My new toy
I'm now the proud owner of a shiny new Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc 105 SE (well, technically not the owner as the commitment to the Cyclescheme means that it's actually owned by my employer for the time being).
I now have a few rides under my belt and I'm pleased to say that I'm still smiling as I ride. To date, the longest trip has been just over 50 km (c. 30 miles) one Saturday morning in unseasonably nice weather. I definitely felt justified in taking a coffee and cake stop part way, as all proper cyclists should.
The realisation that I now need to start planning new and longer routes has led to my most recent 'tech' discovery.
For some years I've planned my routes using the very impressive PlotaRoute website, that allows you to draw your own route, export it and load it onto your Garmin cycle computer (or other similar device). This works well and provides turn-by-turn instructions which are incredibly helpful when venturing into unfamiliar territory. In my opinion there is, however, one downside - you need to know which are the "good roads/routes" to follow. There's nothing more frustrating than finding that you need to go down a narrow, muddy cycle track on your shiny new road bike just because it looked OK when plotting the route.
Enter Garmin Connect. The free app for your smartphone or computer resolves this issue by automatically plotting a route based on the distance you want to go, the direction you want to start (North, South, East or West) and, most importantly, heavily influenced by the most popular routes used by other cyclists. You need to select the type of riding you'll be doing e.g. road or mountain biking and that's about it.
I've created three or four routes using this method now and they've all been excellent. Even better is that by synchronising my phone or computer with my Garmin loads the routes ready fro the ride. Very straightforward.
Here's to dodging the rain showers this weekend and grabbing some more miles.
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