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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-11-06, 02:46 PM   #1
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GPS and long distance cycling

I don't have any real point here, other than perhaps to start a discussion of GPS and long distance cycling.

I just got a brand new Garmin vista cx (for non-bike related reason) and, while its not a cycling specific GPS, I noticed there is a handlebar mount accessory for $17. The north shore of Long Island is a twisted, hilly convoluted mess of hills that I ride often, but I still get lost occasionally. Not a big deal on Long Island as it is heavily populated. Eventually you find a road you recognize or a gas station with someone who can help you out.....anyways, my favorite rides around here are those where you just take off, without any real idea of where you are going and end up doing triple digit miles though roads that are mostly new. Anyways, just thought bringing a GPS out there might add to the fun...or maybe spoil the fun of getting lost.
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Old 07-11-06, 03:58 PM   #2
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I've been using a Garmin Quest on my bikes since last autumn. The reception has been very good even under the trees. I've noticed that occasionally it will lose satellites, but usually they're back after a few minutes. I've done centuries with it as the only method of navigation. It certainly beats stopping to read maps.

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Old 07-11-06, 05:36 PM   #3
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I have a Garmin GPSMAP 60C that I have used on brevets and BMB. It works great and has kept me from "Bonus Miles" on more than a few occasions. Most of the bike mounts for it suck. I finally ended up with a marine mount that fits my stem with a u bolt. Now it's solid as a rock. See Rienhart Geislers site for more information on this model and GPS use in general.
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Old 07-11-06, 08:24 PM   #4
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I recently got a Legend Cx and it's great for several reasons. With the optional routable street maps loaded, you would certainly have a hard time getting lost. Plus, a real bonus, if you take digital photos during your rides, is there are utility programs that will use the GPS track to embed the cameral location into each photo file so you have a permanent record of exactly where you were when you took the picture.

I like to take photos on the bike and this feature is great because otherwise I have a hard time remembering where I was when I took each photo.
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Old 07-11-06, 10:01 PM   #5
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I have a Vista and a GPSMAP 60CS. I rarely, if ever, use my 60CS anymore for cycling. It's just plain too bulky for me. I take my Vista on almost all of my centuries for recording them. Since most of my centuries are solo, it's the only way to easily submit them to UMCA. It also shortens my workload for adding them to my route maps for sharing with others. I can do it via point/click too, but it's always easier to have a predefined route in GPX format first. So, I've got a mount between my aerobars that I can clip the Vista into and it doesn't get in the way of anything.

I do use my 60CS when I mountain bike though, but that's because it gets so much better coverage under the trees.
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Old 07-12-06, 12:34 AM   #6
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I would LOVE to take a GPS on all my brevets and all my usual local rides to map out the elevations. One of our club members has done that for the brevets he has ridden so I've got that information, but for the rest, I have no idea how much climbing is involved on any of my rides.

It wasn't a big deal when I lived in Manitoba ... back there I knew I climbed exactly ZERO feet on any given ride because it was so utterly flat.

But here it's a bit hillier ... and I'm curious.

Unfortunately I can't afford one.
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Old 07-17-06, 03:01 PM   #7
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I just lost mine but found it incredibly helpful 400k and 600k brevets (have yet to try a 1200). unfortunately It is lost in my garage right now so I am taking the quality time with my Heart rate monitor to work on builing my "Cake" as the trainers say on commutes over the hot summer.

The thing I love the most about my GPS is it takes the wonder of where you are on the route out of the picture. At any given moment I can fairly acccurately estimate my arrival time at the next checkpoint on brevets and plan ahead or change plans while enroute instead of at the checkpoint itself.
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Old 07-17-06, 03:57 PM   #8
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Have a Garmin Quest with a handlebar mount, takes up a lot of real estate. Have found it somewhat useful if I spend an hour on the computer loading in a route the night before, but it has sometimes lost reception when there was a critical turn, and the small screen area makes it very difficult to manually use the maps to figure out to get someplace when lost. On an ultra long ride I'd think there would be issues keeping it powered, but its got plenty of juice to last through a century. Provides good entertainment.
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