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Should I upgrade GPS


wrestleantares

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wrestleantares

Currently I use a very old form of GPS.

 

Grease Pencil System

 

In other words I use a grease pencil to write out directions on my windshield that I have researched beforehand.

 

Am I better off with the old pen and paper method? Is it going to add to my riding experience - and most importantly is it easy to use to find a way around that huge delay I am faced with (picking alternate routes on the fly?)

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Bought one last April (Garmin 276C) and I love it. I found it very useful and some of the best money I've spent on bike-related goodies. Now that I'm 54 going on 55, I can't read maps in my tankbag, so I had resorted to creating routes on my PC using MS Streets and Trips, then writing the directions on a piece of paper and sticking that in my tankbag -- very tedious, and you can't take it (PC) with you. Trust me, the GPS is the way to go.

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If you do any rally riding/traveling at all, get a GPS. In addition to helping with directions, they are an invaluable tool for planning fuel stops when riding in unfamiliar territory.

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Aluminum_Butt

I agree with Kudzu - it's my most valuable accessory. I've definitely ridden some good roads I'd probably never have if I'd been relying strictly on a map. On group rides, somebody usually does a route then shares it with the group - now we all know where we're going, and it's not as big a deal if we get split up. It's nice to be able to tell exactly how much further the destination is. It's nice to know how much further the next gas stop is when you're about to be out in the middle of nowhere. I often even take it when I'm flying somewhere to use in the rental car.

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Two things I've done that I doubt I could have done without my GPS (BMW Nav II/Garmin 2610):

 

It's fabulous for finding detours around traffic problems in areas about which you know nothing. I'll program the thing for a route I know by heart, just so I can hit the "Detour" key when traffic stops somewhere on the freeway. It directs me on surface streets and brings me back to the freeway after a specified distance.

 

My last couple of weekend rides, I've driven some distance away from home by reasonably known routes, then told the GPS to take me home with my route prefs set to avoid freeways and major roads and to prefer minor roads. I found some cool roads I might never have otherwise found. Though it does take a little of the "exploration" out of it... but at least it keeps you from wasting time on dead ends. Though of course sometimes the dead end roads are better. The GPS carries much more detailed maps than I could carry on paper, too.

 

On the other hand, your grease pencil and maps never suffer electronic failures. My bike and GPS haven't failed me yet, but "the prudent navigator never relies on only a single navigational aid".

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I'll chime in and heartily agree with the others. If I could only buy one "gadget" to use with my bike, it would hands down be a GPS. I lead a lot of club rides and it's invaluable. I currently use the Garmin 276C. Worth ith's price. With automatic route re-calc you can deviate from the planned route and it will re-calc a new one for you in seconds. The old GPS V I had could take several minutes to re-calc on longer routes (meanwhile, you missed 3 turns!).

 

If you have any specific questions, I'm sure there are plenty who can answer them here! Good luck

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