Trail Riding - Time Trials- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trail Riding - Time Trials

    So I was riding in Chelmsford (RM) yesterday and realized just how much I love the flow. It really strikes a nice balance of fast, swoopy, cruising sections and technical chunk sections.

    It got me thinking - could a section be decided on (that combines chunk with flow) to have some time trial trail riding?

    No sure if there are legs for an idea like this or not. Could be fun ... especially if you have sections where people "earn seconds off" their overall time if they opt for a tech line over a smooth line ... without dabbing.

    Thoughts??

  2. #2
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    I had a similar thought except instead of time bonuses (refs?) I would make the techy line faster/shorter. But the longer line could be faster if you know how to maintain speed through sweeping turns and pump the bumps so it wouldn't just reward those with good tech skills.

    As far as TT's go talk with Team Bums. They have one every week.

  3. #3
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    I would be down for something like this. (I know this thread is a little old but I ride RM 1-2 times a week when I get a chance). Would we do it on the honor system or something like the iphone app iMapMyRide? I usually go Wednesdays and Saturdays / Sundays if I get a few hours in the AM. Anyways, being a computer programmer I could make some sort of cheesy database thing, where the information could be logged and sorted or whatnot. Let me know what you think and we could work out some details.

  4. #4
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    Wow - I thought this thing was dead.

    Reading your post go me thinking ...

    This would have to start off as an "honor" system kind of thing. I suppose that would be OK, given that there's no money involved ... just bragging rights ;-).

    I was toying with the idea of a GoPro video - shoot your watch to start, ride, shoot your watch to end. We could post these to YouTube / Vimeo and organize them by a WordPress site (e.g. a post for each time trial location - Russell Mill, HPSF, etc...). We would need to figure out how to capture whether someone did an obstacle or not. That doesn't have to be an immediate thing tho... It would be fun to just throw some times/videos up there.

    Thoughts?

  5. #5
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    Strava.com gives you the ability to create segments which will measure you each time you do the segment. As long as you make the segment public everyone using a gps and strava will always be measured. They have a leader board so you always know who's got the best time and when they did it.

    It might work for what you are looking for. Although opting to do a certain obstacle or not will definitely need something more than strava.

    Strava Features | GPS Tracking, Maps, Analytics, Challenge Friends, Find Top Runs and Rides

  6. #6
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    Jason, that looks pretty good. I don't think it will track the missing obstacles but as gouveiad said it doesn't have to be an immediate thing. I was thinking on a much smaller scale, basically a login, trail, time, and youtube post or something like that. However, working with the GPS would be a great way to go. I mean sure you can't tell the details of the ride but it does give good information.

    I don't have a gopro but I do have an iPhone with both the iMapMyRide app and the Strava app. I have only used the iMapMyRide but Strava looks simple enough for everyone as well. It also seems like Strava may have some extra features but I have not looked into either one enough to give feedback.

    I do have a video camera that does HD but not sure how it will hold up on a trail. I will give it a shot hopefully sometime this week (if I get a chance) and will see how it goes. I have only really ever done RM but really want to get to HP this year.

    Looking a little more a Strava, it looks like it might work at the beginning but I think we would possibly still have to give the route on here. Something like just the trail names or the like (maybe post signs or something stating Time-Trial). IDK I just don't know how detailed the maps will be in Strava and if they will show the path the first rider used.

  7. #7
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    I signed up for Strava this AM. It looks pretty cool. I need to explore it a bit more. However -- I have sent a question in on being able to set up an activity ahead of time (e.g. June = Russell Mill time trial, July = HPSF, etc...). I also asked about being able to link to videos to prove that people actually did an obstacle. Lastly, I asked about being able to provide a description and rules on what the obstacles are.

    As far as the obstacles go, I think it should be a "made it" / "didn't make" it thing. No partial credit for attempting. Whoever sets up a time trial gets to decide the obstacles and what their time bonuses are worth. I also think people get a max of three shots at the time trial during the month it runs?

    Will keep people posted about Strava's response.

    Sounds like this could be pretty fun without being official ...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gouveiad View Post
    I signed up for Strava this AM. It looks pretty cool. I need to explore it a bit more. However -- I have sent a question in on being able to set up an activity ahead of time (e.g. June = Russell Mill time trial, July = HPSF, etc...). I also asked about being able to link to videos to prove that people actually did an obstacle. Lastly, I asked about being able to provide a description and rules on what the obstacles are.
    You may have just helped Strava come up with their newest feature. I think it would be cool to be able to link a video or have local challenges that people can find and complete.

    I've been using Strava for about a year now and enjoy it. There are a few segements set up in FOMBA and I believe at least one set up in Fort Rock. Of course you don't know this until you finish but still nice to see how you measure up against other riders when you don't know you're being measured. I think this gives you a true berometer. The next time you go out you'll know where the segment is and can push hard through it.

