Time Series Errors in Garmin Activities

The short guide to fixing time series errors

When uploading to Strava you may get an error that the “time series” is missing and your workout cannot be uploaded. This can even happen after Garmin Connect has successfully loaded from the same device; but the strange time and straight-line graphs hint that something wasn’t right.

You can export the TCX file and edit it to remove the error and then upload the corrected version.

The TCX file is in XML format. It may look scary, but there is a simple pattern: each data point is enclosed within a “Trackpoint” tag.  Your recordings will have more or less tags depending on the sensors being recorded.

<Trackpoint>

<Time>2014-03-10T02:36:23.000Z</Time>
<Position> <LatitudeDegrees>-35.30690263956785</LatitudeDegrees> <LongitudeDegrees>149.08046174794436</LongitudeDegrees>
</Position>
<AltitudeMeters>579.5999755859375</AltitudeMeters> <DistanceMeters>59299.0</DistanceMeters>
<HeartRateBpm> <Value>171</Value> </HeartRateBpm>
<Cadence>77</Cadence>
<Extensions>
<TPX xmlns="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/ActivityExtension/v2"> <Speed>5.556000232696532</Speed> </TPX>
</Extensions>

</Trackpoint>

But how do you find the time?

The “Time” tag has the date and time. Sometimes the date can leap into the future. (I’ve never noticed time jumping.)  For example, <Time>2014-03-10T02:36:28.000Z</Time> leapt ten years ahead at the next recording point <Time>2024-05-20T02:36:38.000Z</Time> on one of my rides. It took me 18,000 hours to cross a 100m long bridge, which was the first sign of trouble. 

Fix it

  1. Open the file in Notepad (or similar text editor)
  2. Scroll to the end of the file and look for a time tag and copy the dodgy date.
  3. Scroll to the top of the file
  4. Find (CTRL + F) and paste the date.  Click find to look for the first instance of the dodgy date.
  5. Replace (CTRL + H) the dodgy date with the correct date and replace all.
  6. Save As… select All Files, amend the filename, but keep the TCX extension.  (If you don’t deselect “Text (.TXT)” you’ll get a text file that will not upload to Strava.)
  7. Upload the file to Strava.

Keeping track of cycling and training

I’m starting to get a bit serious about cycling.  It’s one thing to ride every weekend (regardless of weather) and put down the k’s, it’s another to establish a training program.

(Spoiler alert: I do not have a fully-fledged training program yet, but I’m getting together the pieces.)

Tracking

A fairly simple step is to track activity.  I’ve used MapMyRide, Strava and now Garmin Fit to keep track of my rides.  My current preference is Garmin Fit because it is easy in Australia to find accessories that are compatible with it, whereas both MapMyRide and Strava work with proprietary adapters. (That’s probably true of the Garmin too, but at least I can get Garmin stuff.)

Sharing with others is not essential.  Websites will not compare your times to others if you mark your rides as ‘private’, so you won’t know where you sit in the pack.  I suggest that you keep rides public.  If you are at the back of the pack, so what!  I tend to be at the rear for climbs, but nearer the front on flat or downhill sections.  What does that tell me?

Recording

The parameters that you record will have a big impact on what you can analyse.  The combination of parameters may even influence the accuracy of the analysis:

  • Speed, distance and time can be recorded on a classic cycle computer for a few bucks.  You could fiddle and produce an upload file for analysis, but just buy a GPS device instead.
  • Using GPS gives position at a given time and therefore speed, distance and time second by second.  You also get elevation over time, which means slope or grade. With grade and distance you can see climbs in terms of category.
  • Cadence is the rotational speed of your pedalling measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).  Most cheap cycle computers have cadence.  Knowing your cadence on a road bike is especially useful when attempting endurance rides, where a high cadence usually means longer endurance.  On a mountain bike cadence is trickier to maintain because of the variation in terrain and speed.
  • Knowing your Heart Rate is very important for training.  Understanding which heart rate zone you are in will have a big impact on the effectiveness of your training.
  • Power is useful, but very expensive to monitor.  Some indoor trainers can be used to measure power as a function of speed, load and cadence.  But to measure on the bike, you are looking at $1600-2000 for pedal, crank or hub sensors.

