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We are heading out in 2 weeks on a tour of Europe. Any suggestions on the GPS/mapping system we should get?
I bought few weeks ago a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx and I really like it. I'm not on a tour (yet),but I go around Munich every weekend by bike, and since I have this GPS I didn't get lost anymore!
It's quite clear how to use it, you can always see your position on the screen and you can update the included map (which is actually very basic) by using a proper microSD card. Most important, you can uploads tracks from sites such as http://www.bikemap.net/ I used it yesterday, which was -10 °C, and it worked without any problems, but I don't know about lower temperatures. It works with AA battery.
It's not the best one you can get (the eTrex series is the basic series from Garmin, as well as the cheapest), but it really has basically everything I was looking for. Probably with time I will have something to complain about, but now I would go for it again.
Further Garmin has just introduced the new model (eTrex 30 or something like that), so you should manage to get a good discount (I found it for 130 euros instead of 250, but it was really the last one left in the shop and they wanted to get rid of it).
Hope that helped
p.s. if you happen to ride in Munich, feel free to contact me!
Francesco! What a great & happy name! It makes me want to throw my hands up in celebration! Is that an Italian name?
The Garmin models are getting great reviews from all cyclists, it seems! I'll compare it to the 60 csx, because that's my top pick if I were buying this second.
And wow, that web site is great advice, and possibly a huge time saver! Thank you! We very well may make a stop by you, but I can give you plenty of notice. looks like, if we did, you'd be into the end of March's schedule, but we don't have it all mapped out yet. We really do hope to avoid most cold/snow so possibly even later than that.
My wife and I are currently working on a multi stage coastal circumnavigation of Europe. We live in both the US and Australia. In 2010 Amsterdam to Normandy (1600km, 4 weeks), 2011 Normandy to the Spanish border(2400km, 7 weeks),this year Spain and Portugal. We always ride on the coast and camp unless it is not possible.
This year I added a Garmin GPS (Oregon touch screen plus handlebar mount)to out gear with the Europe NT map, this is an extra map but you need at least this ammount of detail for biking. The standard world map only shows highways. Uses AA batteries and I get about 2 days if it is on all day. Has worked well and I am happy with this unit, however it is good to have a laptop with you to push up more areas if you find you do not have them, in theory you can have them all preloaded on a card but I had an issue and had to push them four at a time. We still use the Michelin paper map in conjunction with this as the big picture is nice, we buy these as we go.
Happy to help with any other advice on what we have learned so far as we seem to be on a similar quest.
Clive, Great suggestions! I was planning to cut thru the far west side of France down to Italy, then follow the coast back up as temperatures warm over the next few months. That should give us plenty of cities I've only dreamed of seeing before as well as countryside. I have a couple of friends who run vineyards in the middle of France that I have to tour by as well. I can't wait to be as experienced as you guys!
A paper map is a great suggestion. When technology fails, as it occasionally does, it's good to have plan B! Hope to catch up with you on a ride someday!
I just bought a Garmin GPSmap 62stc. Fully functional on AA's, and they say 16 hours. I have a solar charging unit, the Voltaic Fuse. I hope to bring my iPhone and laptop as well.
Just out of curiosity, how do you guys plan your trips? Do you do it while on the road, or beforehand?
I've heard great things about that model and about the Garmin 60 csx. It sounds like they can hold regular maps as well as bike trails and/or forest trails. And affordable!
This is our first tour ever. I've always done long days of cycling before, but I've always landed in my own bed, or a friends if I was traveling, at night. I've camped a lot and I've cycled a lot, but never the twain have met until now! We are setting up all of our invite locations and trying to align them with our plan of travel. A few friends homes and cities we'd both like to see. We'll research every area before we get to it to have our drive comfortably planned for that trip, and I hope that there are a few pleasant surprises on the way.
To be honest with you, I love the serendipity of life. While I like having a comfortable idea of what's around me, I do hope to jump on new opportunities as they arise and see them either as well or instead. Does that make sense? I don't like to be a travel control freak. This adventure is about taking a break from the structures and confines of my general 60 hour work weeks the last 15 years. This is about just being; just living. It's about taking a break to see how the other millions of people, plants, and animals live.
Wow. Probably more lengthy of an answer than you wanted!
Yeah, that's exactly what I want to do. Camping and Warmshowers are what I want to rely on. I've started a new thread to ask people how they plan a trip.
Just realised I said we had a Garmin Oregon, It is actually a Garmin Dakota. We like the touchscreen as we are used to Garmin touchscreen automobile GPS units and the Iphone. The Dakota is the downsized, downpriced Oregon and more than adequate. That said they all work just fine. Paper maps will do the job if you are not ready to invest, we have toured for years without a GPS. You are only lost if you really care where you are!
Have a great trip
That will be a great philosophy for us to cycle by, "You are only lost if you really care where you are!"
I love it!!!
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