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Poor Man's GPS

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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

Poor Man's GPS

Old 07-19-10, 11:42 AM
  #1  
brianbeech
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Poor Man's GPS

Just wanted to share a GREAT program that utilizes GPS to track your ride. If you have an Android based phone (not sure if they have it for iPhone/WinMo), there is a FREE program called CardioTrainer. It tracks your route/distance, total climb, speed, average speed, etc. All you need is your current Android based phone.

I don't use it as a handlebar mount (keep my phone on me in case of accident) but they obviously make the mounts for your phone.

Just thought I'd share; it also keeps a history of your rides/runs.
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Old 07-19-10, 11:44 AM
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Thanks shill!
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Old 07-19-10, 11:45 AM
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Fyi, I don't think the average "poor man" has an Android based phone with a data package.
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Old 07-19-10, 11:51 AM
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Welcome to the forum Shill!
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Old 07-19-10, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackdays View Post
Fyi, I don't think the average "poor man" has an Android based phone with a data package.
I only say "poor man's" because you can forgo the $400 unit and use your $100 -$200 phone that is becoming more and more popular. So, maybe I should have said "Frugal Man's"...
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Old 07-19-10, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jasandalb View Post
Welcome to the forum Shill!
Just for the record genius, it's a free program and I'm just trying to save you some money. If you want to buy a Garmin, go ahead, but don't insult me for trying to help others.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:07 PM
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Hey brian, have you actually used this program? How long does the battery last, and what happens if your phone turns off, or if you get a call? Does the app stop working?
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Old 07-19-10, 12:11 PM
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I still prefer my tracks, plus it is open source. Though when using your android phone with gps, don't stick it in your seat bag, otherwise you could end up with a 14,000 mile ride at a pace of 777 MPH and climbing with a distance equal that of the space station. When I keep it in my jersey pocket, wrapped in a sandwich bag of course, it works flawlessly.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:11 PM
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I thought the poor man's GPS was a map.

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Old 07-19-10, 12:13 PM
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Poor man's GPS is a cheap computer. Unless you have no idea as to what route you're on, the odometer will tell you where you are.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:13 PM
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I have used it for about 6 or 7 months. I had a problem once where my battery died while riding 26 miles, but since then I haven't had any problems. Not sure what programs were running in the background. Of course, they have had a few updates, so they may have fixed a problem. My longest ride on the current version was this weekend and it was 42 miles and took me 2:38. Battery was fine on that ride. In cold weather, I have had some problems with my phone while riding, but I think that's more to do with the phone than the program; although, I can't swear by it. I received a call Saturday from my wife and it ran in the background, but I've never answered it while riding (while GPS tracking was tracking) - newbie, don't want to fall.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Poor man's GPS is a cheap computer. Unless you have no idea as to what route you're on, the odometer will tell you where you are.
Re-read what you just wrote.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nixternal View Post
I still prefer my tracks, plus it is open source. Though when using your android phone with gps, don't stick it in your seat bag, otherwise you could end up with a 14,000 mile ride at a pace of 777 MPH and climbing with a distance equal that of the space station. When I keep it in my jersey pocket, wrapped in a sandwich bag of course, it works flawlessly.
wrapped in a sandwich bag - why didn't I think of that!
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Old 07-19-10, 12:17 PM
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My Tracks - Team at Google; downloading now!!!
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Old 07-19-10, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by x136 View Post
I thought the poor man's GPS was a map.

Wait a second, rumor has it men don't use maps, so if that is true we don't use GPS either. We just go!

<wife>Honey, pull over and ask for directions</wife>
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Old 07-19-10, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nixternal View Post
Wait a second, rumor has it men don't use maps, so if that is true we don't use GPS either. We just go!

<wife>Honey, pull over and ask for directions</wife>
touche' Mr. nixternal, touche' ;P
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Old 07-19-10, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by brianbeech View Post
I only say "poor man's" because you can forgo the $400 unit and use your $100 -$200 phone that is becoming more and more popular. So, maybe I should have said "Frugal Man's"...
Originally Posted by brianbeech View Post
Just for the record genius, it's a free program and I'm just trying to save you some money. If you want to buy a Garmin, go ahead, but don't insult me for trying to help others.
let's do a little comparison here

monthly data plan: $80
battery life: probably really low
cycling related functions (ANT+, HR, cadence, etc): none

Garmin 705, the baddest and most expensive of the garmin lineup: $330
US street maps: $70
ANT+ compatible, HR, Cadence included...

Alternatively, if you could care less about powermeter compatibility

Cycling computer: $20
GPS, plus bike mount: $125
HRM: $60
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Old 07-19-10, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich View Post
let's do a little comparison here

monthly data plan: $80
Holy hell! I pay 29.95/mo for my data plan (unlimited). Plus, to use an Android device for this purpose, you don't even need a data plan. You can download and install the software via your PC, and GPS is free. Heck, you can buy a cheap Android phone on ebay that has GPS.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich View Post
let's do a little comparison here

monthly data plan: $80
battery life: probably really low
cycling related functions (ANT+, HR, cadence, etc): none

Garmin 705, the baddest and most expensive of the garmin lineup: $330
US street maps: $70
ANT+ compatible, HR, Cadence included...

Alternatively, if you could care less about powermeter compatibility

Cycling computer: $20
GPS, plus bike mount: $125
HRM: $60
Geez people...are we really that infantile.

Monthly data plan for a phone you already have: $0
Battery life: I'll make something up cause I don't have a phone and have never used the program.
cycling related functions: none (correct here)

Garmin 705: $330
US Street Maps: $70
cycling functions: included


You are indeed saving money. I know quite a few people that own bikes but don't have the money for a $400 bike accessory; if you can get a free program with your existing phone, it is a savings. What, you have stock in Garmin or something?

So, My Tracks and CardioTrainer could actually be a nice accessory for those people.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:51 PM
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My tracks uses about 20% battery for my 40 mile ride on a newish phone. The elevation is rather inaccurate.
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Old 07-19-10, 01:05 PM
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Sportstracker is pretty good as well.
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Old 07-19-10, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mcjimbosandwich View Post
let's do a little comparison here

monthly data plan: $80
battery life: probably really low
cycling related functions (ANT+, HR, cadence, etc): none

Garmin 705, the baddest and most expensive of the garmin lineup: $330
US street maps: $70
ANT+ compatible, HR, Cadence included...

Alternatively, if you could care less about powermeter compatibility

Cycling computer: $20
GPS, plus bike mount: $125
HRM: $60
I think the OP isn't factoring the more advanced features you get from advanced cycling computers like a Garmin. If he's directing this toward people who have Android phones and can't afford a Garmin (or similar) then that app would be a good alternative.
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Old 07-19-10, 01:16 PM
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You nailed it roadiejorge.
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Old 07-19-10, 01:22 PM
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Thanks, OP! I just got an Android phone with unlimited data that's always with me.
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Old 07-19-10, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Re-read what you just wrote.
Sure, but cyclists typically have some idea of where they're going before they set out.

Relying on GPS for navigation when cycling is just asking to be routed through busy highways with no shoulders and extended unimproved sections.
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