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About the Author

For the most part, I've been riding a bike for the better part of my life, with some gaps in which I experimented with alternative modes of transportation such as walking and driving a car. I consider 1979 as the year I started "cycling" as an adult. This was when I was on the Staff & Faculty of the United States Military Academy at West Point. For those familiar with the area, we lived in Newburgh and I started riding to work at the Academy -- at first across what was then known as "Storm King" mountain, and later on Highway 218 along the Hudson river. Later on, when the Army transferred me to Heidelberg, Germany, I spent the next three years riding around Heidelberg. One of my favorite rides was up the mountain to the Königstuhl. A fairly challenging climb with several switchbacks. There was a bratwurst stand at the top of the mountain. I always had a bratwurst and Coke before I rode back down. I must admit, the descent was more fun that the ascent, but was always over much too soon. One of my most memorable rides was just before I returned from Germany. I had a car that had to be shipped back to the U.S. This meant I had to deliver the car to the port in Bremerhaven. Most sane people returned via train or car, but not me. I took my bike and rode back. After all, I had three days and it was only about 550 Km, how hard could it be. I had frequently ridden 100+ mile rides on a Saturday or Sunday. Well, it was in early July and there was a light rain for the first two days. It finally stopped raining around noon of the third day. I questioned my sanity several times in those three days, but never once thought of quitting.

I started developing software around 1976. My first job as a programmer was in the Academic Computer Center at the Military Academy. In these days, main frame computers and punch cards ruled the computing environment, and West Point was no exception. We had a Honeywell 635 mainframe system. Much of the production work was done with punch cards, but the programmers did have interactive terminals for our work. A far cry from what we take for granted today. I dare say, an iPad probably has more computing power than the Honeywell computer we used. And to think, it was used for all the Cadet's programming and engineering classes and for all academy management functions -- grade keeping, admissions, etc. And, when it wasn't doing anything else, one of the professors had a program to simulate the movement of electrons in space -- or some such. Hey, its been a few years -- I can't be expected to remember everything. One thing I do remember is that disk space was extremely limited. Each user account had a tiny amount they could use. One programmer wrote a program he called the "Cookie Monster". He would ask you to "test" his program -- all it would do is ask "Can I have a Cookie?" If you said yes, it would transfer part of your disk space to his account. Of course you didn't know -- until you ran out of disk space, with nothing to show for it. Another thing, we were all "programmers" in those days. We didn't need fancy titles like "Software Engineer" or even "Developer". We were "real programmers" -- lived to write code in assembly language and thought "GOTO's" were essential to good programming. And last but not least, saved tons of disk space by always using two character years. In 1976, the year 2000 was a lifetime away.

I retired from the Army in 1984 and went to work for a small consulting company just north of Dallas. It was a collection of small business units -- the one I worked in did work for Dr Pepper. This was when they were in their original headquarters building on Mockingbird Lane. After three years, I left there and went to work for an unheard of video chain known as BLOCKBUSTER Entertainment. That was 1987 and Wayne Huizenga had just acquired control of the company from the founder, David Cooke. The chain had about 25 stores at the time. When I left in 1995, we had built it to over three thousand stores. VHS was still king, DVD's were unheard of and the internet had just been released for commercial use. Today, VHS is an antique, DVD's make poor Frisbees and I watch more content via Netflix than from "normal" sources.

I developed the original version of BikePro in the early 90's. There were no other computer based training logs for cycling and I needed a project to develop in order to learn a new language called Visual Basic 1.0. Up to then, developing software for the Windows environment required a very steep learning curve, even if you used Visual C++. It was a little better than using C, but not much. Visual Basic changed all that. I had my fun with low-level assembly languages in a prior life but now wanted something a little less tedious. The nice thing about Visual Basic is it hid all the nasty details of the inner workings of Windows. The programmer was able to focus on developing an application without being bogged down with Windows minutiae.

BikePro evolved through a number of versions and was originally released as a shareware application in the mid-90's. I kept BikePro current for several years, but it eventually fell into obsolesce when work requirements prevented me from working on it.  When I retired a few years ago, I decided to resurrect BikePro. The current version of BikePro is an entirely new application, incorporating some of the basic features of the origional version, but incorporating numerous new features -- many based on suggestions I received over the years from BikePro users. And finally, due to the vast array of cycling logs, both web based and locally installed, I decided to make BikePro free. Donations are appreciated but not expected.