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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

How to send RWGPS maps to Garmin wirelessly

Saturday, April 29, 2023 8:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Tech Tips by Lyle Opseth

If you use a Garmin Edge bike computer like me and you like to pre-load EVCC route maps for navigation, you can do this wirelessly without having to load it from your computer via a USB cable. I can load a route in the parking lot right before we start the ride.

All you need is to pair your bike computer with your mobile phone, and install the RideWithGPS (RWGPS) app on both your phone and your Garmin cycling computer.

Many use the RWGPS app on their mobile phone for navigation. However, there are some advantages to using your bike computer. When using your phone, you may need to have your phone mounted on your bike handlebar and not everyone has the room. Navigation can significantly shorten the life of your phone's battery, and it may require data usage on your phone where many plans don't allow for much data and extra data may be expensive.

Once you've set up your phone and Garmin Edge bike computer, these are the steps to load a map wirelessly. I can do it in less than a minute. 

  1. Open the EVCC Wild Apricot member app.

  2. Find your ride under “My tickets”.

  3. Click on “SendToDevice” on the map. RideWithGPS should open on your phone and automatically pin the map. If you touch “Open Full Version” instead, you will need to pin the map yourself (described below).

  4. Go to your bike computer, open the RideWithGPS app, find the ride under pinned routes and download onto your Edge.

  5. You are ready to navigate!

In this tech tip, I'll give a quick overview of the steps required to set up your phone and Garmin computer to wirelessly load routes as described above. It took me just a few minutes to install, set up and test. It could take longer if you haven't been keeping the software up to date and especially if you haven't been updating the maps on the 800 and 1000 series bike computers. This is a great time to also ensure you have the latest software and maps installed.


Before you begin, you should ensure that your computer is compatible with this feature. The Garmin Edge 1030, 1030+, 1000, 520, 530, 820 and 830 bike computers support this.

Step 1: Installing Garmin Express on your computer

To manage the software, maps and apps on your Garmin device, you will need Garmin Express installed on your computer if you have not already done so. You can also use this to manage software, maps and apps on many Garmin devices, including other bike computers such as the 500 series computers, car GPS navigation computers, Garmin smart watches, etc.

Follow the instructions on this web page to install: Garmin Support > How do I install Garmin Express? 

Installation should take about a minute.

Step 2: Updating your bike computer software

Make sure your bike computer has the latest software update installed. You should be doing this occasionally anyway. While you are at it, update your maps on the 800 and 1000 series computers. I recommend updating maps at least yearly because of changes to roads and pathways in and around Calgary. You can also install additional maps, including free open-source maps, if you are cycling outside North America though you may need to at least temporarily delete North American apps if your computer doesn't have enough space for everything.

To do this, connect your Garmin to your desktop/laptop computer with a USB cable, and start the Garmin Express app. It may take a minute or so for your computer to read the Garmin device. The Express app will show that it is talking to the device and will check for a software update. If an update is indicated, click install.

Step 3: Updating your bike computer maps if supported (Optional)

Update the maps on your Garmin Edge bike computers if you haven't done so recently (520/530, 705 and higher series). If you haven't been updating maps, this can take awhile so only proceed if are not in immediate need of your bike computer.

Click on the “Manage Maps” button in Express. Express will display the maps installed on the computer and additional maps that you can install. It will also indicate if installed maps may be updated. Click “Install” next to the map you wish to update.

You may also install or update maps without Garmin Express if you have acquired other maps. See the following for details: How to install free maps on your Garmin Edge

Step 4: Install the RWGPS app on your bike computer

The RWGPS app on your bike computer works with the RWGPS app on your phone to wirelessly install maps. The RWGPS app for Garmin is free.

