Why Nova Scotia?

Why not Nova Scotia might be the better question. It's one of those exotic sounding places that I've never been to and that's reason enough for me. I plan on leaving around the 8th of May and spending several weeks on the ride. Along the way I'll be camping out, visiting unsuspecting friends , and maybe getting to ride along with them for awhile. Let me know if you're up to either!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Apr 25 – Hot Dang, it’s a new Zumo 550!

On last year’s ride up Alaska's infamous Alcan Highway to Deadhorse my faithful old Garmin 2610 GPS developed terminal water leakage. I remember watching a tiny blister-looking thingy begin to grow on the display and when it finally got so big I couldn’t stand it I picked at it. Just a little at first, and then it was like eating peanuts, impossible to stop at just one. Before long the entire overlay was shredded to bits so I decided to peel the damn thing off. That left a very dim display but at least I could still read it and in the dark or shadows it was fine.

It made it home OK but I decided to replace it with something a bit more up to date, like Garmin’s new Zumo 550. That particular unit was designed especially for bikes and has way more features than this old guy would ever use. After surfing the usual sites I located a supplier with an attractive price and placed my order. Sadly they turned out to be just like so many others on the Internet, take your order and then try to hustle up the equipment they said they had in stock. There ought to be a law! After waiting a couple of weeks before checking back they fessed up to their lack of inventory so I cancelled my order.

It was at that point I made the decision to buy another 2610; they were plentiful on Ebay and I already had the wiring harness in place, not to mention a really cool Touratec locking mount. Bidding wars are fairly light for older GPS units which made it easy to score the one I wanted. It arrived in a few days and as the seller claimed it was in mint condition, including the very latest mapping software. Onto the bike it went and then I discovered it's one and only flaw: the display was just a bit dim, even at it's brightest setting. The seller hadn’t used it on a bike, only inside his car and to be fair it’s more than adequate in a bit of shade or typical automotive interior lighting. I now have a nice mint condition 2610 living inside the car. Bummer…

Once again lusting after the new Zumo 550 series I returned to the surfing fray, hoping to find the killer deal of a lifetime. Not. The lowest prices were always posted by sharks and charlatans, none of whom I cared to do business with. The best deal from a legitimate company was my old friend Amazon.com, always fair, shipping included, and if they tell you an item is in stock you can bet it is. Still I was unwilling to commit to such a high price for a gadget, at least not until Linda offered to spring for nearly all of it as an early birthday present. Hmm…. ah, gee, I dunno Hon, that’s a lot of do-re-mi. I guess I must have spent at least 9 or 10 nanoseconds thinking it over before I acquiesced and placed the order.

Check it out, it’s wonderful! Thanks Hon! Maps? What maps? I don' need no stinkin' maps!


  1. Looks like a nice unit......I still suffer along with my ratty old tattered maps. They're a little cheaper. They don't yell at me when I decide to take a different route. No battery draw. If they suffer water damage, they make good oil wipe rags. Don't need updating very often. If I can't find any campfire kindling.....LOL
    D. Smith

  2. You left out the best part...no one wants to steal a bunch of raggedy old maps. That might be the best part of the whole deal. :)