GPS. Good to have to just another toy?

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by jerseyrider, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. jerseyrider

    jerseyrider New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am doing some of France this summer and I am wondering if the expense of purchasing a GPS is worth it. I know it would be great to have but do I really need it given a Michelin map and compass. If I got one I would feel as if I was succumbing to the techno craze or something :)

    Just curious to know how many people tour with them and what are your thoughts overall.

    Thanks as always!
     
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  2. nasz

    nasz New Member

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    Personally, nothing beats a good old map and compass, though using the GPS to pin point your position is rather nice. An added bonus is that some tell your current speed and heading too, which is nice when you are on the move.

    Around Europe I use a Garmin Ique on the bike, but always take a map for detail
     
  3. kayakado

    kayakado New Member

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    I'd say great to have. On a trip to New Orleans last year by train, we programed in the coordinates of the hotel on the gps before we left home and were able to walk right to it without maps or asking directions. Also, we were free to explore all day or night and could enter the hotel as a goto waypoint at any time and know how to get back there and how far it was. I would think it would be invaluable traveling in a foreign country where you may not speak the language. I know we would have found it helpful in Ireland in the gaelic areas - the maps were in english but all the signs were in gaelic. I also lead kayaking trips in swamps and bay bay marshes - without it we'd still be out there.
     
  4. TrekDen

    TrekDen New Member

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    With preprogrammed routes, and waypoints it's way more than just a toy. I set mine up for vehicular roadtrips all the time. I imagine on a bike tour it would be even more useful. I use mine to map loops which I can print out for group rides. Yes in the end everyone gets a map, but it's a map I created using my GPS.
     
  5. MadDaze

    MadDaze New Member

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    I live next to Bordeaux. If you're coming this way, drop me a note at [email protected] and let's meet for a cuppa or stronger.

    By the way just did the Canal de Garonne and Canal du Midi, riding from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean across southern France. Very cool! But the towpaths were murder for someone who had not been off road before.

    Harvey the White Rabbit
     
  6. meanderthal

    meanderthal New Member

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    I think that a GPS--along with booking rooms ahead, touring with a support vehicle, carrying a cell phone, and tying down all the loose ends ahead of time--isn't a good thing when you're touring through civilized territories, because it introduces a costly risk: that you will have planned much of the adventure out of your tour even before the first turn of the crank. It is an exhilarating feeling to *not* know exactly where you are, to feel vaguely lost as you spin down that endless ribbon of asphalt whose only known features are those you can see at the moment. This sense of vulnerability is a large part of what sets self-contained bike touring apart from other, safer, modes of travel. It will sharpen your senses, open your pores, make you more receptive to the light that discovery brings. Leave the GPS at home. Go out and claim the adventure, uncover the secrets, one-by-one, that your maps hinted at when you sat before them, desk-bound, dreaming.

    Lew
     
  7. jerseyrider

    jerseyrider New Member

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    Has anyone ever used a GPS with the a regular map such as the Michelin maps. I am donig as much research as I can in figuring out how this all works. I am thinking about buying a GPS so that I may use it in France in 3 weeks. I am thinking about the Garmin eTrex legend which does not give me extensive mapping capability but can at least give me my GPS coordinates. Has anyone ever done this along with the maps? I took a look at the Michelin maps that I'll be using and it's really difficult to see the coordinates.

    Any help on this would be appreciated.

    Have a good one!
     
  8. MadDaze

    MadDaze New Member

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    Unfortunately I can't speak from experience; however I've had an exchange of emails with the folks at EasyGo on exactly the same subject, detailed maps of France, and they suggested scanning in a map of what I wanted and using it in connection with their software.

    By the way I live in Bordeaux, France. If you're passing this way, we can have a coffee or something stronger while you're here. You can reach me at [email protected] if you want to pursue further.

    Harvey the White Rabbit
     
  9. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    Just another Toy????!!!!!

    You say that as if that's a BAD THING!
     
  10. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    ROTFL! That is sooooo true! :p
     
  11. Cycliste

    Cycliste New Member

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    I second that opinion + you will find navigation there fairly easy with the help of a map as even the most remote country roads tend to have a fairly good signage system at intersections usually indicating the next village or town with a little square on top indicating the road number.
     
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