Archive for August, 2010

This post is a rebuttal to Robot’s post on Red Kite Prayer, titled Measuring.

red kite prayer robot gps garmin maps mtb

I heard somewhere that the average age that kids are receiving their first cell-phones in 2009 was at age eight. Age eight is third grade; I didn’t get a cell phone until I was 19, in 2004… and I came from a family that had CompuServe in 1993.

I recently bought the Garmin 500 when it first came out. Most of us know what it manages to record but if you don’t, here’s a list:

  • Speed
  • Distance
  • Time
  • Location
  • Temperature
  • Calories burned
  • Altitude
  • Gradient
  • Climb and Descent
  • Cadence (With Cadence/Speed Sensor)
  • Heart Rate (with HRM)
  • Power Output (with Power Meter)

For such a little device, this is a ton of data for one person to process. The Garmin even has multiple screens, so you can make sure you are not staring at too much data at one time.

It is a nifty little gadget.

One can be devoured by the amount of info given by this device, and could even obsess over it. There was about two weeks where I was the gizmo dude tinkering and loving that I could tell you how long we were climbing, and if it was hotter at the summit than it was at the base. Yeah, it was great.

None of this comes as a surprise, because my generation has technology engrained into their DNA. I was still in diapers the first time I played Mario. I was learning HTML before I hit puberty. Our high school photography class was passed over the option to learn/teach digital photography because it was still too expensive, and not yet a commonplace practical skill to learn; it comes to find out we were the last year at our school to develop film in a dark-room.

This shows that data is seen as something that was emerging for my generation. There were options before these developments came out, but why not try the new way? Maybe it is okay to embrace our digital overlords of CPU wizardry. I think these statements are all true, contingent that you know how to perform such tasks without a scapegoat, easy technological way first. I can estimate my cadence, I can guess the grade while riding, and I can tell time by the sun to a pretty high accuracy.

I can’t tell you where exactly in the woods I am if we went out riding and got lost.

I can with my Garmin.

I can’t keep a perfect 90rpm cadence by thought/estimation alone.

I can with my Garmin.

I know how my body feels while going up a climb, but I couldn’t tell you my heart rate.

I can with my Garmin.

I know, I know, I’m starting to sound like a TV commercial… I’m just trying to get the point across that sometimes data does make a ride easier. If I know I have fifteen miles left to ride, and no water left, that’s okay. I know I can make it home. The comfort of knowing how many miles are left, or where I am exactly, or even how fast I would need to go to get to my destination at a certain time really does remove some of the thinking involved with riding; this way you can focus more on the ride, your friends, and the scenery around you.

I am not a professional, but these little pieces of data act as secondary entertainment, and security nets. It is also great to be able to view and share rides with others using Garmin Connect’s route mapping features. There have been TOO MANY times since I have purchased this thing that I went: “oh, I didn’t know we passed so close to THERE…” Which in turn, created a similar, but shorter/longer/steeper/calmer/safer ride by knowing what roads, elevations, stores, or options were available.

I’m sure Robot of Red Kite Prayer could agree with me on some of these statements, but I really think it is an issue of changing of the guards. A generational gap, so to say. It won’t be long before I am passed by in technological terms by another generation. It is just the way things go.

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There are now 28 listings for WV Trails & Routes. I have also added the option for bike shop listings. Each of the placemarkers for the Trails and Routes have AT LEAST one map or GPS based route, but typically have three. This means that there are nearly 100 trails posted already.

I will try to post a little more often while updating these, but we will see what happens.

If you would like to suggest any trails, please let me know by commenting and giving the data required. (Listed on Trails & Routes page.)

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I purchased this dvd/book back in ?2008? and watched it once or twice. I guess I’m either not a fixie lover, or a hipster dude.

mash sf book dvd fixed gear

The flick had GREAT cinematography, and scene setups, but you can only watch skid-stops so many times before it just sits on your shelf if it isn’t your kind of thing.

The book is also very classy… Like something you would expect from Rapha, or other companies that sell you $300 products so you can be classy too. The outside printing even has a clear-coat layer that makes it look like tire tread all over the cover. it is 120 pages, and very neat.

I think I paid something around $40 after shipping for book/dvd.

Here is what others say about it:

Mash SF Stated:

 The dvd contains the 1 hour feature film as well as 1 hour of bonus features. It is packaged in a 120 page hard back book featuring the production of this project.

