Had a great ~130 mile ride today to the tiny burg of Hell, located in SE Michigan not too far from Ann Arbor. In Michigan one can find both Hell and Paradise, and if it has any meaning as to the relative good or evil condition of humankind, they're both about the same size - tiny. Not many people make it to Paradise, at least on a permanent basis, but then again probably less than a hundred people reside in Hell permanently. I guess most Michiganders live in limbo - somewhere in that vast realm between Hell and Paradise.
The reason for the ride to Hell was as much a test of new equipment as it was just a fun ride (which it was!). I purchased a new GPS unit and wanted to try it out before depending on it in just a few weeks when I take a couple of long trips on over a thousand miles of old road as it existed a hundred years ago. It's going to take a lot of trouble determining and plotting out the route in the first place, and the most efficient way of saving it is in electronic form, and definitely the safest way of following it will be with a GPS unit.
I'm a fan of paper maps; always have and always will carry them regardless of whether I have a GPS on board. But paper maps and motorcycles really aren't compatible. The temptation is too great to look at maps while riding - a potentially dangerous thing to do. A GPS unit is mounted at near eye level and a quick glance tells the operator what is needed. The unit is specifically made for motorcycles so it's water proof, stands up to rain, heat, cold, vibrations, bumps, and whatever else bike travel can throw at it, or at least so the folks at Garmin claim.
Today's test showed a couple of bugs with the mounting system which I was able to correct once home again. And just in time - the weather forecast is promising for the coming week.
GPS units have one major flaw. They eliminate the excuse of having gotten lost as the reason for getting home several hours later than promised on a fun day of riding.