Analysis

If you rode the same route on a few occasions, then your best time would mean the fastest and the best ride, right?  But what if one day the traffic light faeries were smiling, the traffic was light and you didn’t have to stop or even slow down.  The total time taken is not a reliable guide.

However, your times on a defined section of road (or track) are comparable and often give a good indication of performance.  As you improve from fitness or technique, you’ll find yourself beating old times or matching old times with

MapMyRide, Strava and Garmin Connect all have graphs and averages and maps and stuff.  It is up to your taste which one suits you.  I liked MapMyRide, but the website was clunky (since improved).  I used Strava app on iPhone until I bought the Garmin ABT+ adapter that it wouldn’t recognise.  So now I use Garmin Fit on iPhone and upload the GPX files to Strava with premium membership.  The extra features are just about worth it, especially if you have a heart rate monitor and/or power meter.

BTW, using Garmin Fit as my app means that I can’t see live Strava segment times.  Probably for the best that I just ride steadily and not try to beat a particular time.

Yes, but how did you feel about that?

I’m starting to record how I felt during the ride as a score out of 10.  This can be more useful than time.  If you feel crappy, then there may be something wrong with your training, position on the bike, clothing or general mental well-being.    Some days you should stay off the bike and some days being on the bike can make it better.

Hint: I get cheered up whenever a warm breeze blows, as one did on an otherwise cold and calm Canberra morning last Tuesday (scored 9/10).  The trick is to keep up there even when the breeze turns cold.

Recently I’ve been up and down in how I’m feeling but my times have been my best or close to my best.  And I’ve re-based the score so an old 10/10 is now 7.5/10 to give me a bit more room at the top.

Coach

As luck would have it, my boss is not only a racer on- and off-road but also a level 2 accredited cycling coach.  It has been great to discuss my weekend’s riding and get expert analysis.  Every week I’ve been able to make a little change or notice a subtle difference, whether it be maintaining high cadence or knowing what part of a climb to attack.

I also subscribe to http://www.cycling-inform.com for tips.  I haven’t bought any of their training packages yet, but the combination of a Kirk Kinetic indoor trainer and training DVDs seems a good way to learn.

Noticed anything?

In the past two months I’ve noticed a real improvement in my fitness.  I’ve been slowly improving my times since 30/12/2012, but the recent changes have been fairly dramatic.  Sections that used to knock me out are now covered much easier.  Climbs that had me redlining at 195 bpm (or higher!) are now peaking at 180-185 bpm.  On a very steep and loose section I briefly hit 199 bpm but my heart rate started to fall, even though I still had a few minutes left on that climb and averaged 175 for a very tough section.  And I rode the whole thing.

When I ride with my colleague, I can converse with little effort while he is struggling for breath and I spend most of my time in zones 1 and 2 (or 2 and 3, if you use the Garmin zones).

It seems that the endurance riding I did during Winter never allowing my legs to get lactic is paying off.  I recently completed some steep climbs nearby at a 95% effort and didn’t feel any soreness afterwards.  The theory is that low-intensity distance riding builds capillaries throughout the muscles and if you get lactic during that time, the capillaries burn and the effort is lost.  When your muscles have dense capillaries, you can feed and remove waste much more easily.  Therefore it is easier to push harder without the burn while you’re riding or the pain afterwards.

There’s still a way to go.  But seeing the green shoots of fitness and some further weight loss is more than enough encouragement to aim for longer and harder challenges.  Such as riding the 140km Canberra’s Centenary Trail in a day next weekend or attempting a 200km Audax.

Measure for measure

 

The Bonner Widowmaker and creating segments in Strava

Strava view of Bonner Widowmaker segment
Strava view of Bonner Widowmaker segment

This morning the fog was quite thick and had only just burnt away when I went for my ride. I intended to explore a few new tracks identified as segments on Strava.  The Border Run has an alternative downhill section I wanted to check out and I also wanted to create a segment that Amandeep and I have ridden (and in my case walked) recently.

