Monday, July 13, 2009

Home Again

OK, I've returned home and returned to reality. The scale tells me that I've gained a whopping 3.4 pounds in the last week. Luckily, I don't give a crap what the scale says. Well, that's not quite true. I take the number my scale spits out and enter it into an app on my iphone that averages my weight and then gives me a "true weight". This bump (and, probably, the week without data) is throwing off my average.

But... Bah. It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Either I've gained a few pounds, in which case I'll lose it again and consider being more vigilant in the future, or it's water weight from less-than-ideal nutrition during my "free" week which I'll lose again. Same difference.

What's more important (much more important) is that I had a blast in San Diego, with not a small part of the fun taking place in either my running shoes or a cycling jersey. (I wanted to spend some time in my cute swim dress, but that didn't happen. Bummer.)

Have I mentioned how much I love the ability to take a route from (ahem, after checking the distance and elevation profile), or create a route, upload it to GPS Kit (or Trails) on my iPhone, hook the iPhone up to my handlebars, and follow a route without having to constantly look for street signs? It's absolutely fantastic. I was able to leave my mom's inland house, cruise down to the beaches, tour around, even take an unplanned detour, and return "home" without any stress. Here's one of the trips I took, in all its "satellitic" glory:

The first time I did this, though, I made the mistake of listening to music over bluetooth. The iPhone battery did not survive the nearly four hour ride (with sightseeing and lunch). I was able to remember enough of the route to make it back "home" without a problem, but I stopped by a construction crew to make sure I was going the right way on one long road. Just in case.

"Excuse me, but XYZ Blvd is this way, right?"

Long pause as they all stare and blink at me.

"Yeah," a woman finally says.

"Thanks, that's what I thought."

As I'm just starting to pedal off, the guy halfway in the ground pipes up, his voice a little uneasy, "You have a long way to go."

I respond, a chuckle in my voice, "Oh, I knew that!" and ride off, grinning broadly to myself.

Actually, I was only about three miles away from the street I was asking about. They might have been a bit surprised to know that, when chatting with them, I was somewhere around mile 37 of my 42 mile ride.

I didn't have the battery problem when I switched to using my shuffle for music and letting my iPhone only worry its little head about GPS. With enough tweaking, I could probably get it to guide me through a six hour ride.

I might just have to describe the system in greater detail later. For now, let's just say that this will change how I go about visiting and cycling in unknown cities. I think it's time to stop daydreaming about a long cycling tour (we're talking weeks, here) and start planning it out. I really do.

I wonder how I'll recharge my iPhone... Hmmm... One slight flaw, but not an insurmountable one. Man, I love technology.

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