Sunday, September 28, 2014

Still alive

I skated little and blogged even less this summer. Not to worry, I'm still alive and skating vigorously through the waning days of the season.

Lexington and Bedford repaved parts of the trail this summer. Bedford redid pretty much their entire section, west from Wiggins Avenue to Bedford Depot Park. Lexington fixed two of their bumpier sections. One repaved area is from the Arlington line west to Fottler Avenue where the trail always filled up with sand among the tree roots during each heavy rain. The other is one of the shortest trail sections, from Woburn Street and Hayes Lane over to Fletcher Avenue. The work there included the inexplicable installation of a bumpy crosswalk warning ("tactile paving") on just one side of the Fletcher Ave crossing. The newly rebuilt ramp to the roadway no longer meets the pavement properly. I hit the edge there Saturday morning and fell onto the tactile paving. No harm except for strained muscles.

[Update: Lexington patched the transition from road to ramp with asphalt. It's hugely improved. Also, falling onto a wrist guard leads to large and strangely shaped bruises on the chest.]

Since my post on tracking apps, the publishers of Moves have gone quiet on Facebook. They never responded to complaints there about Moves lumping together disparate activities with no way to separate them afterward. They didn't fix the app, either, so I've stopped using it completely. I expect a new crop of fitness tracking app features with the advent of HealthKit in Apple's iOS 8, but it's not quite here yet.

I've switched out the MeCam on my helmet for a Mobius Pro Mini Action Camera. It's superior to the MeCam in resolution and optical quality, both important if you're hoping to get the license plate of that jerk who blew through the crosswalk. The Mobius camera comes with a mount to be used with either Velcro or a standard tripod mount. I put a 1/4" x 20 bolt through the crown of my helmet to make a secure mount. Think carefully about the camera angle before you do that. You can configure the Mobius camera to overwrite the oldest video segments as it needs space for new ones, sparing you the need to manually clean up when the Micro SD card fills. A minute of 1080 HD video takes about 110 megabytes. Each five minute segment (the recommended size for endlessly rotating files) is over half a gigabyte and an 8GB Micro SD card will hold about fourteen segments, 70 minutes worth. The camera handles changing light conditions decently. Facing the sun is a problem, as it is for any camera. The boring sample below was shot eastbound, facing the morning sun, between Fottler Avenue and Bow Street in Lexington. It was shot as 1080p ("full HD") and uploaded as 720p.