April 18, 2014
In the most recent issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine, I reviewed Garmin's Touring Edge Plus GPS unit. To supplement that article, I would like to share a few common questions I've received about the unit, as well as peek into Garmin's latest creation.
You may or may not be aware that Adventure Cycling offers waypoint files for many of the Adventure Cycling Route Network maps. Anyone is able to download the waypoint files for these routes, however, members are able to access files that include service data along the route.
Our Routes and Mapping department have put together a great GPS information page, which gives an overview of what waypoints are, and what you need in order to use them. There is also a useful GPS discussion board on the Adventure Cycling forums that is worth taking a look at.
These are all great resources, but to save you some time, here are the steps you can take to get Adventure Cycling waypoints, or any .GPX file for that matter, onto your Garmin Edge Touring or Touring Plus unit.
1. Download your desired files. These will be downloaded as a .zip file, and can be decompressed using software such as WinZip.
2. Once the file is decompressed, look for a folder containing files ending in .gpx. These are your waypoint files that you will load onto your Garmin.
3. Plug in your Garmin device using the USB cable that was included with the unit. Your computer will recognize the unit, and a folder for the GPS will appear on your computer. On Macs, it will appear on your desktop, while on PCs it will appear in your Computer folder. Open this up, and go to the folder "Garmin" and then to "NewFiles."
4. Drag and drop the .gpx files you downloaded into the "NewFiles" folder.
5. Unplug your Garmin GPS and turn it on. Your waypoints are now loaded!
6. To view the Waypoints on your device, simply press the icon 'Where To?,' then 'Saved,' and finally 'Courses.' The routes will be saved here in segments of varied length. Just click on a segment, and hit 'Ride' to begin navigating that portion of the route.
*Depending on your device's settings, you may be routed on to roads or paths that are not on the Adventure Cycling route between waypoints. Please use Adventure Cycling paper maps for cross reference when navigating with this device for best accuracy.
Depending on how many waypoints you plan on loading up for your tour, you may need to purchase additional microSD cards to load any remaining portions of the route that don't fit on your existing card, or simply delete used waypoints after you have ridden them and upload new ones when you have time at a computer.
If you want to be able to track your rides and compare them to each other, you'll want to take advantage of Garmin Connect. This is a totally free service that allows you to upload your rides for later viewing, analysis, and comparisons. One fun feature is to stack rides up against each other. You can select up to four activities to be compared side by side, and there are over a dozen metrics to be compared.
The Garmin Edge Touring series is the bees knees when it comes to on-the-fly bicycle-specific navigation. For performance analysis, you'll probably want something closer to the Garmin Edge 800 series. Smartphones are the way to go if you need to send or receive data from the road or trail. Smash these together, and you have the new Garmin Edge 1000. It has the OpenStreetMap navigation and points of interest features of the Edge Touring series, the data analysis on the Edge 800 series, and when coupled with your smartphone, allows you to live track your ride, so your friends and family can watch your progress as it happens in real time.
Photos by Josh Tack
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.