Getting the Mileage Back up Again

It’s been awhile since I last blogged on here … Sorry about that.  I’ve had a bunch of other things going on.

I think I’ve finally been able to get some consistency in my riding (recovering from an accident in March, which took me out for 2 months, and a little more time, from a fall where I broke my fall with my left hand/wrist).  It hasn’t been a really productive year so far, but I am glad to report that the month of August reveal a 700+ mile month.

It’s a bit strange, as I compiled all this much mileage, but I didn’t really have a 70+ mile day in the entire month.  The largest was a solo 62 mile ride, but I guess all the medium distance rides do add up.

I was able to get in 780 miles, and I wasn’t even training for an event.  I don’t think I’ll have any centuries or double centuries lined up.  My weekend schedules are so up in the air these days, it’s hard to schedule, and train for something.

Posted in cycling, monthly review | Tagged | 1 Comment

Another Reason Why I Love My Nexus Phone

Recently, there have been some exploits on Android, and most recently, there was Stagefright.  This is ones that allows you to remotely control your phone.  Scary. 

I found out about this from an app I have called Lookout, which is like a antivirus for the phone.  It alerted me of this, started some workarounds, but really, you would need to get an update on Android to fix it.  Coincidentally, I see an Android update.  More specifically, a security update.

It updates, and then I check for Stagefright, and no longer vulnerable.  Cool.  That’s one of the benefits of Nexus, and that is they are the first ones with the latest Android update.

Posted in security, smartphone | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Keep the Rubber Side Down … Apparently is Hard For Me To Do

People always use the phrase “Keep the Rubber Side Down” … meaning to stay upright.  Well … that’s easier said than done for me lately.

Last year, I’m riding down this road, not looking up, and not knowing I’m going faster than the tandem in front of me.  Boom … cracked ribs.

Then, March of this year, on my commute, I hit something and I go down … again cracked ribs.

Last week, the road was wet, slick … and I’m just about home … in fact, I’m in the parking lot at home … make a left turn, and the wheel slides from under me, and I go down again.  Thankfully, no cracked ribs, but a sore wrist.

Maybe I need some armor on my rides?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

New Phone Earlier Than Expected

I’ve generally been pretty happy with my Nexus 5, but I had to go ahead and get a new Nexus 6.  Why?

Well, earlier in the year, I used a phone bike mount, so I can track where I go.  You may be asking why would that make a difference.  Well, there were a few good sized storms, and as a result, the phone would get wet.  But did that concern me?  No, but maybe it should have.  I mean the phone was still working just that it would get a little wet.  Well some time later, my phone decided it didn’t want to charge anymore.  I fried the USB port.  Luckily I had a Qi wireless charger, so I still could charge up my battery.  However, after time, the contacts were not being detected on the charger, so I forced my way to get a new phone.

I loved my Nexus 5, despite the problem I had where it would shut down on its own.  The Bluetooth would also get a little flaky.  I love that I’m able to get the latest Android OS update before any phones do, so that’s why I went with  a Nexus 6.  Ooh well time fit the splurge.

I decided to see if Amazon has some good deals, and low and behold, they are selling Nexus 6 $150 less than everyone else.  Sold, to the tech junkie dork.

image

I was hoping I could just transfer the SIM from my Nexus 5 to my Nexus 6, but the form factors are different, so I had to go into the T-Mobile store.  At least I didn’t have to wait in line at a Genius Store.

One really nice thing about Nexus is that you can copy data from one phone to the other using NFC.  They made it so easy to transfer data from one phone to another.  No all I had to do was download all the apps that I had.   the only other problem I had was I had to unlink Google Authenticator and RSA token.  Boy what a pain in the butt that was.

Now to get used to carrying around this huge phone in my pocket.  I’m going to have to find some jerseys with deep pockets.  But are least I can charge my phone must easier.

Posted in smartphone | 2 Comments

Why Don’t All Merchants Adopt Two-Factor Authentication?

With all the stories in the media regarding customer accounts being hacked, it makes me wonder what type of authentication protections those merchants have.  Of course, the big buzz in security is to enable two-factor authentication wherever possible.  I agree … in fact, all my social media accounts (including WordPress), has some type of two factor authentication.

Thanks to Google Authenticator, when I go to Google, WordPress, or Evernote, it will ask me for a second factor of authentication.  First is the password on the web site.  Once I authenticate there, then it asks me for a second authentication, which I locate on the Google Authenticator app that is on my phone (and only on my phone).  Other sites have their own individual two factor authentication scheme.  With twitter, when I am prompted for a second authentication, it alerts me on my phone, and I simply do one click on the phone, then it allows the app through.  On Facebook, I go into the Facebook app on the phone, and look for the code authenticator, then punch in that code.  So as you see, no outside hacker would be able to authenticate as me.  The only concern is what if they stole my phone … well, that’s another issue.

