Today's ride in Virginia, in elevation
Having been mightily impressed with Will's Garmin GPS unit during our rides in Alsace, I have decided to move into the World of Tomorrow and have purchased my own at a reasonable price on E-Bay. The unit is very nicely made, and was easy to install. Mine comes with all the fixin's, including a heart rate monitor and a cadence unit. The bike looks nicer with a single unit on it rather than the bike computer and HRM I had before. The Garmin is very light but I need to tighten up the base a bit as it shifted a little on bumps. It is easy to read and you can customize the screen with very little effort.
Today I rode a PPTC ride from the Plains, Virginia, on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The weather was perfect and we were a small group of about ten, including two other riders with Specialized Tarmacs, including an E5 like mine. We left from the Plains at 9 am sharp and rode a big circle route around the town of Warrentown. We stopped briefly at a gas station to get the group back together and have something to drink at the 48 km mark. The course was fairly hilly but I felt very strong on it today. After two weeks of serious riding in Europe and a week to recover my legs felt good and I was able to keep up very well on the hills. As we approached the Plains again at the end of the ride I realized that by going five more kms out and back I would get a metric century for the day. The GPS was also indicating 996 m of gain, so I kept riding out on Halfway Road, to discover it has some good climbing in it too!
Once home, I downloaded the data to both the Garmin Training Center software and to Motion Based, a Web-based analytical site also owned by Garmin. A great deal of information can be taken out of the 305 and it was very interesting to read it all. Will will help me with using Google maps to save the route as well but for the moment I have very detailed information about the ride. Downloading was no effort at all, akin to loading an MP3 player. I have attached the chart indicating the elevation today. Oddly enough, the GPS unit showed 1115 m of climbing, while both GTC and Motion Based added quite a bit more, the latter showing 1370 m. So far I am very impressed with the Garmin and hope to use it to its maximum potential as I work my way through the 93 page Owner's Manual.