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Skuga : All the little details

Options

  • Injured : It can happen that you are injured. One of the reasons to use the KICKR is that you can use it to peddle easily without putting too much strain / stress on your knees. If you suffer such injury you can select this training mode. Rides are smooth as a baby, but they are uncomparable to real rides so please don't upload them as such to Strava. And if climbing is even too much yet, use the e-bike.
  • Use Strava segments : If you are interested in seeing your efforts on certain Strava Segments and give yourself the opportunity to improve your PR: turn this switch on. Please note that once published to Strava, your indoor rides are tagged as Virtual Rides in which real-life segments are not present (but can be created).
  • Use Instagram : Instagram-video's are great, but not everyone appreciates them during a ride. If that is the case, turn this switch off.
  • Mail completed rides : Instead of direct uploading to Strava you can choose to mail your rides to anyone. For instance: to yourself so that you can upload them to others than Strava too. This also works in combination with "Rescue". If the mail does not arrive: check your spambox. The mail has a GPX-file as attachment and some providers throw that in a spambox.
  • Restore : Whenever the app crashes (hopefully never), or your iPhone / iPad crashes or you internet connection got lost... whatever disaster-scenario you can think of: you loose your ride (because of the crash). For this purpose I made the 'Rescue'-button. Do NOT start a new ride. Re-launch Skuga and go to the Hello-screen (only make sure Strava is authorized). Press Rescue one or more times. Look at your activities in Strava, within minutes you should see it appear, at the latest after one or two hours. It does not matter how often you press Rescue (so you could try this button - which is dark but gets even darker when pressed - each hour until your ride appears in Strava. Of course, the only thing that is rescued is the ride-data from the start until the moment of the crash. If mail is selected, the rescues ride is not uploaded to Strava but it is mailed. If you use mail-based rescue you receive the GPX-file immediately per email.

 

Activities

The Activities screen loads the latest set of activities from Strava and displays it to you.

  1. The list of your previous activities, newest on top. You can see the title, distance (shown here in kilometers but Skuga adapts everywhere to miles if your device is set so) and the number of meters to climb.
  2. Click 'More' in case you want to see more activities, they are shown below the initial (newer) ones. You can press more as much as you want, until all your activities are displayed.
  3. Tap once on an activity to display a little map that shows the route. Going from activity to activity opens its map with the route.
  4. When your map is visible you can tap it once. Doing so opens the 'Ride' window and that can take some time, depending on the technical Strava-size of the activity. I have seen (Gran Fondo) rides that took 5 full minutes to open. Some only took 20, 30 seconds. Please notice that Skuga is not a database-driven app that stores every piece of data (or any data at all, for that matter) on servers. So all calculations have to be done real time. So be patient, and select what you open wisely. Please don't blame the app for being slow, this can't be done any faster.

 

Ride

The Ride screen is the last screen you'll see before you actually start. NOTE: while opening this screen Skuga does all the calculation it needs to function. Doing all the math can take some time, the longer the ride, the more time it needs. Loading can be anywhere between 1 and 5 minutes and is impossible to predict. Setting it all up while you get your drinks, food and shoes ready saves you the waiting time.

