31 August 2012

Garmin Foretrex 401 Review -Updated

I have been using the Foretrex 401 for about 10 months now. If you go back here , you can read where I gave my first review.

I am sad to the report, that not too long after posting my review, my 201 started recording a false max speed. I tried a hard reset and that did not work. Since the max speed was reading false I started not to trust the rest of the data. So the 201 was retired.

The Foretrex 401 meets all the requirements that I was looking for and is a great unit. But there are a couple of issues with getting the data off of the unit that can cause a few problems. First there is the Garmin Connect site. This is a workout log site that you can download the data from the GPS and track your workouts.

When you turn on the unit it takes a couple of seconds to pick-up a signal. Once I have a signal I will reset my data screen. But when you go to download the data to the Garmin Connect site you will also download the data before the reset. I just delete that record from the site.

This next one has happen twice to me (both where hiking trips) and I have seen another post about this issue. I parked my car and I turned the unit on. When the unit was able to received a signal I reset that data page. But when I got back home to download the data it had my start at my house and it recorded the entire hike. But that was a total mileage of 102 miles and not the 9.2 mile that the unit was showing. I don't know why it did that but the data from that trip was not good to me.

I use the Garmin Connect to load everything into first just to check the data. Delete what I don't need and name the activity. I then export the GPX file to another website. There are many different activity (workout) tracking websites out there. I have found that I like to use Ride with GPS. I just use the free basic service. One of the things that happens when I use Ride with GPS I am able to pick-up all the heart rate zones and how long I was in each one. You do not see that data on the Garmin Connect. Garmin Connect only shows you AVG HR and Max HR.

Bottom line the 401 is a great unit for what my needs are. I can deal with a data site that has issues or does not support the 401 as well as some of the other Garmin units

*** Updated to the update- I had another false max speed (something like 1,200mph)This only showed up on the Garmin Connect site. I did the same process of downloading to Garmin Connect and then moving the GPX file to another site. The second site displayed the correct max speed. So I don't think the false information is coming from the GPS but from the Garmin Connect site.

**** click here for another update review of the 401

If you have any questions after reading both post please leave a comment

27 August 2012

This one is for YO EDDY!!

When I saw this VW I knew that I had to get a picture and post it up for my fellow blogger Dan O aka YO EDDY.

Sits in the parking lot of the Krispy Kreme

If you don't know about Krispy Kreme you would not understand the Hot Bus plate on the VW bus. The Krispy Kreme stores have a sign that lights up with "Hot Now" to let you know they just finished a batch of doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme History

14 August 2012

Hoover Camp, Shenandoah National Park

Late Saturday I had the idea to go to the mountains for a hike. I was looking at doing some mileage and figured I could find something around the 10 mile mark. Digging around the house I find my map of the Shenandoah National Park Central District and a guide book for Circuit Hikes In Shenandoah National Park.

On page 67 of the guide book I spied Hoover Camp which gave me a route of 9.9 miles and 5 hours. Great, never hiked this area!

When I got to Shenandoah National Park I could not have asked for better weather. Temps on the mountain was 61 degrees. That sure does beat the heatwave that we seem to have for weeks now.The trailhead starts across the road from Big Meadows Wayside. Great place to run a base of operations for day hikes.

The trail is Rapidan Road which cuts through the meadows which is a good hike for small kids. About a mile down the trail you will reach Horse Trail. This was my return route from Hoover Camp. I follow Rapidan Road and it descends to the Rapidan River Valley.

At this point you will see this sign.

At this point I do a quick map check and I see both Rapidan Camp and Hoover Camp and I know I need to start back up the mountain.

The road looks like it goes up forever...

Just a little ways up the fire road I run into one of the trail markers that has Rapidan Camp on it. The first picture of this post is what I saw at the end of that trail. I figured I was at one of the PATC cabins.

After checking my map again to see how far up the trail Hoover Camp was, a guy came around the deck of the cabin cleaning up the area. I asked him was Hoover Camp up the trail? He told me this was Hoover Camp...

OK now, things are not looking right. I know where I was on the map.. but the signs are telling me something different..That's when he tells me that this was part of the Rapidan Camp. So that when I found out that this guy cleaning up is a NPS Volunteer and has been a volunteer at Hoover Camp for 9 seasons.

Rapidan Camp is not in the park. It is just outside of it.

Here's a link to the Park Service website about the camp

The volunteer did a great job talking about the history of the camp and the Hoover's. Stopping at the camp was a great part of this hike and I am glad he took his summer off to do this. I took about an hour to take the guided tour of the camp.

Picked up Horse Trail to get back to Rapidan Road and then about a mile to the start point.

With no planning this turned out to be one of the better hikes that I have taken in the park. Maybe because it had both history and hiking in one trip.

09 August 2012

MB-1 Bridgestone update #?2

The MB-1 project is coming along but things are slow. Last night I had a set back. So I figured I would share. The Bridgestone came with a Shimano 600 headset and it had seen better days and would need replacing.

I had purchase a new Ritchey Logic headset as a replacement. I pressed the cups in the head tube without to much issue. Then I tried to put the fork crown race on the fork. This is when I had problems. I matched the old 600 crown race with the new one and they seem to be the same size. After 30 mins I gave up!

I put a post on a website to see what the issue could be. During the night someone gave me that answer... The new headset was an ISO headset and I needed a JIS headset. I would have never figured that there are different types or standard sizes of 1 inch headsets, but there are..

Tonight I found this blog post over at Velo Orange. VO does a great job on giving you the low down on 1 inch headsets.

So there you,go we both learn something by my mistake!