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Old 10-13-07, 05:25 PM   #1
raybo
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New Bike touring website

I have been developing a bike touring website for the past few months and am ready to have it tested by someone other than me.

There is a huge amount of useful information on the bikeforums site but it is very hard to locate. In fact, the same questions get asked and answered over and over again.

The idea behind this website is to create an archive of bike touring information that is indexed both by location and topic. There are three location levels (country, state, city/place) and two topic levels (each topic has several sub-topics). It is my hope that the site will gather useful bike touring information that is easy to find.

I have entered some information into the archive. Most of it involves California, where I live and have toured extensively. I have many more to enter.

It is my hope that experienced bike tourists will take the time to add to the archive.

The site is www.biketouringtips.com. Viewing the existing tips can be done without registration. However, you need to fill out the free registration to enter tips/questions into the archive or add comments on existing entries (which I hope you will!). I plan to add more functionality as time goes on.

I would greatly appreciate your checking out this site and giving me any and all feedback that you like.

This is the first time I've announced this site, so I guess this is the "big" rollout!

Thanks for your time.

Ray

P.S. You need to have JavaScript enabled for the site to work. If you don't know what this is or how to enable it, send me a PM.

Last edited by raybo; 10-14-07 at 02:42 PM. Reason: To add PS about JavaScript
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Old 10-13-07, 07:19 PM   #2
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Wouldn't download on my 56K
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Old 10-13-07, 09:44 PM   #3
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Hi Ray

I really like the concept, looks good. I'll give more input tomorrow (Saturday night party night here) but I think you've got a great idea there with a place to look up just the important facts about a trip (not the stories). Where are the stores, campgrounds, what's the road like, etc.

I'll be putting in my info about S.E. Oregon and W. Idaho where supplies can be far between.

Bruce
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Old 10-14-07, 08:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
Wouldn't download on my 56K
The search function makes heavy use of Ajax, a web feature that allows page updates without reloading an web entire page. I'm surprised that it overwhelms your 56K modem.

Creating a non-Ajax version of the search function is on my list of things to do and I will let you know what I have done so, if you are still interested.

Thanks for trying it.

Ray
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Old 10-14-07, 08:20 AM   #5
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Hi Ray -

I couldn't get it to download either.
Is it my firewall? Virus filter?
I have a high-speed cable connection.
I hope this is useful feedback.

John
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Old 10-14-07, 08:45 AM   #6
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Hi Ray -

I couldn't get it to download either.
Is it my firewall? Virus filter?
I have a high-speed cable connection.
I hope this is useful feedback.

John
Could you be more specific with "couldn't get it to download"? Did the main page not come up? Or, did the search function simply not work? What happened when you clicked on one of the countries in the topic list? Did you get an error message?

The only problem that I can see that would cause the site to fail is not having javascript enabled on your browser. In order to use this page, you need to have javascript enabled. Can you use Google Maps?

The page is hosted on some server somewhere and is subject to delays but other than that I have no problem seeing or using the site.

Is anyone else having such problems?

Thanks

Ray

Last edited by raybo; 10-14-07 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 10-14-07, 09:05 AM   #7
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Interesting idea. Good luck. I just had a quick look and one thing I would add is a very comprehensive FAQ on all those questions that come up on BF again and again. Stuff that isn't very location dependent so it should be indexed separately. Provide all viewpoints on a topic like panniers vs. trailer and don't take sides so the reader can make up their own mind. That way when someone comes on one of the touring lsits or forums and asks "should I use my panniers on buy a trailer for my up coming tour?" We can point them to a one stop shopping for all the best info both pro & con.
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Old 10-14-07, 09:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vik View Post
one thing I would add is a very comprehensive FAQ on all those questions that come up on BF again and again. Stuff that isn't very location dependent so it should be indexed separately. Provide all viewpoints on a topic like panniers vs. trailer and don't take sides so the reader can make up their own mind. That way when someone comes on one of the touring lsits or forums and asks "should I use my panniers on buy a trailer for my up coming tour?" We can point them to a one stop shopping for all the best info both pro & con.
I, too, think this is a good idea.

