Wow, in the news again. Or is that Still? Can’t count the times that I have seen that in the headlines – “Car Window Smashed, GPS Stolen”. Don’t you just hate seeing those headlines? Ever happened to you? Want to prevent that from happening to you, but short of sleeping in the car or always being inside a garage, what can you do?
I know it has been said before, but there really is something easy to do to really, I mean Really, decrease the odds of this happening to you. First, don’t use a suction cup mount for your automotive GPS. Even if you remove it every day it leaves a little telltale suction cup mark on your windshield. There are so many really good GPS friction mount options out there that there is no reason to even consider a suction cup. Some of those friction mounts even double as a case so you always have it with you, and your GPS devices are always protected. I love mine. It stays put, even on bumpy roads. When I’m done it actually will tuck out of sight under my driver’s seat in my car where it is out of the way any time I don’t actually need my GPS. If I stop at a rest area or restaurant it is simple to just set it back out of sight, often before I even actually pull into the parking lot so nobody saw it yet. Simple. I figure that life is too short for complicated when simple works just as well.
Hey, Happy 4th of July everyone! I was just sitting here reminiscing about some of my friends I haven’t seen in quite a while and some of the July 4th celebrations I have been to in my lifetime. Maybe I’m getting old, but I like getting in touch with old friends whether they live near or far away.
Anyway, one great friend of mine used to crack me up. She was a terrific bargain hunter, and normally by the 4th of July she would announce that she had finished her Christmas shopping! Sounded like an amazing idea, and I often laughed at her for that, especially since her teenage daughter had caught on and would claim not to have a thing to wear suddenly before school and talk my friend into giving her daughter any clothing Christmas presents early which would send my friend back off shopping to replenish the shortage. Pretty smart girl, her daughter!
Well, with that thought in mind my thoughts moved on their own to the idea of checking out the great GPS accessories and GPS devices on sale and the realization that I, too, could save a lot of money on this year’s gifts by following my friend’s example and beginning planning now while watching the great GPS prices throughout the next few months. Wouldn’t that be great to finish my own shopping before the rush and madness in the stores that starts on Black Friday? That will be my motto for this year – get moving and watching the great sales early to avoid the stress. Wouldn’t I love it if I can be just like my old friend during the holidays who would sit back and wrap and decorate and party and enjoy the lights and the fun side of the holidays while the rest of the world would hustle trying to catch up! I can pick up a GPS receiver for one friend, perhaps a GPS mount for another, perhaps golf GPS for yet another at great prices on each. If I watch the possibilities will be nearly endless. This is the year I personally plan to shop smarter, not harder.
Soon after I wrote the previous article about how thieves will do a ‘smash and grab’ if they see any evidence of having a GPS, or anything valuable for that matter, in your car I stayed at a hotel in Pennsylvania for a week. During that time, with my weighted friction mount GPS holder well hidden and my GPS safely in my hotel room, I heard of just such activity having occurred overnight in our hotel. Wow, three different cars had windows smashed and stuff grabbed out of them during the night. I was one of the lucky ones and have to wonder how much of that luck I can credit to not leaving anything of value in my car, or any evidence of having mounted my GPS in my vehicle. It was so easy to do, too! I just remove my GPS from the friction mount, tuck it into my purse, and hide the mount under the front seat out of sight. How much simpler can you get?
On a lighter note, the thieves actually spent the time to riffle through a CD case, tossing those they weren’t interested in and only taking a few. I sure wouldn’t expect someone doing a ‘smash and grab’ to take the time to bother doing that! The teenage girl was relieved not to lose very much of her collection, though, since we obviously had picky thieves! It sure did put a damper on their plans, though, as they needed to get the window replaced in their car while they were still on vacation. Bummer.
I will continue to use my friction mount and have recommended the same to several of my friends who have those telltale suction cup marks on their windshields. Besides, mine is more convenient because I don’t have to work to get it to stick or stay, just set it on the dash and go!
I was talking with my brother-in-law today about his automotive GPS and that we had noticed an article on the news recently about how often automotive GPS units are getting stolen these days. When you are parking your car, especially in the larger cities, it is all too common for someone to do a “smash and grab”, and your GPS unit is gone. He says they are even looking to see if there is a mark on your windshield where the suction cup has been removed, so some folks will break into your car just in case you stuffed your GPS under the seat or in the glove compartment or something. That suction cup mark is a dead giveaway that there probably has been or may still be a GPS present in your car. That led to a discussion about different options in GPS mounts and the possible problems with each.
Again, the suction cup mount will more than likely leave a telltale mark on your windshield. Also, the GPS car cup holder mounts or vent mounts would either be visible and also a tipoff of the presence of an automotive GPS and might actually cause damage if you were trying to take it off and on whenever you park your car. Not good at all.
In my opinion, a great option would be a bean bag mount, or even better, in my opinion, is the Nav-Pack which is a new, innovative mounting device for most GPS units that doubles as a carrying case when not in use. It contours to the top of your dashboard and works on most uneven or textured surfaces. With a high tech, anti-skid material that keeps the device from sliding, the Nav-Pack provides a stable mounting base for your portable GPS or other electronic devices. With the added benefit of becoming a padded carrying case for your automotive GPS when not in use, I think that is the best way to go in today’s sad society where some people don’t think twice before stealing something, possibly even for a lark. Well, be smart and protect your car and GPS by making a simple change to the way you use your automotive GPS. I think you will be glad you did.
