Turn by turn directions for Garmin?

Is there a way of getting the turn by turn directions uploaded into a Garmin?

29 Replies

KenH, March 25, 2015 at 11:30 am

Near the top left corner of the page select THE RIDE, then under the Route column select GeoBike Profiles. What you need should be there under the RAGBRAI and then XLIII links.


patrsnw, March 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm

You can also make it really easy on yourself and just follow the people in front you. It’s not like a) there are a lot of turns or b) you can’t figure out where it is you need to turn when you get there.

Besides, watch your Garmin for your turn and you’ll probably run into some newbie and put you both in the emergency room.


Stephen Paine, March 25, 2015 at 1:33 pm

The question I have is “Why?” I think you would almost have to try to get lost on RAGBRAI.


mclousing, March 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Let the electronics hating begin. Don’t worry BB will be posting soon about how we should just bike :). I personally download the geobike profiles all the time and use them. No issues with them, no I don’t use them so I don’t get lost but at times I like to look to see how much further to the next town to decide if I am going to stop at this smoothie stop or something in town. Also it came in handy last year when we were fighting killer headwinds and we knew it was only 3 more miles of dead into the wind before turning into some relief.


Michrider !!!, March 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm

The Iowa Trooper, standing in the intersection and pointing, in a particular direction is a dead giveaway!!!


KenH, March 25, 2015 at 3:38 pm

So we had this conversation with someone else recently and at first I was skeptical too. But in fact we are all different and we all enjoy RAGBRAI in different ways using different tools. If you can download the route into your bike computer and you are slogging along against a 25 mph headwind and you are wondering when oh when the route turns to give you some relief from that wind, I suppose your computer can tell you. You might not like the answer but you will have it. The rest of us just have to slog along in ignorance with hope dying at the crest of each hill that reveals no turn in sight. There could be other reasons and many people just enjoy using the tools they are familiar with whether they offer much benefit in the present situation or not. Ours is not to reason why, ours is to stop and enjoy some Beekmans!


ltyoungster, March 25, 2015 at 3:49 pm

I have a Garmin Connect group where the maps are created. Please feel free to join. The name of the group is “RAGBRAI Course 2015” in Garmin Connect.


Arthur Hackett, March 25, 2015 at 4:56 pm


Is there a biker in front of you? If yes, you’re on the route.
If no, you are lost.


KenH, March 27, 2015 at 12:59 pm

My old Polar bike computer has essentially reached the end of its useful life even though I long ago abandoned its short lived “guitar pickup” power meter system and just enjoyed it for years for its other functions. That being the case, I have just ordered a Garmin Edge 500 to replace it along with another oddball power meter system: the CycleOps “PowerCal” heart rate monitor strap. I like having power readings but not so well that I am willing to spend more for them than for my bike, grrrr. In fact I just generally love having a nicely instrumented bike (and person) because I am a gadget lover. A love of gadgets is kind of an occupational hazard of the electrical engineering profession! So, I will see for myself this year, God willing, if there is any value to downloading the RAGBRAI GeoBike profile into a GPS bike computer and what that value might be. I know very well that I won’t get lost on the route whether I have it or not. But what other benefits might it offer? In the past I have made good use of those day by day laminated route maps that many other cyclists seem to lose and leave scattered all along the route. Some days I swear you could stay on route merely by following their unintentional “breadcrumb” trail! Surely the Garmin will at least give me the information those maps give, and probably not force me to do calculations in my head on how far left to {insert current destination of interest here} which I inevitably get wrong in the heat of the day.

Of course the bee’s knees would be if Beekmans and Mr. Porkchop and Chriscakes and … would download their day by day locations into the thing. THEN you’d definitely have something!!


KenH, March 28, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Hi Michrider,

I’ve tried to respond to your PM question via email and have twice tried to use the RAGBRAI web page to send you a private message in reply, getting errors all three times. So you have heard the answer between zero and three times already but in case it was zero and for the benefit of anyone else who wonders what a “PowerCal” is, here it is again:

The PowerCal is a heart rate chest strap that uses some special algorithms to calculate power from your heart rate readings. It looks at more than just the current heart rate, it looks for rates of change and other features of the recorded heart rate signal. It generates a standard ANT+ power meter output signal so any “head unit” like the Garmin Edge 500 will recognize it as a power meter and it sends out a standard ANT+ heart rate signal as well. I think the answer to your question is that yes, the PowerCal is currently the only chest strap product that computes power so if you want a power capable chest strap you have to get the PowerCal but any head unit that reads the ANT+ power signal should work with the PowerCal, doesn’t have to be a Garmin. I’ve included a link to the CycleOps PowerCal page and pretty good reviews of both the PowerCal and the Edge 500 below. It hardly costs any more than any other chest strap which is WAY, WAY cheaper than any other power meter so going in that tells you that its numbers are not going to be as useful or as accurate as other power meters. If you are a dedicated power meter trainer type of person this is not the tool for you and the review below gives you a good idea of what you can and cannot get from the PowerCal. But, I just like to have some kind of power readings and even though this one may just be an estimate and only able to tell you whether you are working harder today than yesterday, it will be good enough for me, for now. I think that over the next couple of years the cost of more traditional power meters may finally come down to where I would be willing to buy one. For now this is good enough and since I am moving from Polar to Garmin I was going to need a new chest strap anyway. Powercal is not for everyone but if you find it amusing you cannot beat the price!





Michrider !!!, March 28, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Ken, thanks for the information!!!


rjjensenia, March 28, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Rubitrack does something a bit like that via software, when you are wearing a heart rate chest strap and download your data from garmin to rubitrack it will estimate power. I have no idea how accurate it is.


“Bicycle Bill”, March 29, 2015 at 5:31 am

Arthur Hackett said:

Is there a biker in front of you? If yes, you’re on the route.
If no, you are lost.

Need I say more?



Sandaltan ., March 29, 2015 at 8:48 am

I have no idea what my heart rate is but I do know the Little Stoker causes the rate to rise from time to time.



John, March 30, 2015 at 12:59 am

There were a couple of moments last year where I would’ve appreciated having had better route maps than those overly simplistic laminated sheets RAGBRAI hands out:

1. The long Karras Day Loop day into Forest City where one riding companion and I were none to sure whether we were even on the route (we were). The earlier in the day, the fewer riders to follow.

2. The last day with that hard left at the bottom of the hill, coming into Garber.

I will say this years’ interactive maps are a damned sight better than what has been available in previous years. I’m glad for the improvement, even if nobody else is.


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