The site is designed so that you can search for a topic independent of location and visa versa. In fact, if you search the Bike Touring Equipment topic, you will see that I have placed a link to the Newbie's Guide to Touring Bikes there.

In addition, I will try to put together an FAQ that contains such links.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Ray
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Old 10-14-07, 10:06 AM   #9
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It worked fine with my cable modem and Vista. Not much content yet. I didn't give it much of a perusal yet - not much time this morhing. I'll check back. Maybe I'll even add some content. Thanks for doing this.
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Old 10-14-07, 10:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raybo View Post
The site is designed so that you can search for a topic independent of location and visa versa.

Thanks for the suggestion.
That isn't immediately apparent. Perhaps if you put the topic/subtopic section first, moving the location options below or to the right of them as a way to narrow the search down?

That said, the function itself works well and is nicely designed. The entries returned are clear and cleanly separated, that's handy.
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Old 10-14-07, 10:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m5nardi View Post
That isn't immediately apparent. Perhaps if you put the topic/subtopic section first, moving the location options below or to the right of them as a way to narrow the search down?

That said, the function itself works well and is nicely designed. The entries returned are clear and cleanly separated, that's handy.
I have added a line on the main page saying that you can search by Location and Topic separately or in combination. I hope that helps.

Thanks for the feedback,

Ray
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Old 10-15-07, 07:09 AM   #12
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I've just tried it here at work using IE6. There seems to be something wrong with your AJAX; the Country listbox says 'Loading ...', and the error is Line: 220 Char: 3 Error: Invalid argument Code: 0.
Not a very useful message from Internet Explorer. Are you using an established Ajax library?
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Old 10-15-07, 09:13 AM   #13
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It appears that there is something about the code I wrote that IE6 doesn't like. Since I have no access to IE6, and the code works on IE7 (and Firefox and Safari), I don't know how to fix it. I will keep trying to see what I can do and if I come across a fix, I will let everyone know.

For now, if you are using IE6 and having a problem, join the club.

Oh well.

Ray
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Old 10-15-07, 05:43 PM   #14
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Ray,
I just added a little bit of amateurish comment on my Brooks Team Pro saddle. However, upon attempting to return to the main page, I receive a "page not found" 404 message.
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Old 10-15-07, 06:36 PM   #15
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I saw that you had entered some data.

I have been busy coding and testing all day to try and overcome the problems posed by IE6.

I believe that I have now solved those problems. It is likely that I was testing and editing while you were entering your information. It is there, I saw it and it brought a big smile to my face.

Would you mind trying again and making sure it works for you?

I won't be messing with it anymore today.

Thanks and sorry for the problems.

Ray
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Old 10-15-07, 06:54 PM   #16
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you can download ie6 as a standalone executable program (able to run side by side with ie7). I'll have to find the link again if you're interested.
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Old 10-15-07, 06:58 PM   #17
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No prob Ray. BTW - I am using Firefox.
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Old 10-15-07, 07:40 PM   #18
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My first thought,this morning, was to try and download IE6 but it wouldn't download since I have IE7 installed already. Instead of messing with my system, I came across a site called browsercam.com that lets you run any combination of OS and Broswer you want.

It cost me $20 bucks for 24 hours of usage (I'm still on the clock!) but I think I found all the problems associated with IE6 (would someone try it for me?) and some others I hadn't found before.

I have since discovered that it won't work on IE5 (either on a Mac or PC), in case someone is still using that, but it does work on Safari, FireFox 2 and 3, and Opera on the Mac.

If anyone has any other problems, please let me know so I can fix them and we can get onto the business of building a bike touring archive.

Ray

P.S. When I am sure it is working for everyone, I would like to announce it again, if no one minds.
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Old 10-15-07, 07:59 PM   #19
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Idea is great and I wish you luck
I could get to the home page but could get no pages to come up to read.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:07 PM   #20
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Boy, this seems to be a recurring problem.

I'll PM you for more information about your setup to see if I can find out what is causing the problem.

Thanks for trying.

Ray
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