    Strava also allows me to follow my friends and the rides they complete. Not only that but they have a bunch of pro riders on the Eurpean and Domestic circuit to follow. Who which will often respond to questions you may have.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the intiative to email Strava. Maybe they can take it one step further and offer up some small prizes like socks, water bottle, or a t-shirt or even try and get other sponsors to offer small prizes.

  9. #9
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    OK - I think there may be a way to pull this off. It could take some time. Of course, this is theory right now.

    Wordpress has a Strava plugin. The time trial challenge could be laid out in a "blog post". The linking to Vimeo or YouTube could occur there as well. The Strava plugin would be used to show the leader board.

    If I get some time, I'll try to prototype a crude implementation.

    Thoughts?

  10. #10
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    I like the idea of using a blog post style. I am off to Texas for the week but when I get back hopefully the weather is a hair warming and some more sunshine and I will check out RM. Still got to find out how my video camera will hold up or somehow talk the wife into letting me get a go-pro haha!

    I have never setup anything with Wordpress but will gladly take a look into it if you don't have time.

  11. #11
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    just a BTW - I am a fairly slow rider most times but I am really excited to see how much slower and how I can improve.

  12. #12
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    FYI, there are Strava segments (ascent & descent) for Wild Turkey at Russell Mill. It doesn't seem to record all the time (4 out of 5 maybe) for me when I ride there but it is pretty cool.

    Wild Turkey descent segment Wild Turkey descent

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNeed View Post
    FYI, there are Strava segments (ascent & descent) for Wild Turkey at Russell Mill. It doesn't seem to record all the time (4 out of 5 maybe) for me when I ride there but it is pretty cool.

    Wild Turkey descent segment Wild Turkey descent
    Cool. I made top 5.
    It all works till changes are made to the trail. Wild Turkey,white and orange trails have had changes. The White trail is about 600ft long than it was last year.

  14. #14
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    I made a segment for the Pow-Wow trail at lynn woods. Its a downhill run from Boston Rock to Ox Pass rd.
    Boston Rock to Pow-Wow downhill
    '08 Stumpy
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  15. #15
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    Love it!

    This is some pretty cool stuff ....

    I have been super busy and haven't had a chance to start building something for this, using WordPress and Strava. Shouldn't be hard. I am hoping to have some time on my hands in the evenings next week.

    Enzyme ... feel free to give creating this a shot if you want. I am also a slower rider myself. I just think dig the idea of having yet something else to do while on the trails.

  16. #16
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    I think I am going to make it to RM either tomorrow or sunday - just try to get the feel of the bike again. I am also going with another guy on Wednesday.

    Not sure if I will get a chance before you, however, I think I might have a few free nights coming up.

    Glad that this is taking off a little. it's gonna make for a fun summer.

  17. #17
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    Finally got out to RM today - man I love that place! Not bad for the first ride of the year and I am no where near the shape I was in last year. My legs are killing me, my lungs aren't overly happy but there is still a huge smile on my face.

    Only did the Wild Turkey segment for time... 2:39 @ 6 mph. 16th overall. Pretty sure I can improve on that.

    Also, what are people using for bikes? That is something we may want to think about. I have a HT - Gary Fisher Marlin w/ V breaks and hopefully I can talk my wife into letting me get a new one so I can shed 4-5 lbs and get a better fork. Should there be any + or - for having FS? I have no idea if it makes you faster or slower. Personally I say just run what you brung (yes, I know that is not a word). That trail has no obstacles but there are plenty other ones that do.

    Gouveiad - any progress on the wordpress yet? These hockey playoffs are really taking up my time right now haha.

  18. #18
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    Sorry -- been traveling for work ... Chicago this week! Sorry Blackhawks ...

    I have been swamped with travel, work, and the hockey playoffs myself (typically at three at the same time). I haven't had a chance to build out more than the initial install and configuration of WordPress on Apache.

    I did sketch out a layout (wireframe-ish). The tricky part is going to be correlating the Strava info with the video info with the ability to get "points" for the video ...

    I'm hoping to have a little time tonight. I am relegating to listening to the Bruins online (no TV). I can probably hack some of the other pieces as I listen to the game.

  19. #19
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    I am still trying to figure out the best way to do points.

    It seems like a lot more people are riding RM this year. Glad to see it but I think it is hurting my placement haha jk.

    Any luck with the WordPress yet?

  20. #20
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    totally new to this strava thing... how in the world do you guys follow someone elses segment without staring at your phone or gps device every two seconds. it is a figure the loop out first and then give it a whirl or am i just awfull at remembering which way to go. also i have a garmin watch and it is my understanding that if i just turn it on whenever i cross the trail that starts it the thing will automatically work when i upload it later when i get home right.

