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Bicycle GPS - My Personal Evolution to a Happier Cyclist

By Ldcontractscouk    12 / Jan / 2019    In Category Business

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One day I decided to get a Bicycle GPS. Before that day, I was convinced that a GPS unit for my bike would be overkill because I knew my near-by rural environment quite well.

I changed my mind when I realized that I was going for a bike ride solely for getting in more miles to keep my fitness level. The reason for my lack of motivation arose from the fact that my mind was not stimulated anymore while I was cycling. I was cycling on the same boring roads again and again like a hamster in a wheel. It had been different when I moved to the place where I live now, because every road was unknown and I enjoyed exploring my new environment.

After I realized this, it became obvious what I had to change. My mind was craving for alternation.

However, I was not yet ready to buy a Bicycle GPS. Before I considered to buy a Bicycle GPS, I run through the paper map and cue-sheet phase. While this definitely brought back some joy, it took a substantial amount of time to plan the routes and write the cue-sheets. In addition, I didn`t check the cue-sheets as often as I should have done while I was cycling, simply because it forced me to stop and therefore broke the flow of my ride.

This brought me to the next step in my evolution: To buy a Bicycle GPS.

Luckily, there are not so many bike GPS as there are car GPS units, but choosing the right Bicycle GPS was still a challenge. Spending hours and hours comparing functionality and specifications of the GPS units suitable for biking, I was narrowing my selection down to the outdoor and bicycle GPS models from Garmin.

The Garmin GPS units were reasonable in price, energy-efficient, used by many other cyclists and there was a range of compatible digital maps. I finally got a Garmin Etrex Vista HCx because I could also use it for hiking and geocaching.

Creating the first routes for my new Bicycle GPS didn`t cut back the time that I needed for the route planning with paper maps since there definitely is a learning curve. However, after creating a few routes and trying out different route creation procedures, I am now able to get a new route into my GPS at a fraction of the time that I need for the route creation with paper maps.

For me, getting a Bicycle GPS was the way to go to get back my passion for cycling.

If you are in a similar position and are thinking about buying a GPS for your bike, I want to warn you about some misconceptions many people have about Bicycle GPS. Autorouting as known from car GPS, is not very usable for cycling. Using a GPS in your car, you just want to get from A to B and usually don`t care about which streets you will be routed. However, on your bicycle you care about the roads you take because you want to choose the quietest, most scenic route. These demands cannot yet be full-filled by any GPS autorouting algorithm. Maybe in the future, there will be smarter routing algorithms and better digital maps to achieve a bicycle friendly autorouting. Maybe there will be an option for "most beautiful landscape" etc.
 

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