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Ride With GPS
December 22, 2011 5:26 PM   Subscribe

"Ride With GPS is the best bike route mapping tool for cyclists, runners or anyone wanting an easy yet powerful fitness route planning experience. We offer tools to analyze cycling performance, including graphs of heart rate, cadence, watts (power output from a power meter), speed and elevation gain. Using all this data, we can offer training plans and other insight into your fitness. We work with all Garmin Edge bike computers, Forerunner fitness devices and any GPS unit that can export a TCX or GPX file."
posted by troll (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
This post reads like an ad. Thought I wasn't logged in for a minute.
posted by birdherder at 5:31 PM on December 22, 2011


This post reads like an ad.

Heh. It's a cool free app. The text is a self-description from the first link. Didn't think I could describe it any better, so that's what I used. I'm so sorry that offended you.
posted by troll at 5:38 PM on December 22, 2011


Not nuts about the framing of this post, but RideWithGPS has helped me find some good routes in areas I'm not familiar with.
I sometimes embed their map data in my blog, but usually I don't because it makes public how slow I am, and I prefer to lie about my cycling prowess.
Still, having route info and elevation profiles is kinda cool.
posted by cccorlew at 5:40 PM on December 22, 2011


It's a cool free commercial app with a free trial version.
posted by CaseyB at 6:41 PM on December 22, 2011


Strava is another competitor in this area.
posted by box at 6:54 PM on December 22, 2011


It's a cool free commercial app with a free trial version.

*Sigh*

No, it's a free app with a commercial option. The free version is very powerful and meaty; it probably has at least 90% of all the possible tools. I would know--I'm a user. The upgrades are for serious athletes/trainers/managers.

I understand MetaFilter has an aversion towards "products" or something, but it's really affecting your grasp of, you know, reality. The product is free. It's cool. Now please stop shitting in this thread.
posted by troll at 7:00 PM on December 22, 2011


I tried to ride with a Garmin Edge but it really didn't work at all for me. I live in a redwood forest, and I'd find that when I finished my rides, half of the route would just be missing.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 7:29 PM on December 22, 2011


Sure reads like an ad, but hey, maybe it was well-intentioned, who knows? So we might as well discuss how GPS devices are really inaccurate and don't make very good training tools.

I use a variety of online map services to calculate my distances - LogYourRun, MapMyRide, and sometimes just plain Google Maps. They all work fine, and they all are either free or have free options.

And sometimes, I just wave a hand vaguely and estimate how far I went. That works fine, too.
posted by richyoung at 9:16 PM on December 22, 2011


tylerkaraszewski: "I tried to ride with a Garmin Edge but it really didn't work at all for me. I live in a redwood forest, and I'd find that when I finished my rides, half of the route would just be missing."

The edge is a piece of shit. I use my Nexus One when I go mountain biking for the same reason. We have some deeply forested paved roads too, but they're just open enough for the edge to work.

Strava is having an ongoing issue with "hazardous segments." This site might be a suitable replacement if they don't resolve it soon.
posted by klanawa at 9:18 PM on December 22, 2011


@richyoung - gps for running, yes. gps for cycling, not such an issue it turns out, as the error is reduced over longer distances.

strava's awesome btw. been using it for years.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 11:58 PM on December 22, 2011


An "app"? Really? Is it Android or iOS?
Not?
Oh. Is it Mac or Windows or Linux?
Not?

It's not an app. It's a web site. Please note the difference. OKTHNKSbye.
posted by Goofyy at 12:17 AM on December 23, 2011


It's not an app. It's a web site. Please note the difference. OKTHNKSbye.

It's an app
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_application
posted by jedro at 1:50 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


So anything similar with 3 letters of the name the same, is equal?
posted by Goofyy at 2:53 AM on December 23, 2011


So anything similar with 3 letters of the name the same, is equal?

What? It fits the functional definition of an app. It's an application that is accessible through a smart phone web browser. There is no meaningful difference. Apparently you've been well-trained by the prescriptivist iPhone marketing campaign, but I assure you the word is in broader usage--including that of its original definition. Your quote above represents a ridiculous misapprehension of how language works.

App is short for application. Ride With GPS is an application. Thus, Ride With GPS is an app.

