Get your gear on.

26 05 2011

Browsing through this evening I discovered a post indicating that the venerable Garmin Etrex Vista Hcx GPS was on sale at REI for $149.00. It is pretty much the gold standard GPS for bike packing applications as it’s light, runs on AA batteries (so you can change them out at service stations) and allows easy navigation on the fly. Looking on ebay, the best I could find was $349.00 so even with $60.00 postage, the REI deal was far too good to refuse. So I have pressed go and fairly shortly I will have a new toy to play with and I’ll start getting a route put together.

At this point, I am thinking around 300 k’s (although hopefully longer) to use as a self supported race route. The general ethos is a self supported event with no outside assistance and you ride at your own risk. It isn’t a race in the traditional sense, more an individual time trial with a grand departure (of which I would be surprised if there were more than 3 people front up for it). You come prepared for all eventualities, and there will be no event organizers to bail you out if things don’t go well. Bring a GPS, a spot tracker, warm clothes, food etc. No idea when this route will be ready however I need to get some legs on in a hurry so I expect to be out exploring quite a bit in the near future.

I’l post more when I get to play with the Vista HCX a little. Very exciting stuff!




6 responses

27 05 2011
Aaron Williams

Keen to hear more!!!

29 05 2011
Simon Finlay

When you say self suppoting, do you mean “Ride the Divide” – hell on wheels OR just a VFL ride over a few days??

29 05 2011

It would be a race – similar in style to Colarado Trail Race (i.e very hard). That doesn’t mean the route isn’t suitable for fast touring. In fact it will probably have the best bits of the pie eater rides included (and they were more like slow touring).

I will be out there to smash it as quickly as possible though. Big K’s, minimal sleep. There’s no other race like it in Aus athough the Canberra to Coast is similar, although it is a single day race. I aim to make this long enough that even the fastest riders will have to Bivvy on the first night.

29 05 2011

barrington tops to myall lakes heritage track! 😉

3 06 2011

i have a ETREX H.. (no maps and a black/white display)
Coulnt speak more highly of it bought it 3 years ago and it has saved me heaps of times walking deep in the wilderness

With maps i can only imagine that you coulnt beat it especially at $149..!!
Im tempted to grab one too..!!

3 06 2011

I should have it in my hot little hands any day now.

I have an old Magellan and it is the most infuriating device I have ever used. It is phenomenally slow and has the memory of a gold fish. This can only be an improvement.

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