  1. This is the elevation profile of the entire ride. It says as much: "you start going up a little, stay flat, climb steadily, go down (sometimes steep), then a little climb and end with a relaxing downhill. I, as expert user, see this by the colors of the profile. These colors say a lot. Dark blue is steep downhill, lighter blue is downhill, but not too steep. Green is (almost) flat, yellow is a little climbing. Orange means you are going up steadily while red means you are really, really climbing. If things get pinkish purple, or plain purple, you are in deep climbing territory. You don't have to remember this, you will learn to recognize it while using Skuga. This color-thingy is not meant to help to select a proper gear, Skuga has a different tool for that. It is just a way of showing what elevation lies ahead and how steep you can expect it to be. You can place your finger on this elevation profile and move it. See what happens? The dot that is drawn, that is your position in the original ride, and the color of that dot represents the grade of that location. Zoom in on the map and the dot gets relatively larger.
  2. This is your map. You can zoom in and out, and move it around a bit. Most important is that while you are moving your finger over the elevation profile (1) is that you can see the exact spot on the map, and that spot is centered too. This way you can - for instance - find out where the climb starts and where it ends.
  3. Grade. The average grade of the whole ride is 1.8%. Not much? Well, it also says, below the word grade, at the right, that the highest grade is 26%! If you move your finger over the elevation profile you can see the "1.8% ~ 26%" for instance change into "0.8% ~ 11%". That means that at that specific point in the ride the average grade is 0.8% and that the highest grade is 11%, the real stuff has yet to start. This way you can examine the whole ride.
  4. MASL: Meters Above Sea Level. An average of 318.8 MASL for this ride but when you place your finger on the elevation profile and move it to the top of the mountain in the middle you see that the top is around 568 MASL. The start is 320 at the foot of the mountain. So you know: some 250 meters to climb. Not too hard, you may think. Most of the climb looks orange, hardly any red in sight and no purple at all. That means: indeed not too hard.
  5. The ride took 2 hours, 11 minutes and 42 seconds. Including breaks (unless Strava's auto-pause was activated). Again moving over the elevation profile displays the time and this way you could find out that the 320 meter climb, mentioned before, took about 30 minutes.
  6. Total distance is 37.4 kilometers, or 23.2 miles. This too adapts when you finger-scroll over the elevation profile. Combine this with the map and you get a pretty good impression where everything is.
  7. You get the drift by now, I suppose. Velocity displays the exact speed you had at that given point. The average of this ride was 19.2 kmh while the top speed was 57.
  8. 'The' button... "Go" means go. Start KICKRing. Ride. I strongly advise you to start peddling for 5 to 10 minutes in an easy tempo to warm up before you press Go. If you press Go then the ride starts and you want to keep up, if not beat yourself. Right? So warm up properly first. Good warmup prevents injuries, especially if the ride immediately starts with climbing.

Go

The Go screen is what it is all about!