Bonner Widowmaker

That name comes from the Widowmaker Hill Climb that I saw on Wide World of Sports 30 years ago.  The main event features 1000 ft (305 m) of climbing on a nearly impossible hill.  Despite modifications such as paddle-wheel style tread rear tyres and very long chain stays, only 19 riders have reached the summit in over 4500 attempts.  I can’t find a gradient measurement, but it is beyond steep.

The Bonner Widowmaker is steep and silly like its Utahan namesake.  The average gradient is 11.25% (the figure above for distance is rounded to the nearest 100m.) with sections as steep as 23%.  It is almost too steep to walk, let alone ride up.  Or down.  The path is mostly grass with thin tyre tracks in the hard clay.  Pink quartz is scattered in sections, making the path quite bumpy.  It is so steep that your front wheel is very light and can easily leave the ground and it’s all too easy to loop the bike.  Even sitting on the nose of the saddle with my hands on the bar-ends with elbows bent and my body forward and low wasn’t enough to prevent wheelies.  But at least I was able to keep a fairly straight line.

I stopped five times.  My elapsed time was 18:18, which felt like my earlier attempts.  My resting time was 12:41, time that I spent sitting, admiring the view and waiting for my heart rate to fall to a human level.  So my riding time was 7:27.  Had I stayed on for the length of the climb, I’d say that 7:27 was a good time.  With better fitness, I might just be able to climb that hill in a single go, or at least without stopping for death 5 times.

On my first attempt on 6 April 2013 I walked 90% of it.  I simply couldn’t stay balanced when the front wheel bounced around and it was almost impossible to get my clips into the pedals to push off again.

My second attempt on 12 April 2013 with flat pedals was much better and much steadier, as previously reported.  I spent a lot of time riding across the hill and zig-zagging up it.  I only walked a 10m section just before the top to get better grip.

Props to Amandeep who has ridden the entire length a few times.  He had to stop now and again, but unlike me he rode it.

Strava – making a segment

This is very simple.  Take an existing ride and mark off a section of it, give it a name and save.  Cross-referencing with the map and altitude graph makes it easy to pinpoint the section.

I might have missed something on MapMyRide but I got the impression that I could only create a “Course” from a real map; not from a Workout.  And since many of the tracks I took weren’t on maps, I couldn’t create a Course.  (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)

Segments are best made without pauses or stumbles

My segment has a few wobbles.  As my iPhone was in my jersey pocket (I can’t find my waterproof case anywhere!) when I stepped off the bike, a new wobble was recorded.  It also put little dips on the tracks that aren’t there.  It wouldn’t make sense for Strava to automatically straighten out a segment, especially if those dips and shuffles were part of the track.

I think that the solution is for me to walk the track (without the bike) and use that straight run as the basis of the segment.  I’ll record that as a walk so as not to post another impossible time.

Today’s time and my previous, impossible times

Strava recorded 18:18 as my time on the climb.  That was the elapsed time but I spent 12:41 of that resting for a total riding time of 7:27.

My previous times recorded on MapMyRide, converted to TCX files and then uploaded to Strava are 4:25 on 6 April 2013 for my first ride (or walk) and 5:03 on 12 April 2013 for my second.  Both seem to have been affected by the auto-pause function and seemed to have been tricked by my very slow progress.

The only way to post a fair time is to ride the climb in one pass or getting straight back on after stumbling.  I’m working on it.  My elapsed time of 18:18 should crumble soon as I didn’t need that much rest.  My riding time of 7:27 was slow and steady.   I wonder if I’ll even beat the impossible 4:25 one day!

Border Track detour – Mulligans DH

I’ve noticed a few Strava users taking a different line from the Border Track along a segment known as Mulligans DH (down hill).  About 1km from the junction of the Border Track and Mulligans Circuit and just over the second climb you’ll see the Treecreeper Gate to the right.  Through that gate and Mulligans DH is the track along the fence.  You avoid two steep climbs and a somewhat tricky descent adjacent to a pine forest on the Border Track going this way.

Mulligans DH is a nice down hill; no jumps, moderately rough terrain and some 90° corners just for fun.  Though the newly-metalled parts were a bit squirmy.

