Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Garmin Edge 705 GPS (First Look)

The narrow climb from Tilamook, Oregon to Netarts barely accommodates a bicycle. On your right you see a rock wall just a few feet away; on your left, a line of impatient gravel trucks guns up the steep grade though many, many switchbacks. This went on and on and on and on as I crept towards the town of Netarts. (Next time I will take the inland detour south from Tilamook)

Around the middle of the town you make a left turn and descend to beautiful Netarts Bay—and several days of blissful cycling south along Oregon's seaside highway, a great place to be on a bicycle. Practically the whole of coastal Rte 101 has generous bike paths on both sides. So that's an important left turn up in Netarts...

About halfway down the switchbacks I started to get the feeling I'd screwed up somewhere. Was that the Pacific on my LEFT? I was headed south: shouldn't it be on my RIGHT? The switchbacks continued, turning me this way and that. At the town of Oceanside, the whole debacle became abundantly clear. Somehow, I'd turned NORTH in Netarts and now the only way south was back UP all those swtich-backs all the way to Netarts. Hundreds of feet? Thousands?... Millions?

Right there I would have written a check for a Garmin Edge 705 cycling GPS. It's a pricey but I daresay, essential tool for any cycling tourist. You simply can't manage thousand foot, multi-hour "errors" on a bike tour--and still tell yourself you're having some kind of fun.



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The Garmin Edge 705 GPS steadfastly refuses to allow you to get lost. It tells you where to turn, when and how far the turn is from your current location. Best of all, it nags you the moment you make an error--and tells you what to do to correct it. If you need to know your heart rate, there it is, along with your speed, altitude and estimated time of arrival at your destination. There's much, much more. Stay tuned.