Some guy on Amazon.com said:

Simply put the DVD is amazing. It’s riding at it’s best and has inspired me to step my game up. It’s a beautiful interpretation of a city from a riders point of view. The 120 page book is also fantastic. Great photography of the city, riders, and culture. I strongly recommend buying this DVD set.

wvcycling’s price = $20 shipped. If you are a resident of WV and would like to do two 4-500 blog posts w/photos instead of pay me, I will ship it to you after your posts are accepted and published here on wvcycling.net.

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Okay, if you have been riding any amount of time; just like anyone else, you will need a spot to store all of your bicycles. While a household is typically happier with multiple bicycles, where are they supposed to go? Velominati said it right when they declared Rule 12, but can space be an issue that causes some people to limit the number of bikes and/or bike accessories they own?

Not everyone has a basement, garage, tool shed, or entire barn to store their bikes in… but some do. Let’s take a look:

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

Wow. Just Wow. I’ve seen fallout shelters that have used less materials and invested time. Either this person is banned from his home quite often, or his life is spent around housing and servicing his bikes.

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage


bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

Okay, I can understand this. A few bikes, and a nice little hand-built workspace. Very respectable.

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

Simple. Good use of garage space. Do they even own or need to own a car? 😛

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

A well used portion of space with ceiling hooks, and a little workshop, Nice.

Now we go into the basement bike residences. Lets just hope it doesn’t get spooky 😮

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

Well, at least the bikes are out of the way, and are not being exposed to the weather. Right?

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

This is an example of a safe, but cramped bike storage area. I can only imagine the coversation went something like: “Honey, can I move a few of your storage boxes, and have my bicycle down here, please?”

How many readers are in apartments or dorm rooms where space is tight? What do you do then? Do you keep your bikes in your bathtub when not showering, then in the livingroom when not playing Guitar Hero? Living in a cramped space can really force you to limit how, and how many bikes you store. It may even limit you from buying that third bike that is really sweet and under MSRP by 40%.


bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

Its like an entire herd of bicycles came over for dinner…

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

bike house bike attic bike shed man cave bike storage

In the vacuum closet? I guess that works.

These people all are sensible and keep their investments protected from rain and weather. This is just one more way people inadvertently show they are serious about their sport, or they care about their belongings. Either way, it is fun to see where folks stash their bikes.

Readers, I now ask you to submit your photos of where you put your bikes!

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In attempt to show people all of the lovely areas to ride in the of West Virginia, I plan on putting placemarks all over a custom Google Maps page.

Right now, with the help of MTBR, and Garmin; I have about 100 locations scheduled, with at least one or two trails/routes listed for each place. I think this is going to take a lot of time, but the end product will be fantastic.

Once I have the tab at the top of the page, it will allow everyone to comment and post locations for me to add!

Quick sample pictures:

West Virginia Trails and Routes

Trails and Routes

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Joey Riddle of Joey’s Bike Shop brought this to my attention, and I thought I would share it with as many people as possible.

Alan Mollohan, of WV’s First District is attempting to pass a bill that will “…threaten to permanently end bike access to the most iconic section of the North Fork Trail.”

alan mollohan

IMBA has more info on this. Read about it and contact your local representatives!


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Today, my neighbor Bryan said something along the lines of “Andrew, do you ever drive anywhere? I always see you riding your bike… when was the last time you drove somewhere?”

This comment kind of made me laugh inside really loud. I don’t try to be a bike commuter, or transportation specialist, or anything like that… and I don’t really consider my riding anything than enjoyment. After thinking about it for a second, it really did hit me that I do ride around town a lot for errands and short trips.

I gave him the spiel about Buchannon only being 4.5 miles from the two furthest sides of town, and most rides being less than two miles, and it really isn’t something that I think about it when I do ride.

bike commuting, walking in someone else's shoes

Bryan was still there, staring at me like I was crazy while I wasn’t thinking anything about my little rides around town. I told him that maybe he should try riding around a bit more often. He kind of stood back and looked at me like I asked him to ride to the moon.

Are non-cyclists really put off by one or two mile rides so much that they see them as unfathomable tasks that are unable to be accomplished? I view going to the grocery store to get a single item as a way to get there faster, easier, and to burn a few calories while doing it, instead of trying to be some eco-friendly tree hugger.

Now I ask, what would it take to get more people to do short trips by bike, and how do people view you when you take a quick trip by bike?

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