Peloton App and Getting Metrics

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I have been riding a Diamondback 1260sc for the duration of the pandemic using the Peloton App as my guide. The things that you miss when you don’t have a Peloton bike are an extra $26 per month in fees, and engagement with the metrics that “put you on the leaderboard.” The only way you get metrics in the app, at all, is if you connect a heart rate monitor (like the Wahoo Tickr), use an iPhone app to bridge your Apple Watch to an iPad (you can also use your iPhone natively), and add a cadence monitor, like the Wahoo Cadence. The Wahoo Cadence syncs fairly seemlessly as these things go.

So you get heart rate and cadence while you’re riding, but that’s it. No watts, no “output” – though if you’re lucky to have a console on your bike, like with mine, you can see some of that information.

I was growing hungry for finding out what my statistics would look like if I were riding on the Peloton. Thankfully, Peloton does give you a way to download the csv file, which you can export into a spreadsheet of your choice, like Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets. I chose Sheets for mine, and was able to see all the blank spots that I could potentially fill.

My big peeve was that, though Peloton had registered in the app what my cadence from the Wahoo Cadence was, it did not put that information in the spreadsheet – so I had to manually enter it. That left the fields I was most interested in: Average Watts and Total Output. There were three bits I could take from the console on my bike, Date, distance and calories – these are kilocalories, and actually the amount of energy generated during the workout. These can be converted into joules (1 kcal is 4184 joules), with that divided by time (in seconds), you get the average watts for your workout.

For total output, this is measured in kilojoules. I do a kcal to kj conversion, which is 1 kcal to 4.184 kj. This is how I figure out where I may land on the leaderboard, and can retroactively compare myself to my friends. I popped this into my spreadsheet and now I can easily track my progress, even as a lowly app rider.

Wow, I keep trying to make this larger and it’s still super small. Lol. It’s my metrics spreadsheet.

Shout out to Brygs.com for these helpful blog posts on Watts to KJ Conversion and helping me understanding what the Peloton screen looks like for bike owners. Also, Google and DuckDuckGo have convenient conversion calculators built into search, just search something like 1 kj in kcal, and you will get your answer. Pretty handy.

Ask: What is this in service to?

I don’t tend to this blog these days. Mostly because, like I reasoned when I logged off of Facebook, there were often people who I wanted to see my posts that were specific people in my life. Why post more broadly, when there were really just a handful I wanted to connect with? Especially with an algorithm bent on distress and disharmony, instead of human connection.

“What is this in service to?” is a question I ask myself these days. I’m pretty busy, and I think I’m doing some pretty cool things, actually. I want to share them with the people I know and love, and maybe make new friends, but modern social media, and self-hosted blogging does not achieve this.

Instead of diving in to what has kept me busy, a bit of a segue: I logged in to find that apparently one of my posts from 4 years ago has brought more visitors to my site! Far out, actually. It’s not the best written post, and was just a rant about white supremacists spreading a picture of a “white aurora” with a side helping of toxic religion, which was just misattributed art work from 2010.

Recently, I was contacted by Doug Stanglin from USA Today who was doing a fact check on the Hem of His Garment aurora, which had been making another round through social media. I had a brief email exchange, and didn’t particularly need any attribution of my own (nor did he take from anything I wrote, so that’s fine), so I wasn’t mentioned in his article.

That being said, not sure why my site is getting traffic, but hey folks! If you’re curious, I just used Google Image Search and kept on narrowing for time until I arrived at the earliest known version of it, which was in 2010. Open source intelligence is a fun hobby, and this was definitely one of the more fun searches I’ve done.

Now, back to the whole reason I logged in – I’ve been proud of the new things I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been engaging with people in the local beer community that are underrepresented. I’ve been making yogurt every other week. I’ve filled my chest freezer with homemade chicken stock made from frozen scraps, and vegetable stock. This week I made my own seitan using the vegetable stock. I also made almond milk from some over stock of raw almonds. I’ve made cashew cream, and used it to thicken up some butternut squash soup. I’m still making cold brew coffee regularly, as the weather is not deterring me from my caffeine needs. Right now, I’ve got ingredients simmering to make a gallon of chai mix.

I’m hoping that in the next week I’ll get some of the things I need to start making little gifts for the holiday season. I’ll be buying some thoughtful things from local folks here and there, but I want to do something a little more cozy.

And then there’s the couple projects I have percolating should my current contract job end, and I have some free time on my hands.

