Having recently moved to a new city, in fact a whole new country! Well, technically not new as I’ve moved back to the UK from the Cayman Islands, but a city in the UK where I have never lived before.
As any self respecting cyclist/triathlete would do, I immediately joined the local club. Obviously this is a great way to meet local people with similar interests and a way to learn about the local area.
However I found myself wanting when it came to searching out cycle routes. I’m all for just going out and having a ride, but that does have its downsides.
- MK is quite special and with so many dual carriageways and main roads it’s sometimes not just a case of jumping on and riding round.
- I’m training for the London Triathlon in July and I want to be able to train for a certain time, distance and terrain.
First stop for me was the local club’s (TeamMK) forum. It was suggested that not only do they have some routes on the site, but to join Strava and link to the Team MK. I’m on Strava and so I linked to Team MK and true enough I found numerous routes. Premium members can download the gpx, but I am not, so I was stuck with just looking on the screen.
Being able to download the gpx is great idea, I can put it on my Garmin 500 and (after some app searching) I can put in on my phone (via email) and open in a little *free* app called GPX Tracker (this is a very simple app, it basically just draws the route on a map and shows where you are … so does what I require!!
Using the GPS on the Garmin 500 is not as good as the 800 or 810. You don’t get maps, you simply get a black line on the screen and prompted where and when to turn – when its not messing around looking for signal … which does happen and of course at the wrong times!!
The perfect solution!! Kind of – having the map on the Garmin means you can see your stats that you're used to (speed, cadence etc) and having it on the phone means you have to keep checking, waiting for the map to refresh etc. All of this does affect the training, I found it hard to get into a rhythm and bang out the miles.
Still – a lot of fun!!! Geeky, training fun – the best kind