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I developed a site that lets you pit your races against yourself or others!

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I developed a site that lets you pit your races against yourself or others!

Old 11-06-23, 11:15 AM
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I developed a site that lets you pit your races against yourself or others!

Okay, not strictly "I", my two roommates and I are bike nerds and computer nerds and we code all sorts of cycling projects in our free time. I did most of the functional coding, one of us did some of the prettying up/frontend work, and the other manages the server it runs on that lives in our apartment basement.

So, what is it? it's right here
https://sherpa-map.com/activity-racer.html it's a 100% free, no ads or anything tool that allows you to upload your cycling activities as GPX files, hit play and watch yourself as a dot and on a graph with all of your data on a map. The cool thing is, you can upload the same race you may have done year after year and simply drag the red line to the beginning of any portion you may be curious about, like some single track in the middle of nowhere, and see where you were faster/slower, even if you got there at completely different times throughout the years!

Little tutorial


It's kinda like Strava Lab's flyby feature, but it puts you in control of the activities you want to see and lets you line up specific portions of a route against each other, as mentioned.

If you want to compare yourself to others, just note that you need a GPX file of their activity, not just their route. I found a great way to nab them from strava is to use this Chrome Extension I didn't make it, but makes it super easy to grab activity files.

Note: this activity racer tool is currently only designed for Desktop and it's all in Metric, I'm going to eventually make an imperial/metric button (I live in the US), but all the calculations are in metric, so it just makes life easier.



FYI, if you're wondering what the main site is, https://sherpa-map.com, it's another 100% free no Ads tool that allows you to create cycling routes! See the weather throughout your journey, find unpaved roads, and all other sorts of stuff. We developed and host that too.



As another fun offering, we also recently put together this tool https://sherpa-map.com/cycling-route-calculator.html which is again, 100% free with no Ads, which lets you upload a route, "brush on" various surface types, enter your equipment of choice, and see how long it will take you and what the weather will be on course (perfect before raceday!). I haven't actually shared this site with many people yet, because I'm still adding to it, I'm going to have it calculate nutrition and be able to tell you not only when you should have that gel but when will be the most optimal "fastest" time to, i.e. with a slight headwind up a paved hill just before that 10 miles of single track in your gravel race... If you're confused about this one I made a tutorial

I know I got a little side tracked there, but hey, I have a bunch of random cycling tools that I've created with the help of my roommates and host on our own server, they're all free, we just develop them in our free time for fun and I thought, why not mention all of them? Please do judge the fact they all have different buttons, themes, and layouts lol, we're having fun trying new things with each one.
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Old 11-10-23, 03:31 AM
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Do judge or donít judge? Nice work. This is really interesting because I have a 10km KOM Iíve been swapping with a guy for years, itís getting into marginal gains territory now and I have wondered where I have done better or worse each time.

And also the planning one, I plan the routes for our cycle club each weekend. I will try the weather thing out on them for Sunday (forevaat to be changeable) and maybe share it with the membership. Thanks!
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Old 11-10-23, 04:34 AM
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Oops sorry I think I ate a load of your daily weather API checks for some reason



and we seem to have a 3C drop from 8.8 to 5.8 in the first 5km on Saturday morning at 9am - will be interesting to see if that is real :-)

Last edited by choddo; 11-10-23 at 04:43 AM.
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Old 11-10-23, 01:54 PM
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Didn't work for me ...

Safari: Nothing happens after uploading file.

Firefox: Upload dialog box is off right side of screen.

Last edited by tomato coupe; 11-10-23 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 11-13-23, 09:04 AM
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Ah, so kind! I would have responded sooner, but I went back to coding and forgot about this post after a few days lol. Also, don't worry about the weather API calls, looks like some glitch caused it to pull far too many for some reason, it should only really pull one for every 5ish miles, but who knows? I capped it at 1k per person per day on the backend, beyond that it costs tenths of a cent per additional 1000 calls, just in case there's some runaway loop.
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Old 11-13-23, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Didn't work for me ...

Safari: Nothing happens after uploading file.

