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Club News / The new HMBA website is now LIVE
« on: January 28, 2014, 03:24:17 PM »
It's been a long time in the making, but the HMBA website has received a much-needed overhaul!

Our URL has not changed.  http://www.hmba.org will take you to the new site now.

We also have a FUNCTIONAL calendar.  Note we have a few events on it already.  The Town Run night ride on Wed 29 Jan is listed, as well as all the events surrounding the Annual Meeting in February.

I want the calendar to be a community-sourced project.  I don't want to be the only person adding stuff to it.  There are a few folks who have permissions already to create events right now, but if you are someone who regularly organizes group rides, I'd love you to get in touch with me.  Send me a private message here and let me know your e-mail address.  That way, I can add you as a contributor to the calendar and we can keep this baby full of events for 2014 and beyond.

There are a couple of really cool things about Google Calendars.  For one, it allows you to export events into your calendar program of choice.  I believe many calendars can import the whole thing, even.  Also, when you create an event, you can provide specific lat/long coordinates for the location, or a street address.  For a lot of our events where we meet at a specific trailhead, using specific coordinates works best (see the way I used it for the Annual Meeting events, especially the group rides).  No more trying to give new visitors to Fort Harrison State Park bad directions to a particular trailhead! You can get the coordinates easily enough from Google Maps.

Check out the Trail Guide, too.  It's going to be a work in progress, but in its current state, it provides information for most trailhead locations in the state, with links to find more info here in our forums or on external sites (where available).  Eventually, I want to get detailed pages up for every trail (especially the popular ones and the destination locations) so the HMBA website becomes the go-to guide for trail information in Indiana.

I will be working with Paul to make sure that whoever needs posting or admin privileges on the new site will get privileges on the new site.

I've been working on an entirely new homepage for HMBA the past several months.  It is nearing completion and has some minor tweaks that need to be addressed before then (certain formatting issues and whatnot), but is darn close to being rolled out.

I need people to start browsing through it to let me know if there are any issues with a particular browser/OS, and feedback on its content.

I have migrated some things over from the old site that may not persist in their current state, but are there as sort of placeholders.

Also, the Trail Guide is far from complete.  That was the project that I originally wanted to work on, but the old site was such a mess, I had to fix it before progressing to the Trail Guide.  I have some trails more or less completed, and you can see them in the dropdown menu.  Be sure to also check out the main Trail Guide page for the overview map (a modified version of Dean's map posted here in the forums), also.  I will continue building out the Trail Guide throughout 2014 at minimum and maybe farther into the future.

Happy browsing.

The new site is at http://www.hmba.org/wp

If you have a problem, describe it (with any error messages you may see, or screen shots of the problem) and post your machine's specifications here (OS, browser, monitor size, device type - desktop, laptop, tablet, phone).  Please note, the layout is optimized for screens about 1280 pixels wide.  Smaller than that, and things will scrunch up, but it's a pretty fluid and adaptable layout that doesn't mess up nearly like the old site.  If you are on a mobile device, you should see a separate mobile interface that, to be honest, I have not put any effort into customizing because I can't really preview it very well.  It should function, though.  You should also be able to pull up the articles on the Tapatalk app under the "Portal" heading.

HMBA Forum News and Information / HMBA Forums are now MOBILE!
« on: January 06, 2014, 11:44:23 AM »
Over the past week, I have updated our forums (we needed about half a dozen security updates installed) and installed a plugin for the Tapatalk forum browser app.  Today, I finally got the last pesky configuration problem sorted out to get the plugin up and running.

Tapatalk, if you are unfamiliar, is an app on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone that simplifies the forum browsing experience.  There are lots of forums on it, including MTBR.  All you need to do is search for the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association to find it and you can browse away.  Add your login credentials to the app, and you can post.

This should make it easier for folks to add those trail status updates from the field, because this app does a great job of optimizing the forums for display on small phone screens.

Ladies Only / Happy (early) Birthday to my wife!
« on: September 13, 2013, 06:22:19 PM »
Just got this for my wife's upcoming birthday.  She tipped me off to the ad on mtbr's classifieds and after asking the seller some detailed questions and getting additional photos, I was satisfied and bought it for her.  My wife wanted it for the breakdown, and it arrived with enough time to work on fit.  It will most likely need a stem shorter than the 80mm one currently on it.  Hopefully that will be the only change necessary.

