Jake’s Journal du jour: Garminfone, nüvi 3790T, nüvifone shine in Rotterdam

 PreTour 040 PreTour 041Disclaimer: I’m in Rotterdam to promote Team Garmin and the Edge 500, yet my first day here was spent focusing on other Garmin products that simplify travel. OK, now that I have out of the way, I’m excited to send greetings from the host city of this year’s Grand Depart for pro cycling’s biggest race of the year. For the next month, the best cyclists in the world will race toward, through and around France for a spot on the podium in Paris. But getting here was so much fun that I have to tell you about it. I’ll get the bad news out of the way first. My flight from Detroit to Amsterdam was delayed nearly two hours. The silver lining: my Garminfone broke the news to me gently through the Flight Status updates.

PreTour 045PreTour 055Upon landing in Amsterdam, I let my ultrathin, pocket-friendly nüvi 3790T take over – first on the high-speed train, just to see the landscape around me as we pulled into Rotterdam – then on the walk from the station to my hotel, made easier through nüvi’s enhanced pedestrian navigation. Simply by supplementing my3790T with European mapping on microSD, I was able to look up my hotel (even in Dutch!) and find my way there quickly on foot with a realistic ETA. And I wasn’t the only one ditching the cab for self-propelled transportation. There are crowded bike racks everywhere as residents ride constantly (even in sportcoats, skirts or heels) on dedicated paths. One bike caught my eye as it bore the familiar blue and orange colorings of Team Garmin – just without the aero bars and Edge 500.

PreTour 054My first day in Rotterdam wrapped up at a local KPN store, where they’ll be the first in the Netherlands to sell the Android-based Garmin-Asus nüvifone A10, a widely anticipated European smartphone with built-in Garmin navigation and points of interest. Joined by Dutch Garmin cyclists Michel Kreder and Ricardo van der Velde, I told the store how much their staff and our riders have in common as both excel through teamwork, training and technology. And we expect the staff to be busy these first couple days as we’ll be giving prizes away to people who demo or buy the A10 – including goodie bags, special edition CamelBak bottles and entries to win either an autographed jersey or a VIP trip to Stage 19 later this month in France. So yes, I’m thrilled about the excitement surrounding Garmin products in Rotterdam, and just wait until tomorrow when I actually talk about the Edge 500 and the argyle armada!