Sending Data from Garmin Training Center to Garmin Connect

I’ve had some kind of personal Garmin GPS device since 2007. I like being able to track bike rides, runs, etc. The Garmin Training Center software way back then was terrible. But, they improved. They eventually released a Mac version alongside the Windows, which was great as I’ve had a Mac laptop during that interval. They kept improving. Today they have the Garmin Connect website, which meets all of my needs. I am fully prepared to embrace the cloud for this kind of thing. All of my new activities go straight to the Garmin Connect website. I don’t care about Garmin Training Center. To upload my old stuff, I first tried the following:

In Garmin Training Center, select File : Export : Export All Data. I selected a .tcx file. The file ended up being about 82 MB. I then did a manual upload on Garmin Connect, which failed the first time. It said ” An error occurred with your upload. Please try again.” I’m not surprised; that’s a big file to upload in a browser.

In looking to upload less data at once, I noticed something amazing. The “File” menu in Garmin Training Center also has an item called “Send ‘XYZ’ to Garmin Connect”. I did that once for each year.

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Fenders can (almost) kill you

I had a pretty catastrophic failure on my commuter bike back in March. My fender became wrapped around my front wheel, stopping it, and sending me flying over the bars on Forbes Ave right in front of CMU. Luckily I wasn’t hurt and there wasn’t a car right behind me.

When I got home and untangled the fender and its supports from my wheel, I realized the bike felt a little strange. Although it wasn’t severe, the front fork was definitely bent. I didn’t hit anything, mind you, I just had a metaphorical gorilla grab my front wheel and stop it suddenly.

I was surprised by this, and spent some time looking around online. Much to my delight I found an article by an engineer who is an expert on such matters: John Forester. I publish it here mostly as a reminder to myself as I find it to be quite interesting that there is a way to generate enough tire friction with the ground to bend the fork instead of “pitch over”.

Solar battery chargers

I’m going on a long bike trip (multiple days + camping in between) and I want to charge my GPS device and cell phone using some kind of solar device. I started looking around and found quite a few:

  • Solio has a classic, hybrid, and magnesium edition.
  • Soldius only seems to offer the Soldius 1, but it does not include an integrated battery.
  • Megasol supposedly makes the Solar Energy Pocket Power (SEPP) but their website doesn’t support English.
  • 21st Century Goods has an entire category for solar products.

More wheel building

This time it’s a new rear wheel for the fixed gear. I’m using my old Suzue “1 B” hub (I think it’s an SIL-SP), which accepts 36 spokes (not 32, as I previously thought). The rim is an Alexrims DA22, which I got by disassembling the rear wheel of a wheelset I bought for Kathleen’s mom’s old bike, that Kathleen used to ride. The corresponding front wheel is currently spaced for a mountain bike fork. I’ll probably have more to say on here when I figure out what has to happen to adjust its width (i.e., can I just remove a spacer or two or is the hub just plain too wide?). I have 18 286mm spokes and 18 287mm spokes left over from disassembling the old rear wheel, but Dan Halem’s spoke length calculator tells me I need 282.7mm spokes for 3-cross lacing and 293.1mm for 4-cross lacing. This convinces me that the spokes I already have won’t work, although I’m tempted to try anyways to see what goes wrong.

There’s a good bit of Wheel Lacing Information at this site, including Spoke Length Tolerances and Fixes for Some Problems. Take-away messages seem to be that spokes are only too short if you can’t get them started. It seems that once they’re started there’s enough stretch and the threads are good enough that the wheel will be strong, even if some threads are showing. It’s harder to derive a rule of thumb for when spokes are too long, but the old rear wheel on my fixed gear had 2~3mm of spoke sticking beyond the end of the nipple (double walled rim + rim strip = no problem) and it never had a failure related to pulling through the nipple. Thus, I think visible threads sticking out the other side are also tolerable.