Google Maps to Garmin

Plot a course on Google Maps, import it to Garmin Connect and copy to your Garmin Bike Computer (e.g. Edge 25) — here’s the easiest way I’ve found!

Y U SO DIFFICULT?!

Odin knows why this has to be difficult. Why doesn’t Google allow exporting routes? Why doesn’t Garmin Connect allow uploading courses? Why does Garmin think it’s ok to take the A23 from Brighton to London?!

Google’s routing is just better than Garmin’s — it knows the roads, national cycle routes, traffic conditions, and probably where you are at all times…

The Route

When I was planning my recent ride from Brighton to London, I first tried to use Garmin Connect’s course planner with the Stay on Roads option on, but it plotted a route that made heavy use of the A23 which is far from ideal.

When I asked Google to plot me a route it used National Cycle Route 20 for most of the way and took me on lovely quiet roads, through quiet towns, brutal countryside climbs and long descents. 60 miles that, apart from a brief cyclo-cross moment carrying my bike over a train track, felt like it was made just for me!

Step-By-Step

Anyway, without further ado, here are the steps for getting directions from Google Maps onto Garmin Connect and then onto your bike computer:

  1. Plot your course on Google Maps
  2. Copy and paste the full URL into MapsToGPX then click LET’S GO
  3. Go to GPSies, select the file, leave all other options and click convert
    • If you don’t want to register, get a login from BugMeNot
  4. Another .gpx file will be downloaded — this one is an Activity
    • Garmin Connect can’t import Courses but can import Activities, the only difference being the presence of absence of timestamps
    • If you try to upload a Course to Garmin Connect you’ll get an error. Because who’d ever want to upload a course you absolute madman what are you thinking seriously you must be silly garmin knows what’s best for you amirite?!
  5. Open Garmin Connect and upload the file
  6. A new Activity will be created with the date 2010-01-01 — open it
  7. Click the cog in the top right and select Save as Course
  8. Give it a name and click Save
  9. Delete the Activity
  10. Go to Courses, select your new Course and click View Details
  11. Click Send to Device in the top-right
  12. Plug in your bike computer and sync it
  13. Profit

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