Biking with a GPS

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…

Officially Crazy, and an Alternate Route

Well, I’m officially one of the crazies now, as I biked directly to work today! I took the route I had planned, although I missed the turn at Evelyn, so I took Reed all the way to Fair Oaks. That added a bit of extra time and mileage. My stats for today were:

  • Distance: 13.8 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 10.1 mph
  • Max. Speed: 30.0 mph
  • Time Taken: 1h 22m

Ryan suggested an alternate route along the San Tomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail, which I’ll investigate and possibly try out (if I can get on it somewhere South of Highway 101, perfect).

I made it!

I tested out my planned route today with my bike, and picked up my Jeep, which I left at Yahoo on Thursday when I had to fly out to Portland.

Here are the stats for the ride from home to Yahoo:

  • Distance: 13.3 miles
  • Avg. Speed: 10.2 mph
  • Max. Speed: 27.1 mph
  • Time Taken: 1h 18m

In addition, I rode a few laps around Yahoo after I got there, to bring my total ride up to 15.5 miles, since my goal for today was 15+ miles.

Thirteen Miles

So I used GMaps Pedometer today to map a possible route to bike all the way to work (which is my goal). Come to find out, it’s only 13.2 miles! I expected it would be more like 17 miles. I am so on it!

Check out the bike-safe route map I created:

Start at 942 Willowleaf Dr., San Jose, CA
Left on Leigh Ave.
Left on Fruitdale Ave.
Right on Bascom Ave.
Left on Moorpark Ave.
Right on San Tomas Expressway
Left on Monroe St.
Continue onto Reed Ave (cross Lawrence Expressway)
Right on E. Evelyn Ave.
Right on N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Right on Ahwanee Ave.
Take Pedestrian Overpass (over Highway 101)
Right on N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Continue onto E. Java Dr. (cross Highway 237)
Continue onto W. Java Dr. (cross N. Borregas Ave.)
Right into Yahoo Offices

Pretty easy!

Melodramatic Store Closures

Yesterday, Adrienne and I went to REI to get a couple more things for my bike, namely, a kickstand and a cargo rack thing. The store closed early, at 6pm instead of 9pm due to the holiday. We got there at like 5:55 and got our stuff and got out of there. On the way out, someone was trying to come in, and the greeter lady said “Sorry, we’re closed.” The response: He got down on his knees and screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

We left, and as I was attaching the kickstand to my bike in the parking lot, we hear, from the direction of OfficeMax next door, in a familiar voice, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!!” I guess they were closed too. ;)