Last week I realized something odd. While I am reasonably comfortable riding around unfamiliar cities and towns on trips, I was having a total emotional meltdown about getting lost at home in Miami. I'm fine in downtown Miami and areas with high rises and mid rise buildings. But the residential neighborhoods, well, they just all looked the same to me. I totally mixed up which neighborhood was which. Which made me feel like a total idiot.
So I made a plan (1) to desensitize myself to being lost here and (2) to up my confidence in using my on-bike navigation toys on rides in Miami. I may have poor directional abilities, but I do know how to develop coping skills.
So, each time I'm out on my bike, either on a solo ride or coming home from a group ride, I purposely head off my usual route just to get myself totally and completely lost. Then I fire up navigation and find my way home.
I love my Garmin with its tidy little GPS system. But my Garmin doesn't talk to me. And the map is hard to read in a lot of situations. So I decided to rely more on the navigation gadgets on my phone. Best of all, the phone navigation has the advantage of audible cues. Phones are intrusive and annoying. But they have their good points, like reading the route cues to you. And then there is the cellphone camera. (Best toy ever.)
Snack stops are picture taking opportunities. Take fifty pictures; delete forty-seven; keep three. It's not exactly art photography. Just totally frivolous fun.
I can't get too worried about getting lost in Miami when getting home is easy and a photo opportunity may be waiting around the next turn...