We recently caught up with Mountain Biker and avid Garmin user Mike Kirby who had a great story to tell us about his beloved Dakota. You don't even have to own a bike to know that is one mean looking ride (Surly Moonlander) and I have to admit, I am a bit jealous of his epic bike shop!!
I’ve been using my Dakota 20 more or less every weekend since September 2009 and I’ve been consistently impressed by its performance and feature set.
I use it primarily for mountain-biking and having full OS mapping is the main feature that is important to me because I’ll often go out on a ride with no prior plan as to which route I’ll be taking. I’ll just ride the byways until I’m too tired, bored or wet or it’s too hot (rarely), cold or dark to ride anymore.
You’ll notice I’m never too lost!In the time I’ve had it, there’s been more than a few occasion where I’ve dropped it, or not secured it properly in the bike mount and having it fly off the bars and bounce down the trail, usually at a decent speed. It’s always come away unscathed apart from the odd minor scratch on the casing. The worst that has happened is the memory card did become dislodged once after a fall and I lost maps, but after re-inserting the card and re-starting it all was fixed.
To this point, it’s durability is a feature I have to say I’ve largely taken for granted. After the 1st few times, I’ve just got used to running back up the trail to pick it up again, and I’ve just ‘expected’ it to keep working!
However, last weekend I made the mistake of leaving it lying on the roof of the car while I drove home! Now for a couple of miles it stayed on there (probably because of the slightly rubberised casing!), and it didn’t decide to fall off until I was doing about 65mph on a major road. It’s departure was signalled by the noise of it hitting the roof-rack on its way off!
This time I thought it was a gonner, but I spun around anyway and went back to look for it.
I found it lying in the side of the road, still in-tact, with the battery cover still attached, and when I picked it up and switched it on - it still worked! OK this time the case and battery cover did suffer a good but of road-rash, but the damage was purely cosmetic, the case is still complete and watertight, and the screen got away without any damage at all, not even a scratch.
Products don’t very often amaze me, particularly electronic ones, but this one truly is amazing. It reminds me of 'The Black Knight' from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
If I ever summon the creative ability to make a video parody, it will feature my Dakota!