Posted by: audaxing | June 7, 2013

Sharp Eyes Save the Day

So it’s Wednesday night and it’s a loverly night. The local CTC group meet in a pub somewhere in this area every Wednesday evening. So I look up the pub and set off. As it’s summer I will take a short cut via some lanes instead of sticking to more reliable roads. As I’m going off comfortable routes a bit I take the Garmin eTrex GPS with me.

Routesheet and GPS

Routesheet and GPS

I did have a route to the pub in question (The Halfway Inn near Aylesbeare) loaded at some point but it’s not there now

Anyway, I don’t get lost. I do get to the pub. I don’t have too much beer. Just a couple of pints (thank you Carlos) and set back home at a reasonable hour. The sun has set but the sky is still bright, it’s a clear evening but warm.

I go back on my short cut and then disaster strikes. As I hit some rough ground on a steep descent there is a clattering noise. I wonder for a second what has fallen off my bike. Then I stop to look for the GPS unit.

Initially I ride back looking on the road. But there is no sign of it. Then I poke around in the nettles either side of the lane. With increasing despair I realise that it is getting too dark in the lane to see anything much. My bike has generator powered lights. I usually carry a head torch but for whatever reason I don’t that evening. After about 20 minutes I give up and ride home.

It’s not just because it is an expensive piece of equipment. I have learnt many of the eTrex’s little quirks. It has really good Sonyo batteries in it. It has a 4GB SD Card in it. I was going to be using it at the weekend. Now it’s gone, presumably forever.

Next morning, I have a work appointment in Bristol and have to leave early. There is no opportunity to go back to the lane and look for the missing GPS. But when I get back that evening, I announce that I’m off to look for it. The loverly Lesley says “shall I come along too?”. This is a bonus, Les has eyes like a hawk.

However, I’m not expecting much. I figure either it’s bounced into the undergrowth never to be seen again, it’s been run over by a car or someone has picked it up.

We drive to the spot where the GPS fell off. To start with we walk higher up the hill. I am not sure where it fell off. Then we walk down the hill. I am poking some nettles when Lesley shouts “Hey!”. She’s found it. It was on a flat muddy bit of ground much further down the hill right next to the road. It has turned itself off. I press the button and it starts up. It seems fine.

I am of course well pleased. We see a baby fox in the road on the way back. When we get back I make Lesley a large G&T.


  1. Glad this story had a happy ending! I have the same gps and have also had an identical mishap, luckily I spotted where it landed straight away. I later realised that in my case the source of the problem was the cheap mount that I bought off amazon for about £6.00. Although it looks almost identical to the genuine garmin mount that retails for twice the price, it simply doesn’t hold the unit securely.

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