Do you use Strava? www.strava.com
If not, I suggest you check it out. Free. You upload the same data you are currently tracking with your Garmin and….. Compare your performance on any given route or even portions of a route with others and your own past performance.
You don’t have to use a Garmin, either. Power Meter data. Various route tracking programs from the i-phone, blackberry, etc.
It's not just tracking your performance over a whole route, either. Cyclists have set up what are called "segments" on different roads. Strava keeps track of your time, vertical gain, speed, a power estimation, etc. over all these segments. After a ride, you upload data from your device and check out how you did. Strava lists your results along with every one else (around 1 million other riders at this time) who use the system and who have ridden this section of the road. It tells you how you did. Did you set a Personnal Record (PR) for the segment?, perhaps it was your second best time? or, best yet, did you set a "King of Mountain" or "Queen of Mountain"?
One of the best things things about Strava: It is, basically, automatic. You don't have to screw around and try to hit a stopwatch to see (for instance) how much time it takes you to get up "Catfish" at Stone Mountain. Or try to write your time down. Or try to keep track of how much less time it takes you now that you're riding more, dropping weight, etc. Or how much less time it takes when you are in a group ride hitting it as hard as you can. Except for turning on your device (yeah, turn it off when you are done) and uploading data when you get home, all this record keeping is automatic.
I picked up a Garmin Edge 500 about a month ago and have been tracking rides. Loading them on Strava for the past weekend. It’s very cool. In fact, it's so cool it's worth going out and getting either a Garmin or subscribing to one of the mobile device services just to use Strava.
One of the more interesting reviews (the one that turned me on to Strava):
Here’s another viewpoint: http://www.cogsnob.com/2011/07/reviewed-strava.html
Yes, I’ll still log miles into bikejournal. Strava, however, is way, way more.
Not to forget-- You can "follow" other riders and (unless you want your data private). They can follow you. You can compare yourself to others who are around your age, weight, are your sex, etc. You can even follow pro's who use Strava. You can follow only other MACC members. (I set up a club category for MACC.)
It has great social potential, too. For instance, I frequently ride a couple of good routes where I do not see many other cyclists. By looking at Strava, I now know that there are quite a few others who also ride on these roads. Next time I want to lead a ride down there, I can send these cyclists a message, perhaps make some new friends.
As of today, there are four MACC members using Strava. Once you take a look at it, I'm pretty sure you will give it a shot, too!
Check it out, if you have not already. Let me know what you think.