In retirement, I can't afford to buy all the electronic doodads that I want. So, it was a little bit of a thrill to buy a new GPS bicycle computer. Arrived in two days by mail from Amazon! 130 bucks.
I wasn't too clear on how the GPS ("Global Positioning System") works. So, it was a bit of a surprise to discover that access to the system of positioning satellites is free, i.e., does not demand a subscription.
Here's a simple article explaining GPS. Below, one of the least annoying videos I could find that explains the GPS system:
The Garmin Edge 200 required very little setup. For some reason, the default menu language was French. Took me a little while to figure out how to get to the menu option to change that to English.
I immediately set out to try out my routine routes. On Saturday, I did my 10 mile route. On Sunday, the 15 mile route.
Mapping a route is incredibly simple with the Edge 200. Turn the thing on, wait for it to tell you it has linked with the GPS system, press "Start" and begin riding. You get three constant pieces of info... speed, distance traversed and time elapsed. The precision of a GPS system is beautiful.
The Edge 200 does not map in the way that a car GPS system does. A bicycle system that can pre-draw navigational maps costs about $400.
But you can connect the Edge via USB to your computer, then go to the garminconnect.com site to upload your rides to a mapping system.
Another USB device to charge! And, this is one that I use almost every day. That means clipping and unclipping the Edge 200 to the crappy mount that comes standard with the unit. No doubt, that mount will fall apart with heavy use. I've already ordered a sturdier mount.
I've got a mess of USB cables growing out of the back of my iMac.
It's not so easy to get lost nowadays. When you think of all the tech advances that have changed how we perceive reality, two really stand out to me... constant awareness of precise time and location.
I have a digital clock in every room in my house, not by intent, but because every electronic entertaining device or appliance has a built in digital clock. The clocks are all right on the money, too, since I set them to the wifi synchronized clock on my computer.
Now, with GPS, we also always know precisely where we stand on this earth. And, what direction we are moving in.
The Garmin Edge 200 is a fascinating device.