Here you have 5 steps to follow a GPX track with a Garmin Edge 530 as well as some tips.
In this post I describe how to activate a GPX file for navigation and how it looks in the device through a series of real time screen shots.
After you have loaded a GPX track in your Garmin Edge 530, the time has come to ride it. Here are the steps I usually follow to do so.
STEP 1. BEFORE RIDING A COURSE I FIRST GIVE IT A LOOK IN MY PC OR CELL PHONE
Though current GPS and guidance technologies are awesome, there is always a chance of errors and failures. That is why I always check the track in either my PC or the Garmin Connect app to get an overall idea on the surroundings, places where I will go through like towns, lakes, valleys and any other feature along the course. In case technology crashes, at least I have a good idea of where I am at. Using the satellite imagery background map is better for MTB riding.
STEP 2. SELECT ACTIVITY PROFILE
I select the activity profile I will use for the ride. Most of the times it will be a Mountain Bike ride but there may be GPX files that would belong to another profile. My activity profile is named MTB PWR as it has power data as well.
Though it is not a most, it is a good idea to have a Map Screen as part of the profile you are using. The device will guide you even if no Map Screen is available or if you are in another screen in the profile. The guiding prompts will appear on top of the current screen you are in.
STEP 3. FIND THE COURSE TO FOLLOW
Select the Menu button to and then select the “Navigation” option.
A new set of options will show where you select “Find a Course”
Browse through my list of courses until I find the one to follow and select it.
A new list of options shows up. As I am ready to ride, that is what I select. Most of the times, I do this when I am already at or close to the starting point of the route. The 530 will let me know I am close to the starting point. Select OK.
There may be cases when the place I am at is not the starting point of the course. In such cases, the device will ask whether I want it to guide me to the starting point.
The route calculation starts. Once it is ready, it is time to ride.
STEP 4. START RIDING THE COURSE
I usually select the map screen when I am following a track. My location is shown by the blueish arrow and the direction to follow is shown by the magenta line and the chevron type arrows.
On the top left there is an indication of the distance to the next turn as well as the direction to turn to. At the top right the name of the road I should turn to shows. The Edge 530 will also sound an alarm to make you aware of an upcoming turn.
The fields at the bottom, Timer and Distance are my custom set up.
All is left to do is follow the route to the destination.
STEP 5. WHILE RIDING, I AM AWARE OF THE SURROUNDINGS IN RELATION TO THE COURSE GUIDANCE.
More than a step, this is a Tip. There may be routing errors that will show up and I would not be aware of them if I did not followed Step 1 above.
In this image there is an arrow (chevron) pointing down on the left-hand side of the freeway. The real route goes through the right-hand side. The device kept prompting me that I was out of course, but I was aware this was a device error and was right on track.
CLIMB PRO, A VERY NICE FEATURE TO MANAGE OR SUFFER IN CLIMBS
When riding a course, Garmin devices have a very nice feature that shows you upcoming climbs data. Upon getting close to a climb, a screen with its details shows up. In this ride there were 2 climbs that met Garmin´s criteria.
These images are from the climbs on the course. The first one shows the prompt that a hill climb is starting, how long the climb is in the Dist. To Go field and the remaining ascent in the ASC. Remain field. There is a graph showing the hill and your position in it and grade and current elevation fields at the bottom.
This feature gives a very nice and accurate idea of what I have to climb. The top gray field in the last two images is the distance to the next climb.
Using the 5 steps to follow a GPX track with a Garmin Edge 530, or a course as Garmin calls them, is an easy and straight forward process.
It is a flawless and very reliable process most of the time. But there may be circumstances that yield to errors or even failures, such as when the Edge 530 was telling me I was on the wrong road when it was not the case. I am not certain what the cause of the error was, maybe a temporary lost of GPS signals, maybe some interference that affected the signals, could also have been a mapping error, who knows.
What I do know though, is that I was aware the device was giving me a wrong guidance because I gave a look at the route beforehand.
The process above shall be similar in other Edge series devices.