Summer Fun Begins

The summer fun has begun.  I did the Lolo 12 Hour mountain bike race yesterday.  With a team of 4 we each did 2 ten mile laps with each doing one lap in sequence.  I was number four in the order.  My teammates averaged about 1:15 a lap.  Mine were a bit slower, 1:30 and 1:45.  That second lap was at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon.  A bit toasty.  It is weird the way some people have fun.  Raising a garden would be so much less work.  I need to work on that training just a bit more.

In the end of July I am doing the Butte 50 race.  Rated as the hardest mountain bike endurance race in the US I will be dead meat in my present condition.  I did it 2 years ago.  Took me 10 hours.  I was not in good shape at the end.

There is a computer lesson involved with the Lolo 12.  The race was chip timed.  The number plates had chips and when the bike ran over the sensor pad the time would be recorded.  The software died.  I am not sure why; computer glitch, software bug or whatever but luckily the company doing the scoring knew how to score manually.  It seems odd that a professional company would not have multiple computer backups, hardware and software.  Of the 8 people in the two teams I sat with, three of us were computer programmers or hardware engineers.  It was just so tempting to wander over and investigate but I figured they had enough issues to deal with.  A lesson in making systems fool proof.

I have always been interested in small level commercial software like this.  Years ago I worked in bicycle shops.  Computers and point of sale software was just starting to be available.  Oh boy, was it bad.  It was designed and written but computer programmers, not sales people.  As a result it worked and was very organized but was totally useless to a sales person at the till.  The evolution of this POS software has been interesting to watch.

I really need to have the kids look at examples of “simple” software like POS and that race software.


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