Navigating Your Active Vacation: Using the Best GPS Technology

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Introducing the Garmin Edge Explore 1000

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 Garmin 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 top-of-the-line Garmin Edge Explore 1000 on biking trips in Europe, North America and Hawaii-included in your trip at no additional cost. These are fantastic GPS devices that are heads and shoulders better than the rest of what’s on the market. (My wife Liz and I 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.) We finally have a device that meets our highest standards and lets all guests navigate in the way that suits them best.

Enjoy the Ride!

How does it work? You simply show up and your Backroads bike will be set up with a Garmin Edge Explore 1000, 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 Biking Trips in Europe, North America and Hawaii.

See you out there!

-Tom

Tom Hale Riding with the Garmin Edge Explore 1000 in Spain

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Tom Hale

Tom Hale

Founder and President at Backroads
A native of Moraga, California, Tom Hale possesses a passion for two seemingly divergent interests—business and back roads—which he has powered into the world's most successful active travel company, Backroads. It was the back roads that first attracted him, as a competitive runner at Campolindo High School (where he still holds the two-mile record at 8:57.2) and at the University of Oregon, where he was a teammate of legendary runner Steve Prefontaine. Armed with a Masters in Environmental Planning from UCLA, Hale was six months into an environmental planning position in Las Vegas when the back roads called again—big time. A middle-of-the-night inspiration to start a bike touring company motivated him to pedal 5,000 miles alone through the West, all the while formulating plans for his new business. Settling in Berkeley, Hale washed fondue pots by night and built his fledgling travel company by day. In true entrepreneurial fashion, he did it all—designed the itineraries, maintained the bikes, led the trips, produced the catalog.
Tom Hale

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