Tuesday, 29 April 2008

When the Garmin 305 really became useful

Anyway what a difference a week makes in terms of sun and in our case a completely new ride. For the first time, I managed to plot a route on one of the many Google map mash-up sites which allows you to create a Garmin course, then upload this via the Training Centre software into my Garmin. Using the course function in map mode, I then just had to make sure the triangle stayed over the black line that represented our route. This bit of technology allowed to cycle a route we had never been on before, avoiding A roads for over 7 miles with only a couple of minor wrong turns that we spotted within 50m of the mistake. Once the course was uploaded, it really was a doddle to follow. I now have the confidence that I could use this pretty much anywhere so more interesting routes will definitely be on the cards. I will add a blog for those interested that explains how I did it. Whilst the Garmin has been a useful training aid, this “sat nav-like” functionality is what I originally thought it could do. I originally bought OS mapping software that used Waypoints for creating routes rather than courses and I discovered you could only create a route with something like 80 way points, which is not much use if you are on a complicated 70 miler. A course somehow records direction as you would expect as a continuous line that you just have to follow. I will add another entry that explains how I did it if you haven’t discovered this really useful function.

Here is a link to the route we followed, the climb from Aston Clinton past Chiltern Forest was a particularly good find, not as long or as much climbing as Box Hill in Surrey but at around 1.3 miles and 450 ft, compared to 2.5 miles and 525 ft, it is steeper.

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