Locking has been replaced by new functionality : Adoption. It means transferring the cache to another user for maintenance.
In motocaching it's important that the information is up to date as we actually ride to the places. However, it sometimes happens that the original author doesn't maintain the cache anymore.
In cases where the author doesn't react to maintenance requests, you can now suggest that the cache should be adopted by another user.
When four 'Adoption suggestion' log entries have been added, the cache is moved to the adoption list. Check the page 'My own caches' and you'll see a link to the list of caches that are waiting for a new owner. You can view the cache details and transfer the cache to yourself for maintenance.
Ten thousand 'Found it!' logs!
Today motocaching reached a new milestone : 10000 'Found it!" logs.
That's a lot when motocaching is just starting to spread outside of Finland.
The total number of visits on the site is of course much bigger than the number of visits by registered users. Based on those numbers it looks like the cache locations and roads have actually been visited way more than 20000 times.
A few weeks ago I got some info about daytrips that users had made. Using the average ride length and found cache count on those rides, one could estimate that motocaches have provided places to see and roads to ride for about 1 000 000 kilometers of motorcycle riding. Surely most of those kilometers would have been ridden anyway, but it's more fun when there are interesting places to visit and good roads to ride.
Those are just estimates but they give some perspective on the value of the location and road introductions that you motocachers have added to the site. Also the 'Found it!' log entries are quite important for the users. It may come as a surprise that the latest logs page is as popular as the main map.
This particular milestone log entry was made by a lady rider with nickname Purkkatukassa (=gum in the hair). The cache Hirvikoski was made by Berttu. There's coffee and cake for both of them and all others too at the event cache Valajärven laavu (sorry, it's only in Finnish).
Changes in the rules about caches that cost money to visit
The idea is to continue making caches that don't cost any money whenever possible.
However, motocachers have asked for less strict rules regarding to entrance fees and such.
The new changed rule says: "Finding a cache may not require paying for a product or a service. Only acceptable fees are a reasonable road toll, parking fee or admission fee that is mentioned in the cache description. Condition for logging the find must be free of charge when it's possible."
Here are some examples to make it a bit clearer
'Reasonable' means that the cost is acceptable in proportion to what you get. For example a 30$ fee for riding a 50 mile road on the Alps may be OK but the same amount for a modest museum is probably not.
'Only acceptable fees...' This is for limiting the costs to the fees that are required to access the location. For example entrance fee to a national park is OK but we shouldn't require paying for any other services (food, drink, guided tour etc.)
'... free of charge when it's possible.'. The main purpose of Motocaching is to offer destinations for rides. Therefore, it's important to be able to ride without any extra charges whenever possible. For example, a cache about a museum should allow logging a find just by visiting the location (=not paying to get in). This gives an option to just ride and skip the tour or perhaps leave it to a later time.
The rules were changed because in some cases it just doesn't make sense to add such 'condition to log a find' that the cache can be found without paying. For example, think about some interesting spot that is in the middle of a big park and you need to pay the park entrance fee to ride to the area. Another good example is an event cache about a motorcycle show.
I hope that the cache reviewers take a good look at the 'conditions' so that the caches are free of charge when possible. At the same time, it's good to check that "going inside some place" is not required when it can be avoided. It's always good if a find can be logged even when visiting the place outside the opening hours.
Ps. Event cache rules were changed too. It's no more required that the event is organized especially for motocachers.
Why routes should be short and simple?
There was some good discussion about long routes and loops on a forum. Here’s a summary (original was not in English).
We have noticed that when people are adding their first route caches, they often think about somewhat long routes and loops that are almost complete motorcycle trips. It is natural because most motorcycle trips are actually loops and take a full day or at least several hours. Also, that’s what we see on route websites and touring guides.
However, in motocaching it’s best to think of caches as building blocks for ride plans instead of actual rides.
For example, let's think about a motorcyclist who is coming from 100 miles away or perhaps from another country or state. Will he or she have time to ride the route when there are also several other places to visit? If the route cache is just one stretch of a great road, then the answer is probably ‘yes’. When several roads are combined to a longer route cache (e.g. 50 to 100 miles) it becomes more challenging to log a find.
Give other riders freedom of choice. We have seen it in practice that when some area has multiple short routes and spots, we can have almost unlimited number of options to plan our own adventure that fits our own schedule.
Short routes are also much easier to add. All you need is a stretch of road, a short description in your own words and some intermediate waypoints so that the route is drawn somewhat close to the actual road on the overview maps.
It's quite OK that you don't include "that great adjacent road" in your cache. If you don't want to add a new cache about it, someone else will eventually do it.
ps. Of course there are always exceptions…
First found motocache in the US
First 'Found it!' was logged in the US last weekend. Nickname 'harley' visited Highland Valley Rd in South California.
The first found motocache in the Americas was Puerto Nuevo - found by 'rgbeard'.
If you are from SoCal then check out this forum thread to read motocaching related comments by other SoCal motorcyclists (it's socalsportbikes.org but the forum is not limited to sportbikes).-pleksi-
5,000 found it logs
Motocaching just reached a new milestone: 5,000 'Found it' logs. When you think about it... it's actually a lot of riding in a relatively short time.
Several motocachers have told me that it's more fun to ride when there's a destination. Some riders have even said that before motocaching they were "riding the same roads all over again" or "riding around aimlessly". However, the most heartwarming thing about motocaching is to read logs are like these: "I have been riding on these roads for years but never knew about this spot. Thank you for the cache!"
Now that I have found more than 200 motocaches, I can say that I have had a lot of fun riding, learned a lot about the country that I live in (and it's history) and also met so many nice people in the motocaching events. I'm really grateful to the motorcyclists who have shared these wonderful spots and roads on the site.
Check list for a good route
A short list of things that are good to know when making a route was added today.
It lists top nine things that help you make better route caches.
The list is included in the 'All about making a cache' document. Route editor page has a link that shows you the list for quick reference.
Here's the first version of the list. Hope it helps you.
Making caches in a new language
It's of course a good idea to write in the local language so that those who live near your cache can understand it.
All you need to get started is one friend who speaks the same language. Motocaching has a review system where all new routes and places are reviewed by other users before publishing. Therefore you'll need another user to review the cache.
The review system matches the cache language with the preferred languages of all users and when a match is found, the system can show to those users that there is something to review.
When there are a lot of users speaking some language, the system will require more than one reviewer and suggest reviewing only for more experienced users. With a new language, only one review is required and there are no special requirements for new users.
There's a link 'List of all languages and related review limits' on the 'Review' page as well as 'Your own caches' page. Click the link to see a list of languages and information about how many reviewers are available for each language.
Finally motocaching.net has been translated to English
We tested the concept in Finland for a few months and it turned out to be a success. There are already more than 400 caches in Finland alone and about 2400 finds have been logged. We think that it's pretty good because not many bikers know about the service yet.