Path to Pavé: Blind Faith

Path to Pave

Claire shares her experience of using the Garmin 705 to prepare for the forthcoming Paris-Roubaix challenge.

Rarely do I use my Garmin 705 as it was intended: to navigate. Most of the time it is left on the stats menu, feeding back on ride time, distance, heart rate and cadence. Most of the time it's not on the mapping screen because I know where I'm riding. I know the area, or if I'm unsure I've got a trusty printed map from Google in my back pocket along with my iPhone.

In the build up to my Paris-Roubaix sportive ride in just under three weeks I decided to take to some more unyielding surfaces and shake my bones up a bit. I've got the fitness for the length but I know from experience the pavé can suck the energy from your legs instantly.

Last year Rapha ran their inaugural Hell of the North ride, featuring 20 sectors of 'gravé' based upon the Paris-Roubaix and, for me, good preparation. The trouble is, unless you know the area and bridleways like the back of your hand you can get lost in the woods, end up in a bog or miss really good off road sectors.

It was looking like I could kill two birds with one stone: prepare for Paris-Roubaix and test the Garmin's navigation ability for myself.

As a south Londoner I typically ride in Surrey, Sussex and Kent. I never venture up into north London. Though I should because, as I discovered, it has some lovely lanes that are quiet and really enjoyable.

Getting the route into my Garmin

I'd ridden and recorded the 2010 HOTN and uploaded it to the Garmin-Connect website - a free service offered by Garmin where you can upload your recorded data in 3 easy clicks!

Using the search options within the Activities menu I found the ride data from 2010.
Plugged in the unit by USB.
Clicked 'Send to Device' in the top right corner above the map.

Once uploaded to the unit, turn on the Garmin.
Select > Training > Courses > Select the Route by name > Do Course

Click Start / Stop button to record the ride data (speed, cadence, heart rate).
Press Mode button to view the map screen and follow the purple line.

Garmin Connect course upload

And the result?

Completed without a hiccup! We covered the 50 miles completely reliant on the Garmin. The iPhone stayed firmly zipped in our gilet pockets. The only time we went wrong was through talking and no keeping an eye on the map telling us to turn off - you can set the unit to 'beep' to remind you to turn.

The unit told us we were 'off course' when we did make a mistake and we navigated back onto the purple guiding line.

On the run back into London, now slightly muddier than when we departed from the top of Highgate Hill, we pulled into Look Mum No Hands cafe and ate a well earned pie and a couple of slices of cake with the total mileage reading 75 miles door to door.

Garmin on bike


Roman road

Grave sector

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