Type 2 Diabetic. Bike tour guide. #NextBurgh Flâneur.   Coffeeneur.    Errandoneur
A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Saturday, June 18, 2011

GPS, REI, Cateye Astrale 8, and RoadID

06/18/11 #224 26.3 miles

Rode 26.3 miles, Montour Trail, 1h57m, 85F. Nice ride and the bike did real well.

6/18/11 Week 24    this week: 121 miles   [2nd quarter: 1112 ]    2011: 1428

This week my Garmin GPS gave up the ghost and died - which would ordinarily be a tragedy, except that I had purchased it at REI in 2006. So this morning when I was shopping at REI, I asked them to check my membership records and asked if I could return the GPS since it was now an inert brick. They looked up the records, found it, and said "sure, bring it in for a refund". That's why I shop at REI: they don't sell junk, and if you're unhappy with it for any reason you can return it. Absolutely awesome.

Part of losing my GPS is that I've replaced the bike computer on my Surly Long Haul Trucker (LHT). I originally outfitted the LHT with a Cateye CD300 wireless cadence backlit computer. I was pre-disposed to loving this device, and was never satisfied with it - the cadence display used characters too small for my old-guy eyes, and the wireless cadence/speed sensors really consumer batteries. It was about a $130 purchase.

I replaced the high-tech CD300 with an old friend - dare I say old lover - the Cateye Astrale 8, which is IMHO the best wired, cadence computer on the market - and which has the capability of displaying the cadence values using very large characters. It's simple, the batteries seem to last for two years, and I can read the cadence numbers even in the rain without my bifocals. I love this $30 cyclocomputer.

Today the UPS man delivered my RoadID. I've had a few incidents in the last few weeks that left me convinced it was a prudent investment. Two weeks ago I rode with some members of Team Red (they're both diabetic riders) and I saw they were each wearing a RoadID that contained their identification and medical info. Yesterday on the Steel Valley Trail my friends and I encountered a rider who had fallen off his bike and was a bit shook up. When I see that I wonder, how would first responders know who I was, or my medical situation, if I fell of the bike in a remote area (always a possibility with me) and I wasn't able to communicate? I am glad to have the RoadID; it's not that expensive and if I need it, it's worth a million bucks.

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