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Old 09-15-2003, 08:16 PM   #1
flyingmonkey OP
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GPS a PIA, or what?

Alright, here's the deal...
Got a GPS a couple of months ago and it's sittin' in the corner. I've hit 10 states, so far, and haven't needed it.
Now, I haven't gone out to get lost so I guess one can argue that it's not necessary.
It seems to be a PIA since, a) got a new Mac and can't get myself to push the on button on my PC, and b) the read-the-instructions vs. looking-at-map ratio hasn't swayed me.

My question is:
Has a GPS ever saved your ass? Honestly, I'm trying to decide if it's a keeper.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:30 PM   #2
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We have all navigated by maps and hi-liters and so GPS is not essential however having owned and used one, I find it to be a very handy tool. It gives a wealth of information quicker than can otherwise be obtained and can pin point your exact location. It saved my bacon once where I was in unfamiliar territory and exploring. My ride turned into oh that looks like a nice road, oh I will go here, hey that looks really nice and the next thing I was miles away from any sign of civilization and did not have a clue where I was. To boot while not yet critical gas would soon become an issue. No problem, looked at my GPS it showed me where I was relative to civilization and how to get there. I made it and still had plenty of gas, but I am sure if I had to "feel" my way out I might have been in trouble. In my book I would keep it and make use of it.
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Old 09-15-2003, 09:24 PM   #3
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Saved ? But Definitely more secure

Last July while riding with a group of locals across the state of Idaho, I got seperated about 150 miles east of Boise in the mountains. It was not raely a big deal, becasue I just needed to head west. However, it was my 10th hour on the bike, it was getting dark, They dont have much pavement there. The mormen crikets and cows in the road were a distraction, etc. Etc. It was very nice to have the GPS running and be able to see that I was progressing towards civilization.

I was careless to not have good maps on hand, but for that trip, they would have been half of my baggage.

I'm a believer, so much so, I just upgraded the old GPS 3 to a 176 with Road and TOPO files for most of the north west loaded.
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Old 09-16-2003, 08:44 AM   #4
Joined: Jul 2001
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I've been using a GPS for the last five years or so. Is it essential? No. Is it helpful? Yes. Does it replace a paper map? No.

IMHO, you need both a good set of maps and a GPS. Maps are useless if you don't know where you are. The GPS tells you where you are and which direction you are going. It pretty much puts an end to "damn, I thought there was a road off to the right here somewhere "

I don't do the routing thing...too preplanned for my tastes.

Kinda like a PDA? Is it essential? Nah...there's always pen and paper and what's left of your memory.
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Old 09-16-2003, 09:22 AM   #5
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blah blah blah

yeah yeah yeah, gps, "nice" "handy"...but the question he asked was

Has a GPS ever saved your ass?
Well, has it, punk?
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Old 09-19-2003, 10:08 PM   #6
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Re: GPS a PIA, or what?

Said flyingmonkey:

Has a GPS ever saved your ass?

Yes, in rally situations. If you make a mistake, say for example a poorly marked turn or something, you'll realize within a mile you've screwed up.

It's also been very helpful out west in bad weather. Since you can see the weather for 100 miles in front of you, you can tell if you're planning to ride through it, and you can see the alternate routes on the map. A lightning storm kept me away from the grand canyon on the way out to the Sierra Adventure but I never got off my bike, I just picked an alternate route and rode around it.

Out here in New England, I mostly use it to get lost and stay lost. I'll take whatever road I can find that I haven't been on that goes in the approximate direction I want to go. Lots of great stuff north of NYC.....

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Old 09-20-2003, 07:03 AM   #7
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I would never leave on an trip with out one. Hell I have a hard time going to St, Paul with out one.
I can;t count the times it saved my ass.

From getting lost and having to play "follow the black arrow" to finding the nearest gas cause I'm on fumes and in the middle of North Dakota on 2 laners (If a town has an airport they have a gas station). I always use it to plan my fuel stops when running on the Big Road. If I hadn't I would have run outta of fuel three times on the IBR by pushing the fuel to far. I would have driven right past my last chance for gas.

The GPS is a great tool that you should practice using so its not a PIA.
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Old 09-20-2003, 07:27 AM   #8
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Saved me 200 miles down in Mexico

The last trip I made with my buddies down in Mexico, we were going from Parral to Creel and the 2 guys out front without GPS's did not make the turn at San Francisco del Oro, (they were using paper maps) They continued 100 miles that they had to retrace to make it to Creel as there were no cut through roads.

