GPS Navigation on Club Rides - A Guide for New Members

By: 
Eli Post

We want new members to feel welcome, and especially familiar with GPS navigation, so they are prepared for the club’s group rides. Our arrangement with RideWithGPS (RWGPS), a leader in GPS navigation, provides you with seamless navigation on club rides. This service is included in your membership, at no additional charge to you. However you may incur some costs equipping your bike to accommodate your phone, and facilitate the use of other accessories. Read on and learn the steps required to navigate on your bike in the 21st century.  

  • First, you should get the Ride With GPS app on your phone. It’s available on the iPhone and Google Play.
  • Then you should join the CRW RWGPS Club to get free premium account features on CRW routes. Information on how to join is here https://www.crw.org/content/ride-gps-crw-club-account
  • You will need a mount for your cell phone, which is discussed here https://www.crw.org/content/mounts-cell-phones?sa The "advanced model" has an easy on/off although the case has to changed if you get a different size phone. The cheaper “basic model” works fine but is a more clumsy on/off.
  • The navigation app is a big drain on your phone battery and you will likely need a power backup unit. All phones differ in this regard but my experience is the battery lasts for about 3 hours with the screen on. Charging information is discussed here https://www.crw.org/content/battery-life-while-navigating?sa  
  • Finally you will need a top tube bag to hold the charging unit. One of our members just got one from Amazon and is happy with it. There are a great many top tube bags available, but for a secure fit get one with two straps which connect to the top tube.

The cost of all this is about $80 -$100, and the list of "what to do" may appear daunting but taken one at a time is not a big deal. However, in the end you will be rewarded when you start using your cell phone for navigation.

 

Comments

Another option I find easy is to use an ear bud in the right ear only to listen to the turn directions. No need to try and look at the phone or keep the screen on.