Friday, June 1, 2001

Heather’s big adventure


By Heather McDaniel

I've committed myself to ride my bicycle 400 miles over a five day period from Montreal, Canada to Portland, Maine in the U.S.->Canada AIDS Vaccine Ride. This is a tremendous personal challenge in terms of physical fitness and endurance. Why would anyone do such a thing? Well, it's for altruistic reasons and as a personal challenge.

In order to be able to handle the challenges of this undertaking, one question I asked myself was, "How can I keep track of donations, potential donors, fundraising ideas, and training?" Well, I looked at a number of options, and the easiest way to keep track of everything was to use a Palm handheld. In this article, I'm going to show you what programs I use on my Palm handheld to help me get ready for the big ride!

Before I tell more about the software I'm using, I'd like to spend a moment telling you about the research we're trying to help fund. We're riding to raise money for three maverick research teams working toward the eradication of AIDS by vaccine. Dr. David Ho's team at the Aaron Diamond AIDS research center in New York, Dr. Rafi Ahmed's team at Emory Vaccine Center at Emory University, and Dr. Irvin Chen's team at the UCLA AIDS Institute are all doing cutting-edge, outside-the-box science that traditional funding sources are slow to finance.


Getting my body in good enough shape to be able ride my bicycle 400 miles in five days is quite a task. There are several programs for Palm OS devices that are great to use to keep track of training.

Cyclist's Log

Cyclist's Log, shown in Figure A, is an easy to use tool to keep track of the distance you ride, whether in kilometers or miles. The program can also calculate your pace and calories burned during your ride.


Cyclist's Log keeps a log of when I ride, as well as the number of miles.

Cyclist's Log also allows you to keep track of other cross-training activities, such as hiking or weightlifting.

As you can see in Figure B, entering information is easy.


Entering your information is easy.

Once you enter a location, Cyclist's Log will memorize it, so you don't have to re-enter the information. It also has an extended notes field so you can keep details on whether or not you were sore during a particular ride or weightlifting routine.

If your goal is to complete a certain amount of miles per week, then Cyclist's Log will be able to help you reach your goal. The program can create a summary of activities during one week, four weeks, one month, and the entire year. Figure C summarizes my activities for the last four weeks.