May 28, 2008
This weekend will find Team DeLorme taking part in our fourth annual Sunday River Training Ride… a two-day, 150-mile round trip ride from DeLorme in Yarmouth, ME to the Jordan Grand Hotel at Sunday River Ski Resort in Bethel, ME. Each year I ride with my Earthmate PN-20 to help with directions, record my track, and provide trip statistics to keep us on schedule. This year I will be adding color aerial imagery of Sunday River and turning on a new feature, Hybrid Maps, so that I can see the contours on top of the imagery and have a better feel for the terrain.
For those of you who have downloaded the 1.4 firmware update, (hopefully that’s all of you!) the Hybrid Maps option is available in Map Setup. Enabling the option turns off the land cover in the Topo USA data and layers the rest of the Topo USA data on top of the aerial imagery. Translation… it allows you to see the roads, contours, and labels on top of the imagery… very cool for visualizing terrain changes while seeing the details in the imagery. Keep in mind that this feature is only available above the .25 mile scale. Here are a couple of screen shots I took while playing back my track log from last year.
The final leg of the ride is a five mile stretch with over 1000 feet of vertical gain. It was torture after the first 70 miles but very rewarding once we reached the swimming pool! My heart rate hit 189 bpm right around the point in the previous screen shots… check out the change in elevation described in the contour lines– it was pretty steep!
Here’s a zoomed out screen shot showing the golf course where I should have been relaxing… The course is hidden by the trees and last year I couldn’t see it in the Topo USA data or I might have stopped before the 189 heart rate!
When we got back I displayed the track in Topo USA. It allowed me to create some great 3-D views while analyzing the athletic data I gathered with my Suunto heart rate monitor. There’s already a post about using GeoTagger to tie athletic data to a track; check it out if you’d like to learn more about how I profiled my heart rate and speed.
I hope this example of using the Earthmate PN-20 with aerial imagery and the Hybrid Maps option will give you some ideas about how you might use this feature on your own!
May 6, 2008
Eight members of Team DeLorme’s cycling group made the long trip from Yarmouth, Maine, down to New York City to participate in the 2008 NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour. The weather was great and the opportunity to ride through the heart of such an impressive city without any automobile traffic was amazing!
The 5 Boro Bike Tour is even bigger in person than described on Bike New York’s web site. You really have to be in the middle of the pack to appreciate what 30,000 cyclists look like! I’ve uploaded video clips (See a couple of favorite videos at the end of this post) from a helmet cam along with some photos taken by people in our group. Check them out to get a feel for the magnitude of this event. I see why the ride has earned the title of ”largest recreational cycling event in the nation!”
As usual, the Earthmate GPS PN-20 was with me throughout the ride. While it was impossible to get lost with that many riders, it was still good to see where we were on the route. I’ve included a screen shot from our XMap software so that you can see how I’ve linked the video clips into the map to make a nice project file for sharing with the other riders.
I’ve also included a few screen shots from the PN-20. Again, not that necessary when there are 30,000 riders all pedaling in the same direction, but it was still nice to see the aerial imagery of the buildings and the parks while I was riding.
On behalf of Team DeLorme, I’d like to thank all of the members of Bike New York and all of the volunteers that made the NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour such an enjoyable event. We’ve been part of many cycling tours and are amazed at the number of riders that participate in this ride. Thank you for giving us such a unique means of touring your great city!
I’d also like to extend a sincere thank you to our very gracious hosts for giving us a place to stay and helping us find our way around New York. There’s nothing like local knowledge, even when you have a GPS!
All Kinds of Bikes and Riders
May 5, 2008
During a recent beautiful weekend in southern Maine, Danielle and I decided to take a nice long bike ride and have a picnic lunch down by the water where we usually launch our kayaks. The PN-20 spent most of the ride in its pouch attached to the shoulder strap of my pack, as we knew the area pretty well. I still kept it on to record the track, so that we can know how far and long we’d ridden.
We were riding home, but, not wanting to call it a day just yet, I conveniently remembered that there are a few geocaches in the area, and I easily convinced Danielle to do a little caching. We had tried to grab a couple of caches over the winter, unsuccessfully, and she was starting to get a bit discouraged with the whole idea. The name of the cache we decided to go after is “Percheron” which, Danielle informed me, is a breed of horse.
The cache is located just off the trail network that is part of Crystal Springs Farm in Brunswick, ME. This is an amazing local farm which hosts our local farmer’s market.
We stashed our bikes near the trailhead and Danielle lead the way with the PN-20. She used the find function to locate the cache, and then selected the direct route option and followed the heading to within about 20 feet of the cache.
After a few minutes of poking around and searching we decided to look at the hint in the comments. The hint definitely helped us out and 30 seconds later Danielle had discovered her first cache!
She was very excited, as you can see. We signed the log book and headed home so the she could log the cache for Team DeLorme at Geocaching.com. All in all it was another great day, enhanced a bit by the PN-20.
May 2, 2008
Members of Team DeLorme will be riding in Bike New York’s Commerce Bank Five Boro Bike Tour on Sunday, May 4th. I’ll be using the PN-20 to track our progress and will be capturing video with a helmet camera. With 30,000 riders I’m expecting some pretty amazing footage! I’ll post video and GPS track log next week.
I’ll send a 2008 Team DeLorme Cycling t-shirt to the first person that says hello and mentions this blog post… just in case you’re in the area and can pick the Team DeLorme jersey out of the sea of cyclists!
Hope to see you there!