My waist was a 32′ now its a 29′

This is where all the hard work becomes gratifying.

Scales are not the only things that show you that you have lost weight.


For years, the last 10 at least , I’ve been a 32″ waist, now my second new pair of jeans in a month are a 29″ waist.

This is even more important than seeing the scales go down as at least you have something to really prove that all is going to plan.

Picture me going round and showing my bum to everybody, look look, I’m a 29′ waist now 🙂

Now who wants some second-hand Paul Smith jeans size 32″


6 months later, 6 kilos less

This is a follow-up to my previous blog : started in the previous post March 2012, but it’s now to long, so I am adding this update in a new post beginning September 2012, 6 months on.

Most of the details can be read on this previous post, this is just an update with the facts since I visited my nutritionist yesterday the 4th September 2012, showing to all that weight can be easily lost, fat can be transformed into muscle and one can have a figure that looks nice in good clothes and that you don’t have look like a heavy weight dancer.

To be honest the title is a little deceiving as I’ve lost 5.7 kilos since March, replaced 2.1 kilos of it by muscle (that’s the gym) and 3.6 kilos off the scales, as but it didn’t ring quite right in the title so I cheated a little and round it off to 6 kilos … (though if I take into account my weight beginning January 2012, I was 80.2 kilos, making it 7.1 kilos in all)

I wanted to say that in being careful what you eat, not even following  a ‘named’ diet, no Weight Watchers, no Jenny Craig, no Dash diet, no raw food diet, just plain sensible eating you can lose weight.

Fresh foods, mostly organic when possible, home cooking (thanks to my wife), less booze, things like : little or rather no white bread, replacing it with wholemeal bread, no sauces made with full fat cream, more vegetables, no snacking or when I snack, its dried mixed nuts, rather than crisps, cheese at lunch and rarely in the evenings, no sodas, not even the ‘light’ ones, in fact I rarely eat ‘light’ foods as I belive that they are bad for you, I’d rather eat a normal yoghurt that a light one for instance. So many things that can be done ,without having the impression of not being allowed or going without.

What I have noticed is that after a while certain things that you do without even noticing, like eating a slice of bread with you meal, well now I not only rarely do it but I don’t even miss it, Rather than a pie or cake (before with cream) for dessert, replace it with a compote (stewed fruit) now I find this more natural and even better.

I still do not and do not believe in counting calories and therefore have no idea how many calories I take in, it’s obviously less than I need, as it’s the secret to losing weight. (input les than output)

Participating in a sport, and at least twice a week : As I said sensible and healthy eating and working out a little.

2012 : March to September


  • March 6th : I weighed 78,8 kilos : 12,28 stones.
  • September 4th 2012 I now weigh 75.2 kilos : 11,81 stones
  • A weight loss of 3.6 kilos : 7.9 pounds


  • March 6th : My weight mass was 15,8 kilos : 2.78 stones.
  • September 4th 2012, this is now only 10.1 kilos : 1.59 stones
  • A fat loss of 5.70 kilos : 12.56 pounds


  • March 6th : My muscle weight was 63.0 kilos : 10,03 stones.
  • September 4th 2012, this is now 65.1 kilos : 10,25 stones
  • A muscle gain of 2.10 kilos : 4.6 pounds
  • The muscle gain is due to sport, there is no secret here, you need to get off your backside and run, bike, get to the gym : Just do something.

The perfect marriage : this is being sensible in what you are eating and doing a sport. The two together are like a perfect marriage.

Your health will be better, you will feel better, look better, not only do I physically feel and look better but also in ‘my head’ I feel better.

As Spock once said live long and prosperous (he just forgot to add eat well and do some sport)

I’ve added my weight and  body fat readings showing where  the weight loss and the fat loss has gone, proving that anyone can do this.

