What Worked – and What Didn’t. The Wireless State of the Nation.

Prostate Cancer Pony Express – September, 2011

For the many of you still following this blog, one quick note:  slip on over to Blacktireaffairs.wordpress.com and pick up the thread for the Prostate Cancer Pony Express.

The second week of September 2011 will begin our annual ride to our nation’s capitol to support the efforts of the various prostate cancer advocacy organizations.  September is national prostate cancer awareness month, and we are developing an annual event to bring motorcyclists to Washington, DC to highlight the critical importance of early detection.

The One Device I Wish I Had Had With Me On The 2010 Tour de USA

Keeping my blog and Facebook page posted during last summer’s ride across the US and back was a constant challenge.  The US is getting better at wireless access, but it’s still pretty spotty in many locations.

McDonald’s now has free wi-fi and it was pretty consistent during the trip.  I also found some Subway stores with free wi-fi, although not too many.  Almost all of the Motel 6 units I stopped at had wi-fi, but they wanted an extra fee and, since this was a fundraising ride I tried to make do with my Verizon data card.

The data card worked very well.  In fact, my Verizon data card and phone worked nearly 100% of the time, whereas my iPhone gave me about 40% coverage outside of the major urban areas.

Verizon MiFi Card

I recently replaced my USB data card with a Verizon MiFi device and it is, uh, fabulous!!  I simply turn it on and it creates a small wi-fi network that allows me to connect my laptop, iPhone, and iPad simultaneous, and it’s secure.

This is a great little device for anyone that travels.  It will allow you to have Internet connection for your iPad without purchasing an AT&T 3G service plan – plus, it’s more reliable.

Next time, my helmet review.

Car Donation to the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project

Remember that we can now accept vehicle donations in California.  For details, just pop over to http://cardonationtopcap.org/about-us for details.

Warm regards, Robert

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Dave Junior?

US Congress on Capitol Hill, Washington DC

Image via Wikipedia

Is It Possible to Ride a Sportster after a Low Rider?

I’m here in Virginia for a few days visiting relatives for the holidays and making some initial plans for the September 2011 Prostate Cancer Pony Express ride to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

I’ve found a sponsor that is willing to help us acquire a Sportster to use here on the East Coast since I can’t ride across the country every year – although I would love to.

Back to Those Fun, Early Days

So, it looks like a may be back on an 883 Sportster come this spring when I’m here in Virginia and for the Pony Express ride to Washington.  I think I’m looking forward to it.  I just need to keep my eye peeled for gas stations.

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It’s Much Faster by Airplane – but No Detail!

Tailwinds at 35,000 Feet

I’m in Virginia for a week visiting with family for the holidays and doing some preparation work for our September 2011 ride on Washington, DC for prostate cancer awareness.

I flew on Virgin America, my favorite airline, and watched our flight path on the seat monitor.  As we flew east, I thought back over my motorcycle ride last summer across the US and back – many wonderful memories there and the book is coming.

It took me 24 days to travel from Manhattan Beach to Washington, DC on my Harley Low Ride and only a bit over 4 hours on Virgin with the jet stream tailwind, but what a great time I had wresting “Dave” through the winds of the high plains.

Ride with Me Next September

September 2011 will be the first Prostate Cancer Pony Express ride to our nation’s capitol for prostate cancer awareness.  To be part of the event, visit our event blog at BlackTireAffairs.com.

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SPOT Makes Time Magazine’s “All-Time” Top 100 List

SPOT Does (Really) Good

For those of you who followed me across the US and back last summer, you were viewing the signals from my SPOT Messenger displayed on a Google Map.

Well, just recently Time Magazine released its list of the top 100 gadgets of All-Time (presumable pun intended).

You can see the entire list at this link: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,2023689,00.html  http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,2023689,00.html

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Test from MacJournal


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Equipment Evaluation – MyRadar


One of the most useful tools I discovered on my trip was an iPhone/iPad application called MyRadar.

MyRadar has a free version (with a small advertising strip along the bottom of the screen) and a paid version.

I found the free version to be quite good enough.  As long as you have an AT&T signal, simply open MyRadar and it will show the location of any rain showers (or snow showers) in the area.  You can then ride on or hide out, whichever you like.

The image below is tropical storm Hermine last September.  I ‘rode on’ for an hour and then hid out for the next 24.  My location was the ‘dot’ between San Antonio and Kerrville.

MyRad iPhone App Image

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SPOT IV Is On the Job

Great Customer Service from SPOT

My third SPOT Tracker just up and died on me two weeks ago.  I bought it from Best Buy and I have the feeling it was an early production model that had been sitting on the shelf for a long time.

Last week I called the nice people at SPOT and related my saga.  The gave me an RMA to return the device.

But, two days later, before I could even get mine in the mail, a brand new orange SPOT arrived by UPS.

SPOT IV is happy and pinging away.  You can follow me when I’m out cycling or motorcycling at http://bit.ly/PCAwarenessGuy.  If you find me and hit me with the phrase “Got PSA?”, you can win prostate cancer awareness points.

Warm regards,  Robert

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