20 December 2010

Multi-use Garmin

"...As soon as I got home, I turned off the Garmin. THE GARMIN!!! It was right in front of me the whole time. I quickly ran upstairs and plugged it in to my computer. “Please download! Please download!” I said over and over. Sure enough, it downloaded and the full telemetry of my ride came up, including a map and running time stamp of my ride. Clear as day, you could see where I stopped at the stop sign, where I got hit by the car, and where my bike came to rest. On the corresponding time stamp, you could see the speeds, the stops, and even where my heart rate spiked as she hit me. Then you could see when my bike was moved out of the street, then when I picked it up and fixed it and got it back home. All of it was on there. I called the police department to say I had this but they were reluctant to do anything. They said it was a matter for the insurance companies and refused to add it to the file. That left me a bit disheartened.

Nevertheless, I called the driver’s insurance company in the morning. Not surprisingly, the driver had already made a claim and insisted it was my fault. They wanted me to give my statement, which I did. During my statement, I mentioned the GPS telemetry. Instantly, the agent perked up and asked if I could send it to her. I told her that I was happy to send it to her in any format she wanted: a screen shot, several screen shots,  the whole file, even the Garmin itself, anything she wanted. Anyway, I sent it to her and she was able to see exactly what happened, how it happened, and when it happened.

Within a day, the driver’s insurance took responsibility for the accident and I was able to get my bike fixed and once I was able to train properly again, I was back at it. Without my Garmin, I don’t know if this would have happened. It certainly would not have happened as quickly as it did. The insurance company was absolutely top notch. Once they realized what had happened, they acted swiftly and professionally. What proof would I have had without the Garmin? What would the outcome have been?

So, to our fans and followers out there who are thinking about using GPS, here is another important reason to use one. I am very grateful that I had it on that day, and grateful to the insurance company for knowing what they were looking at. I will carry my Garmin with me for much of the foreseeable future. Be careful out there."

Why Every Cyclist Should Ride With GPS - Black Dog Procycling.com

Great story.

9 comments:

Manfred von Holstein said...

Great story - maybe too great a story to be true? The GPS recording is rarely that precise to prove what exactly what one was doing. Looking at my own tracks, I seem to be frequently crossing over to the opposite side of the road, cutting corners and doing other wild things.

If this story was really true, the author must have been extraordinarily lucky. Moreover, must have set his Garmin to record every second rather than only every ten seconds or for every significant position change, as I guess most of us do, to avoid the data file getting too large.

Jimmy Shinagawa said...

Ryan can be contacted via here if you would like to suggest to him that he is making it up.

Manfred von Holstein said...

Well, I can just hope that he is correct so that I can put my own Garmin to use if ever the same thing should happen to me!

David L. said...

With a Quarq powermeter (or other ANT+ powermeter that works with the Garmin), you need 1-second recording ... speaking from experience. You end up with a much bigger data file, but also with better evidence in a situation such as this.

So I think Manfred's alternate explanation (1 second recording) is more likely than "too good to be true."

But I'm not about to start using my Garmin on my daily commute ... which, also speaking from experience, is the most dangerous type of riding I do in Japan. I'm more interested in avoiding a collision than in properly documenting another one.

mob said...

We will never find common ground among the Positivo Espresso members about three things, even discussing them for another three years:

1. The use of Garmins
2. Elevation meters reported on the blog
3. The genius of David Hasselhoff

Manfred von Holstein said...

I would see this a lot more positively.

1. I have started using a Garmin on every ride, even though I previously thought printed maps and a GPS tracker were good enough.

2. I now report something close to the altitude gains measured by the Garmin and Ciclo devices (which are generally very close), but continue to believe the much higher numbers the Garmin connect site reports are wrong.

3. You have given up posting about him, so have conceded that he should be of no interest to cyclists in Japan - which is hardly that controversial, whatever the majority of German mamachari riders may feel.

David L. said...

For what it is worth, I think the Garmin Connect site reports an inflated number for elevation gain if you enable "elevation correction", but I think the number is pretty good if "elevation correction" is disabled (far lower left corner of the web page). For our ride last weekend (Kobu and Ura Wada) the "disabled" reading is 1584 meters of climbing, which I think is relatively accurate, given a climb from 10 to 630, then down and up/down/up/down through Uenohara, then a climb from 249 to 740. So one 620 meter climb, one 490 meter climb, and lots of nasty short stuff in Uenohara plus some more up/down on the road to Itsukaichi and along the Akigawa -- 1500 or 1600 meters seems right. With elevation correction enabled, Garmin Connect reports 1900 meters -- a mysterious additional 300 meter climb.

Manfred von Holstein said...

Indeed, the "elevation correction" makes matters usually worse, so I do not use it. But even without it, the reading is not accurate, and that's very simple to prove. Just compare your unit's reading after the ride (you need to memorize it) with what is later shown on the website. In my case, there is always a big difference. Apparently today I climbed 2,643m according to Garmin Connect (http://connect.garmin.com/activity/60408527), but the device had shown only a little over 2,000m and that matched what my Ciclo said too.

mob said...

Perhaps I may contribute to this discussion, in the spirit of Christmas. Please take a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6LzWdnaTms.