Short Ride, no GPS

Cyclemeter 4.0 screen in stopwatch mode.

I went out for a shorter ride today without a slower midpoint like Lakes Park. Unfortunately my GPS systems crapped out on me (I accidentally switched the application off as I slid the iPhone into the back pockets of my jersey), so all I have to report is the raw data from my CatEye computer.

Speaking of bicycle electronics, yes I do use two separate cycling computers to track and monitor my rides, as well as a good old spreadsheet and a nifty website to record my progress. My primary monitoring tool while riding is the CatEye Double, which I keep on the cadence setting. I basically watch it like a hawk as well as the little arrows that indicate whether or not I am keeping up my average speed.

My GPS system is my trusty iPhone running the excellent Cyclemeter app from Abvio. This little gem uses GPS to not only track and record your ride, but also gives audible prompts as to your distance, time, speed, elevation, climb, and more. Perhaps my favorite feature is virtually racing yourself against previous rides. Nothing like a little competition to keep you motivated.

Now using a cycling app on the iPhone is not as precise as dedicated cycling GPS and power systems, but it is very close at just a fraction of the cost. It has some drawbacks like the aforementioned accidental shut off, but it’s single biggest issue is battery life. The iPhone is rather battery hungry (as all smart phones are) while using GPS systems. To help conserve battery life, I lock out the screen and keep it tucked away, but it can’t run for more than a few hours. Eventually I’ll have to get a battery extender for it (some are capable of tripling your battery life). Abvio also makes apps for runners and walkers. Best part is they really are dirt cheap for all the bells and whistles offered.

For reporting rides I just output raw GPX data from Cyclemeter and dump it into google maps and a spread sheet. For a really slick progress monitor try out Dailymile. It will track all your rides/workouts and share it with the web community via great social integration. It’s always nice to get feedback and motivation from fellow cyclists.

So today’s non GPS tracked ride was down Six Mile Cypress returning via the Linear Park.

Total Distance: 18.96 Miles
Average Speed: 14.3 MPH
Max Speed: 20.2 MPH
Calories Burnt: 897
Total Ride Time: 1:19:24

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