Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Gadgets

My hoard of technology has been charged and tested.  Procedures for blogging have been documented.
These are the travelling gadgets I'll be exposing to the airport security X-Rays;

The following four will be in my cycling bag for use on the road. The last ones will be in my room luggage for end of run blogging, email etc.

Garmin Forerunner Training Computer.

I will be wearing the heart rate monitor chest strap to record my effort.
I will upload waypoint files into the GPS for each day of the ride for navigation purposes.
The tracking feature will be on during my rides so that I can download and import my track into My Maps and embed it in this blog.

The Contour HD Helmet Cam

I'll have this switched on when I'm in particulary scenic parts of the day's ride. It will run for about three hours on a charge and I have a spare battery.
The two 16G microSDHC cards are also capable of storing video of that length.  Videos will be offloaded to an external USB drive on the Acer and portions will be extracted and uploaded to YouTube to be embedded in this blog.

Casio Exilim SX-Z50 Cam

For still photos and short video especially when I've stopped in a village or am off the bike without  my helmet.
Stills will be uploaded to Picasa and embedded in the blog.

Motorola V66 Cell Phone

Equipped with a Virgin Mobile UK SIM ready to be activated when I reach Heathrow.
Just in case I have to reach someone in an emergency or in general, to text friends back home.

Acer Aspire One NetBook

This computer has become a little workhorse ever since I swapped out Linpus for Ubuntu and added internal RAM.
It is quite capable of doing some basic video editing and in addition will be used for transfer of GPS tracks and waypoints to and from the Forerunner.
F-Spot will export still photos directly to Picasa.

iPod Touch

Email, weather, news, offline maps, tourist guides, home security monitoring, itinerary updates, etc.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Getting Ready - Half the Fun

I love cycling and, if possible, try to incorporate it in my holidays.  It could be a day's rental in Ostersund, Sweden or the borrow of a friend's bike for four days in Les Isles de la Madeleine.

This year I decided to dream a little bigger.  The C2C route ( across England was appealing and not wanting to rush it (the pubs and ales were calling) I chose a hybrid route that offered six days on the road from Ulverston to Sunderland.  It gives me plenty of time to dawdle and discover.

Other than my cold weather tights and various rain gear I've never been one for cycle clothing but, never ignoring a 'need' to accessorize, I happily flashed the VISA at Mountain Equipment Coop for some updating.

Also, being gadget-crazy, I 'invested' in a helmet video cam ( to grab the passing scenery.  I'll be bringing along all my usual gadgetry and will post along the route whenever I'm in WIFI country. I'll be on my own on the road so I've got myself a UK Virgin Mobile SIM waiting to pop into my cell phone once I get to Heathrow.

Winter in Ottawa is still hitting us with its volatile thaw/deep freeze cycle but I'm making the most of it by training indoors every Saturday until early April.  I want to be able to climb Hartside ( with minimal huffing and puffing.