We try stuff out.
Riding kit worn, tools twirled & tyres turned
Simply put, this has been the biggest and most positive addition to my biking life since the humble earplug. Twenty-three years back I never bothered with earplugs as I was a refusenik: let’s just say I was nil by ear canal, but when I tried them I was convinced. It’s been the same with sat nav – or at least until I tried a Tomtom. Now, I’m not knocking the opposition here – I’ve used Garmin in the past (first time was on a BMW launch in 2001 and I had my own black and white hand-held) but by the time I had moved up to the Tomtom Rider 410 system, perhaps I wasn’t such a Luddite as I once was. I still love maps, but – over the last two years – the Rider 410 has been used almost daily: both on two wheels and four. The Premium Pack means you get a car-mount and a locking kit for the bike. To be honest, all the faff means it’s easier just to whip the thing off when you head into a service station as I don’t really think the lock would stand much of a ‘yank’. But that's just my own view. The rotating screen sits atop a RAM mounting unit. The mounts come in various guises and means I’ve used the unit on modern bikes as well as older machines such as CBR1000XX Super Blackbirds and the like. If you’ve not got a power socket, you have to remember to charge the thing the night before. I’ve had around five hours of continuous use without a charge and Tomtom claim six: I’m not complaining. You can utilise the ‘Lifetime World Maps’ or the ‘Lifetime Speed Cameras’ or ‘Lifetime Tomtom Traffic’ where you use a data link to get updated traffic info, or the latest maps and camera positions and use your phone with a Bluetooth set-up but – well, I’m not quite ‘there’ yet. This will do me for the time being. I’m in my comfort zone. This is also the ‘Great Rides Edition’ so you can press a button and choose any of the pre-loaded great rides in the 16gb memory. For ‘Bertie no-mates’ it’s like having a mate you can follow. It can also give you a more entertaining windy route home. The 11cm touch-screen works great with all but the bulkiest winter gloves and the only issue I’ve had is a tendency for the unit to ‘sometimes’ decide that it’s in portrait rather than landscape mode, which hurts the noggin as you twist your swede to see what direction to go in. It’s pricey, but when you realise it doubles as a brilliant car sat nav, it’s not so bad: and – if you shop around – deals are to be had for the whole Premium Pack and you can buy the basic unit itself. All I would add is a power socket so you’re not left high and dry with no power.
Easy to see screen and a doddle to use.