How to plan a motorcycle trip in Microsoft Streets and Trips?
I recently purchased Microst Streets and Trips 2010. It's very difficult to create a route on roads that I choose.

WHY can't MS let you "click" along the roads that I want for however many miles, and finally click on "connect the dots?" WHY is that so difficult???

I'm planning a motorcycle trip thru NY and New England, mixing freeways and roads. I want to meander. The only final destination is back home two weeks later. I click "get directions" and the map looks like it was struck by blue lightening, creating more than one route to my next stop, or going thru E.Egypt to get there. It has a mind of it's own and is certainly NOT user friendly.

If I can't get any help with an easy way to create a trip, I'll trash the software and use paper maps. Thanks for your time and I await your instructions.

PS: Pardon my rant
Have you tried placing stops in arbitrary locations to force the routing engine to go where you prefer it to go? Another option is to use the "avoid area" to block out those roads that you do not want to use.
You can also change the preferred road settings - set a lower limit for freeways, which will route you away from them and onto the back roads.
Hi tschlar,

Welcome to the forum. I created a few motorcycle sample routes for a presentation I gave a while back. You are welcome to download them and take a look at what I did to give you ideas.
Originally Posted by Larry
Hi tschlar,

Welcome to the forum. I created a few motorcycle sample routes for a presentation I gave a while back. You are welcome to download them and take a look at what I did to give you ideas.
I have tried adding stops to force the brain to adhere to MY route with limited success. I've tried using the "avoid area" tactic. The brain just goes around the avoided area. I've tried using highway type in the segments area. Say from pt. a to pt. d use freeways. Then try pt. e to pt. h avoid freeways. Get directions. Nope. You either use freeways or you don't. The brain won't let me designate road segments to the style of road that I want for that segment! I've tried "saving" the route between road style changes to no avail. The brain is very determined.

Larry, your three examples are fine and I appreciate them. They are also very simple routes. The route I am hoping for is more complex. A North bound rd. is chosen say for 100 miles. Then a S.B. rd., say 15 miles E. of the N.B. rd is chosen. Click, "get directions" and the blue lightening shows up. You may get a merged route, You may get changes in the N.B. route. You may get spurs that connect the two rds. You may get voids in the route you already had directions for. It's a hairball. I'm asking MS, "What is simpler than connect the dots?"
With a little more information (now that you've had your rant and presumably feel better) we might be able to help you.

For instance, what exactly are YOU doing to create the blue lightning; what clicks on what icons? Have you discovered Pushpins and, if so, have you attempted to drop them onto your desired route? After you have placed some pushpins on your map, go to Legend and overview, right-click on the Pushpin set "My pushpins", and click on "Add pushins to route". Now open Route planner and click on "Optimize stops" at the bottom of the panel and then click "Get directions". This will produce a route. If you are not happy with that, add more pushpins and repeat or adjust the route by re-ordering or deleting stops.

If that doesn't work for you, write back and let us know what exactly you are doing and what results you get. That might lead to useful suggestions for you.
Marvin Hlavac
Tom (a.k.a. tschlar), welcome to the forum. You are welcome to attach a saved Streets and Trips file(s) to your post(s) to better illustrate specific challenges.

To attach a file to a post, go to "Advanced" when composing your reply, and then click "Manage attachments".
There is also the route drag and drop feature that will allow you to pull the route onto the roads you want to use.

I've been using S&T as my primary route planner for motorcycle sport touring and various Iron Butt long distance endurance rallies and rides for many years now. S&T is a common tool in many Iron Butt toolboxes, and trust me - nobody puts a routing tool through tougher paces than that group.

I promise you your frustration is due to lack of experience. Once you learn how to use the tool you will find it without peer in helping to plan the best, twistiest, most scenic routes.

Though "avoid area" and "Route/Route Options/Segments/Preferred Roads" are both quite powerful and have their place, I usually prefer to keep all the logical influences of my route clearly visible on the map. So with few exceptions I eschew those methods - instead using drag-and-drop stops, or inserting pushpins I add as stops.

In other words, IMO the most efficient use of your route planning time is to leave "the brain" to handle the default routing baseline, and use the drag and drop to carve the route into your own personal sculpture. Yes, occasionally it seems you have to rassle it a bit to subdue "the brain", but before long you get the feel of it and it becomes second nature.

In my attempt to cross the most ferries possible in a short amount of time on a motorcycle, I used S&T to create an extremely complex and intricate route. I may have been able to use other tools to accomplish it but I am certain it would have been much more time consuming and frustrating. I'm going to say it would be impossible to plan that route with only paper maps.

By way of illustration, I've attached a plan for a ride my wife and I hope to take in 2012 or 13.
Attached Files
File Type: est NE_HugeNorthish_vNY_non_Q.est (227.0 KB)
Well put, Steve.
Nice Trip!
I now have a route planned. It seems for some reason (maybe) that routing from Mich. thru Ontario into NY MAY have been causing the lightening. So I began the route from a point in NY thru New England and back with no problems like I had been seeing. I used both stops and pushpins to customize the route. Then occasionally drag and drop where needed. The first leg, from Mich to NY thru Ont. I made in a separate map. Just in case. Anyway, its done except for determining motel stops using distance parameters.

And Steve, that was quite a trip you had. How many MILES and how long did it take you?
Attached Files
File Type: est adirondack 3.est (211.0 KB)
Originally Posted by tschlar
Steve, that was quite a trip you had. How many MILES and how long did it take you?
The Newfoundland trip or the ferry ride?

The Newfie trip is just a plan... haven't ridden it yet. My wife and I hope to take it in a couple of years. As it sits now it's a little over 9,000 miles, and about 30 days. My guess is I'll have to trim it a bit.

We have taken a couple of trips out west that were around 7000 miles and 4 weeks. goo.gl/Wa0sj (2007) and goo.gl/YdMuJ (2005) if you're interested. You can see that S&T played a big part in my planning for those.

The ferry ride was about 1600 miles, 35 hours or so.

Glad to hear you and S&T are getting along better.
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