An evening ride with @Pebble and @Runkeeper

Much excitement this afternoon when I saw the Runkeeper iOS app update with Pebble integration. It couldn’t have come at a better time, I just upgraded my phone and don’t yet have a handlebar mount for the new handset. The past few rides have been a sad and empty data-less place.

Onto business – updated the app and got it all going. It took a few tries to work out how to get it working, turns out it was as simple as turning it on. Admittedly, I spent a few minutes fiddling with settings menus before started an activity to see if I could work it out on the watch. Lo and behold – the app shows that the watch is connected and on the watch, there’s the data screen. Happy days.

20130507-213202.jpg 20130507-211243.jpg.

Note – images taken at home after the ride, I wasn’t going as slowly as the screen suggests.

I was surprised that I didn’t need to download something onto the watch. I spent the weekend playing with watch faces and was annoyed that it can only store about half-a-dozen watch faces. Is the Runkeeper face on the app using “reserved memory” that I can’t use for a watch face?

Getting it all connected was a pretty good start. Sadly, the screen doesn’t show heart rate data. I use heart rate data to help pace effort so it is one of the important figures for me to see while exercising. Heigh-ho, onto the bike…

Dave rides 10 miles home. In the interests of retaining a vestige of dignity, this is not illustrated.

During the ride, the Pebble’s buttons allow you to pause and unpause the activity. That’s about it though. Would’ve been good to allow a way to get access to the time during the ride as well.

Off the bike and time to look at the data. Turns out the heart rate data issue wasn’t much of an issue because the heart rate data seemed to be a consistent 59. In the absence of Lance Armstrong’s pharmacist and a metronomic pacemaker, I’m pretty sure I didn’t maintain an even 59 bpm the whole ride home.

20130507-212833.jpgI tried various fiddles (unpairing, repairing, etc.) with the heart-rate belt (Wahoo Blue HR), the phone and the watch at home this evening but couldn’t create a world where they all worked together. Some of the fiddling did create interesting effects with the watchfaces though.

20130507-213742.jpgI’m pretty sure that VeryPlain isn’t meant to look like this.

So – this was pretty cool, but a novelty more than something I’ll use again. For it to be useful for me, it needs to make friends with the heart rate monitor and show heart rate data. That’s okay, buying into Pebble was buying into a project and I remain onboard for the ride.

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