Date   March 6 September 4
Weight 78,8 75,2 -3,6 Kilos
BMI calcul standard 25,2 24,0
W (kg) / [H (m) x H (m)]
Scales, Tanita
% body fat 20,0 13,4 -6,6 %
fat body mass 15,8 10,1 -5,7 Kilos
lean body mass 63,0 65,1 2,1 Kilos
M. Hydrique 46,2 47,7 1,5 Kilos
Right leg
% body Fat 19,7 14,5 -5,2 %
fat body mass 2,5 1,8 -0,7 Kilos
lean body mass 10,1 10,4 0,3 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 9,6 9,9 0,3 Kilos
Left leg
% body Fat 19,4 14,8 -4,6 %
fat body mass 2,4 1,8 -0,6 Kilos
lean body mass 10,0 10,1 0,1 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 9,5 9,6 0,1 Kilos
Right arm
% body Fat 16,9 13,6 -3,3 %
fat body mass 0,7 0,6 -0,1 Kilos
lean body mass 3,7 3,8 0,1 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 3,4 3,6 0,2 Kilos
Left arm
% body Fat 17,1 14,1 -3,0 %
fat body mass 0,8 0,6 -0,2 Kilos
lean body mass 3,6 3,8 0,2 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 3,5 3,6 0,1 Kilos
% body Fat 20,9 12,6 -8,3 %
fat body mass 9,4 5,3 -4,1 Kilos
lean body mass 35,6 37,0 1,4 Kilos
Estimation muscle mass 34,2 35,5 1,3 Kilos
Weight loss (scales) -3,6 Kilos
Fat loss -5,7 Kilos
Lean body mass 2,1 Kilos

You might say not a huge weight loss, but then I wasn’t really in the need to lose weight anyway, for those that are in need and really are overwieght, the same applies, for me the nice things is that losing weight slowy means that your body gets used to it, people who lose too much too fast normally put it back on as the body doesn’t get time to ajust to the weight loss.

PS I’m not used to stones and pounds, as we use kilos here in France, so if any errors please let me know

2012 a bad year for biking. a great year for losing body fat and getting fitter

Less biking … Oh no 

Less body fat … Oh yes

Less weight … Oh yes

Less BMI … Oh yes

Normally my sporting activities are biking, biking and more biking, either mountain biking or road riding on a singlespeed, last year 2011, I managed to top the 5000 kms. This year its a different matter. (only 1350 kms from January to mid July, so about 60% down on last year)


Firstly we had a very cold winter here in France, snow and ice for quite a while, so little or no chance to get on my bikes, eventually this weather disappeared, only to be replaced by rain, rain and more rain.

I’ve started this page the 13th of July, and again it’s raining, and its been raining every day of this week …

Before the end of the 2011, Olive and myself decided to join a Gym, to do some fitness training on top of the biking, as normally during the winter months we bike less, boy was it a good idea, instead of choosing between the road, trails or gym, it came down to gym, gym and more gym. OK sometimes the excuses Oh look its raining, hic drizzling …. let’s go to the gym (warm and dry) are true, but this year, the rain has been real and this trails have been pure mud baths and the road is just not fun while riding through puddles. (for example friends that rode two bike rides this month, ‘I wasn’t present’, abandoned them both because of the bad weather, normally they never do that)

Also as the gym is less than one kilometre from my office, so it’s easy to go to, its warm, it’s dry, I can have a shower and get home before lunch or diner, clean,  and I don’t get, “you’re not coming in to the house like that, strip of outside” …

So gym this year has become a must, in fact it’s taken over completely from biking, my doctor, my nutritionist and of course my wife all say that I do too much, as I’m now at the club four to fives days a week, and on the bike once a week, and if I’m not on the bike then its five, six and sometimes seven times a week.


All this has actually came together quite nicely, I needed or rather wanted to lose some weight this year, as I tipped the scales at 80.2 kilos the 2nd of January 2012, even if it did drop slightly the following weeks and into February. I’m 54 and measure 1m 77, so while not fat, I had a little too much flesh on me for my liking. This is where the nutritionist came in, so beginning of March 2012 I went to see her, asking her to help me lose some weight.

