Christmas had, for me, rather a cycling theme to it this year: a stylish Solo cap, a substantial saddlebag and a Garmin Edge 305 GPS cycle computer.
Potential purchasers of the Edge are cautioned that it is a better training device than a navigator and Frank Kinlan has a handy guide to using it for navigation. He suggests naming waypoints simply and sequentially such that LT01 is Waypoint 1 Left Turn and RT02 is Waypoint 2 Right Turn as all waypoints must be uniquely named.
Personally, I like to know not only that I am on track but also where I am. Consequently, I have named waypoints as, for example, RSTANLRD (Right: Stanley Rd) and SACLAYLA (Straight Across: Clay Lane). This also means I can keep my eyes open for other clues in the event that the road layout differs somewhat from what I see on my map.
It has also been suggested that users need to know the difference between a Course (which is for training purposes) and a Route (which is for navigational purposes). I have accidentally discovered that users can use a route to help navigate a course.
I use Tracklogs to set up my routes and transfer them to the Edge as both a Route and as a Course. If I tell the edge that I want to attempt the ‘Endon Loop’ Course and also that I want to navigate the identically named Route, it will warn me when I am off course and give me advance warning of turns.
When I tried this today, my only difficulties were that I forgot to press ‘Start’ as I began the Course, I had difficulty seeing the screen as my glasses don’t have windscreen wipers and I had to climb off on some of the hills: Staffordshire was designed with longer, steeper hills than Lancashire.