Navigating with GPX

Navigation with GPX

Written by Ben Tisdall

28 October 2020

Navigating with GPX or GPS

Self Navigation

Devon Grit & the Haldon Heroic are both largely self-nav.  We’ve decided to put our time & effort into producing excellent, accurate GPXs & course descriptions. And to providing technical support to make sure everyone arrives at the start line with the correct route loaded on their device of choice!

Almost all keen cyclists now have a Garmin or similar device suitable for navigating a route. In fact if you’re into riding off road you really should get a bike computer as it will open up so much new terrain to you! Alternatively you can buy a phone bracket for your bike (approx £20) and use your phone to navigate the route using RidewithGPS

nb It’s important to note that not all devices are the same. The older *10 & *20 Garmin devices have slower processors & are not nearly as good for navigation purposes. We’d recommend 530, 830 or 1030 devices or their equivalents from other manufacturers.

We’ll be publishing the GPX’s for upload to Garmin, Wahoo or similar devices.

How to get the routes onto your Garmin, Wahoo or Phone (If you only have a phone see Method Three below)

Method One

Log into Garmin Connect. Under Training on the left menu select ‘Courses’. Then click Import (bottom right of the white box) to import the course & give it a name. Once the course is imported, select it & send to device.

Method Two (arguably the most idiot proof way)

  1. Download the gpx files to the desktop of your laptop
  2. Connect your Garmin to a laptop with a usb cable.
  3. Select the Garmin folder, then select the NewFiles folder inside it
  4. Drag the GPX file from your desktop to the NewFiles folder

The device processes files in the NewFiles folder and converts them into .fit files for use 

Method Three (using RidewithGPS app for phone or Garmin)

Just install the FREE RidewithGPS app on your phone.
Then use the Ride with GPS Event link (which you’ll find in the event manual for the event you’re riding) and will give you FREE navigation of the routes for the event with no need to pay for a subscription.

It’s best to download the maps so they work offline. It uses less data & means you’re not affected by areas with poor signal. Click here for instructions on using the maps offline

RidewithGPS also offers an easy way of getting the routes onto your Garmin or other device. It exports the routes as TCX files (not GPX) which gives you superior navigation on all the more recent Garmins & other similar devices.

If you own a Wahoo the process is very similar. If in doubt have a look at this video –

Phone back-up

If you’re navigating using a Garmin watch or one of the smaller Garmins, such as the Garmin 520, we recommend you also put the GPX on your phone. That way if you inadvertently miss a turning you can see at a glance exactly where you are on a full sized map on your phone.  We recommend RidewithGPS for this.


  1. Ross Williams

    Hi there. I have entered the Devon Grit Extreme route and I have a Garmin Edge 830 but I cannot work out how to download the map to it. I’ve followed your instructions about importing the course from Garmin connect however the route is not coming up!?! I’ve tried using the search function and it still doesn’t find anything that sounds remotely like ‘Devon Grit’. I would really appreciate some help.

  2. Ben Tisdall

    There are various ways to do it Ross. Probably the easiest is using the Garmin Phone App as follows. Obviously first install the Garmin Connect app on your phone.

    Steps to Send a Course to a Device Using the Garmin Connect App
    Open the Settings Menu. Android: Select (upper left) iOS: Select More (lower right)
    Select Training.
    Select Courses.
    Choose the course that you want to send.
    Select the 3 dots in the top right.
    Select Send to Device.
    Select the device you want to send to.

  3. Chris Sargeant

    Hi Ben,
    I have downloaded the Garmin file and used it in conjunction with Komoot, having tried a section of the course last weekend, I can report it works very well. On Komoot there are two slightly different maps for the mini grit one shows riding from Lympstone to Exton the other loops back at Lympstone. Which is correct? Which is correct?
    Many thanks


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