JoynMe

I stumbled across what I think could be a useful tool for putting together group rides for LORO and maybe even eventually MORE> Check out Joynme. It’s a social media tool build to help organize events and it seems lots of folks have been using it to organize group riders.

I think this has a lot of potential to throw together impromptu rides. I setup a LORO group and added a widget to our page.

http://www.logoffrideon.com/blog/loro-joyneme-page/

Let me know what you think.

Kickstarter – Monkey Light Pro

I’ve a pretty big fan of kickstarter these days, I’ve backed a bunch of non bike related projects so far but I may have to back one of the many very cool bike related projects that keep popping up. This campaign Monkey Light Pro is a very cool use of technology. It’s a bit pricey but damn is it cool, I’m sorely tempted to back them. This could be a very fun toy. I bet my buddy Pete could have some real fun with this one. The idea of turning a wheel into a rolling billboard or otherwise funny animation is pretty cool Check out the video that shows this thing in action.

Cross post Garmin Connect rides to Strava automatically

I’ve been using Garmin cycling computers since the 705 came out a while back. I love the idea of tracking as much detail as possible about every ride and additing location data to HR just made alot of sense to me.

The one feature I had always wanted was wireless uploads or Bluetooth connectivity. When the Garmin Edge 810 came out this year offering both I sold my 800 and upgraded in short order.

The live tracking and weather alerts are awesome features by themselves but not having to connect a USB cable to upload rides is the killer feature for me. It’s just one less thing I need to remember to do, and I don’t fall a week or two behind on my uploads this way. The only problem I ran into is the Garmin only sends your rides to Garmin Connect. Now the Garmin Connect service is pretty good and has actually gotten better over the past year or so, but there are better sites out there. I had started using Strava last year and hadn’t been even using Garmin Connect. I like the social nature of Strava and I like to use it to see how I improve over the course of a season. I could care less about someone’s KOM segment but seeing I just had a personal best is pretty compelling in my opinion.

With no way to upload wirelessly to Strava I had abandoned the features and social sharing of strava in favor of convenience. I certainly don’t expect Garmin to enable integration with other sites so I had just settled for using connect again. I essentially gave up on Strava.

Last week on the MORE forums someone mentioned a website that could auto post your rides from Garmin Connect to Strava. The site is simply called Garmin Connect Sync and I am happy to report it does exactly what it says, and easily at that.

As far as I can tell the site uses API’s from Strava and Garmin to send data from Connect to Strava. I did need to provide my login info to Strava but they claim that won’t always be the case. I was personally ok with it, as I don’t have any personal data other than rides on Strava. It’s still something users should consider before jumping in.

Yesterday I did a spin around Schaeffer Farms after work, Here is the Garmin version. A short time later the site did it’s magic and sent it over to strava Strava Version and I was getting comments and kudos from my buddy Pete. I didn’t even realize it had done it’s job until I got emails from Strava about receiving kudos for the ride. The best part was there was NO action required on my part to get the ride uploaded. When I stopped the Garmin Live Activity it simply uploaded the ride to Connect and from there Garmin Connect Sync did its job and sent the ride to Strava. I love this sort of integration, where technology actually saves us time. True, it may only be a few minutes saved but when you do that hundred times or more over the course of a year and the end result is a real time savings. Let’s say 5 minutes per upload at 150 times per season. That’s 12.5 hours saved in a year, think about that for a minute. What could you do with an extra 12 hours of free time? This is the sort of automation and fiddling that Merlin Mann would approve of.

If you have an Edge 810 and you use strava check out the site. If you’re the running type apparently the site also works with RunKeeper. You can also follow @garminsync.

My Somewhere Over The Rainbow

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Warm weather is finally here, although yesterday felt like we skipped right over spring and moved into summer. Yesterday after work I got out to Schaeffer for the second time this season. Schaeffer will always be one of my favorite trails, it was the place I essentially learned to mountain bike and was my home trail for a few years when I lived in Germantown.

Trails and the ride were both perfect yesterday. I need to relax a bit so I fired up Pandora pulled up my “mellow” station and went for a spin on what I always think of the Jason and Bob loop. Head out yellow to the field/blue, cut across the field to the four way, do the loop there clockwise, back to the four way straight through take all right turns until you get to the white trail classic half pipes and back to the car. With all the new stuff out there I don’t do this version as much as I used to but it’s still a fall back favorite after work loop. About an hour long loop with a little bit of everything I love out there.

I know some of my riding friends don’t like to ride with music, they think it takes away from their ride somehow. I personally find the opposite to be true and if I have the right soundtrack on I’m actually more connected to the bike and trail.

Now if I were blasting Linkin Park and screaming around the trail like a jackass that would be different, but that’s not how I ride with music. Yesterday I was listening to mostly classical stuff which helped encourage the mellow mood I was chasing. Hitting the classic half pipe section while an instrumental version of Over The Rainbow played was the highlight of the ride. Had me smiling ear to ear and put me in the perfect mood. (This will always be my favorite version of that song though. I’m still in a good mood from that ride a day later.

The 1st NoVa Epic June 2, 2013

NoVa Epic

I don’t think word has really gotten out about it just yet but Northern Virginia is having their very own Epic this year. I think it’s great to see these types of rides being put together across the MORE riding area.

