Downloading and Copying Files to Your Garmin

Once you have selected your device type and selected to download the file (TCX for 500/510, GPX otherwise) your browser will download the file to your disk.

Where it goes depends on your browser and set up. I prefer Google Chrome. In this case you get a little box in the status bar for the file you have downloaded:



Click on the drop down arrow and select the “Show in Folder” option. This will jump you straight to the file selected in Windows Explorer. You can then right click on the file and select “Copy” from the context menu.



With Internet Explorer, it’s similar, but you have to confirm you want to Save the file:


And then select Open Folder:


You then need to navigate to your Garmin. On the tree on the left side of Windows Explorer there should be a GARMIN device, if you plugin your Garmin via the USB cable.



Clicking into this should show your Garmin folder, and inside that, your GPX (Edge 605, 705) or NewFiles folder (Edge 500, 510, 800, 810, 1000, Touring, Touring Plus). Click into there and press Ctrl-V, or right click and select Paste to copy the file in.

That should be Job Done. However, some users find that clicking on the GARMIN device launches various Garmin software. This is irritating Windows Autorun features. Just close whatever it opens and hopefully it’s let you in. If not, on the left hand side, when you hover over the GARMIN device you should get some little expander arrows or plus signs.


Carefully click on these smaller icons to expand out the folder structure until you can see the GPX/NewFiles folder and click directly into that to paste.

And that really is job done.


Using Routes on a Garmin

This is just a quick guide to help people load routes onto their Garmin’s for successful cycling navigation.

  1. Get your device set up right
  2. Get a route onto the device
  3. Ride with the navigation enabled

You need to make sure the right options are set on your garmin, or you won’t get turn by turn direction and you’ll get all sorts off odd behaviour. It varies by garmin. I only have a 705. Important thing is to turn recalculate off on all garmins, or generally it finds the quickest way to the end. Which given most rides for us start and end in the same place makes for short, confused rides ūüôā You may also need to turn on “stay on roads” or whatever the option is.

For turn by turn directions, like a car satnav on a 705, 800 or 810, you need to use GPX files. Unfortunately, Garmin Connect downloads the TCX option to your device. Which is why I re-draw club routes on strava as that lets me export the GPX file. GPX files go in the GPX folder on your garmin when plugged in to your computer.

500 it seems gives your best navigation option with a TCX file.

To get a route on your device from Garmin Connect, make sure you:

  1. Install Garmin Express
  2. Visit the course
  3. Click send to device

It should then be on your device as a TCX.

If you want a file from Strava, Click Export, pick your device type and follow the instructions (use the GPX file unless you have a 500/510).

When riding, choose the route to navigate.

Now, bit vague with these instructions, but, there are more detailed Ride with GPS specific details on the Ride with GPS support pages here. I will try and improve the info here when I have more time. Grab me at the start of a Club run if you can and I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to help, or grab me on Facebook.

Free Garmin Maps

Many people ride with a Garmin GPS unit. Some people have Garmin Edge 500 or 510, these don’t provide a map display. Some people ride with a Garmin Edge 705, 800, 810 or 1000. These do support maps.

Some people with the map supporting Garmins do not have the maps as the Ordnance Survey map bundles are pricey. Some people aren’t taking the upgrade plunge because of the map price.

Fortunately, thanks to Open Street Maps, there are free suitable maps you can use. Frankly, it’s a bit confusing finding out what you need and how to use it.

So this is it boiled down for cyclists in the UK who want a “just get me mapping option”

  1. You need a MicroSD card to go in the Garmin. You may already have one. You only need a 1gb one for the maps I recommend.  An 8GB Sandisk high quality card is less than a fiver from Amazon
  2. You need to download the maps, I use and recommend Talkie Toaster’s UK Contour Routable maps and have ridden with them for years now. Download this file. Or if you know what you want look here.
  3. When you download the file, it’s a zip file, extract the file there should be a GMAPPSUP.img file in it. That’s what you want.
  4. Follow from Step II here.

You now have free maps on your Garmin.

B&DCC Red Routes


Double Brutal

It’s the time of year again to go Double Brutal.

That’s doing the Sheff Rec Strines Challenge route, 50 miles and loads and loads of climbing taking in some of the Tour De France roads (the wrong way actually) AND a bonus extra 50 miles riding to it. Check the original post from last year for details.

The Strines route loops round, loads of points you can drop out and ride into Sheffield if the weather turns really nasty in winter. Or your legs break. Or your mind breaks.

I need to update the route a bit, but, being an ultra-tough ride, there are many options.

I’m planning to start at Eckington, because I don’t want to ride in the wrong direction to get to Bolsover start. From there we ride through Door etc to get to Strines. This means there’s a good meeting point at Damflask Reservoir for those who want to pick up just the brutal 50 in Strines.

Yes I did say Just.

Lincoln Blast

Purpose of this ride is to get stamina up. On the flat you pedal the whole way. Which is a different kind of energy sapping than riding hills. Plus on a Lincoln Blast, it usually ends up with suffering into a headwind.