  1. This is the map. It is fixed in size and you cannot change it. What you can do is tapping it once (on the upper half of the map), it will then toggle between "hybrid" (satellite plus roadmap) and "roadmap". The map is fixed because maps consume huge amounts of memory and keeping a map up to date for several hours without failure is not easy on an Apple device. As a matter of fact: if the app crashes the is always iOS because of poor Apple-code on maps.
  2. These are two "locators". The smaller one is always orange with a deep purple border. That one is the original rider (you, during the previous ride). The bigger one is you "now". That 'you' has a semi-transparent grey center surrounded by a semi-transparent outside in the color the matches the current grade. That grade can be seen at the topmost right box called "KICKR". You will quickly learn the meaning of the colors while you use Skuga.
  3. This box shows positions. The top rider is the "previous you", the cyclist of the previous ride. You are at the bottom of this box. In the middle you can see, very precise, what distance your are leading or how much you are behind. Of course: your ride is finished when your "dot" touches the right side of the box. Your "dot" is displayed in the same color as your locator on the map. Tap this box twice at the left to brake lightly, tap twice at the right to brake strong.
  4. On the left side of the screen there are 8 boxes, the top 5 belong to the original rider (the "previous you"). To be able to interpret the contents of these boxes correctly they are explained here. Grade: this is the actual grade of where the original rider is now. Below the title there are two values: the first is the average grade from the start to where the original rider is now and the second is the highest grade. MASL. The meters above sea level displayed is based on the position where the original rider is now. The same applies for the average and highest MASL. Please note that when you start a climb a beautiful "climbing box" appears that tells you how much (in percentage of the totale ride you have climbed and how many you have left to go. Time. This is the time it took the original rider to reach the point where he is now (including breaks). Below 'time' you can see how much time the original rider needs to reach the finish. Distance. This is the distance in km or miles that the original rider has cycled and below the word 'distance' you see his remaining distance. Velocity. This is the speed of the original rider from the location where YOU are now. This way you can compare his current speed against yours, see his average speed and his top speed. You can compare all this 'data' with your current velocity-data. Only if you use a TICKR and/or cadence sensor an extra box is displayed, showing your current heart-rate and your current cadence (RPM).
  5. These 8 boxes display all your current data, except (12). They are like those of the original rider except that this is the data from your current ride. Above the title you see the current value, below you see your average at the left and the maximum at the right. The bottom two boxes display wheel-spin (of the KICKR) including the average per minute and the wattage your generate, also including average and maximum.
  6. This box shows the elevation profile of the next 1.000 meters. This way you can see, by the colors and by the height of each object, what you can expect in the next kilometer (mile).
  7. Location-based photo's and video's from Instagram are displayed during your whole ride. This is an extremely nice way to see the surroundings, or other nice photographs and video's made by locals (and tourists). Not every location has media, so it can be that - when you ride in a forest for instance - you don't see any photo or video at all for a while. But normally it is a constant stream of Instagram-media. Each photo is shown for 2.5 seconds, no more, while a video displays entirely. Tap on a photo or video to make the Instagram-box taller, and again to make it smaller. When the box is tall it can overlay your position for a short while. If you have no Instagram-account: make one. But be sure that Instagram is authorized in the Settings-screen, otherwise no photo's are displayed at all.
  8. The e-bike is there for you when you are injured and you just cannot make those last meters of a climb. Tap the box to turn the e-bike on and Skuga does the climb for you. When you are ready to go on yourself you simple tap the box a second time (the green background disappears) and you take over again.
  9. Zoom toggles between "overview of the whole ride" and "your current position in detail".
  10. When you want to quit press the 'Exit'-button. If you do this by accident you can hit 'Continue', then the ride goes on (it even goes on while the 'Continue' / 'Exit'-window is visible. If you are really done press 'Exit'. Then the ride is saved as a private ride with GPS-data from the starting point until the location where you pressed 'Exit'.
  11. See those '+' and '.' and '-' and '!' signs? There are 8 of them displayed next to each other right under the KICKR-grade. These are a great help for you to anticipate your shifting. Plus. The '+' sign means the grade is going to go up and you might be interesting in shifting to a lighter gear. Dot. The '.'-sign indicates that the next 'time period' everything stays the same (same grade) so that you know you do not have to shift. Minus. The '-'-sign means that the grade is going down and that you might anticipate shifting to a heavier gear. Exclamation. The '!'-sign implies that the software is going to brake. If it is really going to do that and how hard it will brake depends on multiple circumstances. If Skuga actually brakes you are warned at the top of your screen. Stop peddling while Skuga brakes, otherwise you could seriously overload your knees and/or muscles. By looking at this box frequently you can anticipate the proper gear and shift your way easily through the entire ride.
  12. If you want to turn off the e-brakes, press this box. The ride will then continue without automatic braking. Please don't upload this as a "real ride" in Strava since it is not completely honest. After all, those of you who descent mountains in the real world know that one has to brake before the hairpin, or you crash. Without e-brakes you can go with 70km/h (or miles if your device uses miles instead of kilometers) through the hairpin... that's not honest, is it?

As of version 1.22 I introduced the "instawall"-button. Pressing this leads to an entertaining 'wall' of Instagram-pictures:

 

The Instawall diplays a dynamic mixture of local, popular and your own pictures. If you press the "Instawall"-button again the 'wall' disappears, the map is displayed again and all pre-loaded images are displayed one by one over the map.

Finished?

Once finished you get a popup asking you if you want to save your ride as Strava-ride (standard) or training. Please select training if you had the 'Injured'-button set. Of course, if mail is selected you can email the ride and upload the attached GPX-file anywhere you want.

Ok... that's it. Up to the next ride!

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