New Intro from Indiana USA
Hey! I'm Brian Liechty. I'm 62 this year (2020) and live in northern Indiana, USA. I've been learning and using MRA now for about 18 months, but just now getting into the social aspects of the site. My area is devoid of interesting roads so I drive 3-4-5 hours to launch each spirited drive. I drive a modified 1991 Miata which I've lovingly evolved into a great car for the twisties over the past 14 years. I nicknamed her "Sunny" because she always makes me smile. (I know, I know--naming a car is silly. But I did it anyway).
I've been designing routes for my Miata friends for about 10 years now. First on paper maps (they STILL work!), then on BaseCamp and now using MRA. Our driving group likes to find the roads less traveled & some years ago the words "Cool Little Roads" was mentioned and just sort of stuck as an unofficial name for the group. We've spent more time in SE Ohio and down into the Appalachians and Smokies than anywhere else, but we did take a 9-day tour west to the Rocky Mountains last summer that was a total hoot. I've also laid plans for a trip or two to the Ozarks in the near future.
We tend toward trips that average 4 days and 1800-2200 miles and we seldom stay in the same place twice. We've actually stayed in some places you wouldn't want to stay in again! As we've aged there's more interest in "stopping to smell the roses", so I'm looking forward to learning new ways to lay out trips which have points of interest and actual destinations . . . time will tell how successful I am at that goal.
Both my wife and I still work full time and we've both heavily involved in musical theater so travel times are precious and planned well in advance. (An issue made worse by the recent purchase of a motorhome. Sigh.)
If you're in the Kentucky/Tennessee/Virginia/North Carolina areas and see a short parade of Miatas zooming by, please wave!
Hans van de Ven MRA-Master last edited by
Hi @Brian-Liechty. Great introduction and summary of how you use MRA. Your Miata is known as an MX-5 on this side of the pond and is held in high regard with those in the know. I am currently putting together a motorcycle tour of the Great Lakes starting from Chicago and finishing in New York City. Man o man you have some straight roads in the States. The only straight roads that we have are the ones that the Romans built! But you do have areas of vast open space and great landscapes. As you know the Miata is very good around the twisty bits so I’m sure that must be a frustration for you at times. But traveling with a group of friends in 4 wheels or two is what it’s all about.
Have fun route planning and exploring those cool little roads in Sunny.
Hi Brian, we've crossed patchs in a few forum threads now, great to get a bit more insight in who you are now with this message. Thank you for that! It always brings a smile to my face when I get to welcome fellow motorists on the forum. The Miata is a great little car. If you have the time and interest, I'd love to see a topic with some photos and stories of her in the "Rides" section.
We don't have many straight roads here in the Netherlands because the government has been developing all roads since the 80's with "boredom" in mind. After all, long straight stretches of road have a significantly higher percentage of accidents due to people falling asleep behind the wheel.
You mentioned working in musical theatre. That sounds like an interesting and fun sector to work in. What is it you do there?
As for learning how to use MRA more: there's a plethora of videos in the routelab and on youtube. In the near future we'll also be announcing a few webinars that you could view (a nice opportunity for you to ask any remaining questions).
Thanks, Timo. My Miata & I are good pals, for sure.
We have several parts to our theater work: I am president of a presentation company that brings touring Broadway shows to a local venue, and then both my wife and I are active with community theater both onstage and behind-the-scenes. Considering all tasks we're onstage 30-40 times a year in one capacity or another. It's a lot of fun, but does take up a lot of time too.
Professionally I'm an insurance agent, but I'm trained as a system designer and spent the first 10 years after college building a software house. My direct experiences are old-school (read: COBOL, Fortran) on mainframe computers, but the logic stream that's behind the applications is very similar. So I do have a healthy respect for the challenges that you and the MRA team faced as you've put this marvelous program together.
I'm actually a bit thankful for the Waypoint issue because it forced me out of my envelope to do some more/better digging on how to use MRA. I am very impressed with the transparency in your handling of that whole thing--a very refreshing approach in today's world! Kudos to you and the whole team on that.
When will you be in Chicago? It'd be cool to meet up if it's possible--depending on the route east you'll probably only be 25 miles from me at some point in the journey.
@Brian-Liechty Unfortunately I won’t be travelling to Chicago, the tour that I’m making is to add to the RouteXpert Library. All routes within the library are made by RouteXperts. They have all be thoroughly checked and made equal for both TomTom and Garmin devices before the are added to the library.
I’m one of those scaredy-cats that doesn’t fly 🥺
but that doesn’t restrict me as I’m ok on ferries.