Navigating Your Active Vacation: Using the Best GPS Technology

Introducing a New Era of Backroads Navigation

Ever since I led the first Backroads trips back in 1979, our turn-by-turn written directions have represented independence: independence from biking at the same speed of the fastest or slowest rider, and independence from the group mentality that may turn people away from organized travel. While many tour operators insist on making guests hike or bike at the same pace, the combination of our detailed directions and industry-leading support means that we not only expect but encourage our guests to speed ahead and tackle a big climb, or take a break and savor a cappuccino in an inviting town square.

Researching the Best GPS Systems

Backroads Edge Explore 1000

Since 2006, the promise of a new form of independence came onto the scene with navigational cycling computers. We listened closely as more and more guests asked for GPS guidance on our trips. We conducted plenty of research as well, knowing that the wrong device can ruin a whole day's ride! Well, I'm excited to report that we've outfitted our bikes with the newest top-of-the-line Garmin and Wahoo GPS navigation units on biking trips in Europe, North America, Hawaii,  and on select Latin America trips - included at no additional cost. (My wife Liz and I recently used the units in Champagne, Alsace, Provence and the French Riviera during the last phase of testing... let's just say that I love R&D.) Garmin and Wahoo were finally able to offer devices that met our highest standards and allowed our guests navigate in away that suits them and their Backroads experience best.

Enjoy the Ride!

How does it work? You simply show up and your Backroads bike will be set up with your GPS device, pre-loaded with all the routes on your trip. Don't worry, we still have our beloved paper directions for those who prefer to stay unplugged from technology during your vacation. And for those of you who already have your own navigation device, downloadable GPS files are available for all Bike Tours in Europe, North America and Hawaii. See you out there!

Tom Hale Signature
Tom Hale Riding with the Garmin Edge Explore 1000 in Spain

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