I took it easy at the top and let it go about 1/3 of the way down.  The final sharp corner and small climb caught me out a little so I took at fairly easy to the finish; the Curlew Gate on the Pipeline Track .  After seeing my Starva time of 3:00 was only 11 seconds behind the KOM, in hindsight I could have gone a bit faster.

Using Strava for the benefit of mankind

Perhaps that’s too high a goal.  But I am using Strava as a benchmark for my own times; firstly to log what I’m doing and secondly to see if I am improving as I go.  It would be interesting to combine heart rate and power over a ride because that’s where an improvements will be subtly obvious.  I mean that my time might be slower for a particular run but if my heart rate is relatively low, then I completed the ride more efficiently and I’m getting fitter.

The rides are a bit too hard to be in the zone for burning fat.  A 166 average HR is about 30 beats higher than it could be for a good burn and I spend 1/3 to 1/2 of the time above zone 3.  I’ll start using my cross-trainer for a steady HR-specific workout.  Winter sometimes gets an early start on ANZAC Day; we’ve had a few sub-zero mornings already.  Hopefully I’ll stick to a reasonable riding routine during Winter and be bursting by Spring.  Whenever that decides to visit.

MapMyRide to Strava Converter

Strava
Strava.  Ur doin’ it rong. (Photo credit: lodri)

[UPDATE 07/03/2014: Mark Filer provided a new link to a converter.  Procedure updated.]

[UPDATE 24/06/2014: Manually-created MMR workouts cannot be converted; there’s no time data.  Thanks to Amanda for working that out.  Use http://www.strava.com/upload/manual to recreate instead.]

[UPDATE 26/06/2014: Mike Palumbo, the author of the current converter, commented on the issues some of you are having.]

I’ve converted to Strava.  The app and website are so much nicer than MapMyRide.  Not perfect, but quite nice.

Naturally, I want to upload my rides from MapMyRide to Strava so that I can analyse my rides with better tools and get a good comparison against many riders.  I can even compare against myself easily and graphically.  The Strava upload instructions are at https://strava.zendesk.com/entries/20950143-Uploading-to-Strava-Website

From MapMyRide I downloaded a KML file and GPX file of my ANZAC Day ride around Mt Stromlo Loop 3.  The KML file worked well in Google Earth and let me fly over the route.

However, the GPX file failed when uploading to Strava, with the error message “Error processing activities”.  The solution is on Strava Customer Support here.  To quote Mat from the Strava Support Team,

Data exported as GPX files from MapMyFitness sites does not contain workout data, which includes the time data for your activity. Since Strava requires time data for Segments, segment matching and other analyses, data exported from MapMyFitness is not compatible directly with Strava.

If your activity on MapMyFitness sites does include workout/time data, and you would like to export that data, you can try this third-party workaround, a tool that is available on the web (but is not affiliated with Strava or MapMyFitness):

Conversion instructions

To convert and upload your MapMyRide workout, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to http://www.mikepalumbo.com/MMRConverter/ (Thanks to Mike Palumbo for the new converter and Mark Filer for the new link!)
  2. Enter the workout ID of the ride you want to convert and click <SUBMIT>.
  3. The converted workout saves as a GPX file.
  4. On Strava http://www.strava.com/upload/select upload the GPX file.

Perfik!

What could possibly go wrong?

A surprising number of things.  Firstly, the original conversion site went offline without warning, but Mike Palumbo provided an alternative.

  1. Only recorded workouts can be converted.  Manually-created workouts do not have data to convert.  Workaround: On Strava, http://www.strava.com/upload/manual and enter the details manually.
  2. Your browser might add an extension to the .GPX file such as .XML.  Workaround: Look at the filename in full and remove any stray extensions before uploading to Strava.
  3. If the converter fails to convert, it could be an error as the upload is occurring.  To quote Mike Palumbo, “99% of the time, the issues are caused by MMR losing your time data on upload, resulting in a “NO_TIME_SERIES” error on their side. Without that data, sadly, there’s nothing I can do to export your ride or run. Sorry about that!”  Workaround: Try again?

