One of the nifty things the new Garmin 705 Edge bike computer does is data logging. Several times a minute it records the present position, speed, altitude (not that it matters much in Indiana!), and heart rate. You can upload this data to the Garmin Connect web site and view it. Here is an example recording of a ride I took in January.
The basic display shows you the facts about the ride and some static graphs. If you have flash installed and click on the “Player” button in the top right of the web page, you can see the ride play back with synchronized maps and data. You can match up the altitude profile to the location and heart rate to see where I was working harder on the few little hills in this ride.
I’ve thought about training for long rides again, perhaps a century to start, but maybe even longer rides such as a double century or perhaps a brevet. The 705 will be a big help in both monitoring my training and navigating a long ride.