data up to a satellite and then that satellite downlinks it to the ground station and routes it eventually where it needs to go, such as the internet.

GPS, global position system (or is it service?), is a receive only communications ‘link’. Your phone or device doesn’t need its signals to hit a gps satellite to determine your location. It only needs to receive signals from a few gps satellites.
  • + 6
 @iangillies: @iangillies: trailforks does show all downloaded trails and your location in airplane mode, so you can navigate no problem, but for communication you do need cell signal.
  • + 5
 Although I can appreciate the importance of such a device, I find Garmin is milking it too much. £15/month for the cheapest service, up to almost £100. £20 for activation, and while upgrading to a better plan costs nothing, downgrading is punished with £25? This just sounds unreasonable.
  • + 1
 @mitochris: iridium went bankrupt and the other civilian satcom infrastructure is......?
  • + 1
 @Mtmw: exactly. That’s why they milk it. There is no reason for a £25 penalty for downgrading your plan, if upgrading is free. I think others will come as the wearables market is expanding.
I have two Garmin devices but the software on my edge 820 is a crime.
  • + 8
 I was in the parking lot getting ready to ride and had a guy roll up with outdated paper maps. I had him download trail forks before he even tried to ask me about directions on his outdated maps. That app is a life saver. Literally
  • + 25
 Newb: "can you show me whe.."
Me : "shut up and get trailforks"
Life saver status: Confirmed.
  • + 14
 The paper maps will be a life saver if the phone (or whatever Trailforks compatible device you use) dies in a crash, puddle or just simply runs out of battery. I don't have much experience with smartphones but I understand that people are happy to get one full day of battery life out of the phone. And that's not even with intense GPS/GLONASS use. Does Trailforks use GLONASS or is that dependent on the device, not the Trailforks software?
  • + 5
 Id say if you are only barely getting a day worth of life out of your battery you should use it less and go ride your bike more haha
  • + 1
 @Motoracer31: I don't know. My phone is a six year old (pre Microsoft) Nokia 108. I'm getting a couple of weeks out of the battery (with both sim cards activated on workdays) but it is not compatible with the Trailforks app. So I have no personal experience with the battery life of smartphones, but I thought they only last this short. Especially if you leave navigation and data enabled. Do you have personal experience with these devices? How long do they last?
  • + 1
 @vinay: you've obviously never sweated enough to ruin a map in your pocket.

Or have it fall out.

Or crash and destroy it.
  • + 1
 @vinay: The TF app just uses the GPS location from your phones OS, so if your phone supports GLOSNASS than it will use that.
  • + 1
 @schofell84: I typically put them in my backpack at the impact end of the backprotector (so the not sweaty side of it). It is safe enough. Of course the no-backpack folks would stow them their SWAT box, crank axle or steerer tube. Jamming a cellphone in there doesn't guarantee that the GPS will continue to work.

@canadaka: I never got on with cellphones and smartphones in particular drive me mad. My phone is a so called "feature phone" (where Trailforks isn't a feature) and my watch receives GPS and GLONASS. I understood somewhere that some Garmin devices support Trailforks though. Does that include this feature? My watch is from Suunto so it probably won't work for me. What I can do is read out the coordinates from my watch and text them with my phone. It isn't quite the same but it is something.
  • + 2
 @vinay: I have an iphone 8.

If im out camping and not on it really at all, just using it as a watch basically and snap a few photos and trying to set strava records i can get a couple days out of it no problem. Thats like keeping the screen brightness down and really just leaving it in my pocket most of the time though.

At work when im on it all the time im lucky to get a day. But thats with some heavy use and then it doesnt matter cause im not using trail forks. Id say barring just forgetting to charge it or really absolutely destroying it your ok. The 8 and up are also water proof (or resistant?) , it can be submerged. I keep it in my fanny pack and never had a problem
* knock on wood *

