Friday, April 18, 2008

Change the way you ride (don't get lost, geek's dream)

So I now have about three weeks on my Garmin Edge 705. I can say that it's as cool of a toy as I thought it would be back when I first saw it at Eurobike.  If you're not aware, the Edge 705 is a bike-specific GPS unit which, for the first time, gives color maps, turn-by-turn directions, altitude profiles, and much more... right on your stem or handlebar.

It has allowed me to explore more roads over in France without fear of being lost or over the wrong side of the Jura at the end of a long rainy ride. I can now feel confident of returning back to the hotel when going out for a longer ride, knowing that I'll find my way back... should lead to more riding while on the road working! I bought the US version plus the European maps on a micro SD card.

On top of that, I also discovered a program (for Mac at least, not sure about PC) that provides more analysis and graphical display of your data than the online Garmin program. It's called Ascent and it's awesome! The heads-up-display as you drag the cursor over your altitude of the ride gives you a popup with speed, cadence, heart rate, VAM, power, calories, elevation and % grade... that's a lot of data!

The last piece that I love about all of this is that I can fulfill my map obsession by uploading my rides to Google Earth and playback my rides in a 3D virtual tour. You can share the rides with others, or when you go to a new area, download someone else's ride. In addition, you can race against yourself from a previous ride, showing the previous "you" on your map screen!

Check out the data from one of my rides below... EDIT - Blogger doesn't seem to want me to upload these, I'll try later.

ps - off to Houffalize!


  1. I love my slightly lower tech Edge 305, thanks for the heads up on Ascent... It's the coolest way to review your rides.

  2. i could have used one of those up in minnesota a couple of years ago.... :)