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Nice day for a ride

2004-12-08 , ,

The forecast predicted 60°F weather so I took a day off from work
to ride. I slept late only to be called from work at 9am and spend a couple
of hours logged in from home. It made for a late start.

A few weeks ago I installed a bracket, [a RAM mount](http://www.ram-mount.com/)
sourced from [Cycoactive](http://www.cycoactive.com/), to hold the
Garmin Streetpilot III my father-in-law gave me when he bought a new
model. Last Sunday I
had sorted out the mounting and GPS configuration on a short ride.
I still need to adjust the mount location so that it doesn’t interfere with
folding back my bar map case when I fuel but

GPS on a bike generally works. The best feature is that it lists the
approaching intersection while displaying the map. Backed with the
confidence of the map, I took roads I might never have tried; many of
which proved to be very good. I also liked being able to verify the
reading of my speedometer, 3-5 mph optimistic below 60 mph, and
odometer, which was correct.

Some features don’t work. The marking of locations is awkward and it
takes four button presses to take a mark and the return to the map.
The short battery life is very short and it burned through six fresh
AAA’s in less than five hours. There is nothing I can do about the
first but the second I can solve by running power off the bike.

I still need to figure out how to export the marks and route on Linux
or Mac OSX. Garmin’s USB card interface is not recognized by either
and Garmin’s software only runs on Windows.

The outbound leg of the ride was great. I logged a fairly leisurely
240 mile round-trip, crossing back and forth through the backroads of
the New York/Connecticut border. I need to incorporate Routes 37 and
39 into another ride. I stopped once for food in Kent and at Amenia
Union cut back into New York State toward Millerton before heading
home.

The leg back was awful. The wind had picked up and I fought shifting
35 mph gusts at speed all down the Taconic and Sawmill Parkways. I was
blasted back and forth across my lane, frequently pushed off my line
in turns and a few made me wonder if I hadn’t stalled the engine with
the way they slowed the bike. Reaching the West Side Highway at rush
hour was, if you can believe it, a relief.

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