I think the belief that a GPS just turns you into a drone following a route is to greatly underestimate the value they can bring to travel. I rarely plot trips in advance yet still use the GPS extensively on trips.Originally Posted by Belquar
Here's a scenario: You're riding down the highway, out in the middle of nowhere. It's starting to get dark, so it's time to start thinking about where to stay for the night.
I've got a Garmin 2610 with a roundel on it (Nav II), so I pull over and start poking around, looking for a hotel in its database. It gives me a list of them, complete with phone numbers. I start dialing and find a spot to stay. It's much easier than doing the "Holiday Inn Shuffle", going from hotel to hotel trying to find a room.
Here's one I use more frequently. I'm out riding around NorCal, seeking out more of the little farm roads we have. I've got no idea where I am, but I know it's time to turn toward home. I start heading home, completely lost still and see a nice side road. The GPS, which has been telling me how to get home and what time I'll get there, recalcs the route, adjusting the time and directions. I stop in a town, call Tina on the cell and tell her when I'll be home with some degree of accuracy.
I'm somewhere in the Big West and my gas light comes on. I haven't seen a road sign in hours. Where's the nearest gas? Ask the GPS. In some cases, the only gas in range might be behind you, you know?
In any case, I'm a map guy too. I've got a drawer full of them and always carry them on the bike for big picture navigation. But with a GPS along, I've got a database and a nav computer that can make my trip that much better, free of surprises and more enjoyable.
I was skeptical when Tina bought us this one, but I have to say that I'll never travel without one again.