Riding in North County

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I’m in a little bit of a rush. I’m headed out to ride up to Bonsall, which 45 miles Northeast, and meet up with Wayne and Dale Stetina, Pete Penseyres and a few other guys. Their ride is leaving at 9 am, but I couldn’t get up there by then and am sort of adverse to driving to ride, so I’m going to head up there and ride backwards and hopefully meet up with them. Wayne and Dale are riding a tandem, which could be a nightmare for the guys they are riding with. That is some serious horsepower if all the stars were aligned. I haven’t seen Dale since his head injury, but it seems he is doing pretty good to be able to ride a bicycle. Dale is out here to do a Ride for Recovery event from Palo Alto to Santa Monica next week. Wayne says they are riding a 23 pound Landshark tandem. Pretty cool.

I got a notification that I “lost” a Kom on Strava to Christian Vande Velde from 2011. So I go and click on Strava and there it is. I was at the front through Rosie’s that year, but didn’t have a Garmin on. I guess Christian wasn’t supposed to be using Strava when he rode for Garmin, so he just downloaded all his files recently. Another weird thing is that when I just went to look now, Brian Matter is listed too. That means he just downloaded 2011 to Strava. Kind of strange.

I only rode a little over 60 miles yesterday and sort of melted in the heat. It was close to 90 degrees inland and that seemed pretty incredible hot compared to what I’ve been riding in recently. I still don’t quite understand it. Hopefully, it is a little cooler inland today. Okay, got to go.

rosie's copy

16 thoughts on “Riding in North County

  1. Wildcat

    Close to 90 degrees? Hot?? Laugh out loud! Never really got your Kansas summer skin on this year huh?

  2. channel_zero

    #1. Don’t trust Strava. Their stuff doesn’t work.

    A ride from 2011 suddenly appearing just means they are trying to fix their algo that fits rides to segments and some old rides got fitted to segments. Neither segments or user routes are fixed to roads, and as a result even distance, much less every other BS stat they generate isn’t accurate.

    Or, you can waste time at the site while it generates junk data. Your choice.


    Channel_Zero – Strava does not generate data. The GPS devices we ride with generate the data and most of them are quite cheap and not trustworthy. This isn’t Strava’s fault. We aren’t riding around with Trimble devices with RTK functions, so we can’t really expect much.

    If you want to see how poor your raw data is, try QGIS (it’s an open source GIS software) or ArcGIS. You can see the intervals at which your GPS collects the data as well as how much it “wobbles” off the road.

    As far as the old data being applied to segments in recent weeks – this is not likely because of something Strava has done, but rather, the changes Garmin has made. Garmin has been changing their structure and data flows a bunch in recent weeks. They’ve also introduced a way to have data synced with Strava. I’ve also lost some KOM’s recently to old rides. I lost several on the same day that Garmin introduced the new sync feature.

    The Garmin computers and cellphones have very cheap GPS units in them. To get the accuracy that would make Strava super awesome, we’d need to have GPS units that cost well over $25,000 and public RTK base station networks well beyond anything in existence today.

    Don’t blame Strava, they just take our crap data and try to make something fun out of it. All things considered, they do a fine job.

  4. Johnny Bugno

    I can drop CVV with a panty-less hottie in a mini skirt sitting on my bars. An old man like Tilford would be no problem. When I race master’s cross this year it will be with a Bob trailer full of great wine and stinky cologne … I won’t need a call up either

  5. John

    I was a huge Pete Penseyres fan in the early 80s. I was in high school in San Diego at the time, but lived at Camp Pendleton. The RAAM used to get a bunch of coverage in the mags and on TV. I remember Pete rigging his handlebars with a platform so he could rest in an “aero” position. I think it was mostly for comfort, and it was before Greg Lemond made aero bars famous in his TDF win.

    What a cool memory! I’m still a Pete Penseyres fan. If I recall correctly, he wasn’t a “racer”, but a huge mileage guy that would commute ridiculous (for then especially) miles in training for the RAAM.

    Keep on riding Pete!