1rst visit to my nutritionist : 6th March : So I left her office with a list of what to eat and not to eat, and since then I’ve changed my eating habits completly, I’m not on a diet as such, I am aware that diets are not the answer, I don’t count calories either  I just needed a kick in the behind to change my habits, to change certain foods. For exemple :  little or none white bread, cow products replaced by goat, more vegetables, more fish, little or no pizzas, burger & chips etc., more stewed fruits (compotes)  rather than cakes or pies, cut down on the snacks between meals ( bye bye biscuits and crisps), to know when to stop eating and not ask for seconds, we stopped buying ready made meals  (too much salt,  sugar, coloring, additives and crap in them), I’m lucky as my wife loves to cook so this part was not a problem.

While at the nutritionist’s I got my BMI checked, this was all new to me, My global body BMI ( Body Mass Index ) was 25.2% (weight / height * height) , this is OK for my age but it shouldn’t be more, and my body fat percentage 20% (Calculated using some Tanita professional scales) again for my age this was OK, but it shouldn’t be more, so upon leaving. I bought a couple of fitness magazines to read up on BMI, how to reduce it and read up on body fat percentage and on the general health / fitness side as well.

At this time I was going to the gym about two or three times a week, mostly using the rowing, or elliptic machines for cardio, with some weight machines, little by little I started going more often, as at the same time I noticed that scales were indicating that I was losing if little some weight. In my head I want to get my weight down to about 75 kilos, a weight that I hadn’t been at for at least the last thirty years.

2nd visit to my nutritionist : 23rd April A quick jump to two months later, end of April : and back to the nutritionist, I learnt then that she thought that I was wasting her time at the first visit and that when I came for this second visit that the results would be the same, boy was she wrong …

Weight was down by about a 1.2 kilos, now at 77,6 kilos, I had reduced my BMI to 24.8 BUT my body fat percentage had dropped to 18% global, I had lost 1.8 kilos of fat and replaced it all with muscle. I came out of her office with such a big such a big smile on my face.

With this news it was and still is easy to keep on going, the gym sessions as I stated earlier are now four to five times  a week, all after work. Three sometimes four times a week and every Saturday morning, For the Saturday session I do 30 mins to one hour of cardio training then I do a ‘Body Balance’ session, which is a mixture of Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, in the week the sessions last from one to two hours with weights and cardio.

I do mostly  weight workouts finishing with nearly always 30 to 50 mins cardio), I’m no Schwarzenegger (and don’t intend to be), so not too many heavy weights, just enough to try to keep the flabby bits less flabby, my pecs are now firmer and flatter, triceps and biceps are far firmer as is the rest of my body. This is where losing body fat also helps, it sculpts the body as well. I work on everything, trying to change the muscle groups every day, a little on the arms, some on the lower and upper legs, the back and shoulders, my abs, though even if my belly has shrunken down, they still can’t be seen. I nearly always finish with at least 30 mins of cardio training at the end, either rowing, elliptic or bike.

Track Everything :

I keep a journal of my workouts using Jefit pro on my phone, synced to their website, I note the training done, the number of reps, the weight or the time, and as I’m alway a little in excess of what I do, I also keep a log of what I eat, is this just to annoy my wife and to show-of  to the nutritionist and my doctor ? I’m not 100% sure …. 🙂 but it helps me keep things in perspective. Below is shown a typical couple of days of eating :

Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Tomatoes
Steak grilled, potatoes sauté, vegetables
Fresh fruit
1 piece of white bread with cheese
2 glasses of red wine
Snack 2 small Italian cakes
Dîner Coleslaw
Chicken and rice
Stewed fruit
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Grapefruit
1 slice of ham with peas
Yoghurt (cow)
Snack Yoghurt (goat’s)
Small handful of mixed nuts
Dîner Green pepper et half an avocado
1 slice of ham with sauté potatoes
3 glasses of red wine
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Grapefruit
Breast of chicken with green beans
Stewed fruit
Snack Stewed fruit
Dîner Grison meat
Porc chop with  gratin de courgettes
Home made stewed fruit
Breakfast 2 slices of wholemeal bread with ewe cheese
Lunch Wholemeal bread with breast of chicken
Yoghurt (goat’s) and stewed fruit
Dîner Tomatoes and mozzeralla
Grilled steak with green beans
Yoghurt (goat’s) et melon

OK I know it’s half French half English, sorry.

