slashk on September 28th, 2008

USA Cycling has announced their 2009 MTB Gravity schedule and I have updated the site with the new events. They include:

02/14/09: All Mountain Cyclery Mob N Mojave (NV)
05/02/09: Chalk Creek Stampede (CO)
05/09/09: Massanutten Yee-Ha! (VA)
05/23/09: Chile Challenge (NM)
06/13/09: Wildflower Rush (CO)
06/27/09: Blast the Mass (CO)
08/30/09: Whiteface 4th Annual 5k Downhill (NY)

You can find this list by listing everything tagged with “2009 USA Cycling Gravity“. There is also the US National Championships that I will enter later.

The 2009 MTB Endurance (i.e. XC) and Ultra Endurance (i.e. Marathon and 24 Hour) schedules were also announced and will be entered soon.

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admin on June 21st, 2008

While you were out riding the sweltering heat (well, it’s hot here in Northern California), I sneaked a new release of the website onto the server.

This release (something I call “Millencolin r163″ for those of you scoring at home) is mostly minor bugfixes and tweaks, but it does add the highly sought after RSS feed for your personal calendar. You can find the link on your MyCalendar page below the iCal link (you need to be logged in). See here for more details about personal calendars.

With the personalization and feed features in place, I will now go back to work on some user interface issues (hopefully make the race event input slightly less painful) and add some widgets so that you can show off your race schedules on your own blogs. Expect to see something during or after the July 4th break.

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slashk on May 22nd, 2008

I rolled out a new version of the website this afternoon (something I affectionately call revision 153). This release boast a new feature (but it’s a biggy), some bug fixes and a regression.

There is a now a “My Calendar” feature for logged in users. This feature allows you to create a personal event calendar and then subscribe to it via ical. Here’s how it works: once you are logged in, any event that you view will have a green “add this to my calendar” button just below the event map on the right hand side. Click this and the event is added to your calendar. Clicking the greyed out button again removes it from your calendar.

Picture_42 1.png

To view your entire personal calendar at any time, simply click the “MyCalendar” button on the right side of the header bar (next to “Log Out”). This page will also show the URL for your ical feed. And yes, a RSS/Atom feed is also coming.

I’ve changed the look of the website by removing the dark background. This was causing some problems with a few browsers and I don’t have time to fully troubleshoot it. It’ll be back — as soon as I can find a good designer that works cheap.

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admin on May 10th, 2008

I just deployed the newest version of (revision 137 for those of you following at home) which adds the first bits of microformats code support. For those of you not down with the semantic web, microformats are “are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards.” Think of it as HTML that gives your browser/computer hints about what the text actually means. The microformat that I have decided to start with is hCalendar. So now if you go to each detailed event page (like this weekend’s CCCX DH #4), the event’s dates will be marked up as hCalendar.

What does this mean to you ?

Maybe something, maybe nothing. If you have a microformats enhanced browser, you will be able to recognize the hCalendar events and quickly add them to your calendar (be it iCal, Google calendar, Y! calendar, etc). If you don’t, you won’t notice anything.

Getting a microformats enhanced browser is easy:

Let me know if you have any problems with this.

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slashk on April 21st, 2008

I have the first set of the calendar (iCal) feeds ready. If you click over to any "Events by States" page (say for British Columbia), you will be greeted with two new icons:


The first one is for the before-mentioned RSS feeds (see last post). The second one is for a iCal feed. iCal Feeds allow you to subscribe to the events on the page in your favorite calendaring program and they will refresh your calendar whenever new events are added to the website (for that state). I have currently added an icon for Apple’s iCal program (since I rock a MacBook), but I will be adding Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook as soon as I get them tested.

I’ve used the California feed in my own calendar (so I can sync them to my iPhone) for several months, so I think they are pretty bug free. Look for more RSS, Atom and iCal feed goodness to drop later this week.

My iCal support is enabled by the iCalendar ruby gem, written by Jeff Rose.

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slashk on April 20th, 2008

Some good and some bad news to report today. Let’s start with the bad news: Yes, the RSS and Atom feeds for this blog are, in a word, fook’d. Not sure what the problem is exactly, but I am not the only person experiencing this. I’ve spent some time this afternoon looking it over and fixed it on my development MacBook, but apparently the bug has much foo, because it didn’t fix the server (which you are looking at). After a little bit more hacking, I think I have root caused this at not having swig installed on the server at install / migration / posting time (which was not stated in the docos). Anyway, I have it there now and am thinking about how I correct the problem. On the good news side of the slate, I fixed (and tested the crap out of) the feeds. You can now follow these feeds:

I will have more feeds finished this week. They are:

  • Tag: a feed for any tag on the site, such as norcal or socal.
  • Format: a feed for specific types of racing like cross country (XC) or downhill (DH).

I’ll drop a line when I get these done.

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slashk on April 19th, 2008

Welcome to Racing on Rails, my blog about the website, mountain bike racing and Ruby on Rails (probably in that order).

My name is slashk and I’ll be your host. I am a dedicated (albeit slow) MTB racer (mostly XC, some Super D and a bit of CX) who resides in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California, which is simply the greatest place to race mountain bikes on earth. Some of you may know me from my other blog, NorCal MTB Racing, which I have written for the past two or three years.

I have put up this blog due to the gentle shaming of an user’s email: is cool, nice work

2 niggles:
rss/atom feeds don’t work. they send you to the very same page you’re looking at.
there is no contact info/form for me to send feedback to.

1 suggestion:
start a blog, so we can keep up with updates!

(A) thank you Alex for the kind words. I wasn’t sure how many people were using it as I haven’t really launched it other than mentioning it on NorCal MTB Racing a few times.

(B) you are absolutely correct. The rss/atom feeds are completely b0rked (they were working but I changed some controller logic and I haven’t gotten back to fix them yet) and the site is devoid of feedback mechanisms.

However, I have taken your suggestion about the blog (with the quickness). And I am working on bringing back the rss/atom feeds (probably sometime this week as I have some cross-country airtravel planned). And I actually have a bit more functionality built into the current version of the website than I have exposed. Goodies like iCal subscriptions, proximity searching and such are implemented (but untested) and very rough around the edges. I’ll be polishing and hoisting them on you gentle blog readers shortly.

And in the meantime, you can either comment here on this blog or email me at norcalmtbracing AT gmail DOT com (replace the AT and DOT with the appropriate symbols).

And thanks for coming.

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