24 January 2011: New Toys....

So it is pretty apparent we are living in a time of rapid change when it comes to technology, and being a professional triathlete gives me the opportunity to access some pretty cool stuff (particularly with the relationship I have with Garmin and their headquarters being a 20 minute drive from my US home). Occasionally though I get something that is just really really cool. A full colour touch screen GPS for your bike? If you had told me that 5 years ago I think I would have laughed….hard. Yes, I have been very fortunate to have had Garmin Edge products since the start and have utilized the 205, 305, 605, 705 and 500 variants, all of which are brilliant products and have raised the bar from the basic bike computer exponentially since their release dates. However, the Edge 800 achieves what I like to call “technological simplicity” – something that is cutting edge simply by its usability. The type of product you can take out of the box and have up and running in 5 minutes with no cerebral meltdowns. My type of toy. Lets face it, when touch screen technology is done right it hands down beats buttons because you can “see” what you want to do. So aside from all that, why do I love my Edge 800? Well as a professional athlete I won’t use a product unless I know it will lead to a tangible performance improvement or advantage. With the Edge 800, I use it to view and monitor power and other variables during training  and racing. I use it to map training rides. I use it to find training roads when in new towns. I use it to do course reconnaissance for races. I upload race routes and use it for turn by turn navigation and “technical reminders” on race day. Oh and I use it when I blow to pieces on a long training ride to find the nearest general store.