GWRRA Minnesota Chapter O

Gold Wing Road Riders Association, America's Heartland (Region E)


To Garmin .. or Not To Garmin
Bill Taylor | 6/7/2017

For years, if you wanted to create a route that was fun to ride instead of the quickest path between two points, you had to go out and purchase a Tom Tom, Garmin or some other device that provided some means of creating a multi-point route.   Initially, you had to periodically purchase updated maps.  Then they allowed people to purchase unlimited maps to eliminate the need to buy updates every year.  Now, you could update the maps as soon as an update was provided.  Of course, maps like these are always inaccurate as soon as you get them loaded due to the constant road construction.

My Garmin started having issues years ago that made it difficult (or impossible) to create a route and get it loaded onto the device.

And while that was happening, phones became smarter and smarter.

Several years ago, we started using an application called Waze to find the quickest route to our destination.  There are no maps to purchase, download or install.  The maps are updated constantly, by the people that are using it.  The other major benefit over a Garmin-type device is its ability to capture real time traffic speeds.  Every phone that has the app is sending its speed and location to the main computer system.  As more and more people use the app and share their information, the data becomes more and more accurate.  A couple years ago when I changed jobs and had to drive from Andover to Richfield, it took me on a different route every day of the first week, since the quickest route was different every day.  One day it changed the route just after I got onto 694 and told me to get off the highway.  It then proceeded to take me on side roads I had never seen before.  But when I got onto 94 East, I was past all of the congestion.  This is how technology should work – actually make our lives better!

Now that we have a phone that can steer us around the congestion accurately (the vast majority of the time), it was time to look for an app that did the same thing my trusty Garmin did when it was trusty.  I found one from Garmin and they were charging $60 for it.  In my mind, that was a reasonable price as it would be taking the place of a separate device.  The only piece missing was the ability to use it with Base Camp.  All of my route definitions had to be on the phone.  Nope – too much work.  And how would I share them with anyone else?  So the search continued.

Along comes a ride to Branson along with 4 ‘day trips’ while we are there and I still don’t have a way to be ‘connected’ like everyone else on the ride.  I found two apps – Scenic and InRoute. 

I played with Scenic for a bit, but ended up installing a trial version of InRoute. And after the Branson trip, I am hooked.

To be continued ….