LOGIC
posted by troll at 3:38 AM on December 23, 2011


I meant to say "App is short for a web-accessible smartphone application. Ride With GPS is a web-accessible smartphone application. Thus, Ride With GPS is an app." Otherwise, the definition would be inclusive of a program like photoshop, which really doesn't fit the bill.

PROOFREADING
posted by troll at 5:03 AM on December 23, 2011


This article on DC Rainmaker is a good rebuttal to that article in the NY Times about running with a GPS.
posted by bDiddy at 7:16 AM on December 23, 2011


I have a GPS watch (a Garmin). It's very nice, but you need to understand its limitations. I've run with some other people who have them, and basically treat them like some sort of magic that is always correct. They don't really understand how they work (other than a vague notion of "uses satellites") and I think this is where the bad misunderstandings come from.

If you zoom in closely and look at the track created by a GPS device, it's a series of points connected by straight lines -- it's just recording a point every few seconds. If you're on a winding trail, it will necessarily miss any turns and twists that are smaller than the resolution that it is recording points at.

And the accuracy of the points is dependent on the strength of the GPS signal; if you are running under tree cover, or just after the system starts up, it'll be a lot less accurate.

However, if you keep those things in mind, I think they can still be a useful tool. If you do most of your running on streets or on rail-trail type routes, where you're basically running in a straight line with very distinct turns, and good visibility of the sky, they work surprisingly well.

Also, my experience is that they tend to underestimate distance while tracking time accurately, and thus report your pace as slower than it actually is. From a training perspective, this is the failure mode that I would prefer. I wouldn't want a watch that fools me into thinking I'm running an 8:00 pace when I'm actually running a 9:00; one that tells me I'm running a 10:00 or 9:30 when I'm actually running 9:00 isn't great, but I'd rather have all the error in that direction than any the other way. (After all, underestimating my pace is just going to lead to a pleasant surprise on race day.)

The newer Garmins also have foot-impact sensors, so they can record cadence as well as GPS position to try and get a more accurate idea of your path ... although this is still open to other forms of error, particularly if you're running on a trail where your stride length is going to change dramatically based on the terrain. And trail runners are, in my experience, the source of a lot of the disappointment with these systems. (To be honest, I don't think there's really any good technology solution -- other than using a very detailed map -- for measuring distance; it's sort of the worst possible case for most of the systems on the market right now.) I'm pretty sure there are pedal-cadence sensors for people using the same devices while biking, although without a way of knowing which gear you're in, I don't think that would help position estimation any.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:07 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wouldn’t a regular old bike computer and map be more accurate and easier to use? I bought and tried a GPS (for hiking, I have no idea why) and it was pretty inaccurate.

This is probably just out of my range of experience. My bike rides are pretty short, usually the same routes, and involve wheezing and possible crying. Like sex. Thank you.
posted by bongo_x at 11:51 AM on December 23, 2011


It fits the functional definition of an app. It's an application that is accessible through a smart phone web browser. There is no meaningful difference. Apparently you've been well-trained by the prescriptivist iPhone marketing campaign

This is funny, because Apple was the one who tried hard to push the notion that there was "no meaningful difference" between browser-based applications and native apps during the initial iPhone launch, and they got roundly pilloried for it.

That said, there are a slew of "GPS apps" that I can run on my phone without a data connection, and that will track and/or react to my position using the phone's GPS unit. I think it's technically possible to do this in the browser, but it's this sort of functionality that tends to be the "meaningful" distinction between an "app" and a "web application".
posted by bjrubble at 6:35 PM on December 23, 2011


Señor Pantalones:
gps for running, yes. gps for cycling, not such an issue it turns out, as the error is reduced over longer distances.
Sure, I get that - small errors matter less as the total distance gets larger. Personally, I need something that works for running AND cycling (and hiking and XC skiing....), and I'm a huge cheapskate, so I've settled on the web map thing.

I don't really care what methods people use to track their mileage - I'm not ratting anyone out to the Workout Police. I just thought, since the underlying technology has just been criticized by a reputable source as inaccurate for this sort of use, it's relevant to point that out.
posted by richyoung at 11:01 PM on December 23, 2011


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