An Ode To My Garmin Edge 500


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!

Last photograph of my Garmin on the job – our final rest stop outside of Key West.

11 thoughts on “An Ode To My Garmin Edge 500

  1. Hi Steve, Very sorry to hear about the death of your Garmin!  Hope you didn’t lose all of the data.  Also hope you find another Garmin just as good or better than the one you had. Mom.

  2. At least it bravely died in battle after a long career, instead of forgotten in a drawer. Maybe you could replace the battery? Usually you can do so with a little effort and luck, even if it’s not designed to be replaceable. Or upgrade.

    1. It died a good death, to be sure. I thought about heroic efforts (battery replacement) to save it but I’ve already mentally transitioned to a new computer. One bike computer every nine years is a pretty good rate!

      1. I only use strava. As I have my phone with me in any case, and it’s free, for me it’s a no-brainer. What is interesting though is when I ride with friends that have a garment, the calorie count for a ride can be wildly different.

      2. Well calories will vary based on weight. In short, it requires a great deal more energy (calories) to move a large object such as myself than it does to move a smaller object, like a normal person! I’ve also noticed significant differences in altitude gained by riders who traveled the same route. I’ve read that’s because climbing calculations are estimates based on barometric pressure readings. Calling them “estimates” is putting it nicely. Others would call them wild guesses.

  3. What was your final total mileage out of interest and it might be an idea to make the Garmin company aware of this excellent blog. They might send you another, free, for gratis and for nothing!

    1. I’m not sure. Garmin Connect does good reports for up to 12 months. I guess I could do that for each year and figure that out. It’d be a project for a rainy day!

  4. Ah, don’t bury it too quickly…..even people have been known to revive in morgues. My 200 died a similar death but, mysteriously, came back to life a few months later….it’s now enjoying its ‘golden years’ of semi-retirement.

    1. I’m ready to take the plunge. The Garmin 130 looks nice – relatively cheap and it syncs to your phone, so if you get a text or phone call, it shows on your Garmin. That would be handy!

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