Sunday rides and Strava v. MapMyRide

Phoenix chainring
Phoenix chainring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Started so well.  I rode to Coffee Guru at Bonner, which is likely to become a favourite start/finish line for such rides.  I got down to the bottom of the concrete path near Mulligan’s Flat Rd and Rob Riley Circuit (known as “Bonner Training Climb” on Strava) and had a bit of a stretch.  The climb on the middle ring felt OK, a fact confirmed by my time of 5:21 and King of the Mountain status on Strava (first place out of 2 riders).

Scrambled over to the bottom of the grassy climb.  The inner chainring (the granny gear) was not letting go of the chain.  I flipped the bike upside down to find the sticky link.  A few wiggles and the problem should have been solved, but then I saw some burrs of alloy on the chainring, which I cleaned off with a screwdriver.  Until I found one almost the size of a grain of rice.  This was not so much a burr as a tooth that had been folded backwards and no amount of scraping would remove it.  It will need to be ground or filed off.  Even liberal lashings of lube that worked when the chain was not loaded could not overcome the jam when the chain was loaded and was therefore seated deeply into the chainring and hard against the burr.  The old chain would catch a little, but must have been just wide enough to not get stuck.  There would be no attempt on the climb today and walking it would have been pointless and misleading.

The rear shock pressure was just about right at 250 psi and about 15mm less sag.  The pogoing has reduced but not disappeared, I can stand and pedal with reasonable success and I was a good 10mm from bottoming out, even after some big bumps on my return ride.  However, I had to let out some air from the front fork; 180psi was way too much and 150psi was more like it.

But I really need to get the brakes bled.  The front brake lever almost touches the handlebar before it starts to work, so I had to avoid picking up speed where it would be tricky to reduce it.

Joined the border track near the Mulligans Flat Rd/Gundaroo Rd roundabout and continued on my normal run.  But this time I ended in O’Conner in the hope of seeing some bikes at Bike Culture.  Well… at least the 39 Steps cafe was open and I had a free coffee on my card!

Return was around the Southern side of Mount Ainslie.  On Telecoms Rd I was stopped by a personal trainer who sought advice on the tracks heading to Mount Ainslie.  His mission was to take “sloths” from the Department of Defence building to the East and give them an hour of pain they wouldn’t forget easily. I’m not sure if there are tracks heading from the fire trails to the peak, but there must be.  We chatted about options for a little while and then he set off to try some out.

Oasis of green in parched bushland.  Three small gulleys empty into this spot.  Sadly, I scared off the parrots that had been feeding there moments before.
Oasis of green in parched bushland. Three small gulleys empty into this spot. Sadly, I scared off the parrots that had been feeding there moments before.  132kVA poles in the background.

I took the Blue Metal Rd and turned left to follow the 132 kVA lines until I ran out of track.  I climbed the walking track until it met the fire trail.  A few moments later I was climbing a steep and rocky hill when saw a man and an 8-year-old girl jogging down the hill towards me.  They had just cleared the steepest and rockiest section when the girl tumbled forward onto her face.  Her father went all drill instructor on her arse telling her to stop crying and that the fall was nothing to worry about.  He said this even as he wiped dirt from her teeth and removed stones from a cut in her hand.  I stopped to see if everything was OK (apart from the drill instructor dad bullshit) just long to wonder.  Oh, and to put things into perspective, they were at least 1.5km distant and 50m above the nearest house or hope of first aid.  Nice one drill instructor dad.

Return was back along Goorooyarroo and Mulligan’s Flat.  Bum started to hurt, more from chafing than from pressure.

Strava was a bit of a change from MapMyRide.  For a start its display is dark (which probably helps battery life a little) with a single start/stop button.  The only stats are time (nice big numbers), distance and average speed.  I’ve since discovered that you have to swipe to see the map, though it only takes up 1/3 of the screen.  First attempt at uploading did not go well.  After 5 goes it seemed to work.  I uploaded the return journey successfully over WiFi when I got home.

A very big difference is the amount of analysis you can do in the app.  For MapMyRide you can get some information on the app but you need to use the website (and click through several levels) for analysis.  By contrast, Strava has every segment (course) you’ve ridden with leaderboard, filters, accurate grade, distance and altitude measurements.  And the units are consistent.

