Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Bikes: Stycle Aluminium 26" (Professional Bike! I'm Hot!)
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Originally Posted by gpsblake
It's nice to have a GPS but it is not a critical item. I love mine as you can tell by my nym on here. It was the most expensive item I took on my poorguy trip (worth more than the bike itself) but like I said, I use the GPS for more than just keeping track of mileage.
Yeah, exactly. I also use a Legend with handlebar mounts. Using a GPS for the sole purpose of keeping track of mileage is a COMPLETE waste of both battery power and potential. I cannot stress enough how useful it is to have uploaded detailed maps to mapping capable units - I do not think I need to explain why.
But for more cheap units... even most of them have a "project waypoint" capability. That is, input the bearing and distance to a place you want to go and the GPS will take you there (albeit the only guidance you get is a birds-way arrow, but even this is extremely useful). So all you need is a degree measurement tool and a ruler, and even a coordinate-free map will do.
A bike computer may be fun, giving you the answer to "How fast am I going?" but a GPS gives you the answer to an, in my opinion much more important question: "Where am I?" Which can be a lifesaver on touring trips, not to mention it is just plain fun to know.
For those of you - specifically tourers - who haven't tried GPS-on-the-handlebar, I strongly recommend it. Hell no, it is NO REPLACEMENT for a paper map, don't get me wrong, but it is a VERY NICE complementary helper.