I cheat sometimes :

I still eat certain products that I shouldn’t, like the Italian cakes brought back from my holiday in Sicily for instance, or the home-made macaroons, but this keeps life from being boring and monotone and anyway if you stick 100% to a real diet, you will crack one day, so from time to time I let off steam and eat certain foods that I shouldn’t. I still eat chocolate and other things that I shouldn’t,  though fast foods, pizzas etc. are nearly 100% banned.

You may notice that most ‘cow’ products have been replaced by goats or sheep products, so most of the yoghurt or cheese that I eat are either sheep or goats products, “Ewe cheese = fromage de brebis”, that most of bread intake which has been reduced is now whole grain bread or similar, little white bread these days. Nearly all vegetables are steamed or grilled, and nearly all are fresh from the market or the garden and organic where possible.

Still some wine with some of my meals, normally limited to one or two glasses per meal, before it would have been half a bottle …..

Juin 2012 : 3rd visit to my nutritionist : Weight is 77,4 kilos, My global BMI is now 24.7 (this will change little as it just a standard calculation, but my body fat percentage is down to 16.2%, this is by far the most important aspect for me., I’ve bought some semi pro scales to check on this when at home[showUid]=536&cHash=9d9f98071f, my weight is down to 76 – 77 kilos, my eating habits have now completely changed and have now become just a normal way of life.

I don’t ‘deprive’ myself, I still like to drink, mostly red wine, but sometimes a beer or two,  earlier this month in Sicily for a week’s holiday, though I watched what I ate and tried to choose between certain foods, I let myself live and ate well , drinking and eating what I felt like.

All in all I feel great, I’m as fit as the last couple of years, even with less biking this year, in fact I’ve never felt better, my body feels ‘drier’ ‘firmer’, not easy to describe (that’s the body fat percentage going down by almost 4%), I walk and stand better, I feel less ‘slobby’ (Ok I know that’s not in the dictionary). I just feel so good.

Dropped my jeans down a size, from 32 to a 30/31 waist, I feel good in tight T-Shirts or slim fit shirts, also I look better in the mirror, well for me anyway. I miss the biking but again the weather is just to bad, yesterday, the 12 of July, jumped on the singlespeed to go to work, it rained all the way home …

Weight & BMI and body fat percentage  chart from March 2012 to June 2012.

Measurements taken with professional Tanita scales, and so are exact.


6th of March

23rd of April

19th of June





IMC / BMI calcul standard BMI = Weight (kg) / [Height (m) x Height (m)]





% body Fat



16,2 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Body water




Jambe droite / right leg

% Fat



15,0 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Jambe gauche / left leg

% Fat



15,9 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Bras droit .right arm

% Fat



15,4 %

fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Bras gauche / left arm

% Fat




fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




Tronc / trunk

% Fat




fat body mass




lean body mass




Estimation muscle mass




This all goes to show that with some effort, everybody can lose weight and if they want can get fitter,  all without stupid diets or fads, that promise the world but often do more damage than good. I don’t count calories or anything stupid like that as that is probably the biggest waste of time and error around. I am just more careful about what I eat, what I have noticed is that people, including myself before, eat more than they really need, this I am now watching, saying no to seconds unless I really feel the need to eat more.

Friends :

The other day we had friends around for diner, a normal meal barbecued grilled steaks on, potatoes and greens, my friend asked me to pass her the bread, which I did and then I set the bread basket back down, she made a remark “maybe your wife would like some ….. ” I replied “no she is like me she doesn’t eat bread as there are potatoes with the meal” , ‘too many carbs when eating them both’ (you’ve guessed it, my wife also watch’s her weight) the worst thing is that my friend is overweight and try to watch her weight as well. A easy mistake that can easily be corrected in eating habits, you don’t need bread at table if other high carb foods are served, its one or the other but not both.

Eat correctly with fresh, healthy natural foods, learn to eat less and become slimmer, train and become fitter, put them both together, it’s even better.

Update 09 August : Weight is now steady between 75 and 76 kilos, My Tanita scales are showing me that my body fat is less that 14% which is just perfect, in fact better than I hoped for, but my next rendez-vous with my nutritionist isn’t until September and only then will I believe the readings as she has professional Tanita scales. This means that since January I’ve lost 5 kilos and another 3 kilos of fat that have been replaced my muscle, around 8 kilos in all, 10% of my original January body weight.