It’s obvious that the Strava community is much larger than the MapMyRide community. Or perhaps Strava encourages competition.  On my out ride I rode 13 segments, compared to a no courses on MapMyRide and 8 on return compared to 1 on MapMyRide.  I’ve already had a comment from the person upon whose segment I achieved KOM..  He has vowed to beat my record on Tuesday.  I’m treating that as friendly and neighbourly competition.

MapMyRide suggested settings

MapMyRide is a great little app.  I can keep track of what I do and compare with others who have ridden the same paths.  However, there are two settings that can cause issues and confusion.

Oversharing?

I like to share my bike rides, because it suggests something favourable about me and it is friendly competition to my friends.  It’s nice to have your weekend presented on FriendFace as maps and hills and calories burnt instead of swearing at football results and photos of drunken antics, either of which future employers could make judgements on. I don’t share my dog walks.  (That’s another thing to like about MapMyRide; there’s so many types of activity you can record or log.)  Partially because I’m happy to record those km for myself. There are sharing settings on the app.  However, these are overruled by your sharing settings in your MapMyRide profile.  So if you save a workout without sharing and mark to “only me”, but your profile is set to share, you’ll share.

Thank you for contacting us! I show that your account is connected to Facebook online https://www.mapmyrun.com/account/connect/. Also is set to share workouts in the Privacy sections https://www.mapmyrun.com/account/privacy.

If you are using the same log in for both apps then all of this information is being shared, as they are running on the same platform. We apologize for the confusion.

To make the changes:

Website profile: Settings > Privacy > Activity Privacy Settings > Set all to share with friends or private.  Note: If you share with friends, they will get informed through the app, but not through Facebook/Twitter.

App settings: deselect Facebook/Twitter sharing.

To share from the app, save the workout.  Once the details have saved to the website, click the orange share button and select the share medium.

Auto-pause too sensitive?

Auto-pause is a useful function; stop at traffic lights or help an old lady across the street and your workout time doesn’t suffer.  However, it can a threshold that pauses when you think you’re moving.

I’ve been riding (!) some very steep hills lately and I admit that there have been times when I have had to walk the bike.  At very slow speeds (slow, painful walk) the ‘workout auto-paused’ message will remain; you have to move a bit quicker to clear it.   To save iPhone battery I don’t have the display on at all times, so it wasn’t until I was riding home that I noticed the ‘workout auto-paused’ message appear and disappear even though I was travelling at 10-12km/h.

When I analysed my rides on the website, I’d been given a KOM award for riding the 2.85km and 196m Category 3 ascent of Mount Majura in  20:48 at an average speed of 10.1km/h.  (yes, neither the time nor the average speed make sense!)  The true speed is likely to be about 5km/h if I’m lucky.  I didn’t keep track of the real time since I have an app for that.  I’ll have to wait 2 weeks for another crack at it, this time with a second stopwatch.

So switch off auto-pause if you notice the ‘workout auto-paused’ message appear and not clear when you move.

English: Mt Ainslie, Mt Majura from dickson oval
English: Mt Ainslie, Mt Majura from dickson oval (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Big Sunday Rides

Over the past few weeks my habit has been to my habit to ride to Dickson for a coffee via Mulligan’s Flat. My journey home has been a bit random. On occasion I’ve returned home as directly as possible, but generally I try to find an interesting path.
Because of the new saddle and grips, I was feeling much better. Contrary to my earlier pronouncement, my hands aren’t completely numb-free, my thumbs were also a bit numb… “A little numb some more” might be a better title. However, there is a marked improvement in recovery of feeling. And I took two fairly tough rides on Sunday totalling 50km, so some price must be paid.

Here’s the out journey.  (I can’t embed MapMyRide or Google Earth 3D code in WordPress.com so you’ll have to click the link instead.)

I was proud of my out journey as it was the first time I haven’t used the “granny” ring.  Even on the steep climbs into Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve and Horse Park Drive to the Federal Highway were in the middle chain ring.  I climbed the Mulligan’s Flat course in 2:02.  I’d hoped for under 2 minutes, but that’s still a 2nd place effort.

