Everybody needs a GPS !

We have the Garmin range of GPS systems coming into stock this week and always one for the gadgets I have set my sights on an Edge 705  with h/r and cadence (€399) for myself . The functions are similar to the edge 305 (€249) but with the addition of the colour mapping screen I had to go for that one .

Garmin edge 705

Garmin edge 305

They sure do look good , and with current National Champion Daniel Martin riding for the Garmin Chipotle team it even feels patriotic to use one . ( any excuse for a new gadget )

On the recent Sean Kelly Tour as I was changing tubes etc. I noticed that quite a number of the riders were using the Garmins . Cycling in Ireland is growing rapidly . The largest area of growth is the Leisure side . Why , you may ask , well here’s my theory ;

Would you sit into a car and just drive ? , maybe on a Sunday  but not normally .

Most people when they sit into a car have a fixed destination in mind . This is one reason for the popularity of GPS systems . People want to know the quickest way to get where they want to go . Many businesses in the UK and on the continent now include their GPS settings along with their address .

This is a simple form of Goal setting and this is why events like the Sean Kelly tour are so popular . If you are riding a 160 km hilly event in late August you have something to train all summer long for . If you begin cycling for fitness and become fit , what next ? you still need something to aim for .

We have noticed recently a number of people who have replaced their 600 euro gym membership with 600 euro bikes . Their logic being that if they don’t use the bike this year they still have it for next year . The annual gym membership money is gone . One guy deduced that his visits to the gym had cost him almost two hundred euro per hour as he had only gone twice during the year .

The other side is the fitness side . When you go from twenty kg overweight down to fighting weight what next ? Maintenance fitness in a gym can be very boring . Whereas on the bike , once you get fit there is always something else to aim for . And this is the secret to the growth of cycling in Ireland at present .

Everybody needs a goal to aim for , cycling is full of never ending levels of goals . When you reach one , reset your internal GPS and go for another one , and then another one after that . Keep going , adjust your goals to suit your age and circumstance but always have something that you are aiming at . This is what gets you out of bed on a cold wet winter’s morning and these are the spins that give the greatest sense of achievement .

What’s the alternative ? , get unfit , get fat , get a belly , get lazy and get old .

What’s also good is a bit of a Forrest Gump attitude when it comes to goals . Keep going untill you get there , stop , look around ,enjoy , reset to another goal and keep on going .

And of course , any bit of modern technology that helps keep you entertained along the way can only be a good thing .



4 thoughts on “Everybody needs a GPS !

  • September 8, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    To be honest, the GPS removes some of the fear of road cycling. The main roads are getting dangerous (a post for another time) but the side roads are getting emptier. Personally I know I don’t know the side roads.

    With a GPS you can think to yourself, I’m going to do a 20k cycle, so your pull out the GPS and look for towns 10km away, and follow the route it picks out.

    Once there, either turn around, or try a different way back. You’ve cycled 20km, and seen what the view from the side roads is like, without getting lost.

    A request. Given that the season of early darkness is approaching, any tips on night training?

  • September 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Barry, you’ve given me a great brainwave.

    Cancel the wifes gym membership, buy her a bike and buy myself a Garmin GPS € 750 WELL SPENT..

    But maybe getting lost every now & then is part of the fun.

  • September 8, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Will – good point about the GPS . Give me a few days and I’ll put up a post about night time training .

    Darren – Getting lost is part of the fun but not when you have to ring the wife to come and collect you because you get the knock . ( good justification for getting that gps – excuse no. 2 )

  • September 9, 2008 at 7:59 am

    I managed to road test one of these recently and certainly am converted – have had some decent weekends away from the wife!

    garmin released their new website on the edge on http://www.garmin.co.uk/edge/ got some decent links on there to added functionality.

    not got through it all yet


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