I have been cycling on a road bike for 4 years now. This does not sound like a very long time. True. It is does, however, sound like a very long time to feel dependent & in the dark. Dependent on what or whom you might wonder? Feeling in the dark? That sounds a bit heavy. No worries, it isn’t. I just don’t like dependency. Never. Unfortunately, I have been feeling dependent, while cycling. Dependent on others to lead the way. Dependent on familiar routes. Dependent on organised rides. Dependent on everything and everybody, except for myself, to ride a new and exciting route. Why? Because I can’t navigate. It is therefor that I have a dream. A dream that one day I will rise up and find my own way. Draw my own routes. I want to become a navigator.
Black & white
I bought a bike computer, exactly for that reason, about 1,5 years ago. Unfortunately my dream did not turn into reality straight after that. The screen was quite small, black and white and somehow it wasn’t an invitation to explore the navigation world. So I continued riding my own familiar routes or tagged along with several cycling buddies. Letting them lead the way. Feeling dependent.
Right until I received my new Garmin Edge 830.
All new equipment takes a little bit of effort to find out how it works exactly, but to be honest this baby needed even less than a little. Getting it up and riding was super easy. All I needed to do was sign up for a Garmin Connect account, install the Garmin Connect and the Garmin IQ app and add my (new) device. The Garmin is also easily connected with Trainingpeaks, Strava and Komoot. I don’t use a Trainingpeaks schedule this year, but the ability to sync both the Trainingpeaks and Garmin Connect calendars will definitely be a handy feature in the future.
Does size matter? Yes it does! The Garmin Edge 830 has the perfect size for me. A little bit larger than my previous bike computer, but not that large that it ruins the whole outlook of my carefully chosen bike. It has an overall modern look with a sleek screen and buttons neatly tucked away. As a matter of fact so neatly tucked away that during my first ride I thought the entire computer was controlled via touchscreen and I was not able to start the ride until I found the little buttons down the front 😉
I like a personal touch. Garmin gives you that ability in more than one way. You can personalize your datafields and colors per activity profile. The possibilities you want to come up on your screen are almost endless (up to 10 datafields per screen). You can choose an A or B type per number of datafields you want to see. The chance of wanting something different from these 20 pre set-ups seems not so likely.
To make my route drawing dream come alive, I added the Komoot app via the Garmin Connect IQ app. The Garmin IQ app is a platform which enables you to add features or functionalities to your computer or wearable. Unfortunately Strava routes does not seem to communicate correctly with my bike computer. But this does not sit in the way of my dream of becoming a navigator since I can choose my Komoot routes. If I am super keen on drawing them on Strava, I can do so and upload it on to Komoot afterwards. An extra step for now, but perhaps this will be fixed in the near future.
I can synchronize my Garmin Edge 830 whenever I want via my Macbook or the Garmin Connect app on my phone. Perfect!
Relaxed coffee breaks
I can also mention some other cool features like a 20 (!) hours battery, which will make it through to any monster ride I might plan in the future (when life gets back to normal), the Strava segments alarm (boy, will I be prepared during my rides now) , the climb pro function (which will show your position on the hill/mountain you’re climbing, plus the distance and increase you still need to conquer. Again something for the future when life gets back to normal), the crash warning system (which will send a warning signal to my loved ones in case something happens to me or my Garmin) and the anti-theft option (which sends a signal in case your bike starts moving just as you went in that cute cafe for a coffee break).
Independent & No Sweat
So how do I feel about riding and navigating with the Garmin Edge 830? I can’t really compare, but what I can say is that I am super happy with it. I finally feel independent! I feel totally in control of where I am heading. The routes are easy to follow on the screen, even when the sun shines brightly and sharp turns or other important messages are notified by sound or on the screen. Up until now, I have always managed to ride the route I have drawn, no sweat (well not from getting lost at least). And on the rare occasions that I did loose track or a road was closed, Garmin corrected me within a second. Pretty fast!
I am super impressed by this little piece of art. It changed the way I can lead my cycling life completely. It made the dream I had come true: I have become a navigator! Anyone fancy a ride?