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  • Allan Padgett

Tour Tracker Tech #2 - Time Machine

One of the most powerful features in Tour Tracker is Time Machine, a feature exclusive to our apps that gives the user full control of, well, time. Read on to find out what it is and how it can make your experience following cycling better!

What is Time Machine?

The idea behind Time Machine is that you should be able to go back in time and see exactly what was happening at any moment in any race. How were the riders grouped and where where they on the course map and profile? What commentary had the reporter posted up to that point? What time trial splits and finishes were reported? What were the standings at that moment? Basically, if you had opened the app at that moment in time, what would have you seen?

Why would you use Time Machine?

Basically Time Machine turns Tour Tracker into a VCR that lets you rewind, fast forward, skip, play, pause your way through any race. The original goal of Time Machine was to let users who were watching a race on tape-delay always have the app in sync with where they were in the video playback. So if you started watching Stage 3 of the TDF in the evening you just rewind the app to the start time / 0km and press play. And if you pause the video to take a break, just pause the app too. Skip ahead on the video? Skip ahead in Tour Tracker. Voila!

How else can you use Time Machine?

Another great use of Time Machine is preventing spoilers. Let's say you launch the app for the first time when a stage is already live and/or done. Your about to start a video of the stage and want to preview the profile of the route. But sadly the profile has so much good data that it shows that a solo break won the day. And you are sad. But there is hope! Go to the Application Settings and enable Pause Live Coverage. This will automatically pause the app each day at the starting line for you. So you can look at the profile without any spoilers. And then when you are ready, you can use the Time Machine controls as you wish.

Anything else you can do with Time Machine?

Yep. Personally I sometimes just replay the entire stage holding down the fast forward button to see how it unfolded. The profile is a good one to watch. Or the virtual standings let's you see the moment when a new leader was born.

Enter, Control and Exit Time Machine

You can start Time Machine several ways:

  • As mentioned, turn on Pause Live Coverage on the Application Settings page and it will engage automatically each day.

  • On the mobile apps, select Time Machine from any stage's detail page. That brings up a page that lets you type in a distance to go (typically the easiest thing to see on a race video) and jump to that point in time. For time trials it just goes to the beginning of the day, but see below for how to do more.

  • Alternatively, tap any icon on a stage's map or profile, which brings up details about that climb, sprint, etc. That page will also have a Time Machine item that when selected, will bring up the "distance to go" page with the distance already filled in for the climb/sprint you selected.

  • Finally you can choose Pause Live Coverage from the option menu on the profile or map page. It will start Time Machine but immediately pause the app at that time. We know it is an odd place to find such a command, and if you have a better idea let us know.

To control Time Machine:

  • Once started, the Time Machine control bar is always available at the bottom of the screen. Using that you can rewind - tapping once goes back 1 minute, holding your finger down will repeatedly go back - go forward, pause, unpause and exit entirely.

  • You can also tap on the data value itself (e.g. 34km) to skip to a particular moment. For a road stage you can enter a new distance to go (e.g. 23) or the 24hr time of day in your time zone (e.g. 14:32). For a time trial you can enter a rider bib # or time of day.

  • You can also tap the the words "Time Machine" of the left side of the control bar to rotate what data is displayed there between distance to go, distance covered, time elapsed and the actual time of day. By default it is distance to go.

  • To exit Time Machine just tap the square stop button on the controls and you will be back to real time.

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