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Question on GPS with turn-by-turn for long bike rides

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Question on GPS with turn-by-turn for long bike rides

Old 01-02-07, 07:12 PM
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donrhummy
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Question on GPS with turn-by-turn for long bike rides

I just got a Garmin eTrex Legend Cx, but so far it's not fulfilling my needs. There are two majr problems:

1. The volume is too low (and as far as tech support tells me, you can't change that)
2. If you have it plot your route (via telling it destination) it chooses routes that aren't always good for biking. If you plot the route via intersections, it won't give you turn-by-turn directions.

Does anyone know either of how to fix these problems or of a good alternative for use on a road bike?
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Old 01-02-07, 07:17 PM
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Don't tell it a destination. Plot you riding route ahead of time on the computer with a series of waypoints, then download those into the GPS, and just follow that route. Unless of course by "interesections" you are referring to waypoints. In that case your GPS just has that limitation.
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Old 01-02-07, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by stevecaz
Don't tell it a destination. Plot you riding route ahead of time on the computer with a series of waypoints, then download those into the GPS, and just follow that route. Unless of course by "interesections" you are referring to waypoints. In that case your GPS just has that limitation.
I was told by Garmin that I can't plot a route on the computer and upload it to the GPS. Is that correct? My GPS has a memory card and I'm using MapSource. Do I need something else?
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Old 01-02-07, 07:37 PM
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I have a Garmin 276C which I use in the car; last year I bought Garmin Quest which I use on my bike (it can also be used in the car). I can download maps/routes/waypoints to either of them using the software which came with each of them.

I'm very happy with the Quest; Garmin's support for and the upgradability of their products is second to none, and both my units have a very user-friendly interface. I've used the Quest since the middle of last year on rides ranging from 5 to 111 miles with no problems at all. It certainly beats reading paper maps.

FWIW -

- Wil
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Old 01-02-07, 07:44 PM
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How did you dudes go training before these things were invented???


Does anyone still roll out of the garage, look up at the sky and head off?
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Old 01-02-07, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ed073
Does anyone still roll out of the garage, look up at the sky and head off?
Yes, but how do you get home once you realize you're lost?
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Old 01-02-07, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tbdean
Yes, but how do you get home once you realize you're lost?

keep turning left. Never fails.

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Old 01-02-07, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
I was told by Garmin that I can't plot a route on the computer and upload it to the GPS. Is that correct? My GPS has a memory card and I'm using MapSource. Do I need something else?
Well then I guess that your model GPS, which I'm not familiar with, is an old outdated design and your just out of luck. I'm really surprised that a GPS which can take a memory card can't have routes stored on the card. I'd really double check that on a Garmin GPS forum since there is probably non-Garmin software you may be able to use. Check that you have the latest firmware update too.

After that I suggest doing this:
...look up at the sky and head off?
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Old 01-02-07, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
I just got a Garmin eTrex Legend Cx, but so far it's not fulfilling my needs. There are two majr problems:

1. The volume is too low (and as far as tech support tells me, you can't change that)
2. If you have it plot your route (via telling it destination) it chooses routes that aren't always good for biking. If you plot the route via intersections, it won't give you turn-by-turn directions.

Does anyone know either of how to fix these problems or of a good alternative for use on a road bike?
I've got this same exact GPS. I love it. It works great for turn by turn directions. I use the city navigator maps with mapsource and develop the route using this software. I then upload it to the GPS and there ya go. I haven't had any problems with the volume though. Seems to be loud enough for me, but I'm not going 25mph when it beeps either.
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Old 01-02-07, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tbdean
Yes, but how do you get home once you realize you're lost?
Paper maps.
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Old 01-02-07, 09:43 PM
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tomtom one unit is small, pocketable, has city maps so gives you turn-by-turn, can build routes based on "bicycling"...

not sure how long battery lasts, though
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Old 01-03-07, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by knobster
I've got this same exact GPS. I love it. It works great for turn by turn directions. I use the city navigator maps with mapsource and develop the route using this software. I then upload it to the GPS and there ya go. I haven't had any problems with the volume though. Seems to be loud enough for me, but I'm not going 25mph when it beeps either.
Knobster,

Maybe you can help me. I was able to upload a route (Garmin was wrong) but it didn't quite work right. I used the "route tool" in MapSource and clicked out the route so it would follow the roads I wanted. However, when I actually used the route on the GPS, it treated all the spots I'd clicked with the mouse like waypoints and calculated its own route to get to each of them - so it no longer followed the roads I'd chosen on the PC. Any idea how I can get this to work? What settings might I need?

Thanks!
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Old 01-03-07, 08:30 PM
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On the GPS, did you select Route, Go to, then select On Road? If you do that, it does the turn by turn. If you select Map, it does what you're describing I believe. I'll give it a try on mine to make sure I'm telling you right.
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Old 01-03-07, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
Knobster,

Maybe you can help me. I was able to upload a route (Garmin was wrong) but it didn't quite work right. I used the "route tool" in MapSource and clicked out the route so it would follow the roads I wanted. However, when I actually used the route on the GPS, it treated all the spots I'd clicked with the mouse like waypoints and calculated its own route to get to each of them - so it no longer followed the roads I'd chosen on the PC. Any idea how I can get this to work? What settings might I need?

