May 2012 Soon to be upgraded or renamed page Cycle Sat Nav a long way since this was first published in 2007. Smartphones and apps have come a long way in the last few years and rival some of the dedicated GPS units.
Like the early forays with PDA,s one of the limiting factors is still the battery life, another is a decent mount. A third limiting factor is the reliance on a good GPRS signal to upload all the Google mapping data while on the ride.
Links below no longer work because MotionBased is now GarminConnect.
For phone based logging of rides probably the best at the moment is Strava.com
used by many as a training aid a basic package is free.
Something that I’m trying to expand at the moment, mainly because I haven’t the foggiest idea where I am going on a group ride.
I used to use an XDA 2s (phone,PDA) with Bluetooth GPS receiver. The mapping software being from Anquet.
This would be a great setup if it wasn’t for the major stumbling block of the system, battery life. PDA,s when in all singing and dancing mode eat batteries and when you have you’ve a mobile phone built into it the last thing you need is a flat battery in a emergency.
The aim is to publish routes on the Google map that riders who rode the route could view maybe read a write up of the ride and view the odd picture taken (badly) on my mobile phone. The routes could also be downloaded into a GPS/Garmin handheld. The priority being to get a route overlaid on the map that I can play around with in WordPress(which is what this page is edited with).
Update 09 Oct 2006. I’ve decided to invest in a Garmin Edge 305 with Heart Rate monitor and cadence. I’ve given up with the PDA as trying to navigate a route with the Anquet maps was nigh on impossible despite e-mails to Anquet asking how to do it.
I’ve also purchased a book called “Getting to grips with GPS” which is very good and is up to date.
Update 21 Oct 2006 The Garmin Edge 305 is up and running and it is trully staggering to see what this unit logs and where you where in the world when you were doing it. I’m still getting to grips with it. But I still want to put routes onto the Google Map. The next test is to see if it can track a long CTC ride. It coped perfectly with my round Wirral ride (46 miles)
Update 25 Oct 2006. Using the Garmin Edge 305 has hit a problem indoors. It doesn’t register calories indoors whilst spinning or any other activity. I’ve been in touch with Garmin and they are saying I have to use a footpod thingy. This appears to be a non starter as the stroke of a pedal revolution is about a third that of a runner. The heartrate monitoring is exellent but I’d have thought they could have worked out calorie expenditure from all the data they have without having satellite visibility. I may have to call on Rays expertise on these matters.Otherwise it may be back to the good old Aldi HRM with calorie counter.
30 Oct 2006 The XDA has been replaced by an all singing dancing MDA Compact 2 from T-mobile with a 2 megapixel camera built in. The ride photographs are taken with this phone. The navigation and route logging is all going to be done with the Garmin Edge 305. The mapping software is going to be the Anquet maps that I currently have.
Anquet has been giving a repreive as the Garmin Edge 305 has logged all the recent routes and been able to show the route on the map once it has been uploaded.
By the look of things routes will be uploaded on to the Motion Based website probably with a Eureka Cafe start or finish. That way everybody can get access to them. Thanks for the link Steve.
03 Nov o6 The CTC ride to the Abbey Arms from the Eureka Cafe has been posted onto the Motion Based website and can be viewed by clicking on the following link.
All of the following routes start at the Eureka Cafe and have been uploaded to the MotionBased site. My starting point is Rest Hill which is between 9 and 11 miles from the cafe.
July 2007 This is just a small selection of the rides I have posted on MotionBased,there are now over 40 on there
More rides will be added as and when I do them. The above rides have ride write-ups and pictures in many cases, under the Routes and Rides category.
I’ve just done a google search for “Cycle Satnav” and seeing as this site is comes out as number 3 out of 112000 I’ll rewrite this post with the current situation. The PDA solution was only a stopgap. The Garmin Edge 305 probably warrants a category all of its own as it is a superb tool/toy for cycling. Once this section starts to look a bit unweildy it will probably be split. If you’re new to all this click on the hybrid button on the Google map for a superb satellite view. Comments welcome.
For 2007 I’m looking at doing some Audaxes. The first is tomorrow from Cheadle. With a bit of luck The Garmin Edge 305 is going to make the navigation a lot easier. I’ll be posting the route on here if I make it.
Two Audaxes under my belt now and the Garmin Edge has been superb. I’ve also managed to lead a ride to Delamere without having done the route before. It turned out to be good day.
Update 12 July 2007 I notice some phones are now appearing with a GPS receiver built in. I had thought about taking this page down as it doesn’t have much relevance now I fully commited to the Garmin Edge 305. I still think battery life is going to be a problem. Anquet is still a good option if it uses the Windows Mobile platform. The only misgivings I have with Anquet is that it a closed system and you cant do much with it as it doesn’t export GPX files.
Update 4 Nov 2007 I fired up the T- Mobile MDA the otherday as I found the Bluetooth GPS receiver. Once synced up it worked ok. If the worst comes to the worst I could put the receiver in the saddle bag and still have tho option of pouring over a map on a ride. I’ve got all of Wales and central England on the micro SD memory card and there is still a load of space left. Come phone upgrade time I’ll be looking for one with GPS built in.
Update 29 Jun 2010 Things have moved on a great deal since I started all this. The Iphone with built in GPS has rewritten the rules for satnav with a host of low cost apps and some dear ones like Tom Tom. Battery life is still a problem when in all singing dancing mode and it helps if you have a strong GPRS signal so don’t get lost in the middle of nowhere and rely on a downloaded Google Map on GPRS.
Nokia and Sony Erricson all have good devices that will log your rides, again at the expense of battery life.