Firefox: Upload dialog box is off right side of screen.
How odd, I admit, I tested mostly with Edge/Chrome, so you've definitely given me more to look into here. Further, if you're willing to send the files that aren't functioning and which page they aren't functioning on I'm more than happy to research it, my email is esemianczuk@sherpa-map.com
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Old 11-13-23, 09:44 AM
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fwiw I was using Firefox/win10 and didnít have that problem.
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Old 11-13-23, 10:09 AM
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the tutorial is neat. Nice job.
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Old 11-13-23, 06:14 PM
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What's in it for you? Experience to showcase your talents to a prospective employer? I see here that you are offering software that does the same things that a paid Strava account does. Screen shots look good. Wish you luck.
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Old 11-13-23, 07:11 PM
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some people just like to do stuff like this. a while back i wrote a windows app and offered here for free too, but i am not a UI guy and mine is really ugly. not sure if any takers. i wish him luck too.
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Old 11-14-23, 02:45 AM
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Yeah Iíve written stuff just for fun plenty of times and this doesnít do the heavy duty (and therefore expensive to run) stuff strava does at all.
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Old 11-21-23, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut
What's in it for you? Experience to showcase your talents to a prospective employer? I see here that you are offering software that does the same things that a paid Strava account does. Screen shots look good. Wish you luck.
Me? These tools used strava's route builder as a starting point. I wanted to create routes a bit easier, with weather forecasting, amenity projecting (cafes, public water/bathroom, etc.) Google Map traffic layers, auto generate routes that could be generated above 70miles, the list goes on. Strava didn't have enough for me and I wasn't willing to pay for some of these other services. We happen to own a server and we could host many of the services ourself (this would have been impossible with AWS).

Then, I could never decide what bike to bring to what gravel or xc mtb race, what the weather will be where, and how many gels/carb drink to bring. SO, I wrote the simulation tool to help figure that out.

Lastly, I like strava's flyby tool, but it was way too limited, I could line people up at particular portions in a course and see who was faster, say, through the mtb section, or line my past self up vs my current self over the same race course and see how it played out.

So, the takeaway is, I wanted these tools, for me, and I happened to have a server, so might as well make it accessible. I also don't believe in squeezing every sent out of people, I mean, I offer weather completely for free, and you know how much those api calls cost? practically nothing, I just force people to log in to access it so I can cut it off on the backend person by person if I notice some runaway loop or something.

I also just love seeing when people use the site, it's just widely motivating.
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Old 11-21-23, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Yeah Iíve written stuff just for fun plenty of times and this doesnít do the heavy duty (and therefore expensive to run) stuff strava does at all.
I respectfully disagree. If Strava hadn't patented their segment racing, I would have replicated it. Moreover, I have React Native iOS and Android apps with navigation that surpass Strava's capabilities (yes, I'm even providing turn-by-turn directions, not just a top-down view).

Additionally, take a look at this: https://i.imgur.com/ycs7pEe.mp4. This feature is live on the site. I utilized our 1.6TB OpenStreetMap (OSM) dataset to identify roads with consistent surface types spread across the United States. I wrote a Python program to download 200,000 images of these roads and used my gaming computer's RTX 2070 to train a PyTorch ResNet-40 convolutional neural network to classify these images. After tuning hyperparameters over ten epochs, I integrated this classifier into a secondary backend in Flask. It automates the process of pulling and classifying images of unknown surface types for roads. I also implemented a live WebSocket that leverages your account connection to display these images in real-time.

At some point, I intend to release this for every road over a mile long worldwide that remains unclassified, creating the most advanced multi-surface dataset. It won't just tell you if a road is paved, unpaved, gravel, or dirt; it will provide detailed information.

So, I'll boldly state that this project is easily as complex as many of Strava's endeavors. Furthermore, the modifications I made to the backend software, GraphHopper, which handles routing, to incorporate and utilize surface type data were exceptionally challenging.

Also, speaking of expenses, running this website on AWS would cost approximately $80,000 per month. The server we use boasts over a terabyte of RAM, which it fully utilizes, along with a substantial page file. It's equipped with five physical CPUs and 10 terabytes of high-speed storage to host and update the routing software with the latest data every week. Fortunately, we had these server components readily available.
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Old 11-21-23, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
some people just like to do stuff like this. a while back i wrote a windows app and offered here for free too, but i am not a UI guy and mine is really ugly. not sure if any takers. i wish him luck too.
I SOOO understand, I'm also not a UI guy. I picked up full stack coding while creating these projects, but never went to deep into html/css/bootstrap/react. I touch theme here and there obviously, but it's just not my game. I built these apps with the help of my two roommates, one of which is my twin brother! He works as a laboratory scientist during the day and decided to teach himself front-end coding whenever he got the chance, and put his skills to use. My other roommate moved in with a server... he works on servers as a day job and happened to have put one together himeself, it's the size of me, hangs out next to our zwift setups and keeps the basement warm.

Between the three of us, I figure out the stuff that makes it work, my brother handles making it look pretty, and my roommate/friend keeps it online! All while working full-time unrelated jobs! I have so much polish to do and so many more features and ideas on the way. I just wish they got more traffic, seeing anyone use the site is really our main motivator.

Also, yes, the reason why each site seems to have it's own theme is because my brother, the UI guy, can't seem to make up his mind and "wants to try something new" every time I give him a new project to make look nice lol.

