Railing away…

So say what you will about the value of your web framework of choice, but I and someone I work with (who never used this particular framework) built a useable section of an app and deployed to production in two weeks. Now we had some advantages. We had worked together before for about 8 months. My partner is really smart. I have some experience with the framework. Things that were working against us. We had very little time to produce the first useable bit of functionality. We don’t have our dev environment set up. We don’t have the proper test and QA structure in place yet and we were using a significantly advanced version of the framework since the last bit of development I had done with it.

Still, Ruby on Rails and it’s community is powerful stuff. A couple of plugins, a bit of spelunking via Google, and our own understanding of web frameworks made it possible to crank out some great stuff. Even now, as we start week 4, the code is getting tighter and more Ruby like. I can’t wait to see where we’re at in six months and beyond.

It’s been amazing.

Some common stuff we’re enjoying:


Thanks to the community for solving so many problems in advance.


We’re looking forward to getting some of our solutions and ideas written up and coded for more general use. We have a public repository, and as soon as we can, we hope to start giving back.

Today’s ride…

Picture 1.png6:13am this morning I was already in Piermont, and starting my ride. Nasty for a weekend, but that’s the price I pay for having a full life. No real complaints… except it is seriously cold these days in the morning. And dark. Like, no going anywhere without lights dark. Fortunately traffic is light at that hour on Sunday. However, you can’t really relax, because the folks who are up at that hour seem generally annoyed that they have to be up at that hour on Sunday. Maybe surly would be a better description.

On a similar ride last week, I was feeling terrible. That is, I kept looking down at the speedo and seeing really low numbers. 9mph, 12mph and I felt I was working really hard. At first I chalked it up to the early hour. Then I got worried my ride partner would get annoyed at the pace and pick it up, and really I felt like I couldn’t really go a whole lot faster for very long. Strange I thought, that I have so little this day, but it happens sometimes (usually a mental thing) and since my ride partner was not complaining about the pace… who cares?

We get to the bottom of our loop and after a small climb we hit a gradual but long downhill section… one where we almost always enjoy gravity and push for whatever we’ve got. So off we go and I’m feeling like it should when we’re cruising at 24mph or so… except I look down at the speedo and 16.5, 17… Huh? not possible. There’s a permanent radar installation near a school we were just about to pass. I look up and sure enough 24 or so. Aha! Hey, Jenni! What does your speedo say? 23 or so Why? Tell ya later…

So here’s the payoff. After the last ride I commented to Jenni how slow the avg. speed had been on the ride. So she had tried hard to pay attention to the pace and keep things moving. (I, of course, thought I was going to collapse moving at what I thought was only 12mph.) Naturally, the speedo was set wrong for the previous ride also (the wheel size was set wrong). So she pushed because she wanted me to have a good ride, and I pushed the pace because I thought I was moving at a snails pace with the end result being one of the fastest rides of the year. Silly. And it leads me to this.

I often ride without any “data” like a speedo. I don’t have one on every bike. And there is something to be said for that. You trust your feelings entirely with no other gauge available. Now I enjoy seeing the numbers and having the data. Measurement is one of the few ways to ensure progress. But times like this make me want to ditch the thing entirely. All of us had a good chuckle about it though.

Busy, busy

Let’s see, where were we? I forget… it’s been too long. So here’s the brief: Noah started his new school, things have been really crazy at work, the holidays are coming, the morning weather has been freezing (from a bike riding perspective 45F is cold) but all in all, things are good. How’s by you? Technical stuff later…

Jenni’s first post-biopsy ride

. Sure, there was griping, but that is to be, er um, expected. (And I do my fair share as conditions warrant.) However there’s parts to the tory that Jenni did not tell. I’ve been on countless rides where the path was hers we’ve I’ve heard over and over “That’s the last hill…” only to find yet another hill just around the corner. The other part is that she really did have an invasive procedure from which she isn’t healed, so we took it slow. Now that has two effects. It makes some hills harder, and roughness of the road bothered her more than the effort. So the weather was cool, she isn’t healed, we took it slow, and there was some grade.

I should add that I was almost dressed right at the beginning… arms warmers, knee warmers and a vest helped protect from the chill. My arms started out feeling colder than I would have hoped. Everything else was fine, and I even had to roll down the warmers before we were through.