SaturdayRide

Where's this week's ride?

If
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you are looking for information about the informal group rides we do on Saturday morning, please visit us on Facebook. We still plan to update this website with items that interest us and our friends, but for our weekly rides, Facebook will be the primary source for information. From now on, we'll be using this site as a blog.

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If you are a Facebook user, hopefully you are already familiar with our Facebook page. It's a whole lot easier for us to organize events and communicate to riders using Facebook. Be sure to click the "like" button. Click and hold on it a second time for more options. There's an option to let our posts show up in your news feed, and there's an option to be notified when something is posted on our page (you'll get an email or even a message on your smart phone if you have the Facebook App. You can always turn them off later if they get annoying.

If you are not a Facebook user, you can still visit the page by following this link. The page is open to the public. You just won't be able to RSVP or comment. And you won't be able to message me directly. You can always send me an email from here.

To find out about weekly scheduled rides (we usually post them on Thursdays) you can go directly
to this link. If there are no rides scheduled, you'll see a list of recent rides we've done.
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FlashyWeatherSite
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Check out this very detailed weather site, Weather Spark. It's still in beta, but with it you can get detailed forecast information for weather up to six days in advance. Of course the accuracy improves the closer to the actual date, but it's reasonably close even at its maximum range. You can select from three weather bureaus, but go with NOAA if you're in the US. Configure your graphs to show cloud cover, precipitation, temperature, pressure and wind (speed and direction). You can even create links to the forecast for the exact location and date of your ride to share. Unfortunately, since it relies heavily on Flash technology, you won't be able to see it on your iPhone.dottedHR
RideWithGPSIf you have been using MapMyRide, you're probably unhappy with the new revised version. I noticed any route I create displays a random vector that usually goes through the middle of the route when uploaded to my Garmin. It doesn't display it on the website but it appears on your Garmin and if you use any other software to read the route files, it shows up there too. Besides the fact that they don't even have TCX exporting functional yet there are several other issues I don't like as well.

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I came across another mapping site that seems to be a huge improvement. http://ridewithgps.com is faster and the files it creates are better too. I used a TCX file I created over the weekend in my 705 and noticed that on my Garmin, there were now turn indicators on the map at intersections. This is helpful when your route recrosses itself or you are doing a lollipop where you go out to a loop and return back the same way, this now shows the direction you're supposed to turn on the map view.

In addition, I noticed an entirely new screen on my Garmin that shows a continuous turn-by-turn list. The next turn is always displayed at the top of the list with turn direction and the distance to that turn underneath. Once you make the turn it disappears from the list and the list slides up so the next turn is at the top. I have never seen this screen before when using MapMyRide so these files must be richer than MapMyRide's were.

In addition, RideWithGPS creates much better GPX files. MapMyRide created bloated GPX files that took forever to load and caused the Garmin to be forever recalculating. My guess is that MapMyRide plotted every vector change in the road as a turn, thus making the files gigantic. RideWithGPS only plots places where you actually have to turn from one street onto another. Places such as farm roads with a lot of right-angle turns aren't considered turns since you're staying on the same road, so the files are tiny and more efficient by comparison.

If you upload the data from a finished ride you can see critical data at any point during your ride, such as speed, HR, and elevation by mousing over any point on the course. You can even display an animated 3D map of your ride at up to 200x speed.

The printed maps it creates are simple and kind of small, and they're not labelled, but they're free.dottedHR