On Rule #74: Going Unplugged

I think the most exciting Christmas present I ever received as a child was an Avocet 30 in what must have been 1989. Being in Minnesota and it being December, it meant my bike was going nowhere near the road any time soon, so I kept the silver dollar-sized computer in my pocket wherever I went, just so I could look at it, touch it, and imagine how much I was going to look like Greg LeMond now that I had this computer. My heart broke a little bit that next summer when I realized he had abandoned the Avocet in favor of a Ciclomaster CM34 with a built in gradient meter and altimeter. Perhaps this signalled the beginning of the end of my love affair with data on my bike; it faded almost as soon as it had begun.

I have a Garmin 810 which I use primarily on rides with whose routes I’m unfamiliar, or on any gravel ride in the mountains for safety reasons. It makes me feel like I’m riding with my iPhone on my handlebars. It probably has Facebook on it. While riding, it serves as a constant distraction; how much have I climbed, how much longer is the climb, where is the next turn. Even when I know a turn is coming up and precisely where it is, I still find myself distracted by the little changes on the screen as the directions flicker across.

The background noise serves as constant static between me and the sanctity of the ride, always there simmering just below the surface. What bothers me about it is that these questions are raised by the availability of the data, not by a need to have the questions answered. Brad Wiggins reportedly crashed out of the Giro d’Italia because he was staring at his power meter data, wondering if it was accurate. This was not a relevant question to be asking when descending a mountain pass in the rain.

Riding is one of the few opportunities we have where we can escape the internet, data, and the noise of our daily lives. Data has its place in Cycling, but there is an undeniable liberation in untethering and riding just for the sake of riding.

Related Posts

158 Replies to “On Rule #74: Going Unplugged”

  1. @RobSandy

    A question for the more experienced racers; does data while racing help or hinder? I’m thinking TT’s, Crits and possibly road races. I’m thinking for TT’s I’d like to know my HR and how much of the course is left (i.e distance/time). Crits I want to know time of the race left. Is there standard practice for using data during races?

    Oh god … you’re going to go all Chris Froome looking at his stem on us!

    http://chrisfroomelookingatstems.tumblr.com/

  2. I train for ironman and have all sorts of watches and data collecting gizmos . . . My favorite rides (and runs) are always the ones where I am, for whatever reason, “unplugged”.

  3. I agree whole heartedly with unplugging.   I ride everyday and enjoy looking and listening to the world around me.  I pay attention to the cracks in the pavement that try to dump me.   I contemplate how many have gone before me by the bike tire tracks on the white concrete.  I look for cool treasure that one may have left.   Ride to ride.   My personal best is when I get to where ever.

  4. @chuckp

    @RobSandy

    A question for the more experienced racers; does data while racing help or hinder? I’m thinking TT’s, Crits and possibly road races. I’m thinking for TT’s I’d like to know my HR and how much of the course is left (i.e distance/time). Crits I want to know time of the race left. Is there standard practice for using data during races?

    Oh god … you’re going to go all Chris Froome looking at his stem on us!

    http://chrisfroomelookingatstems.tumblr.com/

    Honestly and with a certain amount of shame I have to confess I think I look a fair bit like Froome on the bike, especially when I’m suffering. I mean, I don’t think I have the full ‘spider-humping-lightbulb’ elbows out look (at least I hope not), but I find my head nodding, staring at my stem a bit, head to one side…

     

     

  5. @chuckp

    @frank

    @Velodeluded

    @RedRanger

    Nah.Lezyne sac with all I need in left pocket, sundry scoff in right, ALWAYS phone plus card in middle. If I load them any other way the ride ain’t going to feel right.

    So funny. Pump, sealant, and allen in the middle along with ziploc with cards/cash. Phone in right, house key and – if I’m riding from home – garage door opener in left.

    Longer rides, some food gets spread out along with it, but no food or keys in middle pocket with money; if circumstances dictate that I need to get into my middle pocket, circumstances allow that I make sure I hold onto the valuables.

    I never carry any more gear than that. If I am on a remote enough ride to merit a tire, it gets toe-strapped to the saddle.

    Spare tube, tire levers, CO2, patches, and mini pump in my left pocket. Phone, plastic, and $$$ in a neoprene case in my right. Keys and anything else I might be carrying in the middle.

    Phone with cards in an padded waterproof case and Lezyne Caddy Sack in the middle (smaller one when riding tubs, bigger one with spare tubes for clinchers) as I’m hoping not to have to use any of that stuff. Food evenly divided between left and right pockets.

    If it’s going to be really big then the caddy sack and phone move to the left and a third bottle goes in the middle. if it’s wet the caddy sack and phone go in the the central jersey pocket and the food goes in the softshell left and right pockets.

  6. @Teocalli

    So happy I’m old enough to remember times pre mobile phones and the need to be constantly on line. The world never came to a standstill without me for a few hours back then and won’t now.

    For sure. I carry my iPhone with me (1) to use the Road ID eCrumb when I’m out riding by myself just so my wife knows where I am in case anything happens to me and (2) so I have a way to get a hold of my wife (or whoever) in case of an breakdown or some other emergency. Otherwise, I don’t pay attention to it when I’m out riding. I have a unique ringtone for my wife’s number so I’ll pay attention to that and I know she’d only call me if it was something important that couldn’t wait until I got home.

