So you’ve got yourself a new GPS computer. Most of them are fairly straightforward to use these days but there are still a few handy hints that are good to know.
1. Practice run
Take it for a test ride before doing anything serious. Go out on your regular local loop and take your time to get to grips with the layout and operation of your GPS computer. Don’t just open the box, bung it on your bike and attempt the Coast-to-Coast.
2. Allow signal finding time
Turn your GPS device on in a decent enough time BEFORE you head out on a ride. Even the best GPS units take a bit to find all the satellites they need. Having to hang around waiting for a signal to appear is annoying for you and especially your riding mates.
This is especially true if you’re using the device for the first time. It can take twenty minutes for the device to download all the GPS information upon first boot-up. It’s best to leave the device immobile and somewhere open and clear from obstruction while it searches.
3. Heart rate
Contemplate getting a Heart Rate Monitor. Even if you’re not into the whole training thing, it’s hard not to be interested in how your body is performing during different sorts of riding and terrain.
4. Update your firmware
By connecting your GPS to your computer you can update its operating system to the latest version. The new firmware solves previous niggles and sometimes adds some new functionality to your device.
5. Batteries and cold weather
If you’re riding a long way in very cold weather you need to be aware of battery life. Most non-mapping GPS computers have pretty good battery life but it’s a good idea to make sure the battery is fully charged up before heading out into the Arctic wastes.