As I’m doing more and more training, four to five times a week (sometimes six) plus the biking on Sunday, in the gym, certain sessions are up to three hours (rather than between one or two hours) and the biking is nearly always three hours if not four, so I’ve started  taking a protein shake before and after the training sessions, (Impact Whey from until I see the nutritionist and get her advice on upping my intake levels a little if need be, as I’m aware that I train a little too much, but I’ve always been like that, before the gym it was the same with the biking, well according to my wife anyway 🙂

Update 05 September : Just back from the nutritionist, my results are far better than I hoped for, weight 75.2kilos and body fat down to 13.4%, as this post is rather long, I’ve started a new one at :

Garmin Edge 705 – Sold

update: July 2017 after 8 years of  loyal service, have just sold the 705 and replaced it with the Edge 520

January 2009

I lashed out and bought a Garmin 705,


I had been thinking about buying a GPS for a while now, my choices were between the edge 705 and the Colorado 400, although the Colorado has a bigger screen I decided that it was more for those who hike and not bike (that rhymes)

So I bought the Edge, smaller screen, but heart monitor included and also it’s cheaper than the Colorado

I bought it thru amazon UK although I am living in France and as its half the French price

I have  the Isle de France Topo map  as the map that is included with the unit is a waste of time and I will only be using the 705 for off-road biking so I need all the paths / tracks details to be shown, the complete DVD containing all of France is not available yet, though should be end of march 2009 (edit Mai and still not available)  this will be cheaper and apparently they are adding some colour, so that the maps will look like ordinance survey maps which will be nice as for the moment the Topo maps are basically just two colours

comparison-topo-et-ign Comparison Topo  & IGN map (same spot on map)

The unit is small and fits real nice on the bike stem which is a 80 cm on my bike, it can be fitted to the handle bars as well, but on the stem it’s protected in a crash as nothing is overlapping anywhere

The 705 is not to complicated at first glance and I got it setup and running fairly quickly, though the Garmin handbook is rather basic, many things are not explained so I spent some time on the forums or just playing around with it, for instance I couldn’t get my heart beat to show up on the screen, until I found that in the data fields / bike computer 1 or 2, not only can you choose how many inserts/panes  can be seen in the window but also you can choose and change the data that is shown in each insert / pane, this is not really or rather not clearly explained in the handbook which is a shame as it’s really great, 1 to 8 inserts/panes in the same window, pretty neat

Its to soon to say if I have will use the work outs or the training but I shall try, being that this year I should get more biking in and it would be useful to get my training up another notch

Certain things are no good though, the alarms when for running under or over set heart rates are to quiet, and I can barely hear them in my sitting room so on the bike outside just forget it, I am 51 and going deaf with age, What about a headphone socket Garmin ???? or a blue tooth option.

Edit March 2009

The Garmin software  seems to work just fine and on Vista 64 (though it’s not 64 native) so that’s a nice surprise but not a Linux which is shame.

There are two main sites that will be of use with the Edge and

Software : mapsource, map install and training center

Mapsource is a program so that you can see the trails that you have ridden but it’s really useful for creating  rides, this can use the Topo maps so that you can see all the finest of details and it can transfer the Topo map to the 705, strange thing as there is also a program “map install” to install even easier the maps to your Garmin, why the map install is not included in Mapsource I don’t know

Training Center is garmin’s ‘agenda’ so that you can see all your rides, (use SportTracks as it’s far better)

A little confusing, why two sites and two programs rather than one of each with access to both I don’t really know

Forums or sites

So far I have found a couple of sites giving useful information : Now closed, replaced by note that I never use this site, using SportsTracks to keep a copy of all my rides

I’m now using for uploading all my rides so that they can be used by others/ you will need this to make track that can be navigated this is by far the best site and the best program that exists for the Edge 705, I have started using the program which is free of charge (you can donate to them), it replaces Garmin Connect and  MotionBased the latter programs are online site, Sportracks is on your PC, so much faster but you wont be able to access it from anothe PC. It’s really good I am amazed that it can do so much and that it’s free, the only week part is that the Topo maps can’t be ‘seen’ in it as they can only be read by Garmin software

