If you’ve ever been frustrated by technology, you are certainly not alone. If you’ve been stymied by the software that Garmin supplies with their GPS devices, you’re in the majority, unfortunately.

If you contact Garmin for help with using BaseCamp, they will, no joke, send you to the website that Ed Conde, the guy who makes the New England Motorcycle Riders group tick, built in his free time out of the goodness of his heart. You read that right: Garmin has no user manual for their own software and they rely on third party training, mostly because it is that good.

If you have never used your GPS to program a route, put aside your resistance for a moment and let me lay out a scene for you.

It’s a beautiful day and you’d like to ride somewhere new, but have never been there before and do not know the roads. You have been stuck in traffic-light strip-mall hell before, and would like to avoid those roads as much as possible. You hop on your computer and pull up Google Maps with all its street-view glory, to create a route that does not go through any suburban shopping mall areas. You spend some time mapping it all out and it looks great. Now what?

Do you write down street names and tape that paper to your tank, and look down every once in a while, and get lost and frustrated halfway through? Do you then backtrack and try to find where you went wrong?

Wouldn’t it be nice to instead have someone who knows the area saying, essentially “take the next left” freeing you to enjoy the scenery, the day, and the roads without having to worry about which is your next turn. You can enjoy a twisty, intricate path that you'd never remember and would have a hard time following even written down.

I understand that lots of you ride to get lost, and that’s the point, and that’s OK. But when you live in the northeast corridor avoiding traffic-rich environments is sometimes very difficult.

That GPS you own has more capabilities than you’re using, nearly guaranteed. Take a rainy weekend and sit down with Conde’s tutorial with this link right here, and you will be a whiz at it, impressing your friends, creating routes that have labeled lunch stops and everything. You’ll be amazed at what is possible. Thanks, Ed!

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