Thanks!
I have the same exact GPS as you do. You first create "Way Points" of the route on the computer. The "Way Points" should be placed after each turn and not in the middle of a turn. You create a route using (clicking) all the "Way Points" and upload this route to your GPS.

Don't let the software calculate a route because ALL GPS are designed for motorcars and it will put you on restricted highways.
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Old 01-03-07, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ed073
How did you dudes go training before these things were invented???


Does anyone still roll out of the garage, look up at the sky and head off?
Not anymore. It's 2007 and those of us with finances have upgraded to GPS technology. And having a BLAST!
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Old 01-03-07, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Don't let the software calculate a route because ALL GPS are designed for motorcars and it will put you on restricted highways.
Can't remember if Vista Cx has the function, but many auto-routing GPS units can take preferences for the type of road used eg. Avoid motorway, avoid toll road, avoid U-turns etc.

For a lightweight routing GPS unit, Garmin's Nuvi line can't be beat. But it's not waterproof.
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Old 01-03-07, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I have the same exact GPS as you do. You first create "Way Points" of the route on the computer. The "Way Points" should be placed after each turn and not in the middle of a turn. You create a route using (clicking) all the "Way Points" and upload this route to your GPS.

Don't let the software calculate a route because ALL GPS are designed for motorcars and it will put you on restricted highways.
How do you stop it from calculating the route?
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Old 01-04-07, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by sogood
Can't remember if Vista Cx has the function, but many auto-routing GPS units can take preferences for the type of road used eg. Avoid motorway, avoid toll road, avoid U-turns etc.

For a lightweight routing GPS unit, Garmin's Nuvi line can't be beat. But it's not waterproof.
Yes, this one has that feature and you can tell it to calculate based off what type of vehicle you are in. One of the options is bicycle!! Awesome little unit.
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Old 01-04-07, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
How do you stop it from calculating the route?
What he's saying is not correct. Yes, by default it will put you on the quickest route. That's the beauty of this, is that you can change it. You can tell it to avoid the highways, toll roads, u-turns, etc... The best way is to create a route like I told you and it will follow that defined route. Put the waypoints along the turns and it will give you turn by turn at those way points. I would recommend that you play with each and every feature on it till you get the hang of the unit. I used it to find my way to stores and shops that I've been to a hundred times just to get use to using it. Once I got use to using it in my car, using it on the bike was even easier.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by knobster
What he's saying is not correct. Yes, by default it will put you on the quickest route. That's the beauty of this, is that you can change it.
Go ahead and allow the unit to create a route based on 2 "Way points" and see what happens. It will choose the quickest route and put you on restricted roads. You'll then spend an hour by the side of the road wasting time trying to create a safe and slow route. Creating routes on the road is painstaking slow and frustrating due to the small microprocessor built into the GPS..

I know there's a feature in the software that allows chooses road travel at bicycling speed. I found the feature to be unsatisfactory because it still would still put me on fast roads and highways. In one instance, the feature put me on the most dangerous four lane road in my county while avoiding slower roads. Bottom line, it takes quality time to create a safe route that takes advantage of city streets as much as possible. In the end, it's far worth it to put in the time and create a route with 50 or more turns than one that puts you on a restricted road or have you fumbling through the manual trying to construct a safer route.

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 01-04-07 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
How do you stop it from calculating the route?
I use as many "Way Points" as possible when creating a route. Each and every turn is a "Way Point" so the software does not have to think at all or create a turn. I know this is a painstaking process but it's far worth it. You would be surprised that it can take from 50 or 60 "Way Points" per 40 miles of road which is not bad at all.

Sometimes, I'll allow the software to create a route for half a mile to see which roads are one way. Then I'll go back and put the "Way Points" in regardless.
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Old 01-04-07, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I use as many "Way Points" as possible when creating a route. Each and every turn is a "Way Point" so the software does not have to think at all or create a turn. I know this is a painstaking process but it's far worth it. You would be surprised that it can take from 50 or 60 "Way Points" per 40 miles of road which is not bad at all.

Sometimes, I'll allow the software to create a route for half a mile to see which roads are one way. Then I'll go back and put the "Way Points" in regardless.
Believe it or not I did this and it ended up with a weird consequence. The GPS sent me to one of the waypoints, then told me to do a u-turn, backtrack over some of my route, then turn onto a diff. road eventually taking me back past the waypoint (but on a diff. parallel road). Another time, it sent me to one way point than had me do a circle past it by turning left, left, left, ride past it (200 feet away from the intersection) and then turn left again onto a parallel road. Just idiotic and frustrating.
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