Category: cycling

Modular bike routes

[UPDATE June 14, 2014] I created a composite map of all five modules (loops). All loops are displayed with the same line symbol (red semi-transparent). Since some route segments are part of more than one loop, some segments appear darker than others. I hope this makes sense.

All routes begin and end at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park (blue point marker). Click on the map below for a higher-resolution image. I will add route descriptions soon.

All five loops bike route module map Start-Finish point
All five loops bike route module map Start-Finish point

Some tech info for the geonerds: I collected the route data using my Google Nexus 4 phone and the Google My Tracks app (thanks to Terry Stigers for the app recommendation). The app’s KMZ files proved to be somewhat unyielding to work with (thanks to Randal Hale for helping with that), so I ended up exporting the data as GPX (another Terry Stigers suggestion).

Next I used QGIS 2.2.0-Valmiera (64-bit) with the OpenLayers plugin to display the “tracks” segments of my GPX files over a Google Physical layer base map.

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[UPDATE June 08, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Johnson Park (Loop 5) is 4.88 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, interactive Google Maps Map here.

In the next few days I will publish a composite map of all five modules along with general description of each.

Johnson Park (Loop 5) bike route module map
Johnson Park (Loop 5) bike route module map

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[UPDATE June 01, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Busch – Golf Course (Loop 4) is 5.84 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, interactive Google Maps Map here. More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Busch - Golf Course (Loop 4) bike route module map
Rutgers Busch – Golf Course (Loop 4) bike route module map

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[UPDATE May 31, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) is 3.86 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, interactive Google Maps Map here. More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) bike route module map
Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) bike route module map

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[UPDATE May 26, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) is 4.11 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, interactive Google Maps Map here. More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) bike route module map
Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) bike route module map

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Inspired by Anita Graser, who designs modular software and cooks modular meals, I decided to design a modular bike route and share it with my fellow cyclists in the New Brunswick/Highland Park area. The idea is to compile a number of short bike routes that begin and end at the same point, which will allow cyclists to combine different modules into a composite ride of their choice.

I just completed the first module — Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1). The route is 6.02 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, interactive Google Maps map is here. More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1) bike route module map
Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1) bike route module map

 

Austin-Healey Sprite spotted in the wild

I spotted this beauty during a recent bike ride in a local New Jersey park. The Austin-Healey Sprite (aka Bugeye) was introduced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in 1958. This car is my contemporary, give or take a few years. Wow.

Austin-Healy Sprite aka Bugeye British Motor Corporation sports car 1958
Austin-Healy Sprite aka Bugeye British Motor Corporation (BMC) sports car 1958

Engineering, yo!

There is probably a very legitimate reason for this manhole to stick out like that in Johnson Park (Middlesex County, New Jersey, location on Google Maps). Still, it doesn’t make engineers look too good in my book.

In deed

My friend Jon Verpent is not your typical 29-year-old. For one thing, he looks much younger (this is a compliment, Jon). But let me tell you about the other.

Unlike your typical 29-year-old who might want to celebrate their 30th birthday by, say, trying 30 different beers, Jon set out to complete 30 good deeds. Instead of giving something to himself, Jon decided to celebrate by giving something of himself.

So next time someone tells you that today’s young people only think about themselves, you can say “Not all of them.”

Read about Jon’s deeds on his blog 30 Deeds. Jon and his deeds have been written about by various media outlets, including today’s Star-Ledger — New Jersey’s largest newspaper. I enjoyed being part of Deed 12 — Cycle for Survival.

Jon Verpent at Deed 18 : Habitat for Humanity
Jon Verpent at Deed 18 : Habitat for Humanity

Two paths to online privacy

Eric Schmidt, the Google executive chairman, tells us we must fight for our privacy. This is like Monsanto warning us about the dangers of genetically-engineered food.

There are two paths to online privacy. Path One: Do not participate, in any way shape or form, ever. Good luck with that. I know exactly one person who has taken Path One.

I am here to tell you about Path Two

Path Two was discovered by people much younger than me. It involves populating the social networks’ databases with fake data. It took me a while to warm up to it.

At first I didn’t understand it. It felt childish and disingenuous. Why would anyone want to disguise their gender or home town? Don’t my friends already know my gender and where I live? Why would I post a fake phone number? Don’t my friends already know my real number?

Yes, yes, and yes! That’s exactly the point. My friends already know all they need to know about me. Why do I also have to give it to Facebook? I don’t. I can take Path Two.

If you go to my Facebook profile, you will see that I like cycling, Coors Light, Diet Pepsi, and sailing. You will also see that I was recently at the Playboy Mansion, by the Great Beds Lighthouse, and at the Cannes Film Festival. My friends will know what’s real and what’s fake. I wonder if Eric Schmidt can figure it out.

A different kind of tandem bike

I found this image of a man and a woman on a Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle on the website “vintage everyday: Bikes, bicycles, pushbikes”. According to the caption, the photograph was taken circa 1930 by Sam Hood.

I can’t imagine what kind of coordination it requires to ride this bike.

Man and woman on a Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle, c. 1930s, by Sam Hood
Man and woman on a Malvern Star abreast tandem bicycle, c. 1930s, by Sam Hood