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