Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April fool

Yesterday I rode out to Danville for a total of 52 miles. It took me three hours and I burned 2,460 calories. My normalized power for the ride was 247. Overall it was a very fun ride, somewhat chilly in the morning, but better as the day progressed.

Today I ran the Shepherd loop. I am now entering my data on the plus3 network, something I signed up for at the Ronde van Brisbeen on Sunday. To my surprise -this is April 1 after all- the course maxed out at 10.1 miles. Earlier I had "measured" it on Google Earth as 10.5. I ran under 1.5 hrs so that was pretty good.

The problem with most mapping sites is that it they are hard to use. I wish they would solve some rather "trivial problems" that would make life a lot easier.

1. Always follow the road (when checked) --that way I don't have to put in hundreds of way points to catch the various twists and turns. It should be possible to put in two way points and have the software connect them following the road. 

2. Have a button that will backtrack to complete the loop. When I ride out to Danville and then return home the same way, it should possible to let the software complete the second half.

3. Allow for off-road activity. I don't understand why  Google -all these site use Google- cannot add bike trials, fire trails, and other paths?  The regional parks have maps, why doesn't Google include them? Why have maps of the ocean floor but not Tilden park? I never swim, ride, or run the ocean floor.

4. Make it easier to store intermediate results. Sometimes I want to take a break. I want to save what I have and come back later to finish it. I also do make mistakes. Putting up warnings saying, "are you sure this is it?" or "please verify before saving" is not what I need. I need an ability to correct mistakes. Sometimes I don't find the mistake until several days later when someone points it out to me.

5. Correct obvious GPS errors. The same "follow the road/trail/path" can apply here. While Garmin and other units can be quite good in the central valley and other flatlands, in the Oakland hills -or any other interesting course for that matter-, corrections are a must. I don't use the Garmin anymore, but when I did, I noticed that about half the time, it put me in the scenery instead of on the road.

6. Automatically calculate elevation. That too is easy to do.

7. Provide access to all my data and allow me to download what I want. That is another key reason why I stopped using the Garmin. If motionbased wants to play $$ games with me, they should find another fool to rip off. It is not that important to me, really.

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