Don’t fall into the Christmas rush; shop early while the selection is still good. Well, that is my goal this year. I know it is still early, but I get so frustrated with myself when sometimes I over analyze each gift, then waiting for the very best sale, only to find that by the time that special sale came along there were only a limited number of whatever it was I wanted to buy. Actually, only a handful of the folks who were at the store waiting for the doors to be unlocked, often pushing and shoving to get to the prize first, were the only ones who actually got the “bargain”. In my book, that is no bargain. Then you find yourself in a shopping frenzy, grabbing other things that are on the “special sale” that perhaps you weren’t even considering in the first place, costing much more in time, money and frustration than the actual gift was worth.
Well, I have decided to shop at the stores I already trust who give reasonable prices and excellent service; although, I still look for their sales while I am there. At one GPS Store in particular I recently heard a customer say “Thanks John! You guys are great to work with…I’ll let my friends know.” Now, I already liked that particular GPS store, but it really felt good to hear someone else express the same sentiment. Many of my friends just need or would appreciate GPS accessories like a case, GPS mounts, handheld GPS accessories, maybe even a new charger cable. Well, I know where I will be shopping for those items this year, and I am planning to get ahead of the crowds this time.
Americade. You probably never heard of it, but it is the annual motorcycle rally which normally arrives in Lake George’s beautiful little resort town each year just after Memorial Day. What a sight to see cycle after cycle driving by. What a nice group of folks, mostly family types of all ages, on quite a variety of cycles. Some have three wheels, most have two. Some have side cars or little luggage trailers of amazing shapes and sizes.
While walking down the sidewalk admiring all these amazing cycles I began to notice how many had motorcycle mounts for their GPS devices. Most of the GPS units had been removed and carried off in pockets or purses to keep them safe of course, but there was quite an assortment of different motorcycle GPS mounts to be seen. It is easy to understand how folks who like the wind blowing on their faces would like the freedom of discovering new and varied roads and getting off the beaten track, but still wanting to be able to get back to their hotel or their homes reliably. Yup, it is time for the rest of the cyclists to look at the advantages of GPS units with bike mounts to feel even more carefree as they ride off into the unknown. Be safe, explore and enjoy the wind in your face on the open road.
Whether you are preparing for that Century race, or even if you are just trying to motivate yourself to go a little bit farther or a little bit faster every day, you will really like the addition of a speed cadence sensor with your GPS device. For ultimate fitness progress you can monitor your pedaling cadence as you ride with a self-calibrating, wireless speed/cadence sensor. It will help you track your speed, distance and pace so that you can monitor your workout performance. It measures and reports your pedaling strokes per minute, providing feedback for optimal efficiency. The Garmin speed/cadence sensor (GSC 10) is compatible with the Garmin Edge 305 and Forerunner 305. The best part is that you can use the speed cadence sensor even on your stationary bike so that you can continue to work out even on the bad weather days we seem to be getting more of this time of year.
In the last few years I noticed that I’d been putting on a few extra pounds, so I decided to do something about it. I’ve never lived a sedentary lifestyle or anything like that, but if I don’t have a tangible fitness goal in mind it’s tough to stay motivated. That’s when a friend told me about a personal bicycling milestone known as the century race. Just as you might assume from the name, it consists of a 100-mile-long cycling course.
This isn’t the sort of event you can jump into without doing some diligent training. I found some bicycle GPS mounts online and set up a tracking receiver for my Schwinn road bike. It allows me to plot out my practice routes well in advance so that I can time myself along the way and get an idea for how I’ll do once the real century rolls around. In just a few months I’ve cycled my way into shape.
Have you broken your GPS antennas on your navigation systems, or is it just not strong enough? Having trouble keeping track of your GPS receiver? Need a second mount so that you can move your automotive GPS units from one vehicle to another, or need to replace the holder that you used to use? Need to recharge your batteries, but still love your GPS device? It is time to consider replacing those lost or broken parts and save the hassles of replacing your trusted GPS receiver that has become like an old friend, one of your all-time favorite traveling companions.
There are lots of options. Perhaps you need a case, a holster or lanyard to protect your handheld GPS units, but help you remain primarily hands free on your adventure. Or you might just want to spruce it up and individualize it. With the right GPS accessories you can fix it up, protect it or update it without a great deal of trouble, and probably save yourself some serious cash while you are at it by breathing some new life into an old friend.
With most new GPS devices it has become less important to have an external antenna jack since the most newer chips are sensitive enough to acquire an adequate signal inside a vehicle or boat. However, it is not always possible to obtain good satellite coverage through a front windshield as sometimes the GPS receiver cannot or will not be placed near enough to a window. This is when an external GPS antenna can help. Even backpackers will benefit from the ability to safely store the receiver inside a pack with an antenna attached to your backpack shoulder straps. It can also help outdoor use in places in like heavy tree cover, mountains or in canyons where signals are weak. Also, tall buildings in cities can create “urban canyons”, or in any place that the receiver doesn’t have a good view of the sky you will want to minimize temporary loss of signal when you are in motion to maintain the best possible accuracy by having a lock on the greatest number of satellites.