Diverse Directions: Self-Guided Cycling Tours in France

Using GPS Navigation For Your Cycling Tour

Diverse Directions is pleased to offer GPS navigation at no additional charge for all of our tour itineraries (with the exception of those in Mediterranean France.) Please note that Diverse Directions does NOT supply the GPS device. We provide the route files that you will need to install onto your own GPS device. These files are provided at no additional charge.

Minimum GPS Device Requirements

To use GPS navigation for your Diverse Directions cycling tour it is critical that your GPS device meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 5 - 23 routes. "Routes" are GPS files that provide the navigation for all or part of a tour stage. The minimum number of required "routes" varies by tour itinerary. If the GPS device supports fewer than 23 routes, please ask us for the minimum number of routes needed for your particular tour itinerary.
  • 500 route points per route. "Route points" are simply GPS latitude/longitude coordinates.
  • 8 hours of battery power (recommended). This minimum can be lower if the GPS batteries can be replaced rather than recharged (provided you can carry extra batteries during your cycling.)
  • A map of France. Maps are typically loaded via a SD or microSD card because of the huge amount of disk space required of mapping software. Turn-by-turn instructions cannot be provided without such a map.

In addition to having a GPS device that meets the minimum requirements described above, your GPS device will ideally provide the following:

  • The ability to provide turn-by-turn routing instructions.
  • An audible indication of upcoming turns.

Selecting an Appropriate GPS Device

Most automotive GPS devices provide a maximum of 200 route points per route, which is insufficient for navigating our tours. The Edge 810 Cycling/Fitness GPS is the only device of which we are aware that imposes no restrictions on the number of route points per route. However, other such devices may have been introduced, so it is best to verify your current options with the GPS provider.

Though it is not Diverse Directions' intention to make specific GPS device recommendations, our testing and personal experience has shown the Edge 810 (or Edge 800 family of devices) to be the best all-around device for the purpose of cycling tour navigation.

Using the GPS Capabilities of your iPhone

You can use the GPS functionality of your iPhone (iOS 4.3+) to display your tour's routes, as well as your current location in relation to the route.  However, the iPhone does not provide turn-by-turn instructions; nor does it provide an audible indication of upcoming turns. You CAN visually see where you are to turn by tracking your position relative to the route, which is nicely highlighted. Because of the limitations of the iPhone's GPS, you should plan to use it only in conjunction with your tour's written route instructions.

A special application is required to enable you to load your tour's GPS files onto your iPhone. One such application is Cyclemeter GPS, which is available from iTunes for USD $4.99.