For any online merchant, where you would log in for sensitive data, two factor authentication, IMHO, is a must.  So Target, Starbucks, why oh why don’t you adopt two-factor authentication?  This could have prevented customers having their accounts drained.  Now, I’m not saying it would never happen, but it surely would reduce the likelihood of having your account drained, due to someone hacking into your account.

This is one reason why I cringe when I see someone pay at Starbucks with their phone.  Even if you have a cute password, it can be hacked.  I use a password generator, and I have it changed on a periodic basis.  Will this prevent being hacked?  No, definitely not, but it’s all about making it harder for someone to hack you.  It’s just like locking your bike to a bike rack.  Will it prevent someone from stealing your bike?  No, but it will make it harder to do.

Posted in security | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bay Area Bike To Work Day 2015

VIRB Picture

It was Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 14, 2015.  It’s the time of the year to ditch your car, take your bike, and ride into work.  Actually, it’s more of a routine for me, since I bike to work nearly every day.

This year, there was forecast of rain, and a possibility that it would dampen the morning commute.  However, that did not materialize, and it was still a pleasant ride into work (although a bit cloudy).  That did deter a bunch of people from riding in, as some of the volunteers did mention that the turnout was lower than in previous years, due to the threat of rain.

I decided I wanted to get as many free swag as I can possibly get.  I planned it the night before, and my goal was 8 Energizer Stations.  I made it to 6 of them.  I followed the Energizer Station Map to determine my route, but two of them were not out there, nVidia and Marvell.  Either they couldn’t make it, or I was looking on the wrong side of their building.  I should have stopped by Oracle, as they had a big gourmet spread, but I had to be in the office by 8 am.

My first stop was Kaiser on Homestead, and I arrived there around 6:10 am, and much to my surprise, they were there, ready to serve me and greet me.  Kudos for them to be out there that early, and they had a pretty nice spread too.

VIRB Picture

No Smoothies this Year :(

One of the stops was along the San Tomas Aquino Multi-Use Trail, which in previous years served smoothies.  It was pretty funny, because they had a bike, on a trainer, and the drivetrain would also drive the blender.  This year, the guy couldn’t find his pitcher, so no smoothies this year.

We actually had two stations that were very close to work.  One was by Bloom Energy, who had a spot right outside of the Sheraton Hotel.  The other was Yahoo, and the guy there recognized me from previous years.  That was cool.

Hope you all had a great Bike to Work day.  It didn’t rain on the ride home either (although I was in the office late enough, where I couldn’t attend the Ride Away From Work bash in San Jose).

Posted in commute | Tagged | Leave a comment

Saddle Slip, How Does That Happen?

I was riding along, just getting in some miles before my first climb.  It’s a flat stretch along Foothill Expressway, then all of a sudden, I felt something sink.  It wasn’t a flat, and it felt like my saddle position dropped.  It wasn’t too dramatic, and I decided to keep riding on, until I reached the intersection.  I checked, and it looked a little low, and my knees were bent a little more than usual.  I better head back, then suddenly, the saddle height dropped quite a bit more … it got to a point where it sank about 1-2 inches.  I couldn’t even ride seated.

I proceeded to ride standing … it is difficult to ride without your saddle.  I knew it would be tough, but this was ridiculous.  I went back to Los Altos Community Center, where I saw Dillon there, getting ready for another Pescadero ride with Steve.

Luckily, Dillon had a torque wrench, specifically designed for the saddle.  We loosened it all the way, and even then we had a problem raising the saddle height.  If we had this problem changing the saddle vertical position, then how in the world did the saddle height sink?  I did a ride the previous day, climbing Saratoga Gap, with a good 40 miles, 4000 foot climb … good thing my saddle didn’t slip while on that ride.

I took the bike over to Bicycle Summit.  There was ample grease on the seat post, so it wasn’t a lubrication problem.  Perhaps it just wasn’t torque’d down enough.  I still find it strange that it suddenly sank on me, and then we had problems raising the saddle height.  Oh well … I guess that’s one mystery that will not be solved.

Oh, while I was there, I might as well ask for a torque wrench.  The guy goes back, grabs a torque wrench from their tool kit, and gives it to me.  Let me say again, he gives it to me – For free.  “Are you sure”, I ask … he says they have plenty of them.  Really .. Well, that’s customer service for ya!

Posted in maintenance | Tagged , , | Leave a comment