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Another product idea

Miscellaneous 6 50

I don’t know how many of you keep a training log, but I suspect that many of you do. Maybe some of you are resolving to start keeping a cycling diary in 2006. Even if you don’t race, keeping a somewhat detailed log that includes the basic stats from your ride, a description of the course and conditions, and a description of how you feel can be an effective tool in gauging improvement.

For a very short time, I tried a shareware program called BikeLog to record the data from rides on my Sony Clie. I didn’t keep it up because I just didn’t like to enter the information right after a ride. I have seen another system called Bikini that lets you turn your Palm device into a cyclocomputer of sorts. Really cool, but that is not exactly what I want either. So here is the idea… What if I could just beam the data from a cyclocomputer directly to my Palm OS device? No wires would be needed, just the IR port on the PDA and a similar one on the cyclocomputer. The manufacturer of the cyclocomputer could provide desktop software that would allow me to record a few comments once the information has been synced between the PDA and my desktop computer. Of course, I would want the cyclocomputer to have a function that would allow me to use it on several bikes. As I beamed the stats from my ride, the software would record in the log whether I was on my road, mountain, or cross bike. It would also be nice if the cyclocomputer could store the info for a few rides. If I missed transferring the info for a couple of rides, I could just wait and beam the stats for a group of rides at once. With all of that information stored on the computer, I could do all kinds of fun things like plot charts that show how much slower I get each year. What do you all think, would you buy a product like this? If any of you can think of reasons why this idea would not work, I’d love to hear those as well.

While I am on the subject of PDAs, lately I have been using the new custom RSS channel feature from Avant Go. After I sync my Clie, I can read the feeds from several of my favorite bike blogs on the go. Pretty cool.

6 Comments

  1. Tim Jackson- Masi Guy December 22, 2005 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    Cool idea. I like it… smart guy.

  2. Graham December 22, 2005 at 5:56 pm -  Reply

    It does seem like these cyclocomputers could do a lot more than they do. The only thing I don’t like is tying it to IR functionality or just the Palm OS. A simpler solution may be to just have an SD slot that can be transferred to other devices. You could also use Bluetooth or another wireless technology like RF, but I’d wait for future versions before going that way. Ok…that’s the geek in me coming out.

  3. James December 24, 2005 at 5:09 pm -  Reply

    Good point Graham. The reason I mentioned IR is because I don’t want to have to deal with cables or removable media right after a ride. Still, even if the unit stored all the info on something like an SD card, the user could wait a long time to transfer the data from many rides at once. I could go for that.

  4. Anonymous December 26, 2005 at 12:28 am -  Reply

    Polar 720i and 725i can already do it more or less. But you have to buy their USB IR device to connect to your PC.

  5. Anonymous December 26, 2005 at 4:14 am -  Reply

    gee you sure like bikes

  6. Anonymous October 21, 2006 at 7:46 am -  Reply

    dear james ive got a polar 725i and a program for my palm called MysportTraining you down load all the stuff from the polar via infer red and it displays every thing heart rate zones duration altitude speed cadence training diary you can put in notes it also has apps for other sport

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