The real issue is what is your gps capable of handling and that will determine which method is best.
With a group ride you then need to be sure everyone's unit will handle the same stuff.
The only way I can trust my 60csx with routes mixed between auto and direct is converting them to direct with wingdb.
Using tracks, the proper zoom level is key to not missing turns.
getting some glasses with progressive lenses helps with the 60 screen....