Maps of our trip from Cartographe

We have been working with a small French company called Cartographe on interactive maps for our trip.

The idea is to have a set of interactive maps that cover the route of our trip this summer. When we post a journal entry from the road, we will optionally add the coordinates of the location where the post is made. This will then add an interactive link to the map for that leg of the trip. Fabrice Fontaine has been extremely helpful. He has worked up a prototype for us. Fabrice is in the process of transferring his domain, otherwise I would add a link to Cartographe.

I now need to spend some time figuring out how to best integrate this with our site and with pMachine. The structure of the site could end up changing quite a bit. Maps are central to a journey and they probably should be central to a site about our journeys.

Also the map coordinates are driven from an XML file. This means that in order to have a web based way of updating the map, I need to create some additional UI to enter the map coordinates and link to a post. Not difficult but it means that a user would need to go to two separate pages to create a post. One for the post itself and another for the map link. Integrating with pMachine directly would be a good idea. Perhaps I could use the custom fields and work with Fabrice on a different way to access the coordinates either using the existing pMachine tags or even MySQL directly.

Stay tuned.

Training Officially Begins

Training officially begins…

Wow I have a great bike!

After 5 years of tandem cycling with Robert, today I went spinning on my own Trek 2000 WSD, with Shimano 105 components. Believe me, the model number of the componentry didn’t impress me one iota until I had to climb hills today. When the derailleur shifted like buttah (to be read with a nasal NYC accent) I instantly became a converted cool gear enthusiast. Not all componentry is created equal, I finally admitted to Robert as I compared this smooth sensation to lesser components on other bikes I had sampled.

2003 Trek 2000 WSD

Training Tips from Adventure Cycling

Adventure Cycling has an email newsletter called Bike Bits that anyone can sign up to receive for free.

In the most recent edition there is a brief but concise training regime that they describe. The timing is perfect for us.

Riding a loaded bicycle is a demanding physical challenge. Here are a few training tips that will help to prepare you for that challenge.

Base Training Miles

Start training at least four months before the planned departure date. One month of riding 4 – 6 days a week, either inside on a trainer or outside on the bike, is sufficient. You want to spin the bike at a high rate of revolutions per minute (RPM) – at least 90 RPM – and use easy gears. A good goal is to have from 300 to 600 miles, roughly 20 to 30 hours on a trainer, under your belt. Also, take time to work into a stretching routine. This will get your muscles, tendons and ligaments ready for the next stage of training.

Building Strength

The goal for the next month is to build up riding strength in your body, once you have a good base of training. This is the stage where you gradually start mixing in more difficult training. Riding hills and structuring training to include intervals and sprint training are key to this stage. You want to mix this type of training in gradually while maintaining your spin rides between workout rides. Don’t overdo it. Mix in easy rides and rest days. The goal is preparation, not overworking your body. Days you work on sprints should be the shortest riding days and easy riding days should be longer. Remember, strength does not mean crushing huge gears. Higher rates of spinning will get you up the hills faster with less energy used. Hill climbing and strength training should be continued once or twice a week into the next stage of training.

Building Endurance

This stage is meant to build up endurance for longer rides Start by taking longer rides once or twice a week. By the end of this third month you should be riding 40 to 50 miles a day, two days a week. Start toning down the strength riding for the sake of spending time in the saddle. Start enjoying the rides. Ride to places locally you have either never been to or haven’t seen in a long time. Ride many hills and enjoy the views. Take a meal with you and stop to enjoy it.

Ride with Weight

This is the most important stage of training. About six weeks before your departure date, begin to carry weight on the bike as you ride – particularly on the long endurance days. Begin slowly, carrying about 20 pounds or so, and work your way up to carrying all of your gear a couple of times a week for two weeks before your trip starts. You need this time to build strength in your ligaments, muscles and tendons. This will help to avoid injuries and prepare you for an enjoyable trip.

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