OK .. that sounds like a deep title for a post, but this is not going to be a deep post .. sorry to disappoint.
Clearly the new app did not lead to more frequent posts. The thing is life has happened, work, family, house, you all get it (actually, I don't think anyone is really reading these posts)

I have been productive with stuff not involving cycling or this blog though, a few large spring projects are well on their way and a big family vacation is being planned.

I also took the old Kodiak in for its first real tune up (real meaning I paid someone else to do it)  in its life. The old timer really needed some TLC after a wet winter riding season. A new chain, new cables, and lots of cleaning and adjusting, man, the bike rides like it was new, that was money well spent. It felt expensive when I took it in for the estimate but that feeling left me after the first ride.

That's all I have for now .. I really do hope to post more as the home project / vacation rush starts to wind down some.
 
Hi there! This is my first post with the new Weebly app for Android. I'm not sure of this will lead to more frequent posts... we'll see j guess.Thanks Weebly team.
 
Craziness in Boston ... I just don't understand people, keeping those directly involved in my thoughts.

On a personal and closer to home thought, I got an hour ride in today, but was mirror tagged by some nut job driving a Cadillac Escalade  ... I was riding in the *berm* and still got tagged. It wasn't hard, and I didn't even lose my balance, but it was enough to fold in her mirror. This was a stretch of road that is 45 mph and I was trucking along somewhere near 18 mph, so lucky for both us, it could have been worse.

I got a bit of satisfaction when she had to stop at a light, I caught up to her and knocked on her window, she was like a deer in the headlights  ...it was strange, no facial expression, didn't even speak. I told her to be more careful and went on with my ride. The driver in front of her offered to be a witness and said the word "Ridiculous!", ust have seen it in his rear view. I actually hope she was mortified at what she had done and just didn't know how to deal with it ... this could have been way worse.

I added a "Dangerous Drivers" tag  ... I hope I never have to use it again. I've had several close encounters this past year, but this is the first time in my life I have ever actually been hit.

Keep your eyes open people (Drivers and Bikers)
 
It's pretty clear I'd much rather bike than write but I have been out enjoying a stretch of nice(er) weather around my parts. My habit of riding in the berm has caught up with me and I've flatted every damn time out except for the last one in the past 2 weeks. I'll take this as a good news bad news thing  ... I'm really good at changing out tubes now, and I also learned that those cheapo self stick tube patches actually work (temporarily anyway).

Do any of my non existent readers have any thought on flats, how to avoid them any other tricks?

 
I'm truly inspired by some of the winter riding stories I've read over on BikeForums, but its just been too cold and too dark for me to get any rides in this week. My last ride was Tuesday ... Still.Waiting.for.Spring.
 
Yes .. I know that we are only 3 weeks into the new year, but its damn cold out there, it might make it to 30 on Sunday ... I sure hope so, I'll need the ride by then.
 
I made it out for a ride yesterday in the crazy-warm-for-January 61 degree weather ... it was still a bit wet from all the melting snow, but it was a grate day for a ride. There were several other folks out walking and riding. I also saw a Woolly Bear who apparently was also fooled by the springlike weather. I really should have stopped to snap a picture. I pushed myself a bit, taking a course with some extra climbs ... I really need to work on my climbs, they still take a lot out of me.


 
OK .. I'm very clearly suffering from a bit of the winter blues ... no rides so far this week. I've also been playing around with my home automation stuff a bit this week trying out some new gear and working through some issues. Now that those issues are resolved and there is supposed to be some crazy unseasonably warm weather tomorrow, I'm looking forward to a nice ride (Seriously, 65 in January in Northern Ohio! WOW! I have to get out there tomorrow.)

I also started thinking about the work commutes and remembered something my daughter was giving me crap about last year. "You ride all the way to work without even a pump?!?!". Well look at me now ... 
I snagged a Topeak seat bag / tool kit combo and added in a Co2 inflator and a tube. I went back and forth a bit between Co2 and a pump, but ultimately decided that for a commute, I'd want to be done with the repairs as soon as possible and back on my way to work or home, the same reasoning applies to the addition of a tube. The kit comes with some self stick patches, they look crappy and useless in their packaging, but they are still there as a backup, hopefully I never need any of this stuff. All told I spent $65, I splurged a little on both the bag and the inflator. I liked that the bag was basically quick release detachable and the inflator had an actual valve on it for some better air control instead of all or nothing like most others on the display.
 
I was able to get in a quick ride today finally and had a chance to experiment with some ride tracking software. Most of last year I used MapMyRide. I used Noom earlier in the year to help me shed a few extra pounds, but once I was out of my BMI danger zone and able to maintain a weight in that range (or continue gradually down) I stopped using Noom and switched to MapMyRide. I picked MMR becasue it looked decent, I had some experience with it verifying distances or planning rides using the online mapping tool and it Supported Earndit.com (which I had just stumbled across). Since then I picked up endomondo pro at a discount and really like it, but never really used it as my main tracker for a few of reasons ... 
  1. Data Liberation, getting bulk data out of endomondo is tough. Sure you can export one track at a time, but that feels like a ton of work. There are apps like Exportomondo for Android, but the data is mine and I should be able to export it without a 3rd party app that could break at any moment. (Note: Exportomondo lookes like it works great and has great developer support, but the fact is that endomodno could find a way to disable the functionality of exportomondo at any time, it is has made it clear it will not support bulk data export natively. To be fair, MMR also does not have a supported method for bulk data download)
  2. earndit.com support - truth be told, I donated most of my earndit points, it made me feel good and was a motivator to ride. Endomondo now supports earndit.

So .. down to my requirements for a tracking app and my experiment, first the requirements ...
  1. It should go without saying, but it is number one on the list .. Reliability, I want something that works every time I turn it on and keeps working until I turn it off.
  2. Accuracy, I can handle small blips with technology from time to time, but the tracking needs to be accurate the vast majority of the time.
  3. Live Tracking, this is a feature for Mrs. QC, just in case. She can pop on a website or app of her own and make sure I'm still moving.
  4. Data - Some way to export my data for use elsewhere, preferably in bulk and it a wide variety of formats, bonus would be basic stats in a CSV.
  5. Privacy Controls - the ability to share some or all of my tracks and specific parts of that data with a high degree of granularity. Example: Publicly share days I rode,  total moving time and total distance, while also having the ability to share detailed data including the route with closer friends

What's the experiment part you ask then? On my ride today I ran MapMyRide, Endomondo and MyTracks all at the same time. I plan to run all 3 for every ride for a while and do a comparison, I also plan on taking a closer look at Exportomondo and might consider importing data from one or all of these to other services like Strava for some insight on them as well.

More to Come!

-QC
 
I've done a bit of searching to see what an average rider might ride in a years time as a point of comparison before I really set a goal for this year, I've run across a few interesting stories. I'm clearly no Freddie Hoffman, its been a cold first week of the year here and I Haven't been out once yet, the liked article (a couple of years old now) states that Freddie "... is down to 35,000 to 38,000 miles per year" .. that's 100 miles or more per day, every day, pretty impressive. Then there is Tommy Godwin, who in 1939 rode over 75,000 miles, more than 200 miles per day.

There will always be folks hat ride more than me, that is for sure, but after take a look at what other folks are discussing for mileage in some bike forums and ding a review of my planned work commute that I'll be starting when there is more sunlight, I think I'm going to shoot for 3000 miles in 2013.

Now I really need your good wishes