I am not sure how it all started, this fascination with KOMs and stats and PBRs, etc. I want to blame the triathletes. How can you trust someone that never wears sleeves on their jerseys? It is mostly two wheeled navel gazing if you ask me, perhaps a natural outgrowth of our fascination with all things relating to ourselves. "Enough of me talking about me...tell me what YOU think about me!", etc.
I actually have, at one time or another, used a heart rate monitor, bike computer, and a GPS. I have long since forgotten about HRMs...I figure that at this age, if my heart is still beating then that is good enough for me because one day it will cease to do so. I do not need a HRM to tell me when that happens. Bike computers can be handy, especially on road bikes if you are doing organized centuries, etc. Less so on a mountain bike. Carry your bike or push it for a while and see what that does for your computer's accuracy. Now GPS, that is handy. That is a great tool, although you can rely on it too much, but it can keep you on a predetermined course even in the dark, etc.
I guess that some of my disinterest in all this micro-managing of my ride experiences is due to the fact that I have no use for a real training plan and I have no illusions of podium appearances anywhere. Could care less. I just want to ride my bike. And if I am slow at it, I will ride more, ride harder, ride less to rest, or just enjoy the day anyway despite my speed or lack thereof.
So if you are a contender or a serious, serious competitor, I get it. But that is so few and far between, this whole game of stats and numbers seems to be just another phase of this generation's addiction to information. Gimme' more info, give it to me faster, etc, like somehow that brings meaning to the experience. I think it just brings increased anxiety, if the truth be known, and we as a society have enough of that already, along with a decreased ability to separate the truly important from the merely transient.
So when I do a new route, I typically figure it out in hours. And from then on, Route A is a 3 hour ride, Route B is a 5 hour ride, etc, based on my average pace. I will grab the GPS every so often and run the miles the first time I ride something new, but even then that is rare. Usually I know how long something is in miles from someone else telling me. Cool enough.
But the biggest reason that I care little for how many gigawatts I generated or my average endorphin level over the .5 Miles of Hell KOM route or my heart rate adjusted for altitude and bran muffins over the last 24 hours is that none of that enriches my basic experience of just riding a bike across the surface of the earth.
And that is something that I never tire of doing, and while it may not be my reason for living...it is not, by the way...it is a wonderful, hard, freeing, sweaty, adventurous, child-like pursuit of the horizon and what it promises.
|Not a Strava run.|