Gadgets: The Garmin 305

I’ve been using this little gizmo for years. It’s been extremely (in fact, surprisingly) accurate and very easy to use. One of my original motivations for purchasing it came from participating in indoor cycling classes where there was a lot of heart rate monitor interference. This one worked without a hitch.

Also, having lugged around a much larger older unit to help out with field research for the book, I knew the value GPS would have on the road. Having all that functionality in a much smaller unit is great. But I left some features unexplored until recently.

Mostly I’ve used the unit to review routes after going out on a club ride or outings with friends in unfamiliar areas. Earlier this year I experimented with programming routes. Once again, I found the experience surprisingly pleasant. It’s quite easy to plan routes on the computer and then follow them on the GPS while riding. The interface is rudimentary, but very effective. You’re essentially following a breadcrumb trail on this unit. No color maps or street names. But.. it works great! While it’d be nice to have all the bells and whistles of the latest GPS models, you may consider re-exploring your old unit if you have one. There may be some very cool features left unexplored.