  21. #21
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    Yeah if you are riding somewhere new to you, its pretty difficult to know exactly where the segments start and end. When I ride somewhere new I just keep the strava app running on my iphone.
    If I discover that I was on a few segments after the ride is over, then I might take note of a few and try to fly thru them next time I ride.

    If i'm riding somewhere and I know that a segment is just ahead, I will rest well before the segment starts.
    When riding to the segment's end point, I will make sure to keep on riding well after the end point, say 50-100 feet.
    The reason for this is because if you stop right at approximately the start or end point of a segment, the GPS might ping you as still being on the segment, meaning that the clock is ticking and your wasting time just sitting there.
    '08 Stumpy
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    '11 Transition TR250

  22. #22
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    Strava segments are fun. I guess they were originally meant for climbs and closed laps, but they add a little bit of extra spice to steep rocky descents if you are a competitive person.

    Just like this hellish section of a trail in the Fells where 1s can be a difference between a crazy ride and a nasty face plant: Strava | Running and Cycling GPS Tracker, Performance Analytics, Maps, Clubs and Competition

  23. #23
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    Basically, just go out and ride. You may hit a segment you may not. RM is not that big I think like 10-12 miles of trails all together and that may be even higher than it actually is.
    I am really liking the app and hopefully soon either gouvaid or myself will actaully make a page to add a little something to it. For right now, it works great.

    You don't have to do anything when you reach a segment, just ride and it will track what you do as long as you have the app running.

  24. #24
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    OK ... I took a look at the Strava API. Not too bad ... it is POST or GET.

    Anyhow, I ran into the problem of "how does one add their video of hitting the obstacles or not". Without coding a big old project, I cannot think of a simple and elegant (or even dirty and ugly) way of making that happen with the Strava API and WordPress.

    At this point, my work travel schedule is prohibitive to me banging out a bigger project to tie your video to your location on the leader's board (and then, based on whether you cleaned the obstacles or not ... calculating your new position).

    I'll pound out the Strava segment if I ever get to RM. I'm hoping in the next week or so. For now, it'll have to be HPSF.

    Ride on ...

  25. #25
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    The Wild Turkey segment doesn't have any feature to hit. Let it rip. The Upper White Enduro segment has features but they are in the trail. Your time in the segment will be faster if you hit the features as it is the fastest and shortest route. I may have to hit RM later.

  26. #26
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    I agree the hardest part of the whole thing will be to figure out what features are worth and how that affects the overall time. I am drawing a blank on it. Right now I don't have any extra time outside of work and our bathroom remodel.
    I will be back at RM tomorrow after work at long as it is not raining like crazy out. However, I don't think speed will be amazing.

  27. #27
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    Instead of a time bonus just make the go around longer.

  28. #28
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    Strava needs a way to create segments that don't import old data or ideally data before a selected date.

    The new .15 mile on Upper White was added around February, so many of the top times are obsolete.

    The trails at RM evolve quickly though so segments may not remain valid for long. In the last month, Wild Turkey has new berms to help the flow, and Orange has a new drop that shaves a lot of time vs. the original line.

    BTW, there's roughly 12 miles of trails at RM if you ride them all each way.

  29. #29
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    Sh4wn - you hit an excellent point!

    I would love for Strava to allow the ability to create a "time-bombed" segment. This would allow for saying "here is the segment for the month". That would allow for up-to-date results, riding on the current version of a trail. I will post this to Strava.

    Woodsguy - you hit an excellent point as well!

    The point system for "cleaning obstacles" adds an interesting element to equalize things a bit for riders. I am sure there are a few ultimate riders that are both fast and technically savvy ... but it might make things funner for the masses. It does add more complexity though ... a lot more. Cutting out the complexity allows for an interesting and easy implementation of a "New England Mountain Bike Time Trials" blog. Each month an entry could be posted that puts up a map, perhaps a video of the trail (being ridden), and the embedded Strava segment.

    The gears keep turning ... I just need more time to ride!

  30. #30
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    Rm

    Hit RM today. Set the new KOM on Wild Turkey at 2 minutes flat. Also set the the secons fastest post February time on Upper White Enduro.

  31. #31
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    2 minutes is going to be hard to beat. Nicely done! The only time I have done Upper White w/ the app was my buddies first time at RM... took a little while to complete haha about 8:10 on that one opps.
    Right now I have the KOM for the blue decent (even though i made the segment I didn't think I would have the best time). A few top 10s. It seems like everyone is making segments now which is cool.
    I think I need to hit up HPSF soon though - just for a change.

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