Out of curiosity, what Windows app did you write? What language is it in? I love talking about coding projects.
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Old 11-21-23, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut
What's in it for you? Experience to showcase your talents to a prospective employer?
Funny story, the initial version of this site, with far less features and barely functioning only for the US, did immediately net me an interview with RideWithGPS, unfortunatly it was for a senior-level backend Rust position. I gave it a shot, having only used Rust a little bit on the backend, but more so as WASM on the frontend. I was quite unsuccessful but it was fun nonetheless, super cool people, kind of glad it didn't work out though, as I would have probably shuttered this site.
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Old 11-21-23, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
the tutorial is neat. Nice job.
Thanks! that was probably after 10 takes... lol

Funny story, I know the mic quality is isn't amazing but, it's wayyy better than what that $10 microphone should give. I actually wrote a python program to strip the audio from the video file, then I run it through Adobe's AI podcast enhancer https://podcast.adobe.com/enhance and then use python + ffmpeg to re-add the audio back to the tutorial. The difference between the original and what makes it to youtube then is stunning. Again, not professional mic quality by any means, but I'm at least trying to make it a bit better
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Old 11-21-23, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by firebird854
I respectfully disagree. If Strava hadn't patented their segment racing, I would have replicated it. Moreover, I have React Native iOS and Android apps with navigation that surpass Strava's capabilities (yes, I'm even providing turn-by-turn directions, not just a top-down view).

Additionally, take a look at this: https://i.imgur.com/ycs7pEe.mp4. This feature is live on the site. I utilized our 1.6TB OpenStreetMap (OSM) dataset to identify roads with consistent surface types spread across the United States. I wrote a Python program to download 200,000 images of these roads and used my gaming computer's RTX 2070 to train a PyTorch ResNet-40 convolutional neural network to classify these images. After tuning hyperparameters over ten epochs, I integrated this classifier into a secondary backend in Flask. It automates the process of pulling and classifying images of unknown surface types for roads. I also implemented a live WebSocket that leverages your account connection to display these images in real-time.

At some point, I intend to release this for every road over a mile long worldwide that remains unclassified, creating the most advanced multi-surface dataset. It won't just tell you if a road is paved, unpaved, gravel, or dirt; it will provide detailed information.

So, I'll boldly state that this project is easily as complex as many of Strava's endeavors. Furthermore, the modifications I made to the backend software, GraphHopper, which handles routing, to incorporate and utilize surface type data were exceptionally challenging.

Also, speaking of expenses, running this website on AWS would cost approximately $80,000 per month. The server we use boasts over a terabyte of RAM, which it fully utilizes, along with a substantial page file. It's equipped with five physical CPUs and 10 terabytes of high-speed storage to host and update the routing software with the latest data every week. Fortunately, we had these server components readily available.
That is very cool and impressive. And wasnít what I had seen or was referring to ;-) an AI road classifier is a great idea.

What I really meant though, was the scale at which theyíre processing data from activities, and hence the cost, as you alluded to with the AWS estimate.

Didnít know theyíd patented it. Iíll have to look it up because Iíve randomly speculated a few times about how they do it but donít really know.
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Old 11-21-23, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by firebird854
...it's the size of me, hangs out next to our zwift setups and keeps the basement warm.
sounds to me you aren't riding enough or hard enough!


Originally Posted by firebird854
Out of curiosity, what Windows app did you write? What language is it in? I love talking about coding projects.
took me a bit of time to dig up my first post about it...

Smart Trainer Application

3 years later and i just noticed someone sent anotehr reply, totally missed that. now i'm going to lose sleep tonight knowing i dissed someone.
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Old 11-23-23, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by firebird854
Okay, not strictly "I", my two roommates and I are bike nerds and computer nerds and we code all sorts of cycling projects in our free time. I did most of the functional coding, one of us did some of the prettying up/frontend work, and the other manages the server it runs on that lives in our apartment basement.

So, what is it? it's right here
https://sherpa-map.com/activity-racer.html it's a 100% free, no ads or anything tool that allows you to upload your cycling activities as GPX files, hit play and watch yourself as a dot and on a graph with all of your data on a map. The cool thing is, you can upload the same race you may have done year after year and simply drag the red line to the beginning of any portion you may be curious about, like some single track in the middle of nowhere, and see where you were faster/slower, even if you got there at completely different times throughout the years!

Little tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3f_PDTA5oU


It's kinda like Strava Lab's flyby feature, but it puts you in control of the activities you want to see and lets you line up specific portions of a route against each other, as mentioned.

If you want to compare yourself to others, just note that you need a GPX file of their activity, not just their route. I found a great way to nab them from strava is to use this Chrome Extension I didn't make it, but makes it super easy to grab activity files.

