The next update to Ride Journal has just been be submitted to the Windows store. This update was originally going to contain a couple of changes requested by users; the ability to customise the main stats and improve the calorie calculation but has ended up containing quite a few changes, read on to find out more.
Customise Main Stats
This one has been on my list for a while and has been requested by a number of users. In fact, it’s currently second on the list on the support site.
The work on this feature took a little longer than I was expecting due to having to re-write parts of the code to support it and it was further complicated by having to support BLE sensors. For instance, if you’re using a Speed/Cadence sensor, then the speed and distance stats are based on the sensor, however if the sensor was to disconnect during your ride, the stats switch over to the GPS data and likewise if the sensor reconnects, it will switch back to the sensor data.
To customise your stats you just need to go to Settings->Display and then choose what stat you would like in each position. The stats are ordered top to bottom in Settings, which corresponds to left to right when in use.
This is just the first step on adding more customisation to the app, I’m planning to gradually introduce more control in the next few versions.
Improve Calorie Calculation
A user contacted me recently to say that the calories burnt during a ride was much lower than those reported by services such as Strava, Training Peaks etc. My response to this was that Ride Journal calculates calories based on your heart beat every second, whereas many other services base this either on 1 minute average heart rate or the average heart rate for the entire ride, so in some respects Ride Journal was trying to be as accurate as possible.
What I did agree with however, is that consistency is important, so while various apps and services will all use their own algorithms to calculate calories, generally the results are quite similar, allowing you to be confident with what you’re seeing, so with this in mind I have re-worked the calorie calculation in Ride Journal.
I’ve tried various different algorithms and compared the results to the values Strava gives me, mainly because Strava is one of the most popular sites with cyclists and the site where I upload my rides to. Ultimately I have found that computing calories based on the overall average heart rate yields the most consistent values with Strava and so this is the algorithm I have implemented in this version.
It goes without saying that you need to configure your gender, weight and date of birth in Settings, otherwise you’ll get wildly different results.
Import Strava Routes
Back in December 2015 Strava finally added the ability to query and download routes via their API, so you now no longer need to jump through a few hoops to get these routes in to Ride Journal.
As with other import add-ins, Strava now appears in the Import list, once selected it will pull down the list of routes you’ve created in Strava, allowing you to then download them directly to the app.
Note: this feature has been added to the existing Strava add-in, so if you’ve purchased this, All Online Services or All Add-ins then you will be able to use this new feature.
Export to SportTracks.mobi
A new export add-in has been created allowing you to export your rides and workouts to SportTracks.mobi.
Here’s a few reasons why you might want to use SportTracks.mobi directly from their website:
Power & Simplicity - SportTracks is known for its intuitive and easy‑to‑use interface, yet it provides every powerful tool required by serious athletes.
Exclusive Features - There are many innovative features in SportTracks that simply aren't available in competing platforms, such as customizable layouts and the Personal Records Timeline.
Fast Customer Support - The majority of SportTracks users never need help, but you can be assured that we will be available quickly if you need us.
Proven & Reliable - SportTracks has remained a leader in fitness tracking and analysis for over 10 years. You can count on us to keep your data secure and to run seamlessly for the long haul.
Full Compatibility - SportTracks works perfectly with most GPS watches, bike computers, and mobile fitness apps. Plus, you can easily sync it with your personal calendars and email accounts.
This is a paid for add-in, however if you’ve purchased All Online Services or All Add-ins, then this add-in is included in those and is a free upgrade.
Add-in License Caching
Every time the app starts up, it loads the add-in license information from the Windows store to determine which add-ins you’ve purchased and can use. If however you don’t have a network connection, then the app would previously assume you haven’t purchased any add-ins and you wouldn’t be able to use them, which for something like the sensors add-in, isn’t very useful if you’re in the middle of nowhere when you start your ride.
The app will now save the license information locally and will use this local store if no network connection is available, so now you can use the sensors add-in whether you have a network connection or not.
GPS Signal Timeout
When you start a ride, the app looks for a GPS signal, unfortunately there was previously no time-out on this, so the app would get stuck in the “Locating…” state until the GPS was locked.
The app will now timeout after 20 seconds, allowing you to start your ride (and record any BLE sensor data), it will continue to search for a GPS signal in the background, starting to record your location when a signal is found.
When you first run Ride Journal after an update, it will now display the changes that have been made in this version.
As always, if you have any suggestions for new features or you’ve encountered any bugs then you can submit them to the support site.