Using Your Garmin: Custom Course Navigation

You would think that it would be really easy and obvious to turn on navigation on pre-made routes on your GPS unit, but after canvassing several different cycling associates, it has become clear to me that I was not the only person who struggled with this. For reasons that escape me, Garmin does not default to having turn by turn navigation prompts on when riding a pre-made course. I tried to figure out how to do this by glancing at it, and it didn’t seem obvious to me. After a few rides and some trial and error, I’ve finally got a good grasp on how to use all the features available to you. Although you probably use a different model than I do (Edge Explore 1000), this should all work the same for you. Here is your step by step guide to using course navigation on your Garmin.


1. Make Your Course in Garmin Connect

My route: Logan Square to Camp Sullivan

Dropping course markers on points near turns helps prompt your Garmin to give you a turn warning. Occasionally when I wasn’t using markers, navigation wouldn’t alert me until I was on top of the turn; not ideal when it’s a new route.

2. Select Courses from Your Home Screen

I hope y’all are with me so far

This is around the point where it stopped being intuitive for me.


3. Open Course Options


This was definitely the hardest part to figure out. I thought that turning on navigation would be within the course you’re selecting itself, or ¬†maybe a display option on the map screen, but it turns out it’s a layer further out and within the course menu. I’ve noted where you access course options here. When you get there. . .


Ah ha! The right slider

All you have to do is make sure you turn “Turn Guidance” on. Wow! I don’t know why this took me so long to find, but I do have some user experience design reading for any of the Garmin developers who might be reading this.


4. Select Course

Finally in the course I wanted to ride

Once you’ve backed up to the course listing, you’re finally ready to select the course you wanted to ride.


5. Open Course Settings

This is where I thought turns would be

I’d take this additional moment to make sure the course color is one that you like and turn on course points, which gives you a time estimate until the next thing you have to do. I find it helpful for gauging remaining time quickly.


6. Ride Course

The screen we all know so well


One thought to “Using Your Garmin: Custom Course Navigation”

  1. I have a road bike and an off-road bike, and I was able to set up sensors for each bike with my former Edge 810. Anyone purchasing the Edge Explore 1000 should be aware that you cannot set up multiple bikes (or activities) with this device. I understand that that Edge 1000 (not Explore) allows multiple activities. If you’re considering the “Explore” version versus the standard Edge 1000, you should make sure to check the features for each … review the user manuals online to make sure that you are not surprised after purchasing.

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