A sad thing occurred this week – my Garmin died. This device has been by my side for almost nine years. This is a big loss.
My Garmin has dutifully recorded almost every cycling ride (and several runs) I have been on since I bought it – almost a thousand events. I’ve downloaded each ride online to Garmin Connect and the result is much like a scrapbook. I looked up and fondly recalled my first ever recorded ride – a 15.8 mile excursion on June 16th, 2010. This was a ride on my (then) newly-purchased hybrid bike. It was a Wednesday and it was 82 degrees. My average heart rate was 142bpm. I averaged 14.4mph on that ride and I’m quite sure I was proud of the pace and the distance. I didn’t have a road bike at that point. I didn’t even have a cycling jersey at that time, but I did have a Garmin. A lot has happened since then. The Garmin was there for all of it.
My Garmin (I feel slightly guilty that I never named such a significant thing) has been on all three of my bikes. It was there when I completed my first century. I was looking at it moments before I had my one and only accident with a car (which totaled my Trek 2.1). It’s been on my bike stem during every century, every randonneur brevet, and on most of my travels, including places like Boston, Iowa, Tampa, Virginia Beach, Australia, England, and France. In the heat, cold, rain, wind, and night it was with me. It was easily the most dependable piece of cycling gear I have ever owned – bikes included.
And then it died.
The end came quickly. I was surprised to see it having a hard time keeping a charge. I then was surprised to see it wouldn’t charge when plugged into with its USB cord. After much fidgeting over several days, I managed to charge it up to 100%. But then it wouldn’t turn on. A hard reboot managed to get it back on while simultaneously returning it to factory settings – very annoying as all of my customized displays were gone.
Still, I thought it was up and running. I took it out on a weekday ride and everything seemed fine. Disaster struck at the ride’s end when I tried to turn it off. Instead of simply shutting off, the Garmin began emitting a high-pitched tone that didn’t stop. I couldn’t save the ride data or stop the noise. This continued for hours until it finally ran out of charge. This was the end. No amount of button pressing or fidgeting has brought it back to life. Internet research has proved to be fruitless. I have accepted that my Garmin is now gone, having given its last full measure of devotion to me.
So farewell, Garmin, and thanks for the memories. Time to find a new one!