Fixing Your Bike Club Ride Calendar Issues

Background Reading

Summary

Does your club’s website ride calendar entry system keep failing? If so then you probably are using the wrong tools. Let’s take a look at what often happens.

The first thing that goes wrong with most sites that have a “home-grown ride calendar entry system” is that there is a failure occurring at the server level. Each website is generally running on a particular hardware server using some software that is intended to provide the software necessary to “serve up” pages to users. Apache is one of the more common servers around, especially if your site is being run on a server that supports Unix.

Then there is the application portion of your site that does the calculations and data entry work required to update and maintain the database containing all your ride information. Lots of sites use software like PHP to accomplish this. The database itself might be managed by a software system called mySQL.

When everything is just right you get a finely-tuned website that can handle not only your ride calendar information but things like the purchase of club jerseys and other articles of clothing but also membership payments and member information (such as might be found in your membership guide or booklet).

If the calculation component (i.e. PHP) is having problem you get some nasty messages and eventually your club’s webmaster has to call and ask that the server be reset in order to get things running smoothly again.

Google Calendar Is A Better Option

Organizations can use the Google Calendar system to good effect if they understand how it works. What is more you can provide updates to your club calendar through your iPhone Calendar App. All you need to have is a good sound website platform like WordPress™ and an ISP that allows the use of PHP and mySQL and you should be “off to the races“.

I routinely update the calendar on my site using my cell phone. My spouse can update our calendar as well from her phone. It is simple and easy and could be accomplished with dozens of other folks using their phones to all update the same calendar. I can then read the Google Calendar and have its contents copied down to my website where the entries are displayed in chucks representing the current week or month or whatever.

You do need to do some investigating on your own to prove this to your club committee in charge of giving the OK to website changes. I know the last time I suggested this one individual flatly denied that the update option from an Apple iPhone could actually work. The answer to that is “It does work!” I use this method every single time I update our website calendar with ride information brought from various locations.

The calendar shown on my site is a reflection of the Google Calendar I have created as the starting point (the central hub if you will) for all ride data. If you have questions of a specific nature drop me a line at the contact point on this site. But rest assured that what you are seeing on this site is made possible using the tools I just mentioned.

And the next time you are riding alongside me on a club ride, ask me to update that calendar on my site “in the field“. You can watch me do it and then check my site’s calendar to verify that the information was indeed updated.

Ain’t technology wonderful!