That said, before you go posting something, I recommend asking yourself, what is this in service to? I hope you’ll remember that so many companies are making money off of your content, and if it doesn’t serve to better you or others, who does it serve?

Also, reach out to your friends directly. Passively hoping they see your post, and like or respond, isn’t good enough for you or them. Connect. I highly recommend it.

Charity

This weekend we experienced our first package theft and our first credit card fraud since moving into the house. We’ve been here for seven years, and considering all the griping we hear from NIMBY’s around town, we’ve been long overdue for the package theft. I can mostly describe my feelings on this matter as annoyed and concerned. I wish we hadn’t lost our $40 Amazon package containing a two person large flower pot lifter. I also wish a misplaced credit card of ours hadn’t been used for a trip to a Shoreline sex shop (I’m more forgiving of the charges to Fred Meyer, Walgreens, and Shell.) Not that I wish to sex-shame thieves, but it seems even I hold to some sort of charity-money hierarchy.

There’s the old trope of the person who won’t give to street beggars because they might spend whatever change you throw in their cup on “drugs” or “booze.” Similar is the shaming of those who use their EBT card to pay for a tasty treat that has negligible nutritional value. So why is the sex store in Shoreline a bridge too far?

I laugh when I think to myself the reasons:

1. Fred Meyer has a decent selection of safer-sex products (lube, condoms, etc.) as well as “massagers.”
2. The Fred Meyer they went to is very close to a locally and woman owned sex shop.
3. They went to a chain store that was out of the way!

But really, that’s the thing about charity. When you give to organizations that distribute aid to the poor, it attaches those strings so you can wag your finger and control the lives of others from a distance. The truth is that I look at myself, and many others I know and love, and it is by luck we are as comfortable as we are because without that luck, we would find ourselves ground under the same rules and the same system that devalues the life and labor of so many. To access what little aid there is to the most vulnerable, it still requires so much time, effort, and skill that it’s easy to forget – ABLIST of us to forget – that some do not.

I choose to think of the theft and the fraud we experienced this weekend as an unexpected donation, because really, what is my other choice? To wish the thieves to be apprehended? And then what? The criminal justice system is so punitive and broken that I don’t really wish anyone to become entangled. There is no rehabilitation or treatment within. Best case scenario means you get out and get a case manager and options within the system, but you have to be able and willing to play the game. Check all the boxes, jump through the hoops, and if you’re using drugs, get clean and sober if you want a chance at housing.

Between banks and credit card companies offering protection against fraud, and the likelihood that Amazon will refund our loss, we’ve lost nothing. We are living comfortably in Seattle, a city of increasing wealth disparity. I imagine many of my neighbors could lose $500 of merchandise or credit without them noticing for days, if not weeks, when the same amount of money could make a world of difference to any number of the car-campers.

SOAP BOX: I just wish so many in Seattle weren’t fighting so hard to preserve and increase the wealth disparity. Large companies, like Amazon (who will likely refund us), bring tons of jobs to our city and provide jobs to those in the construction industry through their rapid expansion. However, because they are not paying their fair-share of taxes, the people they bring in 1) displace lower-wage earners as rent prices increase 2) put a greater strain on our transit and road infrastructure. Head Taxes, and other taxes on businesses like Amazon could fund low-income housing and create a more robust transit infrastructure.

NaNoWriMo 2016: You Have to be Kidding

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-5-02-46-pm I’ll admit that I really don’t think I have the time to write anything these days.

That’s not entirely true. I now have the time, but I’ve been in a creative slump for a decade, and writing and drawing are the two most daunting things in my day. Diapers, and the never-ending cycle of cleaning dumped out containers of whatever in my house, are preferable to the soul crushing experience of trying to create something. The thing is, I know I can do *something* – what, who knows. Of quality? Who can say. I’m brilliant in my own mind, but there’s nothing like a blank screen or sheet of paper to make me whither inside. The presence of a mere paragraph that is somehow not up to my own standards makes me want to shut my laptop to never revisit again. And that character drawing? The one that makes the store mannequins look dynamic and animated?

Yes, as I said, soul crushing.o

Today, though, I did something different. I allowed all these ridiculous story fragments lodged in my head to converge on a story, and a loose outline was created combining parts of a remembered dream from seven years ago and my personal cosmology.

I didn’t get actual writing done, but I got organized! A plan, at least, to fill in the blanks. I should probably add a few dream sequences before I close Scrivener for the night.

Anyhow, folks. In 30 days, if I have something to show for it, I’ll consider it a minor miracle.