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Topics - oldschool

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General Discussion / Viewing this forum on a mobile device
« on: July 26, 2011, 11:20:43 pm »
Thought I'd share this with everyone in case it wasn't widely known.

I found on my last cycle trip I was often viewing this forum (particularly the Temporary Route Road Closures section) from my mobile device (an iPhone). I suspect there are plenty other folk out there on the road using similar mobile devices to check this forum.

A bit of googling lead me to discover that if you add ?wap or ?wap2 or ?imode to the end of the url (I have the forum home page bookmarked) then the SMF forum will render as a mobile version. No bells and whistles mind you - its very basic. But for most purposes it works pretty well.

For example:

becomes (pick your favourite!) or or

Maybe you'll find this more useful for checking the forum on the road...?

General Discussion / Location-tracking website (route-specific)
« on: July 26, 2011, 06:59:00 pm »
Having just completed the TransAmerica, I passed, overtook, was overtaken by, read about in guest-books and generally blog-and-twitter-stalked numerous other cyclists along the way. And I found I always wanted to keep up with how they were getting along on their own trip and where they'd got to etc.

It got me thinking (as a software developer) about how useful it could be to have some sort of 'cycle tourer tracking website'. Here's some general concepts:
  • Account based (other social networking accounts could be used for authentication etc). You are in charge of what info is visible to others.
  • Your profile could link to your other social networking accounts as well as your blog etc. Updates from any of these could be aggregated to your profile (twitter and facebook status updates, location check-ins etc). People could also contact (phone/email) you through your profile - according to your privacy settings of-course.
  • Location updates could come from Foursquare/Facebook Places etc - where APIs permit - or directly (maybe through a mobile app etc?)
  • You could view a map of a particular route and see what other cyclists are currently riding it and where they are. Or just see what cyclists are touring around a particular area.

The big thing for me is the last one - being able to easily follow the progress of other cycle tourers that I've met and see who I might bump into tomorrow etc.

The two main arguments against this concept are obvious:
  • "Not another online profile to worry about"
  • Privacy/security issues. How to restrict who can track where you are?

I guess if everyone used one particular location-tracking service (Foursquare/Google Latitude/Gowalla etc) then you could kind of just use that - but you'd have to have a way of sharing your details with other cycle tourers while at the same time being confident they are actually a cycle tourer and not posing as one for malicious reasons.

I could kind of envisage some sort of endorsement/joint initiative between the ACA and one of these services, perhaps even hosted on the ACA website - but the security issues still leave me struggling to see how it would be viable.

I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts on this. Is there a safe way of doing this kind of thing? Is it totally unrealistic? If not, how do you see it working? I'd definitely be interested in working towards a solution, if there is one!

Pacific Northwest / Transport from Florence to Eugene?
« on: June 23, 2011, 08:11:45 pm »
Hi there Pacific Northwest folk. I'll be finishing the TransAm in Florence, OR, in mid-July. I was wondering if anyone knew the best (cheapest) way to transport me and my bike back to Eugene after I'm done? I probably won't be in the mood to just turn around and cycle back!

Ultimately I'm hoping to get down to San Francisco (possibly with bike) for a week before returning to Portland where I have a flight home. So there's obviously other questions. In summary:

  • How to get from Florence to San Francisco cheaply (I'm guessing via Eugene?)? Is it possible/worth taking my bike? (I'm guessing I could potentially leave it with a Warm Showers person in Eugene or somewhere)
  • How to get from San Francisco to Portland cheaply? Train? Bus? Plane? Teleportation?

Realise this is all a bit muddled. I'm struggling to work out what is the most logical course of action! Help!


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