Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lost on the way to Sacramento

Lodi - June 29th

In preparation for this trip I spent many months panning a detailed route and itinerary so that I would know exactly how many miles to travel each day and where to stay each night. I also included local restaurants, gas stations, emergency contacts, hotels, and a specific list of turn by turn directions along my route. Despite a great deal of diligent planning, I anticipated there would be many unexpected challenges that I would have to overcome. The first of these challenges came when I was cycling along Hwy 4 in California.
With record heat waves in California, I woke up at 5:30AM on Saturday morning and set out for Sacramento.  Before departing that morning I carefully reviewed my route and the route that my Garmin GPS suggested. I originally planned to travel along California State Route 160 but the Garmin GPS suggested a more scenic detour on Hwy 4. The millage added up the same and so I decided to go with the route my GPS suggested. To this point I had never had any issues with my Garmin and I believed that the suggested route was accurate. Unfortunately, once I got on the road I had issues finding satellite reception and my GPS would randomly turn off. I finally got the GPS working and it directed me to take Hwy 4 for 29 Miles. The final total mileage and final destination were the same as when I started and so I proceeded to follow the GPS. I stopped for lunch after about 35 miles of riding and checked my route progress, I constantly review my route to insure that I don't not miss any turns or cycle of in the wrong directions. So upon checking my GPS it began recalculating and changed my final total millage to 70 miles. So basically I had cycled an additional unnecessary 20 miles. I was incredibly frustrated and so I called Garmin. After checking my device we determined that my software was not up to date and I required an update before I could proceed. The operator mentioned that without an update the total millage while riding could be inconsistent but it would correctly calculate the total mileage upon the completion of a ride. I was forced to make a decision and with the temperature climbing over 104 degrees I decided to cycle into Lodi and find a hotel for the night. I was upset that i cycled an extra 20 miles but I was more upset that I did not catch my mistake sooner. The GPS appeared to be working correctly, but I should have double checked the mileage with my smart phone. After this mishap i updated the software on my GPS and I have implemented a system to insure that I stay on the original course. Now I upload my specific route onto an application called Garmin Connect. With this application I can transfer a course that I design directly to my GPS and get turn by turn directions, and it will also track my exact location and upload my live status online. My phone also sends me live updates to track my progress and insure that I stay on the right path. It was frustrating to cycle an extra 20 miles, but I adjusted my plans so that the mistake did not interfere with an of my other plans on the itinerary and I also took corrective action to avoid other mistakes in the future.