Using Courses with Garmin 500

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Using Courses with Garmin 500

Postby AndrewBurns » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:23 pm

Hey all, I tried to use the 'courses' feature with my Garmin edge 500 on the weekend at a race and failed miserably to get it to do what I wanted.

Lets say I'm riding a criterium circuit in a race format where you race for a set number of laps, I want to have the garmin display how many laps I've done (or have left to go) and I want to be able to look at the data later and work out things like average speed and heart rate for each lap. I tried setting up a garmin course for the crit track but it didn't seem to work the way I wanted. Is there any way to do this sort of thing with the edge 500 or should I just set the 'auto lap' feature to generate a new lap based on the distance of the circuit (which would work but I was wondering if there's a more elegant solution).
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by BNA » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:28 pm

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Re: Using Courses with Garmin 500

Postby vander » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:28 pm

Set auto lap by position and it should do it for you every time at the start of the lap (assuming you hit lap at the start of your first lap) which is by far the easiest way to do it. Other then that most races have a lap on strava which makes it real easy to see your HR and speed for laps.
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Re: Using Courses with Garmin 500

Postby bosvit » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:07 pm

What vander said.

Basically I have found it easier to set a completed ride as a course eg finish the ride then set it as a course, then you can use it.

Can't see how this would be helpful in a crit though as speeds can be different every race so not really relevant.
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Re: Using Courses with Garmin 500

Postby queequeg » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:59 pm

I tried the courses feaure on my Garmin 500 a few weeks ago. My conclusion, it does work properly, and from reading various Garmin forums on the issues, it has never worked correctly, and probably will never work correctly!

Summary of my issue:-

I saved one of my "fast" commutes as a Course, then on subsequent commutes I used the "Virtual Partner" to pace myself, at 100% course speed. The on-road results I got were truly bizarre. It started out ok, and I could see myself and the virtual partner tracking each other on the display. However, I found that if I stopped (for traffic lights, intersections etc), it would immediately stop working. After I started moving again, it woud show me a couple of minutes ahead of the virtual partner, and without any effort at all it would keep increasing so that half way through my ride it would show me ahead of the virtual partner by 10 minutes! Based on the course time, this was just laughable. It actually showed that I was 10 minutes ahead of the Virtual Partner when I only had 4 minutes remaining on the course time. So, in other words I should have finished the course 6 minutes previously.
Anyway, I then got a surprise because 2 minutes from the end of the course it still showd me 10 minutes ahead, but then a message popped up and said "Virtual Partner has finished the course". WT????

As far as I can tell, the firmware for the courses feature is riddled with bugs that Garmin have not bothered to fix. I have never been able to get it to work. The behaviour above is reproducable every time I use it.
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Re: Using Courses with Garmin 500

Postby grnis200 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:30 pm

I use the Courses feature regularly for a 30km and 60km loop in my area. Neither loop has traffic lights and rarely do I have to stop for any traffic but both courses cross the same location creating an auto-lap.

I have never had an issue and find the chase feature works very well. The carrot of racing myself meant PB times on almost every account.

But for the OP; use auto-lap by location. I have used it on open velodromes a couple of times and find the lap times accurate.
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