GPS and other Electronics
For quite a while I liked the vision of replacing paper maps with somthing I knew from aviation as moving maps. Minimum requirements for me were
Does not sound like a big deal but it still was around year 2000. Garmin brought some devices into the market at this time but they did not seem to be suitable to be used on a bike. This changed in 2002 with the market introduction of Streetpilot III ColorMap . The device did not just match my minimum requirements but came with some additional features.
I used this device in 2003 for more than 12.000 miles on the bike.
The device introduced a new dimension of touring. You can ride the very back roads without any searching. You just go through the villages as if you lived there. You can be on tour without having any clou where you are but you still can be sure you will arrive at your destination in time. And the additional safety is also very important: The device tells you where you are and where and when to make the next turn. Compare this with trying to locate yourself on a paper map and figuring out where to turn into what direction.
But there were disadvantages too:
The GPSMap 276C was introduced into the market in 2004. "The ultimate bike navigation device". I had to have this immediately and I did not regret. Major advandages were
I did almost 100.000 miles with this device and I do not want to ride without GPS navigation anymore.
In June 2010 the new Zumo 660 entered the market as the new high end motorbike GPS navigation device. Now with touch screen, Bluetooth and audio output. The display resolution is slightly reduced compared to the 276c (now 480x272 pixels) and all the automatic features make life not necessarily easier. Battery lasts for about 5 hours but this is something I can accept as I have a power supply on the bike. Major new features are
I do get directions and music via bluetooth and headphones directly into my ears.
I have now about 20.000 miles experience with the Zumo 660 and got used to it.
There is one disadvantage when you use these devices. You always have to lead a group and all others relay on you for finding the way home.
More than 400 routes and more than 100.000 miles in 8 years: