There aren’t enough bike theft deterrentsĀ out there in the world and bike locks are almost literally a band-aid solution so I was glad to be a Kickstarter backer of this project. I didn’t know about this video ad for the product until today, it’s kind of awesome.

Auto uploads of data to Strava from a Garmin Edge 510

image from static.garmincdn.comThis is a pretty niche trick, but I recently figured out how to finally upload activities to Strava wirelessly using the latest Garmin Edge 510.

The newest Garmin Edge computers offer bluetooth sync to your phone, which is then used for real-time mapping of your rides, weather alerts, and when you’re done with a ride, automatic uploads of data to the Garmin Connect site. It’s very handy to just press “Save” at the end of your ride and have your data uploaded to their site but the only problem is the Garmin Connect site pales in comparison to the fitness site Strava, which offers more tools for analysis as well as a ton of social features. The problem with getting data to Strava is you have to sync your Edge bike computer with a USB cable after every ride, even though you can go a week or two without needing a charge.

Ever since I got the Edge 510, I’ve wondered how to easily transfer ride files from Garmin Connect to Strava so I could skip the cable-required-sync, and after a bunch of research I found a fairly odd little hack is available at The downside is that Strava doesn’t currently offer an API, so you have to store your username/password at GarminSync, but once linked up, it does exactly what I wanted. You hit “Save” on your bike computer, it uploads to Garmin Connect, and a few minutes later that ride is also posted to your Strava account. It’s great and does exactly what I wanted.

I suspect Garmin’s running watches will soon share smartphone features as well, so this auto-upload-to-Strava thing may come in handy there too someday.

Giro di Portland

Every summer there are some crit races in downtown Portland and they are a blast. I missed last week’s Twilight Criterium but got to see last evening’s Giro di Portland. The racing was hot and fast, with some surprise results. The Cat 3 race was won by a 13 year old that won a race earlier that same day and won a race the day before. The final Mens 1/2 was won by a late breakaway from one of the oldest riders in the bunch. Overall, it was a great summer night of racing in downtown Portland.


Racing over cobbles

Racing by

Racing by

Spectators on the cobbles

Women's race

Coasting over cobbles

Looking back

Women line up

13 year-old Cat 3 winner

Traffic control

Looking back

Full set of photos is on Flickr

Me in the mud

That’s me in the blue kit with the white helmet popping into frame after about 5 seconds. I love the slow motion because watching it is a close feel for what it felt like to ride through 6 inches of mud and water with biblical rain falling on you for 45 minutes of racing. The whole race felt like it was in slow motion.

Also, my god, when I’m heaving and gasping for air am I really that fat looking? I’ve lost about 12lbs in the past few months but it’ll take another 25lbs before I start being remotely competitive even in my low race category.

My favorite way to watch the Tour de France

Versus TdF iPhone app on the iPad

I'm traveling and trying to keep track of the Tour while on the other side of the country, so I've been experimenting with a few options. I first tried to find free feeds of the Tour online but they're often flakey and not in English. I watched the Versus channel on TV when I was around in the mornings but there are frequent advertising breaks and pointless filler pieces telling you the background stories of various riders.

Then I tried the Versus Tracker for $30, but I found the video a bit choppy and since it's all in Flash, it would make my macbook air's fan run like crazy and drain the battery within an hour or two (and stages can be 3-4 hours long).

Finally, I tried the Versus iPhone app for $15, and while just about everything about it is buggy (the app crashes when you try to do various tasks, news feeds don't update, twitter links can't be followed, etc), the Live Tour video playback works wonderfully (and is stable), especially on an iPad. I find each morning I can run it for several hours on an iPad (on wifi) that barely drains 10% from the battery.

Also, the video is a raw feed of the entire race without any interruptions. No ads. No NBC Olympics-style docu-dramas about each rider's struggles. Just plain racing from nearly the start through the finish with Phil and Paul doing play by play.

Google Maps adds a cycling layer

Screen shot 2010-03-10 at 9.35.25 AM
I'm really happy to hear Google launched their support of bikes in their Maps app today. There was talk about how this was in development way back when they launched walking directions and subway map details, and I imagine there had to be a lot of work to bring safer bike lane/street information into a mapping app in a way that can't really be automated. A full city list is at the tail end of this Bike Hugger post.

Anil likes to say that when you're a web developer and you're considering adding features to not merely think about the technical aspects, but to think more about the cultural aspects of your decisions. I have high hopes this is potentially a huge cultural change for Americans used to driving 1-3 miles to run small errands around town. Knowing that you could ride a bike safely over a short distance in about the same time it takes to drive and park could get a lot of people exercising more, burning less foreign oil in their gas tanks, and do good for the environment. I can't wait to see this feature spread to more cities.