For Father’s Day, my wife continued her quest to drag me into the 21st Century with a gift of a Garmin Edge 500 Cyclometer. I took it with me on my Sunday ride to Manassas Battlefield. Kudus to Terry, who noticed the nifty stats page I linked to! Armed with tons of statistics (beautifully portrayed in helpful tables, maps, and graphics) I now no longer need to limit my ride descriptions to phrases such as, “Wow, that really hurt.” I can now describe the WAYS in which it hurts!
When you turn on the Edge 500, it queries a constellation of 25 GPS satellites in outer space and is thus able to determine your location on the Earth’s surface. I tested this in my driveway (a place where several cell phone companies are unable to provide a signal) and it worked like a champ. Thank you, U.S. Department of Defense! Armed with this information and a timer, the system is thus able to compute the same sort of information my humble Schwinn Cyclometer provides: current/average speed, distance traveled, etc… But wait – there’s more! The system has the ability to track elevation and thus can provide your current elevation, amount of climb/descent, and the percent of incline/descent you are currently experiencing. It also has the ability to tell the temperature and compute the amount of calories you’ve expended in your current ride.
Not enough gadgetry for you? Well, for a not-so-small additional charge, you can get a heart rate monitor kit that provides current, average, and highest heart rates for your ride. The package also includes a device which measures the number of revolutions you pedal – something that is important to very serious cyclists, which also explains why I have yet to install it.
When you’re done with gathering all this great data, you can then connect the Edge 500 to your computer, where it downloads the data to the Garmin Connect website. Once there, the good people of Garmin package your exercise data in handsome displays such as this. You can keep track of all your workouts on a calendar, set goals, and zoom in to review any one of your exercise sessions. Just lovely. And when you’re bored with this, you can export your data to Google Earth and see your route and times depicted in that program, portrayed against the most current satellite imagery of the planet. Very nice!
I’ve noticed several bloggers post their actual ride information on their website, which then links them to Garmin Connect if they want to pour over the details. Thanks to Rev Rider who taught me how to do this!