Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cool Bike Ride Logger

I've been playing with the very cool MapMyRun online application this week. My brother, Bruce, told me about it. It looks like it is going to be quite useful for sharing info. about bike rides and hikes here on Bonaire. I'm toying with starting a new Blog where I can write a description about a given ride or hike and then include a link to the MapMyRun page that shows the track.

There are two things about MapMyRun that I find most interesting. The first thing is that you can generate an onscreen route for a ride or hike by clicking on lots of places on an onscreen map. I tried this with the Yatu Baku race loop and got just as good a result as I got when I imported a track from my GPS. So, I'm thinking that when I find an old road or trail on the satellite images of Bonaire, I might be able to create a proposed ride or hike, load it into my GPS, and then go out and try to find it in real life. There are some features that stand out on the satellite images that have proven to be pretty much invisible when you are out in the field. So this could be a big help.

The other cool thing about MapMyRun is that you can click on the link to one of my rides and see it on a fully scalable Google Earth satellite image of Bonaire. And you don't need to have the Google Earth software loaded on your computer as far as I can tell. For a while, back in the day, Google Earth wouldn't run on one friend's computer, which made it really hard to share info about bike rides with him. We've often been stuck with sending screen shot images of the rides. That isn't very useful, because the real fun happens with you zoom in on the map so you can see exactly where the path goes relative to the various, bushes, trees, and rock formations.

So please try out one of the links below and let me know if it works or not and how well. You'll need to know that the default view is of a road map, which for Bonaire looks like a big empty white blob. There is a clickable drop down box at the top middle of the map screen where you can select "Satellite Map" then you can see the track projected on Bonaire in all its glory. Also, at the top right corner of the map is a box where you can change the display from miles to kilometers, or vice versa. I really like seeing the accumulated mileage of the ride superimposed on the map.

Here is a link to the road ride I did this morning.
Here is one to a quickie mtn. bike ride I did Fri. am before work.
Here is a link to the Yatu Baku race loop.
Oh, and here is the ride I do most often after work in the evening. We call it the barf loop.

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