Tag Archives: cycling

I fell off my trainer

I’m probably one of the few people who can honestly claim that they fell off a bike trainer.

Keep in mind that, when riding on a bike trainer, the bike is locked in place on the trainer and it can’t move.

Nonetheless, I managed to fall off my trainer. Well, more like catapulted off.

This happened quite a while ago … I was using the Zwift training software with my Kinetic Road Machine dumb trainer.

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Good Customer Service from Road iD

A number of years ago I purchased a Road iD bracelet so, if I crashed during a ride, anyone who tried to help me would know who to contact if I wasn’t able to tell them.

I’ve worn that bracelet for most, if not all, my rides. It’s gotten kind of beat up over the years.

At this point the metal plate with the emergency contact information is pretty scuffed up and almost illegible.

While browsing the Road iD web site, I noticed they have a lifetime guarantee.

Yesterday I sent their customer service department a note indicating that the plate is scuffed and illegible … and they responded, within about an hour, indicating that they would provide a replacement.

They confirmed the information for the bracelet and shipping address … and said it would be sent out that day.

Today I got the shipping confirmation of the replacement.

That’s good customer service.

Vivoactive 3

As you might have guessed, I like keeping track of my fitness. On my bike, I use the Garmin Edge 1030, on the trainer I use Zwift.

I also like to keep track of my steps. Being a programmer, my job is mostly sedentary, so being aware of how much I’m walking and moving in general.

To this end, I wear a Garmin Vivoactive 3 smart watch.

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Cycling Sunglasses

One of the things I’ve struggled with since I started seriously cycling was eyewear.

I normally wear glasses … but, occasionally, wear contact lenses.

The problem is, with contact lenses, I’m far sighted … but can’t read anything up close (specifically maps, cue sheets, and my bike computer to a certain extent). I also find it hard to drive with contacts in (The dash board & GPS display are just out of the clearly visible range). If I wore reader glasses (+1.5), I was able to see stuff close up.

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4iiii Viiva Heart Rate monitor revisited

Some time ago I posted about my general dissatisfaction with the 4iiii Viiva heart rate monitor.

In a nutshell, in addition to being a ANT+ and Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) heart rate monitor, it also acts as a bridge between ANT+ devices that don’t offer BTLE functionality. In my original review of the Viiva, I complained because few software offerings provided support for it and the data is sent to apps wasn’t accurate.

Well, I need to revise my opinion of the Viiva … it has gained adoption and now appears to be quite useful.

Those who use training programs (such as Zwift) with Apple TV have already learned that the Apple TV only supports 3 total BTLE devices connected. One of those devices slots is already taken by the remote control. That leaves only 2 more slots.

If you’re using a training program, you’ll need at least 3 devices connected (possibly more) …

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Garmin RTL-510 Radar

Review of the Garmin Varia RTL-510 Radar

Standard disclaimer:

Being into technology, I’ve accumulated a fair bit of bike tech also.  As such, I’m going to try doing thumbnail reviews of some of the bike tech that I current, or used to, use.

These aren’t going to be super technical reviews.  For that kind of thing I suggest you head over to
DCRainmaker‘s blog or GPLama‘s YouTube channel.

These are going to be my impressions of the product … what I like, what I don’t like, what could be better, and some things that should be left just the way they are.

All the items I’m going to review have been purchased outright by me and I don’t get any compensation for the reviews (unless I provide an Amazon link, in which case I get a small commission).

A few years ago I decided I could try bike commuting to work. The office I work in has a bike rack and (lucky for my co-workers) a locker room with showers.

I figured I could leave earlier than I normally would, ride the 20 miles to the office, lock my bike up, shower, and start work about an hour after I normally would. I would leave a change of clothes, toiletries, and fresh cycling kit for the ride home.

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Road Cycling in Maui

OK, first and foremost, this isn’t going to be an in-depth, expert, evaluation of road cycling on Maui … it’s just my impressions and opinions.  If you want something more, I suggest you take a look at Tom Meloy’s very nice writeup from a few years ago.

On a recent vacation to Maui, I decided to rent a bike and try some cycling.  I did, and here’s what I found…

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Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor

viiiivaOne of the things I like to do when I’m cycling, is keep track of various statistics related to my ride.

This includes things like speed, cadence (how fast I’m peddling), and heart rate.

To do this, I have a number of sensors that connect to my bike computer (Garmin Edge 810).  The sensors communicate with the bike computer using a low power communication mechanism called ANT+.

There are, however, some advantages of being able to track the sensor data on my iPhone in the various fitness apps (Strava, Endomondo, iBiker, etc).  The problem is that the iPhone needs an adapter to receive the ANT+ signal.  It’s not a big adapter, roughly the size of a charging cable connector.  In addition, the adapter is currently only available for iPhone 4S’s and earlier … it uses the 30 pin connector.  There are no ANT+ adapters for iPhone 5’s & newer (which use the lightning connector).

iPhone 4S’s & newer do have a variation of Bluetooth called “Bluetooth Smart” … also known as Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE).  SOME fitness sensors support BTLE, but very few support both BTLE and ANT+.

This is where the 4iiii Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor comes in.  It functions as a heart rate monitor with both ANT+ and BTLE communication.  In addition, it can act as a BRIDGE between other ANT+ sensors and feed the data via BTLE.

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Not Dead Yet

not-dead-yetDuring the 2013 Tour de Cure ride, my friend Marty was active on various social media sites … he frequently used the phrase “Not dead yet”.

As it happened, I recently finished a book that was recommended to me by a fellow type 2 diabetic.  It was “Not Dead Yet: My Race Against Disease: From Diagnosis to Dominance” by Phil Southerland.

When Phil was a child, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  His mother was told that he would either be dead or blind by the time he was 25. Despite this prediction, he went on to be a world class professional cycle racer and founded a professional cycle racing team: Team Type 1 (now Team Novo Nordisk).

I found the book to be very good and quite enlightening … on multiple levels.

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