Navigation

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Except for one day when we refused to comply and continued to cycle on the banks of the Meuse despite his protestations (and consequently paid the price of back-tracking from dead-end paths on the wrong side of the river), Monsieur Garmin (Edge 705 GPS with a digital European road map installed) – il parle en Francais a ce moment, naturellement – continues to do excellent service for us.

His route finding is practically limited to about 50-70 km per stage but if we make a note of a few villages, towns or cities that represent significant way points for a day’s cycling we can ask M. Garmin to plot our route from one to the next. If we ask him to avoid major roads but accept unpaved roads he tends to lead us on very quiet picturesque byways – even on tracks through the forest or farms – and never on highways or dead-ends. He is prone to suggesting extensive detours to avoid very brief sections of main roads and so uncritical acceptance is not desirable.

M. Garmin is very adept at navigating us into, out of and across new cities – a task that can be very time-consuming and tedious using the traditional methods. It’s very nice not to be stuck on noisy, smelly, ugly intersections trying to cope with wind, rain, one-way streets and missing street signs at the end (or the beginning) of a tiring day. We can enter a business name or a street address and he will lead us straight there.

Unfortunately, M. Garmin is unaware of the Limburger Fietsnetwork (too new perhaps), canal towpaths and some ravels (rail-to-trail paths). Narrow Parisian streets challenge his satellite reception from time to time.

2 Responses to “Navigation”

  1. kees Says:

    I am amazed to read about M. Garbins (almost human !) characteristics. Tomorrow we will travel to the Alps. My M. Garbin will tell me just to cycle to the top! And after arriving at the top I will for sure see two autralian cyclists with yellow and red bags.
    Wat goes up, must come down…..

    Bonne route!

    Wieteke

  2. kees Says:

    PS: I signed with Wieteke’s name, but forgot my own!

    Kees

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