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gps_podcast

In this episode, Aaron and I talk about how GPS works and what that means for mountain bikers who use GPS devices for training and trail navigation.

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# Comments

  • mongwolf

    I found this podcast quite interesting. Great discussion. I didn’t know that the satellites were operated out of Schriever AFB in COS. Personally, I had the privilege to take a masters course on GPS-GIS all the way back in 1986. The GIS was Arc-Info a three dimensional database (four with time) and CAD application. Then in 1988 I helped introduce GPS to my Forest Service district. Later, I used GPS extensively in the early 90s after we had the largest wildfire in AZ history (at the time), to determine where we would invest our reforestation dollars for planting in the burned area. Interestingly, I had particular difficulty using the system in 1990 due to the Gulf War. As you two mentioned there were a limited number of satellites at that time to cover the world. So the satellites available in the Western US would drop out of my horizon by about 10:30 in the morning when military would begin the air strikes at night over in the Middle East. So I had to get my work done in the field each day by 10:30 in the morning. It made for early mornings, but it was a lot of fun. Again, great discussion, and such cool technology we can integrate into our mountain biking. I haven’t yet taken the plunge and started using GPS for recording trails in Mongolia, but I guess I should do that starting next spring. Hummmmm.

    • Joel DH

      Fascinating post mongwolf. “take the plunge” with the GPS in mongolia! Its amazing how well it works!

  • mongwolf

    I’ll check out some of the reviews later, but do you two have two or three GPS units you most recommend for mountain biking other than a smart phone?

    • Jeff Barber

      You can’t go wrong with any of the Garmin units, but it’s important to consider what you want the GPS to do. If you just want speed, distance, timing, etc., go with an Edge 25. If you plan to use it for running and biking, look into a Fenix GPS watch. Or, if you plan to primarily use the GPS on a bike AND you want detailed maps for exploring new areas, the Edge 1000 is a good bet.

      • mongwolf

        Thanks so much Jeff. My main objective would be to record trails in Mongolia and post them on Singletracks. I do record my distance, time etc. for each ride already, so I’m sure I would use it for that also.

      • Jeff Barber

        If you just want to record, I say go for the least inexpensive cycling GPS, one like the Edge 20 ($129 MSRP):

        https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/cIntoSports-cCycling-p1.html

        I know you’re pretty far off the grid, but even a smartphone (without service) will work for simple recording. Then when you’re back on Wi-Fi, you can upload the data.

      • mongwolf

        Thanks for the guidance Jeff. I really have had no NEED for a smart phone, so I still do not own one. So it looks like my decision comes down to going with a smart phone or a cheaper GPS. I would enjoy having a unit that has a digital compass, barometer etc., but that certainly is not necessary. Fun options to consider. Thanks again.

    • Jim Klaas

      I keep a lot of information on my phone, other than using it for GPS and 911 if there is reception, I also have a complete first aid book, edible plant guide, snakes…. and the smart phones today are amazing cameras. I used to take along a small camera but decided to just take along a smart phone that does it all. It just feels safer now. I also backcountry ski and having a complete first aid manual along just feels like a good idea.

  • Jim Klaas

    Nice podcast. I will have to listen again to get the fine details. I did not hear you recommend any Apps for phones. Currently I am using GAIA GPS and it seems to work pretty well. I would like to hear other listeners and their input.

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