I rarely have anything other than my phone at hand. It has a stopwatch, can measure my speed, GPS is pretty solid and worst case scenario it has a compass so I'm pretty good with it. Although I don't usually go places I haven't been before.
I usually cycle longer distances during weekend because of my work and the only distances I can cover in that time are nearby and I've been to all places near me, so there isn't that much choice.Doesn't having a compass sort of encourage you to go places you don't normally go and try to travel in one direction going off the compass? It's something I've tried doing a few times and I have to admit it's pretty fun. I almost see it as a sort of game now
Love my Garmin GPS when it works and doesn't freeze up or require a factory reset.