All Sports GPS
GPS for All Sports
I continue my love affair with both gadgets and sports. Not so long ago the idea of using a GPS when I was participating in my favourite sport was akin to science fiction. It was only late last century that I used a small monocular with a scale on it to judge the distance of golf holes. It was only a short decade ago that I had to use a map when I went on a cross country run, yet now both of those almost prehistoric items have been replaced by what was once the provenance of only the military, the hand held all sports GPS.
Here is a selection of some of the best and most useful GPS devices designed for the sportsman or woman.
Photo Credits - Cover NASA - Article Body Amazon products
When I first started playing golf last century (wow doesn't that seem like a really long time ago?!), I couldn't afford a caddie (still can't), so I was reliant on playing the same golf course several times to work out my yardages. (That's the distance from where you are hitting the ball, to the hole, for those not familiar with golf).
But what I found was that my game suffered as I tried to get yardages for my next round, meaning that I wasn't concentrating on my next shot. To alleviate this problem I bought a small monocular (single lens binocular) which had a grid system integrated into it, which when aligned with the flag, gave you an approximate distance to the hole. Primitive, but mildly effective.
Fast forward to now and one of my favourite gadgets, a golf GPS. No more having to play a course a dozen times to get your yardages right, no more pacing out fairways, getting it wrong and then ending up in the water. All you have to do is switch this bad boy on and all my efforts of a century ago (it seems even further away!) are done for you in an instant.
Almost as good as a local caddy and in the long run, much, much cheaper. But the best bonus of all, it will take shots of your score.
Boats and my stomach seem to have an ongoing war. The boat bobs up and down, my stomach follows suit for a while, then gets sick of it and literally gets sick. So I am very useful when my friends take me out on one of their boats, as I provide a free, never ending source of burly!
To make my discomfort worth the effort, I make sure that every boat I go on either has a GPS Fish Finder, or I take my own. The days of me randomly wandering around the bay looking for fish and providing them with a predigested food source are now a thing of the past.
Follow suit and you'll be having your fish supper faster than I can say 'Oh my god, how seasick do I get every time I get on a boat?'.
Don't end up like my old self and just be there for your friends amusement. They stop laughing when you are catching the most fish with your 'homemade' burly trail (and Fishing GPS).
I like to cycle, a lot. My last major ride was from London to The Giants Causeway at the top of Northern Ireland, then back to London. A lazy 1000+ kms. The one mistake I made on this journey? I took a car GPS, which on day one, hour two, as we struggled to navigate central London, we discovered that unless it was plugged into a cigarette lighter of a car, the batteries ran out, very, very quickly.
Cue a quick trip to a bookstore and the purchase of a UK and Ireland A-Z Map. Sigh. What we should have done was get a fit for purpose cycling GPS. Which is exactly what I will be doing on my next journey!
The other benefits will be that I will be able to map my ride, chart my distances, know where I have been and finally have lots of statistics to 'fascinate' my family and friends.
Easily much more efficient and accurate than the old style bike compute (and my paper map book), Cycling GPS's can also easily be synced with online programmes such as mapmyride.com so you (and I) can tell the world about our cycling achievements.
Cycling from London to Giants Causeway - Day One
The years of me running around the Grand Prix track in Melbourne in 19 minutes are sadly a thing of memory and highly debated legend.
But as I slowly try to get back to a state of remote fitness I find myself running around in circles so I can judge my progress as to how far I have run and how long it took me. This combined with a manual pulse check means I am currently classified as an official Neanderthal.
So it's time for me to purchase one of these very handy GPS units to map my progress from turtle to hare. And avoid ending up like a greyhound and continually running around in circles.
As I am officially the only Australian on earth who cannot swim, I personally have very little use for a swimming GPS unless of course I decide to do laps of my bathtub. However there are at least 20 million other Aussies out there who unlike me can swim for miles. I actually live with one of them and look on in envy every time she swims into the distance.
A swimming GPS could be the perfect birthday present as she is now joining our local pool!