Buddy at work came in today with his new Christmas toy, a Garmin GPS/palm pilot gizmo. It’s fully cool.

So we got to talking, and I shared with him my fantasy techno gizmo, a small pocket-sized GPS that I could slip in the pocket of my riding shirt. After a ride, I’d download my track to overlay on a digital map, and over time I’d have all these route maps built up. It’d be so cool.

Charlie said most GPS you buy today can do that, so I started my on line fantasy shopping spree, and found a bunch of cool devices that would do the trick. But then it occurred to me that a wall map and a felt pen would also suffice.

The wall map and pen, in fact, have several advantages. No batteries to run out. If the wall map is a topo, more accurate vertical elevation. Less time. (Boot computer, plug in peripheral, start software vs. pick up pen, draw.) Paper maps are pretty easy to look at at large scales. Not so a computer map.

Lord knows I’m no Luddite, but this may be one of those problems, like the book, for which the pre-electronic technology is still the best solution. But man, those little GPS gadgets look cool.