Sunday, April 26, 2009

Number 2 of 6 and Upgrading to an Edge 705

Nice new stuff from Jars of Clay, Weapons ...Mp3 or Wma

I spent a good deal of the weekend (yesterday and today) cutting and grinding glass for the next panel above our entertainment center. I'm making much quicker work of this window than the first one by using a more systematic approach. Rather than doing one section of the window at a time, I'm cutting all like pieces in one setting and working the window as a whole rather than individual sections.

Tammy will pick up where I've left off by applying copper foil to the edges of each piece before positioning them on the work table. We make a good team.

I'd tried to take photos of the first window with my Pentax SLR but I didn't have much success. Wherever there was blue glass the camera saw white. I gave up after two rolls of film. My brother mentioned that I may have better results with my digital camera. I usually avoid using my digital camera for shots of stained glass because it never fails to come up short when compared to film. What did I have to lose? I stood on a bar stool this morning and took a few photos to see what would happen. Wow. I'll have to rethink using digital for shots of our glass work. A little manipulation in Photoshop and I've got a very good representation of the true colors of the window. This is where we were a few months ago. It's nice to finally be moving on this project.

My Garmin Edge 305 has been showing signs that after three years the battery is beginning to lose its ability to hold a charge. I considered sending it in and for $90 having the battery replaced. The other option was to buy a new one or even upgrade to the Edge 705 which was released last year. The advantage of the 705 is that you can upload maps to it; something I couldn't do with my 305. But honestly, I never considered having maps to be all that important on my bike. I know where I'm going when I head out so what good would a map do me?

I researched the 705 online and the more I read the more I found myself leaning toward buying one. I found them on Ebay for some reasonable prices but in the end I opted to spend my money in town and for not too much more than I could've bought it online, I picked one up at REI last Monday before work.

I was be able to get it out for a 40 mile shakedown ride on Tuesday and I noticed right away that its graphics were a step above those of my 305. That and it has maps. I was warming up to that feature as I biked.

What better way to put the map feature to the test than to go on some roads I'd never been on; at least not that I can remember. I headed out Friday morning trying to put some distance behind me in the direction of an approaching cold front. I'd hoped to time it so that the wind would switch out of the southwest to the northwest when I was ready to head for home. It wasn't working out as I'd hoped but I didn't care; I was biking.

I got off my usual roads when I got to Chanhassen where I picked up Powers Blvd and took that north to Excelsior where I stopped to refuel. I was maybe 35 miles from home and usually when I'm that far out I have a good idea where I'm heading so as not to find myself further away from home than I'd like for the return. But today I didn't have that concern. I had maps.

I got back on my bike and wound my way through Tonka Bay and other various small lake communities. I usually enjoy whatever time I spend on my bike but even more so today. I was exploring and planning my route as I zoomed in and out on the map page of my 705. Still no change in the winds.

I eventually worked my way to old highway 12 and took that east to Long Lake. I couldn't help but thinking that this sign was lacking a letter or two. I would eventually merge with one of my familiar routes when I came out on Wayzata Blvd and took that to highway 101. It would be a few more hours before the winds would change to the north. Too late for me to take advantage of but as I mentioned earlier, I didn't care.

I considered staying out another half hour and finish my first century of the season but I had plans to head to the dog park with the pups. I was happy to bring it home after 90 miles.

GPS in the car is one thing but to have it on my bike? Too cool. I'm very glad I opted for the upgrade from the Edge 305 to the Edge 705. Many cycling purists turn their nose up at this sort of technology and there's a part of me that understands the desire to keep the sport as simple as possible. If I had that mindset though I'd never have improved on my first odometer.

Then and now.

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