When I’m out biking, I almost always bring my GPS. It makes life so much easier… I can always tell where I am, at least relative to home. In addition, one of the best features is that I get real-time statistics about my ride, such as current speed, average speed, maximum speed, and trip odometer. As a bonus, you also get your current position as latitude and longitude (not too useful on a bike), elevation (very useful), sunrise and sunset times relative to your position (don’t stay out too late!), and a “compass”1.
I use the Garmin eTrex Basic with the bicycle mount accessory. Pros: It’s waterproof, has good battery life, plenty of features for biking, and is relatively cheap. Cons: It doesn’t have a pause button2. If you use multi-mode transit (e.g. bike-train-bike) it’s difficult to get statistics for only the bike portion.
1 Not really a compass, it’s not magnetic. You have to be moving for it to be useful.
2 Does any GPS have a pause button? Leave a comment if you know of one…