  6. channel_zero

    Strava does not generate data.
    Your first claim is false. “Estimated Avg. Power” “Energy Output” “Power Curve” All junk.

    If you want to see how poor your raw data is, try QGIS (it’s an open source GIS software) or ArcGIS. You can see the intervals at which your GPS collects the data as well as how much it “wobbles” off the road.

    Right. You are missing my point and that’s probably intentional. There’s a reason they have a link on the bottom of a route page ” Don’t see the segment you’re looking for?” because the tracks are anchored to nothing. Yes, the radios aren’t great, but that’s not the point.

    Garmin has been changing their structure
    Wait a minute. In Steve’s example, a track created and posted *to strava’s site* years ago has been somehow manipulated by Garmin no less, on Strava’s file system. Strava is just giving out read-write access?

    You don’t know what you are talking about.

  7. Scott Dickson

    A ride with Wayne, Dale, and Pete, what a great fossil collection! John, were you aware that Pete Penseyres has multiple medals and jerseys from national championship competition?


    Channel Zero —
    As a certified GIS Professional (GISP) who writes spatial routing algorithms for a large corporation, I’d say I know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve played with Strava’s old and new API’s to dissect what they are doing and written enough code to replicate it. I’ve even toyed with the idea of starting my own service that alters users data so they can have any KOM they want. It’s pretty easy really. It would be a pay per KOM, but morally, I think giving this out would kill the fun of Strava.

    Garmin was having their bandwidth and processing horsepower brought down to a crawl by third party apps that would sync Strava, TrainingPeaks, and others. Garmin’s API was such that they exposed themselves to this abuse. They’ve since changed it and made their own sync tool. Upon Garmin doing this, many users signed up for it and had all of their old Garmin rides immediately uploaded to Strava.

    As to the power curves and other data “generated” by Strava, it comes down to the old phrase “garbage in – garbage out”. If you don’t have a power meter, and your weight is entered, Strava will use a basic calculation to estimate your power. We all should know that there are so many variables going on (wind and others) that it is impossible to have something accurate. This is especially true on flat or short segments. Long climbs tend to produce better power results because those other variables become less important in the power calculation. It is all simple math meant to give estimates and fun. Strava doesn’t generate that data, but calculates it from your data. There is quite a difference here and this distinction is considered highly important in the world of analytics.

  9. gerrycurl

    When Pete was preparing for RAAM, he’d ride all the way from his house in Fallbrook, ride a very difficult training race with us (SDBC) in Rancho Santa Fe, hammer with the best and do just fine, and then just ride back home. Well over a 100 mile day. Oh, and he never mentioned to anyone that he was prepping for RAAM. He was very, very modest. He looked like a total FRED in that beard and Avocet touring shoes, in his 40’s and not looking the part of a joe-pro racer, but he was every bit the athlete. He used to commute by bike from his house over to his job in San Onofre, 60-70 miles each direction.

  10. gerrycurl

    FYI, Richard Bryne (founder and inventor of Speedplay pedals) is the one who designed and built Penseyres’ aero bars. He won with them and didn’t really think so much of the aero reasons for using them. The issue that came out of the first few RAAMs was that the participants were suffering severe damage to their ulnar nerves from the almost constant pressure on their hands. The aero bars took his weight off of his palms.

  11. John

    I wasn’t aware of his other pal mares, but I was 15 and pretty stupid about bike racing. I rode 40 miles around Camp Pendleton “channeling” Pete Penseyres….had no water with me, and wondered why I felt so bad after that ride.

    I started following pro cycling closely when Andy Hampsten and Greg Lemond were hitting it big in Europe. Before that, cycling was always Pete Penseyres and Nelson Vails to me. They both are legends in my mind.

    I am so glad to hear they both still ride their bikes. Steve’s pic of Nelson early this year was cool…those legs are ridiculous.

    Thanks for the memories.

  12. Doughboy

    A lot of “old” people that I know in this story. Glad to hear Dale is on 2 wheels, call me next time out in my hood Tilly. I might not ride with you, but maybe lure you to my kids baseball game, followed by pizza and beer!



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