Thursday, March 29, 2012

CYCLO90 Day Challenge

CYCLO90 Day Challenge

I just signed up for this.  I am looking forward to starting my challenge.  I think of this as P90X for the bike.  It is the fastest way I know of to train on minimal time with maximum effect.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hopkins Park Cross and Asthma

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 new Verizon phone - which one should I get?

I have been using a Blackberry for over a little over 3 years now and have been relatively happy.  With that said, as with many things, the grass seems greener on the other side sometimes.  With the iPhone coming to Verizon (or so the rumors say) and the Android coming of age and with 4G here with new 4G phones on the way, what phone should I get for 2011.

So, what do I like about my current Blackberry Tour:
- The keyboard.  I have tried other touch screen keyboards, but I never felt comfortable with them.  Also, I never liked the slide out keyboards, except the Torch (which isn't available on Verizon).
- The notifications.  I like the ability to look at a glance and see if I have new email, gmail, facebook or twitter messages in the notification bar.  I also like the flashing led which tells me when I have a message.
- I have it set up like I want it.  I have my work and personal email separate which I like.  While I don't have push email, I also don't have to pay an additional $15 a month to have that feature and I have still been able to receive calendar entries wirelessly through emails.
- The simplicity.  What the Blackberry does it does well.

What don't I like about my Blackberry Tour:
- The hour glass.  When I really need it to work, it hangs and locks up.  Honestly, if this wasn't happening, I probably wouldn't be writing this blog entry.  So you say, get a Bold and it will solve all your problems.  This is probably true, except technology has come a long way since the Bold came out and if I am going to make a change, might as well consider my other options.
- GPS, again, when I really need it to work, it seems to stop working.  I use Google Maps all the time for my job to get from point A to point B the quickest way possible.  Also, I wish Google provided more of a navigation app for the Blackberry like they do for the Android.  I don't want to pay 9.99 a month for VZ Navigator.
- Flash:  it doesn't have it at all.  This isn't a huge deal, but it is a nice to have if I could show flash videos on my phone when they are sent to me.
- Touch Screen:  while I am all about short cuts, it would still be very helpful if I could just point to navigate instead of a roller ball or track pad.

So, why not just get an iPhone when it comes out, you say?  There are a couple of reasons why I won't get an iPhone:
- no removable battery.  With all the things I do during the day, I need to make sure my phone is always available.  Also, I sometimes forget to plug in my car charger so my battery goes dead.  I won't give up the peace of mind of having a back up battery available.  Also, when the battery does give up, I do not want to be without my phone for a couple of days and $89 to Apple)
- no expandable memory.  This is unacceptable to me.  I don't want to pay for more memory than I currently need just because I might need it someday.  Memory is constantly getting less expensive.  I want to pay for it as I need it.  Also, I want to be able to swap out my microSD cards as I see fit.

I can't get past those 2 items.  I believe that both design decisions were made by Apple as built in planned obsolescence.  From my engineering background, this is unacceptable.

So, basically it is either Blackberry or Android.  What is attractive about the Android:
- Flash
- widgets
- more applications
- Mi Fi (or whatever you want to call it)

I can't wait for what devices get announced at CES this coming week.  Based on those announcements, I will be making a device change sometime later this year.  Looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.

I know all 3 groups have the advocates and dissenters.  Chime in with your opinion.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Take 2... New Year's Resolutions

Good morning to everyone.  It is 1/1/11 and time for New Year's resolutions.  This year, I have decided to keep it real simple:  get on my bike more.  I signed up for a goal of 4022 miles on and will make that goal a priority.  Just trying to keep it simple.

Another priority for 2011 is to lose weight, but I will not be making a significant effort to lose weight until February.  I want to make the riding thing a habit again.  Also, I am sure I will lose some weight with the increase in exercise as the amount of riding I will be doing should cause me to lose a minimum of 1 lb a week.

A distant 2nd priority is to provide more entries in my blog this year.  I got off to a good start last year, but only for January.  I will broaden my topics here to go beyond cycling and training.  I expect my next entry to be about my next smartphone choice.

So what are your priorities this year?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I am thinking about using an underpad...

In my travels this past week, I struck up a conversation with a head mechanic at one of the bike shops I visited.  This gentleman does very long rides, even in the winter.  It is not uncommon to ride 4 hours in below freezing weather.  He shared a few secrets on how he stayed warm.  Most of the things I had heard of, but one thing he mentioned, I thought, was ingenious and I had never heard before.

He buys underpads from Walgreens, cuts them in half and then puts this pad against his chest, underneath his base layer.  The layer provides 2 functions:  It first wicks sweat to keep the rider dry, especially when the rider is going with the wind.  Next, it provides addional insulation and wind protection.  For him, after 2 hours, the pad is wet and he needs to change it.  So if you are going for a long ride, make sure you bring the other half with you in a ziploc bag.

I look forward to trying this trick.