This past Sunday morning, our club ride was making the transition from city streets to rural roads. The road got rougher as the scenery improved. It’s a road we ride often, so we didn’t think much about it — we just pumped away, and soon reached a Walgreens drug store in a small town where we always stop to regroup.
One rider who was with us for only the second time wasn’t there when we counted heads, so we waited. Eventually, he pulled up to the parking lot. We didn’t think he’d be that far behind, because he seemed to be a strong rider up to this point, but then he explained what had happened.
“My Garmin popped off,” he said. “Back where you make that curve across from the multi-colored condos.” He had stopped to look for it, to no avail. We agreed to go back that way, and help him try to find it.
On the return leg of our ride, he showed us where he thought he’d lost the unit. We dismounted, and walked along the road, trying to find a dark gray rectangular object amidst asphalt, weeds, and roadside trash.
“What are we looking for?” asked one rider.
“It’s a Garmin 205.”
“Oh, that looks something like this,” said another rider, pointing to the computer on his handlebars. The 205 is one of Garmin’s more basic units, measuring speed, distance, time, calories burned, and altitude, and the rider can transfer the data to his home computer. Still, it’s not cheap. Nashbar has them on sale now for $170. He said he bought his off Craigslist for $100.
We combed the roadside for about 10 minutes, but had no luck. Riders from other clubs, also coming back on that road, stopped to join the search. We still came up empty. The hapless rider told us to forget it. We commiserated with him over his rotten luck. He said it was okay, and he’d figure out what to do about it.
Later, at the post-ride gabfest, stories started surfacing about other lost Garmins. Three others indicated they’d heard of the same thing happening, and the blame fell to a chintzy handlebar mount. I suppose we’ll have to take the stories at their face value, since there’s no way to check them out, but it seems odd.
Why would a costly cycle computer be attached to a bike by a mount that doesn’t secure it? Have any of you had experiences with Garmins — or other brands of computer for that matter — popping off in mid-ride?