Category Archives: Bicycling

Using a Garmin Edge 810 for Navigation

TLDR version, April 1, 2018:

I don’t use my Garmin Edge 810 for navigation very often, so when I do, it seems like I have to re-learn how to do so every time. TLDR version of the steps:

  • Download route as TCX file from Ride with GPS or Strava
  • Connect the Edge 810 to the computer, and copy the TCX file to the /Garmin/New Files/ folder on the device
  • And, most important, go to that route on the Edge 810 and manually turn off Virtual Partner

And now back to the old post….

Although my Garmin Edge 810 is marketed as a bicycle GPS and does a great job recording rides, out of the box it is not the easiest to use as a navigational tool with maps. I don’t need this functionality at home, but when traveling out of town with my bike, I’ve always wanted to find someone else’s ride online, upload it to my Garmin, and then have the Garmin tell me where I need to turn without using a printed route slip. I am traveling this week and was finally successful (or should I say, finally spent the time to figure out what needed to be done) in doing this! Here’s how I did it.

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Day 8: Astoria OR, 53 miles

Today’s route

Once again, I got an early start. Since this was my last day, it was best to cook the last cup of noodles for breakfast and use up all my remaining stove fuel in the process. I had already used up my Bic lighter, but luckily the folks in the adjacent campsite had one. They had come out from Portland for the weekend to camp, and this was the only campground on the coast they could find a spot last minute.

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Day 7: Bay Center, 53 miles

Today’s route

Just after I sent out yesterday’s update, Martin returned to camp. He started in Vancouver and is headed to San Francisco. He got some advice from his Vancouver friend to take the train out as far as he could and then start riding from there. (Why didn’t my Vancouver friends tell me that? Oh yeah, I didn’t ask…) Then he crossed the border at Blaine, then took a route through Port Townsend and on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula. Meanwhile, I had used a route on the west side of the peninsula, and so our routes have merged as we both head south.

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Day 6: Westport, 63 miles

Today’s route

I started off the day with a short morning run along the lakeside trail. One of my friends asked me how I can still run even on a bike trip like this. I said it’s easy – the birds wake me up at 5, I finally roll out of my sleeping bag at 5:30, pack a little bit, go for a run at 6, then at 6:30 pack the rest of my stuff, and then I’m at the cafe for breakfast at 7 when it opens!

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Day 4: Hoh Rainforest, 58 miles

Today’s route

Since I’m camping, I woke up with the sun around 5:30, as is typical for me. I went for the morning run, just a couple of miles, almost all the way to the beach and back. Running in my cycling clothes isn’t bad, that’s kind of like being a triathlete I guess. The problem is that the cell phone and wallet bounce up and down like – oh, never mind. The easy solution is to just carry them in my hands, that’s good enough for such a short run.

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Day 3: La Push, 80 miles

Today’s route

Before starting today, there was the route dilemma: use 101 as recommended by Kirkendall and Spring in the “Bicycling the Pacific Coast” book, or 112/113 as recommended by Adventure Cycling. The former uses a busy shoulderless section of 101, while the latter is ten miles longer. K&S seem inconsistent in their recommendations: they will often take an alternate route if it means less traffic, but they do not consistently do so. Whereas I find that AC is a little more consistent in their approach. I went with the AC route, figuring if I’m already going 70 miles today, then what’s another 10 miles?

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Day 1: Port Angeles WA, 50 miles

Today’s route: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

The Coast hotel near Vancouver airport worked well for this one night stay. Then, aside from some navigational challenges to get to the bike path on the Alex Fraser Bridge, it was 30 miles of uneventful riding through the Vancouver suburbs and farms in order to get to the ferry in Tsawassen.

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