Update July 2010 : SportsTrack version 3 is available, this is now a shareware, but the cost is very small and it’s well worth it as even better than the previous version, still the best program around for consolidating the data from your rides

Some things that might be of help to new users :

1, You have to set the ‘Position Format’ in the ‘unit settings’, this is not explained in the hand book, and there are many choices, after googling around I found that ‘Position Format’ meant GPS datum and unless I am wrong the only settings in the list for France is the UTM UPS setting ( the default after a hard reset is hddd°mm.mmm)

2, For the time zone the setting for France are ‘Central Europe’

Soft reset : sometime you might need to rest the Edge, press the Mode+Lap buttons.

Hard reset : To perform this one hold down the mode button while powering on your Edge, the Edge will ask you if you want to reset it, this should wipe clean the 705, all data will need to be imputed again.

New things tested :

Courses and virtual partner : This I like, after saving a ride from the history file to a ‘new course’ you can then re-do the ride  and have the virtual bike show you if you are riding slower or faster than the last time :  tip if you history folder has many rides this can take some time to be read, empty often your history folder to your computer, this will speed things up)


Now that I have this sussed it’s quite good, you MUST turn of the ‘lock on road’ option and the ‘re calculate’ option, this will then allow you to follow even the smallest of trails, also turn of the Auto Zoom, this is annoying as at every junction the scale settings jumped  back to about 200/300 meters where I use the 20/50 meters settings

Annoying things are : the messages ‘turn left on unpaved road’ who cares if it’s a unpaved road when doing of road riding, ‘turn left’ would do just nicely and it would be easier and quicker to read, or that it takes up another ‘pane’ on the screen rather than just over writing the pane that is already there for a couple of seconds (I use 2 small panes on at the top to show speed and heart rating)


I then transferred the same ride to a ‘course’, this is not bad as you get a pink trace to follow, the  same as the routing except you don’t get the “turn” messages, I had to juggle a little with the scale settings and sometimes I found that the screen didn’t draw fast enough and I over shot the turning, meaning that I was stopping and going back a meter or so to get back on the track, but not bad and I am sure that this takes a little getting used to.

Things that I don’t like

Nokia and track

My main grumble is the glass screen on the 705, this is very reflective and in sunlight I see myself rather the map it’s like a mirror, don’t Garmin test their own products, In the photo you can my gloves and the back of my telephone taking the photo

The handbook is crap, many things are not explained luckily the or both are very good, and I found out most things from these forums

The sound or rather the volume : Ok I’m a little on the deaf side as I’ve turned 52, but the beeps I just cannot hear them and its a real shame as sometimes you need to watch where you are going and not the screen so the beeps to warn you that there will be a turn coming up are useful, but other seem to think that they are to loud, so just a volume control would maybe sort out the problem

Creating a track that can be navigated : this in itself is easy using  the mapsource program and save it as a GPX file, but you then need a another program or rather a website that modifies it so that it will be work as a track that can be “navigated” , this is just plain silly. For info you upload the saved “GPX” file and transfer it to a “GPX Track” file and then save it to your 705, why the mapsource program can’t do it all I don’t know

Update : May 2009

Firmware update to 2.70, all seemed to go went well untill the first ride and the Edge just ‘locked up’ after 30 mins of riding, so I had to do a hard reset by pressing  start + mode buttons to get it to reboot, and to top it all the ride was not recorded, but reading the forums it seems that a lot of people have had to do a hard reset after updating, since then all is well though

I have done my first search for a Geocache, downloaded a cache from and even managed to find it, so do some more as it’s different and you get the impression that you’re looking for treasure 🙂

Update : June 2009

At last the IGN France Topo 25:000 V2 is available, I bought the “all France version” a DVD with also a SD card (that cannot be used with the edge 705 as it’s a 4gb card)

