17 September 2015


Cycle Meter Stats

I've always thought I wasn't TOO dependent upon modern technology.

That was, until my iPhone 4 suddenly crashed without warning!

We'd just participated in our first Santa Fe Century, and my Cyclemeter app had malfunctioned. Two weeks later, we participated in the annual Elephant Rock, and once again, Cyclemeter closed its eyes and went to sleep while I pedaled away.

I thought Cyclemeter was the problem. Constant updates. Perhaps one update had been buggy.

But the next morning, the iPhone 4 wouldn't power up at all. It had been on the (proprietary) charger all night. My iPod and old iPhone 3, which I use as an iPod, charged just fine, and our home computer was able to download the iPhone 4 photos, but unable to recognize the device.

Both my iPhones were refurbs, used and refurbished long before they came into my hands at the price of 50 cents each, two years apart. That the iPhone 3 is still working at all continually amazes me. It apparently enjoys my little cycling trips, packaged safely inside my Goal Zero Rock Out portable speaker.

I'd had the iPhone 4 about two and a half years. I've dropped it more times than I can count. It's malfunctioned several times. I've had it serviced. I've used it for about 3,000 photos and approximately that many miles on my bicycle. We even have a wired cassette that allows us to use the iPhone 4 in the car as our stereo, since the factory in-dash CD player and radio antenna went kaput a few years ago. The speakers and the cassette player still work fine.

This little iPhone 4, which had been encased in what I didn't know at the time of purchase was a knock-off Otter case since Day 1 with me, had performed well and probably outlived most of its identical twins all over the world.

Attempting to buy an Otter case for an outdated device can be difficult. Selection often is extremely limited. I didn't find out until after my purchase that if the case doesn't fit the phone it's intended to cover, it's not authentic. Mine didn't fit.

All this time, I thought my iPhone was watertight, thanks to the Otter case. When I removed the case to determine if removing and replacing the SIM card might reboot the device, I discovered humidity inside the case.

Perhaps it wasn't Cyclemeter messing up after all. Perhaps the phone drowned in my jersey pocket sweat...

Tinkering with the SIM card didn't improve the phone's condition. I called my service provider to find out if the data on the phone could be transferred to a new phone. They were too happy to sell me a new phone. They were no help in rescuing what little I have stored on the existing phone.

I picked a new refurbished old phone but did not order it. I was four days from Ride the Rockies, convinced the phone would not arrive until after we left, and concerned the learning curve of a new iPhone model might be more than I could deal with during a week-long strenuous and demanding cycling tour. On a whim, I decided to check with Apple to see if my data could be retrieved.

"Press the power button and the home button together, at the same time, for 15 seconds," they said.

Voila!!! Just like that, my phone came back to life!

I knew I'd probably still have to upgrade to the next level of refurb at some point, but I wanted to coax a few extra weeks out of the existing iPhone.

I feared I'd have to uninstall and reinstall Cyclemeter, which meant losing all the data from previous rides. The app was still misbehaving.

I contacted Abvio, Cyclemeter's service center. I didn't expect to hear back before Ride the Rockies. Imagine my surprise when I received a detailed reply to my question within three hours! About eight lengthy email exchanges later, Cyclemeter was up and running again and performed beautifully all the way through Ride the Rockies. The battery in the phone ran out of juice on my longest day before I reached the summit of Cottonwood Pass, where I finally thought to plug my power stick into the phone to charge it enough to get me into Salida. When I saw the phone was already dead, I assumed my Cottonwood Pass data was hopeless. I'd have to use just what was recorded before the battery died.

When I arrived in Salida and accessed Cyclemeter to turn off the timer, I was shocked to see even though there was a small blip in the day's route, Cyclemeter kept recording my miles and my time, plotting the route for the time I had no power. I had a record of the entire day's ride! Never have I loved an app as much as I did Cyclemeter that day! Not even my photography apps are as dear to me as Cyclemeter now!

After this year's MS-150, I took the plunge. The phone was being a pill again. I needed a fresh new start. Starting over from scratch was empowering. I got not one, but two refurb iPhones, one for me, and The Lizard's first smart phone ever, for 50 cents each. We've been using them for two and a half months now, and things that never worked on the iPhone 3 and iPhone 4 work on the iPhone 5!!! Cyclemeter is a dream! My phone occasionally burps, powering down without warning, but other than that, it works like magic, and I enjoy using it. Except for typing, of course.

All this iPhone talk reminds me of a story I'd hoped to share as a Friday Funny one day. I was carting tax returns to the post office for one of my bosses on April 15. That's right. Deadline day. In the elevator, other passengers were joking around with me about ways to maximize my time in line at the post office.

"You can play games on your phone while you wait," one passenger said.

"I don't have games on my phone," I explained. Everyone on the elevator looked shocked.

"Well, you could text all your friends and family while you wait," another passenger suggested.

"I don't pay for texting," I explained. Everyone on the elevator gasped. I thought their collective eyeballs would explode from popping out of their sockets in perfect synchronization.

"Then why do you have a phone?" one incredulous passenger asked.

That's easy. To record the miles on my bicycle. Why else would I have a phone???

climbin' fool!


  1. 50 cents each? Wow that is cheap. So your sweat could have killed the phone? That is a new one lol too funny with the people. Games and texting is a way of life for many.

  2. I feel your pain,upgrading mobile phones can be stressful! I smiled at the punchline to your post though, spoken like a true biker!

  3. Exactly!

    I've never sent a text message in my life. Not sure I'd know how.... Congratulations and here's to many happy miles on the new phones! :)


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