Using unit to track rides

As described earlier, I don't have the cannolis laying around to buy a GPS for each intended use. So, I use my Garmin eTrex 30x for racing, training, exploring, geocaching and driving to remote places that I know cell phone reception is questionable.

Coming from an Edge 500 I was, and still am, a little annoyed at the fact that the eTrex 30x is always recording. The Edge let me start and stop track recording. This was great because I could turn the Edge on, let it find satellites, kisss Jenn goodbye, press start and go pedal my rear off. When I crossed the finish line I would press stop, grab a beer, look at quick stats and then save my ride.

This is a life of luxury that does not exist with the eTrex. The eTrex will make you appreciate a cycling specific unit.

Here are the steps I follow each and every single ride.

    1. clear current track

    2. ride

    3. save current track

    4. clear current track

Why step 1? Why repeat step 1 again after saving the current track. Well, in short it is because I am stupid and undisciplined and the eTrex is always recording.

Here is an example that maybe will bring it to light. Lets say you ride the Monarch Crest trail and live in Fort Collins. If you forget to clear the current track before your ride the trip odometer will wrong the entire ride. Why? Because the eTrex thinks you started your ride wherever you turned your GPS off last in Fort Collins, turned into Casper, and materialized at the top of Monarch Pass. Magic. Spooky? Since your eTrex doesn't know that space can be folded, it assumes the shortest distance between where you are now and where you where when you last turned it off.

So, now that ride is all borked up. Not only is your ride borked up but you need to fix the GPX file at home before uploading it to Strava or all of those numbers will also be screwed up. In short, you have a great big mess.

So why step 4 then? Well, if I forget to do one or the other the damage is less and I can figure out how to fix it with greater ease. This is my single greatest complaint with trying to use the eTrex as a cycling specific GPS. Other than that, I really haven't missed anything as I don't track cadence or power. I am way to slow for all of that fanciness ;-)

To be complete, here are screen captures showing the exact steps I take on my GPS each and every single ride.

    1. Clear current track

    1. Ride

    2. Save current track

    1. Clear current track