Tha maps are a little easier to use as that have more colours BUT the contours lines are almost exactly the same colour as the track line and can make reading difficult, also there is no explication for the colours so reading it means that you are not  sure if its a small road or a paved track for instance, there is a bug in the 705 software that sometimes makes the contours lines as thick as the track  and then you need to reboot or stop the saves rides as the screen becomes unreadable, big very thick purple lines all over the place, also I noticed that the map is missing certain smallish paths that are indicated on the IGN paper version (bit of a rip of) as its meant to be the same , I find as I was away on a biking weekend and according the Garmin there was no paths where we were and yet we were on them and the paper IGN showed them 😦

It’s better than the V1 CD Rom version, but ……

Update : June 18th

Firmware update available, version 2.8, just seems to correct some smallish bugs, but does a hardware reset so note your setting before doing it

Update Have had one lock-up and one re boot while riding which I have never had before, have re installed the 2.8 but deleted all files before including profile files, maps, saved rides etc as many are still there after an update,this meant That I re installed everything and re configured everything  will see how this goes over the next couple of weeks

Changing map colours

One of the many things that bug me with the 705 maps are the colours, many being the same ish colours and difficult to read quickly especially if you are like me and need glasses for reading but not for riding …

So I have be playing with to see if I could make things easier

I have changed the colours of, trails and paths from the grey colour to red

At the same time the land contours I have made them thinner and dotted and black (this seems to have cleared up the THICK contour bug that many are having)

You can download the file that I have modified from the below link and you replace the I0000186.TYP file in your Garmin file with mine renaming Red trails I0000186.TYP to just just I0000186.TYP

PLEASE make a backup of the old file (just rename it “originalI0000186.TYP” or something similar
In XP you will find this file in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GARMIN\Maps\TOPO France v2.gmap
In Vista or Windows 7 you will find it in C:\ProgramData\GARMIN\Maps\TOPO France v2.gmap

Download my file from

Once the file has been replaced start Mapsource and re download your map to the Garmin

Red trails

The images show both trails and contour lines

Please note that I have done this for fun and to see if I can make my map better, please feel free to test the file and get back to me but please note that I cannot be held responsible if it doesn’t work or if your 705 melts or blows up ……

Sorry about the photo quality, it was taken with my mobile, the shadows on the screen are from my window blinds …..

I have rode with the new map, track are easier to see and the contour lines are less obtrusive

Playing with gpx and tcx files

I uploaded a route that I made using Mapsource to

Interesting thing is when I ‘look’  at the route on their site it’s not quite right, the trace is all straight lines and it doesn’t  quite follow the roads or paths as it should, so I uploaded the file to and convert it to a gpx track, now this should be the same (gpx file to gpx file) BUT when ‘looking’ at the now converted file in Biketoaster it’s perfect, the trace follows perfectly the paths and roads, why I don’t know, but it seems that all routes made with mapsource are better if converted with

Also I have found an oldish program (2006 nothing since) called Gpx2Crs, quite clever,  this adds turn points on a course file giving small arrows on the turning but no pop up directions, clever thing is you upload the program and just tell it to add these points onto a xx degree turning, 60 degrees by default, the only bug that I have seen is that it doesn’t rename the  file correctly, but that easy to correct with Foxe (this might be due to me using Vista 64)

Bike toaster is meant to be able to do this but they have to be added by hand and one by one and it is not very clear on how to do it, the instructions are as clear as mud

For me the best program is Mapsource to create trips and use TCX Converter or to convert them to a tcx file so that they can be used them without routing option, all other sites or programs are just no good ( at least no good for off-road riding)

Update December 5th 2009

Firmware update available, version 3.10, have just flashed the Edge and might try it this afternoon if the weather stays clear, there doesn’t seem to be many important changes on the change log, so why it went from 2.9 to 3.1 in one go I don’t know, will post if I find anything, Have managed to get out 3 times so far, no bugs, no problems with this update, all seems OK

1 year on, 4200 km later

Although not perfect this as a dam good machine, it takes a lot of getting used it is still to road orientated for me (I only ride VTT/MTB off-road) but it’s getting better with every firmware update,  the 705 plus the program  SportTracks (freeware) give you the means to see all your rides, day by day, month by month, to keep a track on your health (having been ill last month, I can see that my heart rate is not as good for the same ride a couple of months ago for instance) , your times, to see if you are faster or slower than the previous time, being able to upload your rides so that other can ride them and of course being able to download rides unknown to you and ride them when you are on holiday for instance.

