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GPS for Road Bikes
Our experience with GPS navigation on bikes is pretty extensive: it’s very useful, but takes a bit of getting used to!

You are responsible for your own navigation. Before the tour begins, we will provide accurate routes for you to download to your GPS device. These will be provided as Garmin-formatted TCX or generic GPX files. We would recommend that you make every effort to work with the TCX versions and a Garmin navigation device. To be absolutely clear, the TCX file format holds more course information and can be absolutely relied on when used with a Garmin device, this is not always the case with the GPX file format.

Please ensure that you have downloaded all of the route files before you travel while you still have a good internet connection.

The Garmin Edge Series is our recommendation. The models in this series have cyclometer-type GPS receivers. They are light, weatherproof, and the batteries will last for a solid day of riding (if charged fully). The Edge series also have high-sensitivity chipsets for superior satellite reception in urban areas and under tree canopies.

In addition to the Garmin GPS you will have to make sure you have a suitable map loaded onto the device, as new models usually only come bundled with UK maps. These can be bought from Garmin. For European trips we would recommend the City Navigator® Europe NT loaded onto a Micro SD card.

All distances will be given to you in kilometres and climbs in metres so make sure you have your Garmin set up for these (not imperial feet and miles or it’ll do your head in).

Before the tour please use the Garmin to navigate with and become its master. It takes a bit of time to get used to, and there are lots of people in the club who can help, but just remember that the very last thing you want is to be giving it full beans on an alpine climb and come to a fork not knowing which way to go, or worse still not knowing how to find out!

If you remember nothing else remember these four tips:

  1. Always make sure you start the day with a fully charged unit.

  1. Tempted as you may be to stop to look at the Garmin to find out where you are - please don’t! All GPS devices stop working properly when they’re static, (they work by measuring the distance between satellites so if you stop they don’t know where you are or which direction you are or were travelling in). So keep riding in one direction slowly and patiently until the Garmin picks up your direction of travel and makes sense.

  1. Always navigate with the map view on the Garmin display so you can anticipate turns and understand the structure of the roads around you.

  1. Don’t wear polarising sunglasses because they make it difficult to see the LCD screen.
Garmin Edge