I’d stopped a few times when I climbed through gates to raise the saddle and make little adjustments to the grips.  Every grip adjustment meant adjusting the brake and gear levers too.

And here’s one for the lap of My Ainslie.

At Good Brother cafe I found that my right grip was not fully inserted so the clamp was not gripping the bar.  A quick adjustment and I was away with a grip and bar-end that would not move.

I was feeling good in the saddle so I went straight up the path, a 1.2km (approx) climb with about 45m gain for a average 3.75% grade.  Yes, this was on the granny ring.  I slowly and surely made it to the top (661m) before the steep and a bit tricky descent.  To deflect run-off, large channels have been cut across the fire trail.  While these stop rain water from eroding and gouging, they are a big and steep-sided bump to negotiate.  Heading South along Telecom Road, the path was straight with fairly steep and long undulations.  But I wanted to head North so I took a

turn off towards the Campbell Offices of the Department of Defence.  I was looking for a way through the Mt Majura foothills, but the signs warning of unexploded ordnance and a nice security guard told me there were no short cuts.

I rejoined the equestrian trail and after a loop or two got back onto what became the track to circumnavigate Mt Ainslie.  This is a nice path to the back of houses in Campbell, the Australian War Memorial and Ainslie.

I completed the lap at followed the same climb for a short distance before turning North for home.  The track markers for the Capital Punishment MTB race the day before were still on the track.  Brief stop to lube the chain and remove a tiny twig that was causing the chain to jump and I was ready for the Watson cross-country scramble, apparently reaching 52km/h at one point.

The Federal Highway climb (2km at 2.6%) seemed easier than before.  The saddle and the lack of fatigue gave me confidence and the new bar ends gave me options to hold on with my chest open for breathing.

Comfort on the bike makes a big difference

When fatigue starts and no position feels comfortable, it’s hard to continue.  When you’re comfortable (or at least, when nothing hurts) you can go on as long as water, food and lights will take you.  I didn’t realise how much I was held back by hard grips and a poor saddle.  A 20km ride twice a day was OK.  Maybe, I could have done the 50km option of Capital Punishment (apparently they were short a few riders).  Next year.

Next weekend I’ll extend my out journey to take on some more hills and on the way back I’ll explore Mt Majura (avoiding construction work on the Majura Parkway and I might climb the whole of the Federal Highway to Eagle Hawk and maybe find a way from McHeahnie Lane to Goorooyarroo Reserve.

See you on the trail.

MapMyEveryMovement

I’m tracking every movement with MapMyRide.  Every bike ride is recorded and shared with all humanity.  I keep the tracking of some activities such as walking the dogs for myself only.

The MapMy… apps and websites are quite good.  I’d previously used WalkWatch and found it easy to use but difficult to export the rich data it had captured.  I’m resigning myself to losing the maps of Japan I gathered last time I wandered around.

MapMyRide gets around that issue by saving to your account on-line when you finish a workout.  This is its stand-out feature since blowing away the app won’t affect the runs recorded on the website.  It will also allow you to upload from 9 popular training tracker apps and systems like Garmin, Polar and Nike+ as well as a few file formats.

The website and app are not without problems:

  1. Metric or imperial measurements are displayed at random, sometimes different units on the same page,  despite the measurement setting you choose.
  2. Date format reverts to MM-DD-YYYY (why?) instead of the preference chosen.
  3. The height that I input changes from 1.95m to 1.93 or 1.90, metric amounts that correspond to the nearest inch. (see point 1)
  4. The weight I input… It isn’t clear if it the website keeps track of weight, waist and resting heart rate.  Those are useful measures.  You record them against your profile, so they are probably point-in-time rather than tracked.
  5. If you do the same course multiple times in a workout, you only can analyse of one of the runs.

None of these are show-stoppers, but I’d like to see them fixed.

Happy riding.

UPDATE: 28/01/2013 16:54 – I just found another one: I just completed a lovely mountain bike workout in the drizzle on a new and very steep track at the highest climb I’ve attempted recently.  What is even more remarkable is that MapMyRide calendar believes that this happened on both 28 and 29/01/2013.

MapMyRide calendar can see your future.
MapMyRide calendar can see your future.