The most useful piece of kit for anyone that rides a lot or seriously

Update : Avril 2010

I have noticed two things lately that are annoying, when down loading certain rides made or modified with Mapsource and or when adding extra sections of maps from Mapsource to the Edge, the Garmin settings get changed and ‘Lock on road’ or ‘Recalculate’ under routing gets ticked. This is a right pain and I have been caught out several times already so be careful when downloading to the Edge, re check you setting before riding. update : I have never been able to suss out what if anything changes these settings, but if I download a track / gpx file I always check before starting the ride)

Update : June 22nd 2010

New firmware update available 3.20, have just uninstalled it, as usual I emptied all files from the Garmin while plugged in to the computer, then added the update, re booted and after I did a hard reset, this apparently is not needed, but old habits die hard, I like to reinstall when updating firmware on all my gadgets.

Update : June 27th 2010

Have ridden three rides, all have speed spikes that are not normal, 70km this morning, 55 yesterday (both off-road riding), I’m fast ‘ish’ but not that fast, so it seems that there is a problem with this latest update , and quite a lot of people seem to have this problem on the Garmin forum, for the moment I have re-installed the 3.10 firmware

Dropbox : I use Dropbox on all my computers, I regularly empty my history files folder from the Edge saving them in the Dropbox , this not only does this  keep my history folder nice and clean but also gives me the possibility to see all my rides no matter where I am as long as I’m next to a computer, at the same time give me a permanent backup of all rides.

Update : 8gig SD card. I finally got around to changing my old SD card for a 8gig class 6, with this I have installed all of France on this card, it’s also faster than the old one as it’s a class 6, rather than a class 4, having the map on the card leaves all to memory on the Edge for the rides. Update I ride quite a lot but have never been able to fill the memory, also I copy my rides (history files) to a folder in Drop Box and them delete them from the Garmin, only keeping about a  month’s of rides on it.

Update december 22nd 2010 :  New firmware 3.3 available from Garmin, Have updated my 705 using the Garmin web updater, reset my data screens and now ready to try it. As it’s lousy wet, cold and snowy weather here in France, it might take me a while to get on my bike (Need to though, to get rid of the Xmas food that I’m going to be eating for the next couple of days though) Fingers crossed to see if the firmware is better than the last one that was all f**ked up.

Update : Have managed to get two rides done, le 31rst December & 2nd of January, as the ground is extremely muddy, both were on my Singlespeed and on the road, no problems so far with the latest firmware, the auto pause works correctly, though I haven’t been able to try it out in wooded areas to test how it works while under trees and cover etc. but so far so good, Update again … 700km so far in 6 weeks, now being able to get out on the MTB as the weather is getting better, no problems noticed, even under trees in the woods, all is just fine .

Update 2011

2 years on, 10 000 km later

I’m still pleased with the 705 , I now use only SportsTracks to record my rides and keep track on them all, recuperating the parcours, heart rate, distance, time etc and whether the ride is a MTB, mixed or singlespeed on the road,  I use Mapsource to map out a new ride if need be, sometimes TCX converter or GPSbabel if I need to work or convert a file.

Update April 2011 all is still good with this machine, although the power button seems to be a bit tired, the last firmware 3.3 is still OK.

I have no real gripes with this machine, except under certain sunny conditions  it’s difficult to read thru the glass , I still say that there is a bug when using some downloaded rides that switch on the ‘lock on road’ option, even if Garmin says no. I rarely use GPX tracks, preferring the TCX version as these don’t give directions, having directions is nice but it slows the 705 down, you have already read, gone around the corner and the instructions are still on the screen instructing  you to turn ….

Apart from these gripes the rest is OK, The 705 is a good machine, coupled with the above mentioned SportsTracks they make a perfect couple for those who ride a lot and like to keep track on their rides and or their performance. I have now ridden over 10 000 kms since I bought the 705 in January 2009, either off road MTB or on the roads with my Singlespeed.