Monday, February 21, 2011

Every Trail (on Android), my eTrex Legend, and my New Bike

My New Favorite Online Mapping Tool, but first...

It's been a while since I've posted anything to this blog. I was focusing more on riding and less on blogging. Also, with the advent of FaceBook, this blog has become a little less relevant as a tool for sharing.

Every trail on my Droid

For the longest time, MapMyRide has been my favorite online ride mapping tool. It is still a great tool and I will probably still use it to some extent. However EveryTrail has a really nice mobile app that not only lets you map rides right from your smartphone, it also is integrated with your phone's camera. You can access the camera through the app and when you take a picture, it places it on the track point of your ride. It also allows uploading of your ride (and photos) to the Every Trail site directly from your phone. No PC needed!

I also noticed that it is relatively friendly on the battery, which is rare for a mapping tool.

eTrex Legend

Recently, over the past year, my Garmin eTrex Legend has been giving me a hard time. Any slight jolt would shut it down, which isn't very convenient when you have it mounted on your handle bars trying to track your ride. So all of last year I resorted to keeping it in my back pocket instead of mounting on my handle bars. While that worked, it was an unsatisfactory solution.

A solution that seems to work!

This weekend I googled "etrex legend shuts down", and I found a potential fix at apparently the issue seems to be that the battery contacts lose contact when bumped. I'd like to add that this gets worse over time. The eTrex Legend/Vista shut down fix is rather simple. Buy simply adding pieces of a rubber band behind the metal contacts, it makes it a tighter fit and lesses the chance of the battery contacts losing contact. I tried this fix and then banged my Legend on my hardwood floor and it didn't shut off. Prior to this fix, anything stronger than a stiff breeze would cause it to power off.

So now I can ride with two GPS devices. My eTrex Legend on my handle bar, and my Droid with the EveryTrail app in my pocket. It's good to have redundant systems, especially since I haven'f gone on any very long ride using my phone to track the ride.

New Bike for the Winter...

Did I mention that I got a new bike? I have been hunting a used, CycloCross bike for under $500 that I could use as a winter beater. I don't want to take my good road bike out with all the salt and grit on the roads. It has been difficult to find a used Cross bike in that price range. It seems like CycloCross has been gaining popularity and the only Cross Bikes out there are for serious racers. I just wanted a road bike that could handle the elements.

Dawes Loghtening Cross from BikesDirect

I stumbled onto, they had a Brand New 2011 Dawes Lightening Cross bike for $399!!! (and free shipping!). That was right in my price range and brand new to boot. I bought it! For me, this is the perfect winter bike. It is solid, a bit heavy (28 lbs.), and can handle the crappy winter roads here in New England. I'm not going to set any speed records with it, but that isn't my goal for those times that I do get a ride in during the winter.


EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Massachusetts

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm Way Behind on my Bike Blogging

I'm Way Behind on my Bike Blogging...

...but I have been biking. Mayby this weekend I'll fire off a rapid number of updates.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tim's Ride

Tim's Ride

Tim is the captain of the PHAT Tuesday PMC team. The first time I rode on the Tuesday evening rides he rolled up next to me and said "Don't kill yourself trying to catch up (to the fast riders who just dropped me)!"

This was a 55 mile rider that meandered around Metro West. Tin, his brother Mark, and I were the only ones who downloaded the ride to our respective GPS units prior to the ride. Mark and I were the only 2 riders who did the entire route correctly.

The "pack" missed a turn in Westwood. Tim set out using 21st century technology (a cell phone) to track them down. I rode with Mark wondering if: a) we were going to catch up to the group b) the group was hopelessly lost.

It had turned out it was b). Mark needed to make a pit stop and we were at a point in our ride where we weren't going to pass any more convenience stores or gas stations. However I knew we would be passing the Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk. They had bathrooms and a "bubbler".

While Mark was inside I figured I would stand by the road and see if Tim would catch up to us. In less than a minute, I saw a pack of riders approaching. It was Tim and the lost pack. Talk about timing.

Tim was nice enough to route the ride right past my house. So when I got home I stopped and waved as everybody else rode by :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hot Day in Coventry


For this lunch time ride I decided to keep it simple. I mapped out a 6 mile loop of all right turns and did it twice. It was hot out. I really didn't check the weather before heading out. It was sunny and in the middle of the day, so I expected it to be hot. I didn't realize until I got back that it was in the lower to mid 90's.

I kept well hydrated and kept moving so I didn't get Heat Exhaustion. I had thought it was odd that I burned through 1½ bottles of Gatorade during a short 12 mile ride. That and I noticed salt stains on my RoadId wristband.

Despite the heat I had a very enjoyable ride.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PHAT Tuesday Ride: Marty Sucking Wind

Need to ride more

I was sucking wind by mile 5. Stupid me trying to hang on to Ed's wheel early on in the ride.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

PMC Route and Tower Hill

South to Tower Hill

It was a nice day and I thought it was about time I hit Tower Hill. So I headed due south. I climbed over Summer St and connected with the PMC route in Wrentham. I followed that until I got near RI. Then I took a shortcut past the reservoir.

Tower Hill

Tower Hill Road in Rhode Island is always a work out. There is a very steep grade at the very bottom. Then it is a rolling ascent to the top. It always feels good to get to the top.


On my way home I stopped at a friends house. I saw his Mountain Bike parked out from so I figured he was out and about. I pulled in and we chatted for about a half hour.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Inagural Biking at Work

Coventry, RI

I just recently started a contract position in Coventry, RI. It is essentially in the middle of RI. It also feels like the middle of nowhere. It is too far to bike commute to (45+ miles each way), so I have to figure out another way to get some mid week riding in (Outside of the PHAT Tuesday Rides). One option is to park in Cranston (or West Warwick) and take the Washington Secondary Bike Trail in.


I could just bring my bike to work and ride it at lunchtime.

Someday I might try the "Drive-park-bike" combination commute. However I figured I would try the lunchtime ride first. I mapped out a number of < 15 miles rides that I figured I could squeeze in during lunch.

So that's what I did this past Monday. This area is hilly. I rode north, then west out to Rt. 102, which apparently is 300-400 ft. higher than my starting point. Coming back I went down a 12% grade. that was fun, but not something I want to do every day. In the future I will ride the other routes that do not have that steep grade.

It felt good to get a ride in during lunch.

NBW Arrows

I noticed some NBW Route markers painted on the rod along this ride. I did some quick investigation and determined that they were for the NBW Club's "Tom & Pat's Half Century" Ride, which stars in Coventry, RI. I more or less did the 19 mile option.


Since I was in the middle of unfamiliar territory, essentially alone, I made sure to update my RoadID information with my new work address and my manager's contact information.

If you do not have a RoadID, I highly recommend you get one.