Sunday, March 21, 2010

Beautiful weather for riding

What beautiful weather we had this weekend (Sat. 3/19 and Sun. 3/20). Saturday was the first day of spring and it reached a balmy 72F. Since early December we've had early snow storms, heavy accumulations, melt off, refreezing, flooding, and then heavy rains. It seems that every other week we had a change of weather to the opposite extreme. There are still many damaged and fallen trees in need of being cleaned up and many areas are still flooded or exhibit flood damage.

Despite all this we have been able to get out and do some riding. With all this on and off riding I've managed to pull a muscle in my quad. It seems to happen every year and I think I may have finally figured it out. It only happens when I push the pace up and it might be related to my habit of pedaling with my right foot toes down. I've found that this aggravates the tendons behind the knee and the muscle in the middle of the quad. So yesterday we go out for what was supposed to be a 50 mile ride. I really felt like doing a 72 mile ride to Pemberton. I did warn my riders that the speed would be less than the advertised mid 17's average. The ride turned into a 62 mile ride and the weather was most cooperative. Never did we hit a strong head wind. The sun shined the whole time, the birds sang, everything was ready to start budding. We kept a pretty good speed (mid 16's average) and I finished with no leg problems. I even went was far as riding today with the group out of Cranbury. We had another great day with the same wonderful weather. Still didn't have any leg problems. I am tired but I've put on over 110 miles in two days. Much more than the recommended 10%/week increase. :-)

I'm going to have to work out some additional exercises to help with the quad issue and take off some additional weight (yes, I'm also eating better). I've already started with the rest of my program. Still a few more days like this and I'll be in mileage heaven. I'm now looking forward to higher temperatures (I like it hot) and I hope to start commuting to work to build up mileage and improve my climbing. Turns out I more hills on my 40 mile commute than on the 210 mile Longest Day ride.

PS: Ah, I forgot this bit. I brought my new Tachyon Helmet Camera and put it on my handlebars. I had thought it was pointing upwards a bit but viewing the recordings showed it wasn't. I do have to devise a better mounting. It was allow to bounce around pretty good. As I've said before the camera works great. As I'm finding out the mount is a little tricky.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Grad student at NJIT

Well it's official I'm now a grad student at NJIT. I'm in the Computer Science program and I'm looking forward to learning. I'll need to do some more work on my attention deficit problems. I think I'll talk to my doctor and see what we can do. I'd prefer not to go the medicine route unless it's absolutely necessary. In the meantime I have some calculus to refresh and a few bridge course to attend to.

I also decided to do my part for the economy and get a new TV. It was expensive but it has a nice picture. I got it home, unpacked it, drooled over the picture quality and suddenly came to the realization that there were no quality programs to view. That crushed my rather frugal nature pretty severely. The good news is that my wife likes the TV and she'll use it to watch baseball. So it's not a total waste of good money. The TV supports DLNA and I now need to compile a DLNA server on my Linux server. I'm currently running MediaTomb on the server but it's UPnP and the TV doesn't recognize it properly. I'm now in the process of getting the various HD cabled up properly. The way I had the previous things cabled hasn't made it easy to hook up the new TV.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tachyon XC, Helmet Camera Pt. 2

So I've had the Tachyon XC, Helmet Camera for a month and done some modest testing (the Northeastern US has been dealing with some snow). Two weeks ago I setup the camera for medium resolution and went out for a ride. I attached it atop my helmet and despite the make-shift helmet mount the camera worked great! It pretty much stayed put and followed wherever I looked. The medium res. wasn't too bad and the voice recording actually worked pretty well (big surprise). I've determined that I really don't like it on the helmet too much as I am rather twitchy and I'm looking all over the place. The next test will be to attach it to the handle bars and see how well that works. The final test will be attached to the frame. I'm now in the process of finding some open source video editing software that I can use to edit the half hour files (I recorded 2 hours worth of a 4 hour ride). I've had no trouble reading the files off the SD card and playing them on my Linux boxes. So far I am pleased with the camera. It's well worth the money and it works great!