  1. In Garmin Express, open the device page for your Garmin device.
  2. Click on “IQ Apps” which will list the apps on your bike computer. If the RWGPS app is not listed click on “GetMoreApps” which is in small font in the lower right corner in the Garmin Express app on my Apple computer. 
  3. Garmin's connect IQ app store should open in your desktop/laptop computer browser.
  4. You may need to create and login to a Garmin account to proceed.
  5. In the Garmin app store, enter “Ride With GPS” in the search bar. The RWGPS app should appear first on the list. Click on the “Ride With GPS” app to open a new page to download it.
  6. Click on “Download” and allow the app to be downloaded to Garmin Express. You may be queried to allow more than once.
  7. In Garmin Express, click “Install” to install the app onto your Garmin. Sometimes it still says “Install” after automatically syncing. If this happens, click on “View Details”, and if it lists “Ride with GPS” under “Other Items” click on “Install” there and installation should complete.

Step 5: Install RWGPS app on your mobile phone if not previously installed

If you don’t have the RWGPS app on your phone, add it now. 

Go to the Apple Store or Google Play store on your mobile phone, search for RideWithGPS and install it.

Step 7: Disconnect your Garmin from your desktop/laptop computer.

Wait for your Garmin Edge to start up.

Step 6: Make sure your phone and bike computer are connected via Bluetooth

If you haven't previously done so, you need to connect your Garmin Edge to your phone via Bluetooth. This varies between devices, so follow the instructions in your Edge owner's manual.

Step 7: Pair your RWGPS Edge app with your RWGPS mobile phone app

Disconnect your Garmin Edge from your desktop/laptop computer and wait for it to start up. Once the Garmin is running, in the lower right corner (on my Edge 1030+) of the home page, IQ appears. 

Touch “IQ” and the installed apps should appear including “Ride With GPS”. Touch “Ride With GPS”. You will be asked to pair with your phone. Follow the instructions. Your bike computer will give a number that you must enter into your RWGPS app on your mobile phone to complete pairing.

You can also initiate pairing by opening the app, touch “Settings” and touching “Pair Device” if it is not paired.

Loading Routes onto your compatible Garmin Edge

From now on, you should be able to easily install maps wirelessly onto your Garmin. You can load rides that you have pinned in your route library or the EVCC library or you can load recent rides that you have opened in your RWGPS account on your computer or phone.

I will describe one process to download a route on a Garmin 1030+ as that is what I use but the process should be very similar for the other supported Garmin Edge devices. (I described another way using the club's Wild Apricot app on your phone at the start of this blog. Follow the steps below to install other maps you may wish to use.)

  1. Open the RideWithGPS app just like you need to open apps on your phone. Touch “IQ” which opens a screen listing the installed apps on your Edge. “Ride With GPS” should appear in the list. Touch “Ride With GPS” to open the app.
  2. To load a recent route, just touch “Recent Routes” and the list of the ten most recent routes will be listed. Select the route you wish to load if it appears and select “Download” or “Download & Ride”.
  3. To load other routes, you can pin them. In your browser or on the RideWithGPS app on your phone, open the route and “pin” it. On a browser, you will see “Pin” in the upper left-hand corner of the route. Click it to “pin”. On your phone, use the RWGPS app to select routes you want to load. In the Apple version of the app, I click on “Save” at the bottom of the screen which subsequently allows me to either pin or unpin the route. Pinned routes will be displayed if you touch “Pinned Routes” on your Edge.
  4. Note that only the ten most recent routes or the ten most recently pinned routes will be displayed on your Edge. If a pinned route doesn't appear, you can quickly unpin and pin it again to get it to appear.
Please note that you will need wi-fi or cell-service with a data plan to get full access to your Ride With GPS account and the EVCC route library.

While my writeup suggests this is an involved process it really isn't if you have previously been keeping the sofware (and maps) on your bike computer up to date using Garmin Express and you have had the RWGPS app on your phone and paired to your bike computer. I found the whole process straightforward and only took a few minutes. If you haven't, there are more steps involved that I've included in this writeup but it is still straightforward.

I recommend that you keep your bike computer software and maps up to date. You should also have been running the Garmin Connect app on your phone to assist with this. The Garmin Connect app also allows you to wirelessly load completed rides to the Garmin Connect app and to Strava but that is a tech tip for another day.

You can also review the following URL for additional help and an alternate way to install the RWGPS app on your bike computer from your phone rather than your computer. My wife used this method but found it wasn't as straightforward as I did from my computer. 

RWGPS Support > Garmin Connect IQ

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