ive had worse luck dropping it while taking a dump and cracking the screen than crashing with it on me
  • + 3
 @schofell84: are you realy trying to say that a map perhaps laminated or get this put in a zip lock bag is less durable and reliable than I modern glass screened smartphone. Also haven't ruined a phone with sweat but the the other two seem to be very common ways to destroy your phone let alone cell phones don't work everywhere and have battery's. People are too reliant on tech that can break in a six inch fall.
  • + 1
 @loganflores: the original comment was not about wether or not maps are better than a phone. It was the fact that this app is an incredibly useful tool and gives a bit of comfort if I or others get in a pinch and need help but aren’t sure where I am, and especially useful to use when the phone has no service but I can still pinpoint where I’m at when riding somewhere new. Nobody is trashing your maps, pack what you want, or don’t want. Not a big deal
  • + 1
 also when I said “outdated” I meant they wer from like 20 years ago. Wer missing key fire roads and trails, Re routes, half the stuff on his map had been changed or de commissioned. Didn’t mean it cause they wer paper ha
  • + 6
 Trailforks is providing a great service! Another neat app that I use on every ride is glympse. It sends whoever you choose your exact location in real time for a desired amount of time. The people you choose receive an sms with a link to see your location on a map.
  • + 1
 WhatsApp can do that.
  • + 2
 @colincolin: what3words App is best for sharing the location.

But anyway, I once tried to call emergency with my phone after going down, but could not get my wet gloves off (too many broken bones) - I opened a Youtube video instead, I could not stop it, and it kept playing until the battery and the gbytes were used up. Luckily a trailrunner came by after a while...
  • + 1
 @cxfahrer: holy shit. Sounds terrible
  • + 4
 This could have been written about me in Squamish four years ago. I shattered my knee cap on Half Nelson and the Trailforks app gave me the coordinates to help the mountain rescue to get to me. Kudos to the everyone involved, and the other riders that waited with me until the mountain rescue got there. The mountain rescue were amazing as well.
  • + 2
 I recommend to all my friends who play in the outdoors to download Trailforks. Being able to download and see your location offline an invaluable tool. Even when hiking in the backcountry its been a great help in referencing exactly where I am in relation to my planned route the few times I’ve gotten a little confused. One of the most genuinely useful apps on my phone.
  • + 5
 Please make an Apple Watch app.
  • + 0
 You still need a phone for the gps
  • + 1
 @lognar: not true with the LTE model. I use strava on it just fine without a phone.
  • + 1
 @cyrways: cool. Didn’t know they had stand alone watches now
  • + 5
 Well done!
  • + 2
 I literally broke my arm on Bronco last October and didn't know trailforks had this feature until the medic who met me and my friend at the bottom told me about it.
  • + 1
 Trailforks talking to something more winter backcountry product, like an inreach product: explore.garmin.com/en-CA/inreach

That could be powerful outside of cell service...
  • + 2
 "Hall recommends all backcountry users download Trailforks."
How is it going to help when there is no connection?
  • + 4
 Ok I'm sold
  • + 3
 Sending good vibes to the injured rider.
  • + 1
 Any thoughts on integration with the Angi system on Specialized helmets? It’s a pretty cool system that’s to have when your bike buddies are home in bed and your not.
  • + 1
 I'm guessing that's a stock photo being used. The photo is the climbing walls parking lot, nowhere near the mice. Good job trailforks, really useful app
  • + 0
 Great as this is, it kind of comes off as an advertisement. I think we should be more concerned about wishing this rider well than turning her story into an advertisement.
  • + 13
 if we were focusing on her recovery the comments would end up being about politics and free healthcare.
  • + 1
 @brodoyouevenbike: HAHAHAHA that is so accurate.
  • + 1
 @brodoyouevenbike: dont worry, we have included healthcare in Canada. this wont bankrupt her familly and ruin her life like it could in @vtracer 's country LOL
  • + 2
 @deepstrut: so true. When I was 12 I had a severe ATV crash at about 50km/h. From what I remember from my parents, all we had to pay was like $200 for the ambulance ride
  • + 1
 @deepstrut: sorry I don't live live in canada
  • + 2
 Here we go, what have I done?
  • + 6
 @vtracer: Its not your fault. Being born in and raised BC Canada is really like winning the lottery.
  • + 3
 works in MEXICO??
  • + 1
 We have a database of local emergency numbers, so it should show the local emergency number when in Mexico. It can be customized on the Trailforks website, even down to the riding area level, so a Bike Park might want to put their SAR number in rather than the local 911.
  • + 1
 trailforks is a game changer. i recommend it to everyone.
  • + 1
 Trailforks. The only back country app you need.
  • + 0
 Always use it... ????.
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