Friday, September 30, 2016

2016 Tour of the Alps: Bschlabs to Trubbach

We were stumped. One plan we had was to descend the Arlberg pass on the East side, loop around Landeck and ride up Silvretta. But the construction equipment made it quite clear: the road was closed. We were going to have to head West, whether we wanted to or not.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 Tour of the Alps: Hotel Grubl to Bschlabs

"Hm.. I think we went the wrong way." "Really?" "Yup. Looking at the map, it doesn't look like this goes anywhere."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 Tour of the Alps: Winklern to Hotel Grubl

"You rode down this on a tandem?" asked Arturo, after he rolled to a stop. "Yeah. In 2010." "You're nuts. I'm far more impressed by the descent than the climb. With the climb if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get there. But that descent? Yeesh!" "There was no point where you were in any danger whatsoever." "Yeah, but it was fast!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2016 Tour of the Alps: Niederolang to Winklern

We were riding as hard as we could. "5 minutes left!" I told Arturo. Down below us, the valley was silent. In 5 minutes, the road below us would open up and we would hear the sound of motorcycles and cars racing up the single-lane, one way road.

Monday, September 26, 2016

PSA: Android External Storage Adoption is not what you think it is

I got a little fed-up of managing app storage on my Moto G3. My storage use was perpetually at around 1GB free, which is not a big deal, but the OS would constantly remind me to clean up. I noticed that Marshmallow allowed you to "adopt" a microSD card as internal storage. That seemed like it would be the ultimate solution, right?

Wrong. It turns out that even after "adopting" a microSD card as internal storage, there are still several issues:
  • Not all apps could be moved to the SD card, so you'll end up managing storage manually anyway!
  • Google Play Movies refuses to download video (yes, purchased videos) into the now adopted "internal storage." So you end up losing functionality!
  • The conversion slows down all apps, not just the apps that move to the SD card. I have no idea why this is, but my guess is that swap, etc gets moved to the SD card. (I was using a UHS-1 card, so my card wasn't the bottleneck, though conceivably, microSD card readers in relatively cheap Android phones might simply not be that fast!)
There's really no point to adopted storage as Google has implemented it. What is annoying is that each app manages SD cards differently, so you end up with a mish-mash of different approaches in each app.

I really wonder if the Google PMs who run Android actually use Android phones, or whether they all use iPhones and only carry an Android phone only for appearances sake.

Friday, September 23, 2016

2016 Tour of the Alps: Alba to Niederolang

"I don't believe it!" I cried. But there it was: the sign clearly indicated "Furkelpass", despite the lack of climbing chevrons on our map. I looked up the pass elevation: 1789m, so about 800m of climbing. We'd already climbed 2 passes and fought a nasty headwind all the way to this point. "I'm OK with riding to Bruneck." said Arturo. I stared at the map. Two nasty tunnels were on the flat route to Bruneck. I couldn't bring myself to consider it. "We don't need a rest day," I said. "Getting to the hotel too early would just leave us with nothing to do. Let's climb."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

2016 Tour of the Alps: Brez to Alba


I'd been riding in the dark for 20 minutes. I still couldn't see the end of the tunnel. The air was dark, musty, and even the smallest car sounded like a giant truck. I cursed myself for picking the route, but we were committed. Then I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. My elation lasted all of 2 minutes when I saw that 50m past the end of the tunnel was the start of another tunnel!