A few people in the club have recently got Garmin 705 bike GPS systems and have struggled a little bit with some of the features. It’s fair to say that the manual is not helpful. So this post is a very quick and hopefully simple guide to basic setup and routing on the Garmin.
First up is how to transfer a route from a route planning site like bikeroutetoaster. There are plenty of sites out there that do this sort of thing, including mapmyride and gpsies but they all follow a similar process. I’ll use bikeroutetoaster in these examples.
If somebody sends you a link to a gpx file and you click it, invariably it will open in a screen like that shown above, with the route overlaid on a google maps interface. Similarly, that’s what you’ll have if you have plotted the route yourself using the tools in the frames (boxes) on the right. In the top left corner are 4 tabs. Clicking on the Summary tab will bring the following screen up
There are 3 frames on this screen showing the Course Details and the Elevation Chart, and also a Download frame. In this one we need to type in a name for the course, and tick the box for Add Course Point Warnings.
Note, if you want to know about the different file formats above then here’s a good link, or you can find loads by googling it.
At this point your Garmin should be connected via USB to your PC or Mac and you would click the gpx line next to To Garmin GPS: This will give you this screen
Clicking on Write Course will transfer the file to your Garmin. Now, I’m not sure if this is the same on PC as it is on Mac (which I use) so this may not apply to you. The driver transfers the file to the Garmin as a file called course.gpx. Which means it appears in my rides list as course. And then if you try to download another it will try to overwrite it because that will be called course too. So I have to change the name within the Garmin directory structure. The Garmin will be shown as a volume in the folder structure on both PC and Mac. Within the Garmin volume there is a directory called GPX. Within that you will find all your saved rides – in this case course.gpx. Rename that to the name of the ride and the job is done.
Finally you need to change a setting in your Garmin.
If you use the instructions above to follow rides mapped on a computer it is really important that you turn off Automatic recalculation of route. There is a level of inaccuracy in the route planning software and within the Garmin GPS software so from time to time the 705 will suggest you are off route even when you aren’t. Automatic recalculation will then try to find the shortest distance to the end – which is not likely to be the route you wanted. So I set this to Prompted. That way it let’s me know if it thinks I’m off route, but I get to choose whether it recalculates or not. To do this click the Menu button, then Settings, then Routing and you will see the screen above.
I recommend this site for lots and lots of general info on Garmin products – well worth a read if you own a Garmin GPS product of any type