Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Garmin Field Test or Getting Lost

Yesterday I went out to test my Garmin 705. Having never used the "Find Places" feature on a bike, I wanted to give it a try. I had mixed results.

On the video you will see some footage of the Garmin pointing me to a "convenience store." You'll hear me comment that the Garmin should have a rating system as to whether you actually want to go to the place it suggests! Take a look at the location and you'll see what I mean.

I did end up being told by the device to go down a small dirt "road" that looked more like someone's driveway. It also was showing the trail to be named another road (which I never did find, by the way). However, the device recalculated and I arrived.

On the way home (the Garmin allows you to push a "Back Home" button that will take you from where you are back to your starting point) I had worse luck. This time I was sent down another small dirt road -- we're talking just wide enough for a car (or tractor) to go down.

I decided to give it a try. As I continued down the road I ended up on a dead end into a corn field! There was no road. While trying to turn around in the deep sand, my wheel got twisted and down I went. I rode the rest of the way home covered on the right side with dirt.

Once again, though, the Garmin recalculated and sent me back on a proper road. I made it back to my parents' house without further harm. A little water and I was good as new.

Overall, I enjoyed using the GPS. You obviously have to combine the use of the device with the use of your brain. The primary problems were not with the device itself, but with the maps. My guess in more urban settings, you wouldn't have as much of a problem.

Stay tuned for more Garmin 705 stuff in the future. I plan to post a link to my Assault on Mount Mitchell stats tomorrow or Tuesday. Hope the battery lasts!

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