What GPS

Discussion in 'Audax, Brevet and Randonnee' started by fred_dillon, 19 Nov 2008.

  1. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    I'm not generally keen on using technology on the bike. I've taken the computer off and find that I'm enjoying rides more now that I'm not obsessed with trying to go further faster.

    I am particularly irritated by excessive use of mobile phones when riding. I got annoyed with one mate once after a series of calls between him and his girlfriend. We were out on some lovely Yorkshire hills and every 5 minutes it was "I'm in Tesco, do we need any jam?" then "How about teabags?", "What do you fancy eating tonight?". It was doing my head in overhearing the conversations.

    Having said all of that... my GPS has completely transformed my audax experience! I no longer worry about getting lost on complex routes, and am free to enjoy the scenery and conversation without having to spend my time staring at damn route sheets. I carry them for backup, but my GPS has been 100% reliable in over 2,500 km of rides. I only once had a poor satellite lock and that was when I was in a very steep-sided valley. (For a few seconds, the GPS lost 'sight' of a few satellites and I was suddenly apparently transported 100 metres to the left of the road! As soon as I climbed out of the valley, the GPS corrected itself).

    As for the 'spirit of audax' thing. As far as I'm concerned it is about doing long distance rides at a good steady pace and being self-sufficient. I don't remember wanting to be an expert map-reader, or wanting to spend my rides staring at a little sheet of paper attached to my handlebars! The GPS takes care of the route-following for me, and I'm free to enjoy the ride.

    By the way - a GPS makes a really top-class bike computer. You get all the usual functions - current speed, max speed, ave speed, ride distance, odometer etc. You also get things like ETA, remaining distance, sunset and sunrise times (!), OS grid reference, altitude. Many more that I can't think of at the moment. The tracklog recorded by a GPS could be a very handy training aid - you can see exactly where you were, when and what speed you were doing at the time.

    It's quite nice to just set off and explore somewhere new. When it is time to go home, just turn round and follow your tracklog back! The only catch with that is one-way streets, but I don't encounter many of them.

    GPS for cycling - highly recommended! But take a map and/or a route sheet just-in-case. It's a reliable technology, but any technology can fail.
  2. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    I won't name names but I rode with someone using a GPS this year who decided my arm signal to turn right was me pointing to a sheep or something in a field and he carried on past the junction. He had also forgotten to look at his GPS. And failed to observe the 'no through road' sign...;)
  3. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    One of the few criticisms I have of my Garmin Etrex is that it doesn't have a warning beep for when approaching a turn. It flashes a warning on the screen, but if you weren't already looking at the screen, you wouldn't see it. If you were looking at the screen, you wouldn't need the warning, it would be obvious from the display!

    When I was riding A Mere 200 in 2006, I met a rider who had an upmarket Etrex on his bike, a model with mapping built in and a colour display. He told me that he'd already got lost 3 or 4 times in the first 100 km of that ride. It turns out that he hadn't programmed the route in and he was trying to relate his route sheet to what was effectively a tiny map - not the way to do it!

    I always take the information from my route sheet and use that information to plot the route in Memory Map. I then upload that to my GPS so I'm able to follow a 'breadcrumb trail' on the screen when I'm riding. I mark all the junctions with waypoints so I can see when I'm coming up to them. If I remember to look at the screen in time, of course... ;)
  4. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    I had eTrex Legend. I now have Edge 605.

    "The spirit of Audax", comments.
    1/ Audax UK is 'allure libre', which means 'at your own speed'.
    2/ The Brevet card is your 'proof of passage', which means as long as it is stamped within the time windows, you have ridden the ride.
    This implies you have 'free choice' of route between controls.

    On Mapsource, I create Waypoints for each control. On ViaMichelin, I find the best route. It may be longer without hills or shorter with a steep hill to climb. I slowly transpose the ViaMichelin route to Mapsource using 'Route tool'.

    I break a Brevet into several 'stages', because some inward routes are along the same road as outward.

    Riding some AUK calendar events, I follow the route I have planned, leaving the others to follow the routesheet. I sometimes arrive at the control ahead of the others:biggrin:
  5. currystomper

    currystomper Über Member

    Used a Garmin edge 250 on a 160 km it ran though a full charge in 130km, other than that it's a great small gps. Need to find a charger / mount to give it an longer range !
  6. Siclo

    Siclo Über Member

    If you are waypoint marking junctions can you not just switch proximity alarms on?
  7. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    And no proximity alarms ...

    What it does do is to pop up an alert on the screen to tell you that the turn that you will miss because you aren't looking at the screen is coming up. Unfortunately, you won't see the alert either, because you aren't looking at the screen! :whistle: :laugh:
    Siclo likes this.
  8. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Guru

    It is the ultimate long audax, time limit 10 years...
    burntoutbanger and Siclo like this.
  9. iluvmybike

    iluvmybike Well-Known Member

    For me GPS saves the faff of having to get map out and read it - eyesight not what it used to be!
  10. Spartak

    Spartak Powered by M&M's

  11. Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    South Wales
    Interesting bit of evolving history there.

    10 years ago only a few Gps users on Audax rides now very few without.

    I couldnt see the point back then but now I wouldnt be without one.
  12. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    3 years ago my Garmin was a thing. No more. Utter frustration. Wahoo has changed my GPS experience for the better, no end. (Mainly touring and Audax)
  13. ColinJ

    ColinJ A big clot!

    Same experience as my cousin. I just live-tracked him on his 90 minute ride near Dartmoor with data from his Wahoo Elemnt. He had endless problems with Garmins but none with the Wahoo.
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
  14. StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Edge 705 here…on my third (first two had USB ports die). It mostly works, despite its 'quirks'....hoping the Hammerhead Karoo proves to be as good as it looks....
    si_c likes this.
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