The way it is

A recent invite to participate in a geo-podcast caused me to go into a long-overdue soul search about my current stage in life, particularly as it relates to my online presence. This is what I “discovered” about myself:

My interests have changed, as have my priorities. While I still make a living in GIS, that’s all it is presently — a living, not a passion. Second to family, cycling and cryptocurrency are what interests me these days, not shapefiles or PostGIS. Cycling and crypto is what I blog about, not mapping. I read fiction, not FOSS documentation. I have scaled back my social media presence — reading little, posting even less. To the extent that I do post, Strava and Instagram have all but replaced Facebook and Twitter. I no longer keep a Twitter follower count. Private communication channels have mostly replaced my public social media exchanges.

With so many things around me having changed in the last few years, I have also changed. I see this as neither good nor bad (for only “thinking makes it so”). It’s just the way it is.

2020 for 2020

UPDATE 2020-11-14: Done.

2020 for 2020 2020-11-14

2020 for 2020 2020-11-14

2020 for 2020 Strava stats 2020-11-14

2020 for 2020 Strava stats 2020-11-14

***


UPDATE 2020-06-13: Yesterday I inched up ahead of the curve, meaning that I got 45.84% to my goal 44.81% into the year. NerdsЯUs, I know…

2020 for 2020 2020-06-12

2020 for 2020 2020-06-12

***


After having plateaued around 1,500 miles per year for each of the past five years, I aim to ride 2,020 miles in 2020. This is both a physical (I am not 17 anymore) and logistical (full-time job) challenge. A challenge I welcome and embrace, for it helps take my mind off all the craziness that surrounds us. Call it mental escapism.

So while the rest of the world worries about the coronavirus and politics and toilet paper shortage and Bitcoin crashing, I’ll be thinking about ride schedules and training schedules and bike tuning and nutrition and rest. I’ll be making charts and graphs. I’ll be listening to ABBA and Billie Eilish.

You should join me, even if only in spirit.

2020 for 2020 2020-03-14

2020 for 2020 2020-03-14

Let’s all go back to blogging

I’ll go first.

I went for a bike ride yesterday. Nothing new, except this time I allowed myself to break away from the pursuit of performance metrics (speed, distance, etc.), and focused instead on the journey (autumn, sun, cool air, trees). What a difference! I still hit some decent numbers, but that was secondary.

Here’s a pic from a break I took along Canal Road and the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Franklin Township, New Jersey:

Autumn_biking_on Canal_Road

On bikes and GIS

On bikes and GIS

I have been thinking a lot about bikes lately. Specifically, about transitioning from a cross bike to a road bike. More specifically, about transitioning from cross pedals to road pedals. Even more specifically, about the difference between Speedplay and Look pedals. To narrow it down even further, about why most pro cyclists ride on Look if Speedplay is supposedly better. Decisions, decisions… Can be overwhelming, and can lead to paralysis by analysis.

But in the grand scheme of things these details are nearly irrelevant. The marginal (and often dubious) performance improvement that this or that component affords the rider is almost always dwarfed by other, much more decisive factors: training, tactics, road conditions, training, training. The pros ride on whatever they ride because this is what they are being paid to ride. Their job is to RIDE THE FRIGGIN’ BIKE, so they focus on that, not on the pedals.

What does that have to do with GIS? For me, a lot.

I have been thinking a lot about GIS tools lately. Is QGIS better than ArcGIS? Is PostGIS better than file geodatabase? Is the shapefile the vinyl of geo? Should I keep my data in PostGIS and edit in QGIS, or should I use GISquirrel and edit PostGIS in ArcMap, or should I get Server and SDE and do it all in MSSQL? Decisions, decisions… Can be overwhelming, and can lead to paralysis by analysis.

But in the grand scheme of things these details are nearly irrelevant. The marginal (and often dubious) performance improvement that this or that GIS tool affords the GIS pro is almost always dwarfed by other, much more decisive factors: experience, training, environment, experience, experience. In the end it is important to remember that I am being paid TO DO THE FRIGGIN’ GIS, so I should focus on that, not on the tools.

So I will.

***

Ultimately, I resolve to think more about bikes and less about GIS. Speaking of which, what is the best lube for Speedplay cleats?