Note: this activity racer tool is currently only designed for Desktop and it's all in Metric, I'm going to eventually make an imperial/metric button (I live in the US), but all the calculations are in metric, so it just makes life easier.



FYI, if you're wondering what the main site is, https://sherpa-map.com, it's another 100% free no Ads tool that allows you to create cycling routes! See the weather throughout your journey, find unpaved roads, and all other sorts of stuff. We developed and host that too.



As another fun offering, we also recently put together this tool https://sherpa-map.com/cycling-route-calculator.html which is again, 100% free with no Ads, which lets you upload a route, "brush on" various surface types, enter your equipment of choice, and see how long it will take you and what the weather will be on course (perfect before raceday!). I haven't actually shared this site with many people yet, because I'm still adding to it, I'm going to have it calculate nutrition and be able to tell you not only when you should have that gel but when will be the most optimal "fastest" time to, i.e. with a slight headwind up a paved hill just before that 10 miles of single track in your gravel race... If you're confused about this one I made a tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzOL7lX0p4o&t=2s

I know I got a little side tracked there, but hey, I have a bunch of random cycling tools that I've created with the help of my roommates and host on our own server, they're all free, we just develop them in our free time for fun and I thought, why not mention all of them? Please do judge the fact they all have different buttons, themes, and layouts lol, we're having fun trying new things with each one.
but can you develop an app to replace GCN when they are forced to shut down in December?
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Old 11-24-23, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
but can you develop an app to replace GCN when they are forced to shut down in December?
I mean, I would if they asked! I'm also working on a peer to peer multi-person conference web app for podcasters... not quite the same... but it's not that hard to make webRTC apps.
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Old 11-24-23, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger

took me a bit of time to dig up my first post about it...

Smart Trainer Application

3 years later and i just noticed someone sent anotehr reply, totally missed that. now i'm going to lose sleep tonight knowing i dissed someone.
How cool! I took a stab a few years ago at making my own "zwift" in unreal engine and porting the signals through the phone (similar to Zwift) so it could be used on console. I was a 3d artist before a programmer, but I got bogged down in all the ant+ and BLE logic and eventually gave up. Nice job on your application! I also have ideas for using BLE through web workers on chrome to make a workout generator that can control your trainer without any downloads, not sure of the feasibility, but definitely cool to see what other programmers are up to!
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Old 11-24-23, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
That is very cool and impressive. And wasnít what I had seen or was referring to ;-) an AI road classifier is a great idea.

What I really meant though, was the scale at which theyíre processing data from activities, and hence the cost, as you alluded to with the AWS estimate.

Didnít know theyíd patented it. Iíll have to look it up because Iíve randomly speculated a few times about how they do it but donít really know.
Ah, good point about the bandwidth that Strava probably has to have to serve all those upload/download requests from their 30 odd million users a month. Our server is cobbled together from used parts, but still stands as tall as me, has 3 racks, 5 physical CPUs, 1tb of ram, 10tb of storage in some crazy raid configuration (I'm not the server guy, my roommate is) and we got this to work on a residential internet (don't tell Charter/Spectrum) but hey, it seems to support the considerably fewer people occasionally saving or grabbing a saved route without too much difficulty.
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Old 11-24-23, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by firebird854
Ah, good point about the bandwidth that Strava probably has to have to serve all those upload/download requests from their 30 odd million users a month. Our server is cobbled together from used parts, but still stands as tall as me, has 3 racks, 5 physical CPUs, 1tb of ram, 10tb of storage in some crazy raid configuration (I'm not the server guy, my roommate is) and we got this to work on a residential internet (don't tell Charter/Spectrum) but hey, it seems to support the considerably fewer people occasionally saving or grabbing a saved route without too much difficulty.
Yeah, I bet it does! I've got a 1U server sat next to me with 64 cores and 768GB of RAM and it's serving zero users because I don't want to hear the thing I'm supposed to be getting it prepped to upgrade an existing server that runs a forum with about 500 regular users in a co-lo datacentre rack but the current server is already so overpowered that the motivation is pretty weak to get on with it so it has a hypervisor and an empty linux VM so far.
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Old 11-24-23, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Yeah, I bet it does! I've got a 1U server sat next to me with 64 cores and 768GB of RAM and it's serving zero users because I don't want to hear the thing I'm supposed to be getting it prepped to upgrade an existing server that runs a forum with about 500 regular users in a co-lo datacentre rack but the current server is already so overpowered that the motivation is pretty weak to get on with it so it has a hypervisor and an empty linux VM so far.
Very nice! Totally understand the sound situation, ours can get pretty noisy why performing the graph network rebuild for the routing systems with new OSM changeset data. If you have any cool ideas and feel like collabing on anything feel free to reach out! I love working on random programming projects.
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