After a suitable period of mourning after the somewhat embarrassing only myself to blame loss of the exceedingly pricey Garmin 800 or possibly 850 I found myself searching for a suitable substitute. Europe was calling and with it the need for a data charges free method of making sure I could find the van at the end of a map free bike ride. This time though I had experience. I knew what I used and what were just gimmicks. I liked to record a ride to get back to base. On a nice to have not need to know basis I liked to know how far and how high I had gone. I liked a simple way of sharing routes with mates too. Saved explaining ... and that was it. Nothing else needed.
The first must have was a device with maps. It had to be robust too and hold a good charge. Weekend loops were on the agenda.
Oddly I came up with a quiet Belgian brand, the Mio. I have had it a month now and want to sing its praises.
For half the price of a major brand it included European maps, a robust case that actually properly covered the charger, and a simple secure bike mount. Also included but for me unnecessary were the heart rate belt and cadence sensor. It was a mighty package.
Unlike my Garmin package I just switched it on and used it. Instinctive recording that reminds you, although with no speaker to say yes to record. A touch screen red stop button that checks it heard you right, screens that tell you how far you have gone, where you are, how fast you are going, and grade the hill.
The finest thing of all though is the Surprise Me function. Hit that and after a moment's thought it shows you a clover leaf of suggestions based on your location. You can tell it if you're road riding or MTBing, how far you'd like to go and it gives three options. Red, green or purple. It gives you their distance within about 10k of your request and an indication of the hills. Click on one, press go and follow a combination of map and top left arrow which tells you how far to the next turn. First experiment and it worked. Avoided stupid roads and gave forth of suitable hills. Can't wait to see it in Alpine action ... tomorrow ...