The Perfect Roads tribe on Drivetribe

by Sara Norris

The website Drivetribe has now launched and my tribe The Perfect Roads – the world’s greatest driving roads in the best driver’s cars – is up and already filled with nice road content. I was able to choose if I want to make it public so all members can post, or if I want to make it tribe leader exclusive which means only I could post in the tribe. But I figured that those who only want to follow me can find my posts easily, you can even follow me directly on Drivetribe. After all I have several social media accounts and this website where I only post my own content. What I instead want The Perfect Roads to be is a community for inspiration. There are so many more roads than the ones I have driven and photographed, and Europe which I focus on covers only a small area on the planet. I am amazed by some of the road photos I have already seen from other continents, and even roads in Europe that I did not know exist!

Click on the image to view the tribe page – however you need to sign up to view individual posts, post yourself or leave a comment

The website will still get many improvements. For example currently they require a Facebook account to log in (they do not post anything on your profile though), but they are working on Twitter and email sign up as well. The unique algorithm tries to serve you content in your feed it thinks you would find interesting, and that will improve over time as well. However it is a nice website already that will hopefully only get better, and I see it as one more platform to use to share some road trip inspiration.

One of the most interesting things about Drivetribe, and especially a niche tribe like The Perfect Roads, is that I hope like-minded people will be able to connect with each other in future (private messaging feature would be a great addition to the website), and arrange some drives together. Maybe someone says they are planning a trip to Transfagarasan next July, “anyone else want to join?”. Or someone asks for nice driving road suggestions near London, and a local person will reply that hey, let me know when you are here and I can show you my favourite roads. Or I could post that I am going to Spain next month for a road trip, and would want to meet up with some local car people / photographers.

That is the kind of community I would like it to become. Road trip matchmaking?! Fingers crossed the platform has the potential to work like that!

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Deniss Fedotovs December 8, 2016 - 8:44 pm

Unfortunately from technical standpoint drivetribe is still in ice age. Missing basics like AJAX (no need to reload page to see changes) or ability to post pics to comments. I was quite disappointed, even if I thought previously that it might be the next big thing.

Actually some critics to this website too – fonts are too small, and in comment field they are even smaller – I almost not see what I am typing right now.

Sara Näse December 8, 2016 - 8:54 pm

I think they will improve the site a lot though, I just would have wished they would have asked people before what WE want, because some things will be more difficult to add and change now that it has already been launched. That is a shame that they did not do more research, could have added some great features to website already before public launch. There was a discussion about pics in comments in the support forum and some are against the idea also, thinking the comment fields would be filled with meme pics etc… I don’t know, maybe pics in comments is a good thing.

You know with this blog… I have had this theme forever it feels like, it is so outdated (…and not supported) but I just can not imagine the blog would look any different haha! Difficult to change theme when I am so used to this look. I know the comment field problem though and agree with you, will edit font sizes tomorrow ;-)

Deniss Fedotovs December 9, 2016 - 5:20 pm

Blog doesn’t looks outdated to me (discovered it first just a few weeks ago, when I was reading some article about drivetribe). Looks like tons of info here, I’m surprised that I don’t see many comments.

Actually I like when blogs are using platform for comments, no need to fill all those fields for each comment, might drive more readers engagement. Not sure how easy to implement, but shouldn’t be too hard – Wordpress is very popular platform.

And font size for comments box needs to be at least 2x bigger as it is now (and some 1,5x for article text). I understand that smaller fonts always look nice from design point of view, but it’s hard to read. Still love big spacing between the lines.

About asking users what they want, there is old Henry Ford quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” But probably that doesn’t apply to drivetribe :(. Looks like it’s some one mans project if implementing Facebook login takes weeks. Anyway, I like blogs better, more personality here, less noise.

Sara Näse December 10, 2016 - 1:40 pm

I used Disqus some years ago, would not be a problem to put it back, can have a look at that option too. Ahh the comments problem… Well I suppose most people are like me because even if I read blogs I rarely bother to comment. Could get better at it myself. But I think many bloggers face the same problem and the interaction between readers and writer has in fact been moved more and more to the social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – where you can end up in a long discussion about a blog post when you share it there. Then I actually also used Livefyre some years back and it had the “Social Conversation” function, which brings comments on your post from Facebook and Twitter (when you share link there) to the blog comments field. Immediate increase of comments under each post BUT I personally thought it was quite a lot of clutter to have them all there, so I switched back to normal comment comment field… With a font too small ;-)

Now Drivetribe is actually offering email login as well, so Twitter login probably also coming soon.

Deniss Fedotovs December 10, 2016 - 10:38 pm

Yeah, maybe. I just really prefer blogs to social media. On blog there are less distractions and it’s more personal, because it’s not just a text in standard template, there is also some mood coming from unique design of the blog… like feeling more personality of blog owner, like being in different world. But maybe that’s just me…

Of course, if I am the only one who is commenting, it’s probably not worth the effort to change the font size or comment platform. Depends on your goals with this website.

I also noticed that people don’t like to leave first comment. I don’t know why, but some articles can stay a long time until someone leaves a comment, and after that first one the following are coming quite fast.

Sara Näse December 12, 2016 - 12:40 pm

Goals with the website… I see it as a platform to share my stuff, even if I sometimes write for other websites and magazines this is the one place where I can just be me and write whatever I want. Then how the interaction between me and reader works does not really matter to me. Some people comment here, some people comment on Facebook, some people reply to a tweet, some people send me a personal email – I appreciate all of that :-)

Deniss Fedotovs December 13, 2016 - 7:11 pm

Sara, sorry for offtopic, but can you help me out with one question? Is it possible to pass MOT tests in Finland with catless 1997 car? Just don’t know anyone yet from Finland who might know the answer to such technical question.