Idea is to ride from the usual B&DCC start at the Cenotaph in Bolsover on Sunday the 18th of January. 9am start. Ride out to Lincoln, smash up Michaelgate. Then back the scenic route.

No cafe stop planned at the moment, last few times we’ve done this we just stopped at a shop to pick up more fluids and snacks and cracked on. Depending on the weather, warming coffee may be desired though.

Route on Strava.

2015 Epic Training

2015 is looking like a high-mileage year for me and many others. For me, there’s the Wales in a Day in September and a 206 mile ride in Newark in July. Plus probably a Coast to Coast in a Day and a lap of the Peak District.

Which means I need to do lots of long rides regularly to build the stamina and fitness back to peak for that. So,¬†I’m going to be out as many Sundays as possible for at least 50 miles, and need to make sure that every month includes at least one epic.

Here’s the plan:

  • January – Lincoln Blast – just under 100 miles. Flat.
  • February – Double Brutal – Lots of opt outs if the weather changes, but 100 miles of intense climbing.
  • March –¬†?
  • April –¬†?
  • May –¬†Cleethorpes Run?
  • June –¬†Peak Epic++
  • July – 205 mile Sportive
  • August –¬†Lap of the Peaks
  • September – Wales in a Day

Generally, the mileage is high, but the cafe stops are low. Because there’s a lot of miles to get in. Self-sufficiency is important, I always carry:

  • 2-3 inners
  • pump
  • tyre levers
  • cable ties
  • multi-tool with chain breaker
  • Speed Links for the chain
  • Energy Gels
  • Flapjack
  • Phone, ID and Cash

With this, can handle pretty much anything that happens on a ride, without a problem.

B&DCC Sparrow Fart Routes

The Sparrow Fart ride is a regular Saturday morning 7:30am ride organised by Bolsover & District Cycling Club. It’s about a 15mph average, hilly ride. Usually about 2 hours of riding over 30 miles. Which then can give the rest of the day for you family/life.

I’ve linked from this post all the 10 rotated routes as I’ve re-drawn them on Strava¬†(since Garmin Connect now makes getting the rides onto your satnav a pain) and had no better way of putting a reference list together (as my account on the official site is awaiting moderation).

  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three
  4. Four
  5. Five
  6. Six
  7. Seven
  8. Eight
  9. Nine
  10. Ten

The following routes are suggestions for new options:

  1. Cutthorpe and Abney
  2. Some Nasty Bits

Some suggestions for longer Grand Fondo work:

  1. A Taste of Strines
  2. Cat & Fiddle
  3. Holme & Snake

Strava Centurion

If you use Strava, have a premium account and don’t ¬†have a power meter. Strava Centurion might be of interest.

It’s an open source app that I wrote with two guys from work into cycling to take a TCX file from a garmin and perform power calculations, producing an output TCX file that contains wattage points as if you’d ridden with a power meter.

If you then upload this file to Strava, instead of getting the limited charting/graphing/analysis of Strava’s own power estimation, you’ll get the full premium user power meter based data.

Now, this is¬†still power estimation. It’s based on the same physics and handwaving as the Strava power estimation detailed here. Only you have finer control over the simulation of reality that is provided.

This doesn’t mean it’s any more accurate. Just that we had more fun playing with the physics. And you can use all the strava power charting with the estimated data.

So, this is how you use it:

  1. Run the app
  2. Click the reality tab
  3. Configure your reality (only need to do this once, or if you want to change bikes/temp)
  4. Go back to the TCX tab
  5. press the … button to load a TCX file
  6. Press Power Xtreme

Then in the same folder your input TCX file was found in, will be a file with the same name but a load of numbers (they’re the current date and time). That has the power. Then you use the Strava upload from file to put it into your Strava account.

Configuring Reality:

Bike Weight and rider weight are in KG and are self explanatory I hope. I record my bike weight as the actual weight of my bike with the pump, spares, full bottles etc in place. Obviously the weight goes down as I drink the water. But it’s not going to be much more inaccurate.

And my weight might vary a bit as I wear different kit and carry more or less gels/bars and eat them etc. But. It’s not going to be much more inaccurate. It’s estimated power.

The temperature won’t have¬†much effect, it’s used to estimate air density, and thus resistance, but, seriously do you notice on a cold day when the air is heavier it’s harder to push through? It’s there as we were having fun with physics.

That leaves the interesting fields. These are the coefficient of rolling resistance, how much power you lose to your tyres on the road surface. This is going to vary massively over a ride. The potholes and smooth surfaces and rough surfaces are going to vary. I’ve got a nice default in there for thin, slick tyres on average road surfaces.

The frontal area and drag coefficients affect the calculations of pushing through the air. It’ll be different for the Fat Lat At the Back on the Mountain Bike with the non-aero position to the climbing sparrow on the full TT bike. I’ve got an “on the hoods” average road bike figure in as the application default.

However, here is the chart I cribbed it all from, and you can probably find other figures round the internet to use:

Drag Chart

Drag Chart

And here is the Release of the app to play with (7zip archive, just download and extract). It’s a bit techie. But. It might be of interest. Source code is available on github here.

Why Centurion and Power Xtreme button? Blame my childhood.