The ride is June 2nd so it’s just around the corner. I think I’m going to try and do the 40 miler this year. I’m still on the fence about the MoCo version this year but I am looking forward to being part of the first year of this ride. I missed out on the first MoCo event and regret that, I think it will be fun to get in on something like this as it starts up what is sure to become a great annual event. Here’s the link to the BikeReg page for it:

Nova Epic Registration

Great Share The Road Message from AAA

I’ve seen some great and truly inspiring bike advocacy videos over the years like This One, or this One. This week I came across one that really struck a personal chord. While short it is incredibly affective in doing something I think many similar attempts fail to do. What makes this video special is it really drives home the point that we’re not cyclists we’re people.

I absolutely love the fact that the driver pulls into his driveway with bikes waiting, grabs his little girl and goes for a bike ride of his own. Admittedly now that I have kids of my own playing on the whole father daughter/son thing like this really grabs me. Having been hit once myself also tends to make me sensitive to the issue. I’m just thankful that incident occurred well before I had the kids.

I think this video gets the point across without being indignant or preachy; which in my opinion too many of our share the road messages can come across as. Sure we have a legal right to be out there but having the right alone and just throwing that right in drivers faces doesn’t keep us safe. Reminding them that we are also drivers, we are also people and we are not so different from them… Now that’s a positive way to make the point and a way to win hearts and minds; which in the end will make us all safer. Great stuff, whomever designed this spot deserves an award. This is enough to make me go renew my lapsed AAA membership.

In the end we’re all just people no matter how we choose to get around, four wheels or two. Let’s all slow down, enjoy life, give one another some space and be safe. Share The Road.

The LORO State Of The Union

Yes, It’s been entirely too long since I’ve last posted. Once again I’ve found myself particularly busy since last I posted. As if school and work weren’t enough, I’ve also been working as the MORE Webmaster & Membership Director. I’ve also found myself on the board of the Monocacy Pistol Club this year.

As always the family keeps me pretty darn busy on top of it all, and this means I’ve not done very much riding this off season. With spring on the way it’s time to get myself back on two wheels. All of these projects are great but it’s important to remember why I spent the time on LORO and MORE in the first place. Spring is starting to tease me with warm temperatures and even the road bike is starting to call my name more and more. So with riding season fast approaching where are we here at LORO.

Originally LORO was offered up as an alternative website to the MORE Forum. As times have changed so has the role of LORO. Sites like twitter and Facebook have all but replaced local online forums. Now, With me back involved I also feel like the MORE Forums have slowly started to get back to where they should be; but I still feel like that forum ship has pretty much sailed. Other than checking out the local classifieds there’s not much that can be found there that can’t be found elsewhere on modern social networking sites and tools. While I think some of the old school MORE folks pine for the good ‘ole days of the forums more still have simply moved on only using the MORE site as an information portal. So forums are dead long live the social network.

So Where Does This Leave LORO?

Well first LORO isn’t going away. The forums are still here and open for anyone to use as they always have been. I myself probably won’t be active there much other than keeping it online. The Trails Wiki on the other hand has become a valuable resource by itself. I also think there is a lot of potential in the trails condition tool we put together last year.

For starters, I plan to work with Chris to get updated maps and expanded info on our local trails. I’m hoping to find ways that our trails database can complement the MORE info. For a variety of reasons MORE has to more carefully curate their trail info where we can promote more open community driven edits. We can be a lot more open and timely in our updates as a result. I can envision a day when our info eventually gets pushed to augment much of the official MORE info.

I think we have a valuable service and platform to share with our riding community as a whole and will continue to look for ways to do that. While the forums have grown stale it’s my hope that we can take our community and move it forward. The way we communicate has and will continue to evolve but our ideas are good ones and are as relevant as ever. More transparency in local club activities, more social emphasis and fun riding as well as the promotion of all types of riding from xc to free ride to DH. LORO was always about logging off the forum and getting out on our bikes.

Look at how the Single Speed Outlaw guys contribute and run their team for a bit of what I have in mind. Those guys have their own identity but they work with MORE as part of the community to moving riding forward. They lead rides etc as a team. I want to grow the idea of Team-Loro within the community in a similar way.

Another area I’d like to look at is taking up the mantle of beginner and casual rides within MORE. MORE has slowly been getting back to it’s social/riding roots but it can still use more of a push in that direction. I think we can help with that.

We have had a lot of great people, ideas and energy here and I’d like to do what we can to focus that in a positive way moving forward. With me working here and working on the MORE website and board I think there are some opportunities for MORE/LORO synergies.

I’m going to start trying to post here on the main page / loro blog more regularly. I’ll use this to share what I’m up to with LORO, MORE and just in general. I keep toying with spinning my personal blog stuff off elsewhere but keep coming back here in the end. LORO has always been a personal project I’ve dumped a lot of myself into so splitting things out just doesn’t seem to make sense now that I think it over. I’d also welcome a guest blog posts from the LORO community as well. Just send them my way.

Many of the projects I’ve worked on over with MORE have their direct roots in LORO and this community.

  • Team Enduro
  • The Bike Box Loaner Program
  • Rebuilding the beginner/casual ride opportunities
  • Misc Website Improvements

These all have roots tracing back to this site and things I learned from the LORO community. I’m just getting started here and there, and I can certainly use your help. I know many of my LORO buddies have been as quiet as I have been lately. I’m hoping you guys are ready to get back involved as the riding season fast approaches. Let’s work together and keep LORO and MORE moving forward this season. Let’s be involved making sure we get the types of trails and rides we want.

Drop me a line if you’re looking for more ways to help out. I have projects in mind for both LORO and MORE that I certainly need help with. Let’s build Team LORO and help push mountain biking in our area in the direction we’ve all wanted to see. Most importantly let’s log off and ride on.