So, yes the little emap saved me 200 miles of riding. There were army inspectors at the cutoff that told us the other 2 guys had gone straight about 1/2 hour before us. We made the turn and got to Creel about 3 1/2 hours before them. They arrived in Creel after dark, which is not a good idea in Mexico.
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Old 09-20-2003, 09:26 PM   #9
Harry Swan
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Re: GPS a PIA, or what?

Said flyingmonkey:
My question is:
Has a GPS ever saved your ass? Honestly, I'm trying to decide if it's a keeper.
Yeah, it's gotten me out of the woods and saved my butt a couple of times, but I don't think that's really the best criteria to use to judge it's value... First and foremost, it's entertaining. Keeps you company and tells you all the facts about your trip as you go. It's reassuring to know that at least it knows where you are. I doubt I'll ever start another trip without one.
With that said I'll keep mine in the tank bag for the start of my upcoming trip. I'll pull it out at the end of the day one to find a motel or a restaurant. That night I'll pour over paper and computer maps to plan my route for the next day and as long as it's on good well marked 2 lane highways the GPS will stay in the tankbag and I'll glance at paper maps. On day three the GPS will come out of the tank bag because the roads and trails I'll be on won't be on my normal paper. Oh yeah, I've now got 4 GPS receivers.
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Old 09-21-2003, 03:00 PM   #10
Boon Booni
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GPS's are junk..

Just toss it in the trash..

In fact you can use my trash can..

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Old 09-24-2003, 06:19 PM   #11
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Re: GPS a PIA, or what?

Said flyingmonkey:
Has a GPS ever saved your ass? Honestly, I'm trying to decide if it's a keeper.
Imagine this. It's Sunday, 9/14. You're in Cadenabbia, Italy and have tickets to the F1 race in Monza. You have a country map and a GPS. Italians don't like to name their streets...they only give directions to the nearest city. You have no f'ing clue where most of the cities are in relation to where you want to go. Which do you think gets you to the track in time to get the full glory of a Panasonic Toyota crashing right in front of you on the entry to the Parabolica?

Hint: It ain't the map.
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Old 09-24-2003, 06:25 PM   #12
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Talking Proof

Without the GPS, I would not have seen this:
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:31 PM   #13
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I didnt get one to save my ass, but i guess it could & I would allow that if need be. I got mine for exploring backroads mostly. Not so much for navigating a planned trip. I like to take off on back roads with no plan in mind and then figure out where to go later. Thats one thing you can't do with a map unless you really know where you are all the time.
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:44 AM   #14
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I like my GPS. I still carry a map in the map pocket though.

There are four modes of operation when I 'm riding with a GPS:

1) Getting from place A to place B using autorouting. I usually choose the shortest path (as opposed to fastest time) - that's the setting that will get you there through all the backroads that you never knew existed. One downside is when you're leading a ride and using autorouting, it may want you to turn down a dirt road or a forest trail, and while you would have been perfectly happy to comply, you wouldn't hear the end of it from your companions if you dragged them along. Depends on who I'm riding with, of course.

2) Getting from place A to place B using just the bearing direction. That's when the GPS is showing you the crow's flight direction from where you are to B. That way you can choose your own roads, often ending up in dead-end streets, taking far from optimal paths, getting lost, but never losing your orientation. I like doing this when I'm trying to discover new places to ride, and only when I'm alone.

3) Riding a route that I know or a simple route using a map, and having the GPS on just for informative purposes. Seeing if there are any shortcuts that you didn't know about, knowing the turns that are coming up even before you actually see them, seeing the bends of the road beyond your line of vision.

4) Recording your path when you're going through the woods, so that you can get the heck out of there the same way you came, and so that you can come back and see which trails you'd already ridden, and which ones are new.

All of it is very useful, and I think I am slightly addicted to this new gadget.

I don't know what model of GPS you've got, but I rarely if ever have to use the PC. I have loaded all the maps I think I'll need (MA, CT, RI, NH, VT, ME, Upstate NY - in both Topo and Metroguide) onto the memory card, so now I don't actually have to plug it back in, except that it is a bit more convenient to find an address when you have a keyboard, instead of dialing each letter with up and down keys.

I haven't read the instructions, except to look up a couple of features that I though it should have, but couldn't actually find. But I'm a software engineer, so if the user interface seems hard and confusing for someone else, for me it's exactly the way I would have written it. :):
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:40 PM   #15
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Hi folks,

last year deep Spain and Andorra my GPS prevented us from running out of fuel.
Just enter "nearest fuel station" and follow the instructions (SPIII).
You even can read out the phone number to ask if they'r open in advance !

schiedi; Munich, Germany; R1150GS
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