Sonoma in May, Wine Country Century

It is time to head to Healdsburg again for the Wine Country Century.

This year the century will be our big tune up ride for the trip across country. At one hundred miles, it is farther than we plan to ride on a daily basis, but it is only one day and we are not hauling any gear.

This century is the one we do every year. It is beautiful country and a great excuse to head to the wine country for a long weekend. How can you beat:

A big ride

wcc-ride

A nice meal and of course, wine.

armida-pinot

New IT Department for Team Tandem

After much though and visits to CNET and eBay, we have finally put together our travelling IT department! Originally we thought we would use an iPaq and accesories (keyboard, modem, etc) to keep in touch on the road. After all Gabi works at HP and the solution would be light.
But after pricing it out and adding up the weight of the whole collection of goodies, it started to really add up. So we decided to go with this instead:
tiny-open
I found a slightly used Sony PictureBook on eBay for a great price. The price was less that what the iPaq plus accessories would have costed and, at 2.2 lbs, the whole thing only weighs a little more. I’ve been using it for a couple of days now and must say that I love this little thing. Not only is it a great travel machine, it is faster and better than my current home machine. The current home machine is about to become a hand me down.

Vermont 2000 photo album posted

We finally have our photo album section of the site up and running.

In September 2000 we toured Vermont by bicycle for a week. We have just posted a set of photos from the trip to our flickr account here. It is the first album and going through this process helped to iron out some of the issues with the design and layout of the photo weblog (originally using pMachine, now on flickr).

We timed the trip to be after school started and before the changing of the leaves in Autumn. Doing so, we ended up with great riding conditions and no problems finding lodging. I think that we made reservations for the first night we stayed in Brattleborough but that is it. For the rest of the trip we just winged it.

We hope you enjoy it!

How to Journal from the road

I just discovered a client weblog tool that works with pMachine called wBloggar
One of the challenges to journaling from the road is that we might not have internet access when we want to create a journal entry. wBloggar solves this very nicely. It is a little windows client application that lets you create your entries locally then publish them to your web log.
It also has some pretty advanced features like:

  • Custom tags (I just added the list item tag 🙂
  • Spell checking
  • WSIWG editing
  • File upload
  • Basic HTML tag support

I’m hoping it will work on an iPaq!.

PS: I just posted this with wBloggar!

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.