2010 Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon by mtbikernate, on Flickr

It's well used and has the dings from rocks to prove it.  My wife won't be riding it as hard as the previous owner, and the dings are pretty much just cosmetic.  I spent some time this afternoon giving it a good bath, too.

Now her bike is better than mine.

HMBA Website Suggestions, Comments, etc. / MTBProject Trails widget
« on: June 18, 2013, 12:33:01 AM »
So as I get our trails built out on the MTBProject site, it makes sense to avoid re-doing my work and simply using those listings for the HMBA site, also.  Fortunately, there's a widget available in two flavors so that dynamic maps of the trails with pictures and descriptions can be placed on this site.

I'd like to help implement this if possible.  Some examples can be found on their page for the widgets:


Advocacy / MTBProject
« on: May 21, 2013, 12:52:13 PM »
Ugh-  I had a long post typed and Google Chrome crashed and lost it all.

If you happened to catch in the last IMBA newsletter, they announced the launch of a new site called MTBProject which is their effort to create a nationwide database for trails.


Paul set me up with his trail database for the state to get Indiana's trails up on that site and I've been working to get the data organized in the particular way the site needs.  I have finished that part for Brown County State Park, Town Run, and Ft Harrison State Park so far, and before I can get the trail listings up, I need written descriptions of each trail and geotagged photos.

This is where you guys come into play.  I only have a limited number of photos, and my writing is just too dry and uninteresting (too many years of scientific writing, I suppose).

I need help.

For the writeups, I need a separate one for each named trail just giving a general overview of the character of the trail and its difficulty (and why its' difficulty is rated as such).  The site also has "Rides" (like the IMBA Epic ride at BCSP) that may consist of multiple trails.  The IMBA Epic is a pretty tough one, and I need at least a good beginner ride for BCSP.  I haven't ridden there enough to ride every possible combination of trails in every possible direction to know which is best, so I'd appreciate a little bit of 411 to create a good beginner ride for that park.

For the photos, I need geotagged photos so they can be displayed on the map along the trails so folks can know where these spots are.  I have a few photos for Brown County, but I honestly forget to take pictures in some of the most fun areas since I'm enjoying the ride.  Photos showing general trail character as well as specific features would be the sorts of things I'm looking for.  Also if riders are actually in the photos, I think that helps to provide some perspective but aren't necessary. If you take pictures with a smartphone, they're probably already geotagged.  If you take photos with a standalone camera without a GPS, I'll need a GPS track taken along the trail at the same time so I can match the timestamps and get the photo placed correctly.  If you have a camera WITH a built-in GPS, then awesome.  That's perfect.

After I get these three trail networks finished, I'll be moving on to other trails and trail systems in the state.  If you'd like to help, drop me a PM and I'll give you my e-mail address.

Rants and Raves / might be coming back to Indy
« on: March 18, 2012, 06:18:49 PM »
I grew up in Indy, and moved away for undergrad in 99.  Have spent time in Ohio, Michigan, Utah, Pennsylvania, and currently Texas since then.  Looking to finish up grad school in a few months so the wife and I are looking for somewhere to go.  Wife's looking for jobs first.  I'm busy with my thesis and since she has the higher earning potential, it just makes sense for her to find an acceptable job first, keeping in mind what I'm going to need.

She's been looking all over the country.  Aside from one interview offer in a small city in Montana that would have been a great place to live, but not a great place to work and just didn't meet our needs well enough, she's got an interview in Indy tomorrow.  So far it looks good for her, and Indy is big enough that I can either find a job or make my own.

I see that there's a good bit of new trail in the area, which makes me happy.  I've ridden at TRTP plenty, but I'm excited to see there's trail at Ft Harrison.  I grew up close to there.  The Avon trails where there last time I rode in the area, but I haven't tried them out yet.

I am also getting into commuting by bike a lot more lately.  Built up a pretty nice SS commuter (On-One Pompetamine) last fall that's been a lot of fun.  Happy to see the city has plans for a pretty big network of bike lanes around town, and that it's been making good on those plans for the past few years.

The cost of living there is nice.  While not quite as cheap as where we live now, I think we should still be able to afford what we want where we want.

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