I’m planning to upgrade exhaust side on my car with parts from SuperSprint, basicly I have two options – leave stock cat and buy standard headers, or buy more improved headers (more torque/hp/sound) with sport cats or catless pipe. Difference between sport cats and catless pipe is around 2k euro – quite a big difference, had no idea cats might cost so much for old car.

Sara Näse December 13, 2016 - 10:15 pm

I am not an expert in this area at all but for cars registered in 1978 or after they do the “päästömittaus” (emissions testing) during the MOT test and you need to pass that. This is in Finnish but you see some more info:

Obviously some car owners find ways to pass tests even if they drive crazy tuned cars – maybe they have a friend who do the emissions testing for them and give them clean papers, or they do the test with a cat fitted and then have it removed after the test and hope no one ever stops them and checks under the car… (…but then if you get stopped it means trouble, as always…). I just read on some forums that if in the car reg papers “Katalysaattori” (catalytic converter) / “Vähäpäästöinen” (low emission) is mentioned separately (which most likely is the case in cars with first registration date from year 1990, when Finland got a new emission law), it is not allowed to have a cat removed completely from the car. But it does apparently not have to work either so basically people might just have some piece there that is pretty much an empty shell that just looks like one… And as long as you can pass the emission test with that “empty shell”, it should be fine?! I find myself in strange car forums at the moment you know, dodgy Finns hahaha…

So short answer seems to be – people have removed them successfully and legally in Finland from their cars that are 1990/1989 or older, so it is possible. But since your car is 1997 it probably says something like “Vähäpäästöinen” or “Katalysaattori” in your reg papers – then you probably also need to keep something that looks like a cat there. But if the papers mention nothing about it, you might get away with having it removed completely as long as you still manage to pass the MOT emission test without one (and can stick within the noise limits also, think it is 74 dB(A))?

But yours is 1997 so probably “Vähäpäästöinen”, and has to have a cat… empty shell… something…

Also for tuning there are some regulations how much you are allowed to change parts / how much the HP can increase –… Sigh, Finland! (Or probably same rules in most EU countries, I don’t know)

You should email a “Katsastuskonttori” and ask though, I think if you tell them the car model and a link to the exhaust you want to have fitted, they can immediately tell if you can or can not :-) What car do you have by the way?

(Edit: Just double checked with my Finnish friend on Facebook who knows a bit more about tuning cars & regulations in Finland, his answer was you will not pass the emissions test there catless… But sports cats might work :-) )

Deniss Fedotovs December 13, 2016 - 11:24 pm

Thanks for links and extensive answer! Very helpfull! Currently I decided to buy catless mid-pipe (car is not in Finland yet, should pass the tests in my home country where cars registered until 2000 are not required to have cats). If I will decide to move it to Finland later and there will be problems with passing emissions, probably it will be cheaper to weld in some universal Magnaflow cat which costs around 100 euros. Or maybe I will buy those expensive SuperSprint sport cats then. So will solve the problem when it will arise.

It’s a bmw z3 roadster, decided to go with relatively quiet sport exhaust (another option was race exhaust) as it’s an open car, and engine (not exhaust) already sounds great with some upgrades I did before and new headers should make it sound even better. So decided that louder race exhaust will be overkill for longer trips and also I think loudness shouldn’t exceed car’s speed :D Some pics of car on this russian car site if interested: . Also have another similar car, most differences being stock, US spec, automatic, yellow: , I used it more like winter beater as it’s in not the best shape – bought it cheap from a friend.

Sara Näse December 17, 2016 - 2:26 pm

Yellow! Looks great on that car :-) Z3 Roadster in Finland in the winter… Hmmmm :-) (I just thought of some of the winters I have experienced when I lived in Finland… with a lot of snow… the kind of “Where is my car — oh THERE it is — I need a spade to get out of there” amount of snow… And this was Helsinki not Lapland ;-) )

Deniss Fedotovs December 21, 2016 - 11:40 pm

Yes, color was one of the main reasons to buy that yellow. Unfortunately it’s quite beaten already, not worth to put much more money in it. So the black one is like the donor (or older brother :D) for yellow one – when black one gets some new blingy part, stock part from black goes to yellow. Works both ways – when yellow needs something, that’s a reason to buy some upgraded part for the black one :D

Currently I am almost in Helsinki (ok, Espoo, Tapiola), but no big difference in weather from my home country mostly just a pair of degrees difference. But there were few days like these: (already started to showel the snow from the car). Where do you live now?

Sara Näse December 22, 2016 - 7:37 pm

In Nice at the moment! Sunshine, no snow… 17°…

Deniss Fedotovs December 23, 2016 - 9:41 pm

Nice :) No snow in Helsinki too :(

Deniss Fedotovs December 16, 2016 - 11:22 pm

What happened?! Fonts are not bigger, but text got centered – that really sucks :(

Sara Näse December 17, 2016 - 2:26 pm

I had the issue also but now it’s gone (for me at least), if it comes back I’ll check, probably some cache issue because I didn’t change anything in the files (yet) :-)

Deniss Fedotovs December 17, 2016 - 7:01 pm

Yeah, looks better now :) Fonts in comment input box are finally readable. Could be bigger though… I guess you are using bigger screen than 15″?

Sara Näse December 19, 2016 - 7:54 pm

17″ :-) Will increase it a bit more.

Deniss Fedotovs December 20, 2016 - 12:17 am

Probably resolution is not very high too? On regular 13″ Macbook still struggling with overall fonts size. It’s better, I can finally read it, but not comfortable. (And I have no problems with my sight.)


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