  7. @frank

    When you go to the front of the line, just keep the rhythm. The pressure in your legs will be different but it is the same as riding on a flat and maintaining speed up a false flat; you just apply some more pressure to the pedals and keep the legs turning over as they were.

    The data in this case is really just the result – train your body to feel what it takes to shift between an incline or taking the wind on the shoulder. It can become very intuitive.

    If you’re riding with experienced racers and you’re all familiar with each other, I’d agree you can do this. But I honestly don’t think this works for most “average” riders on most “average” group rides. Almost everyone surges when they get to the front of the line because they think they need to work harder coming out of the draft. Conversely, they’ll keep their effort level the same but with their nose in the wind they’re riding slower. I think some sort of speedo is needed by the majority of riders. You don’t have to look at it all the time (and shouldn’t). But as the rider in front pulls off take a quick glance down to know what speed you need to maintain to keep the line moving at the same speed.

    I also think a speedo is needed when you have disparity in riding abilities but want to keep the group together. If you’re going to ride as fast as the slowest rider can ride, the faster riders need to know how slow that is. Harder (if not impossible) to do by feel since for the faster riders their idea of riding slow/easy may still be faster (even if just).

    Even when I’m riding with just one or two other guys who don’t have a speedo, when I say “Let’s take it easy and back it off” they have no idea how to do that. But if I can say “Let’s relax and ride a xx mph” and they have a speedo, at least they know what that means.

  8. Just because you have a GPS or some other bike computer doesn’t mean you have to be all Chris Froome and stare at it all the time. When I’m out solo, I don’t worry at all how fast I’m going. I ride as fast or as slow as I ride. When I’m with other folks, I only worry about speed if we’re trying to keep the group together, i.e., what’s a good pace that suits everyone. If I’m out with the young guns, I look to see how fast we’re going mostly to confirm just how much I suck as I try to hang onto a wheel. And climbing, speed doesn’t matter at all. It’s all about how the body feels, how hard you think you can go, and how long you can sustain it … or not.

    The data I actually care about when I’m out riding is distance (as I usually have in mind how long a ride I want to do) and time of day (what time did I say I would be home?)

  9. @RobSandy

    Honestly and with a certain amount of shame I have to confess I think I look a fair bit like Froome on the bike, especially when I’m suffering. I mean, I don’t think I have the full ‘spider-humping-lightbulb’ elbows out look (at least I hope not), but I find my head nodding, staring at my stem a bit, head to one side…

  10. I’m trying to answer the math question in the photo, but I need to know the distance between them prior.

  11. @frank

    Every true Cyclist should be expected to routinely ride more than 8 hours a in a day.

    Sucks for big rides.  I was hoping to be able to do a mid ride recharge during the Dirty Kanza (200 miles er.. 320 KM) this June but now it’s back to the drawing board.

  12. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: full wallet in center pocket on all rides. I never know when I’ll feel like swinging by the library and will need my borrower’s card. I’ve used the same wallet since I started carrying one. Thin as, Velcro closure, doesn’t come open.

    I carry a Cateye wireless computer in my left jersey pocket. I like to track total time and distance, plus know how many KMs are on parts. This allows me to do that, while keeping my bars and stem clean.

    I’m on a computer all day long. Being in the saddle is time to get away.

  13. @Ron

    Agree with the one wallet. I did the thin bike wallet and big main wallet for off bike life before.

    But would find myself going to pay to cashier for a week’s worth of food and debit card would be in other wallet.

    I live almost on the Canadian / U.S. border it’s easy to head across for nice riding roads and Mt Baker so I ride with my passport quite often and always worried about losing it on a ride.

  14. @chuckp

    Just because you have a GPS or some other bike computer doesn’t mean you have to be all Chris Froome and stare at it all the time. When I’m out solo, I don’t worry at all how fast I’m going. I ride as fast or as slow as I ride. When I’m with other folks, I only worry about speed if we’re trying to keep the group together, i.e., what’s a good pace that suits everyone. If I’m out with the young guns, I look to see how fast we’re going mostly to confirm just how much I suck as I try to hang onto a wheel. And climbing, speed doesn’t matter at all. It’s all about how the body feels, how hard you think you can go, and how long you can sustain it … or not.

    The data I actually care about when I’m out riding is distance (as I usually have in mind how long a ride I want to do) and time of day (what time did I say I would be home?)

    Precisely!

    I don’t look at my Garmin Touring whilst riding as I can’t focus on the screen without optical lens – and then I wouldn’t be able to focus on the road ahead unless I fitted variable focus lens which are ridiculously expensive for my Rudi Rydon II shades.

    I don’t need a HR monitor – If my heart is beating faster than my cadence rate then I know I need to go steady!  All I use the Garmin for is to figure out what route I just took at the end of the group ride cos I spend most of the time staring at the wheel in front in an effort to avoid being dropped.

  15. @sowtondevil

    I don’t need a HR monitor – If my heart is beating faster than my cadence rate then I know I need to go steady! All I use the Garmin for is to figure out what route I just took at the end of the group ride cos I spend most of the time staring at the wheel in front in an effort to avoid being dropped.

    I used a HRM back when it was still relatively new technology (late 80s/early 90s) and I was racing. Had utility to help keep you from overtraining by quantifying your thresholds and limits. Useful for individual efforts like a time trial. But more a sado-masochistic measuring device. On long climbs, seeing how long I could hold 180bpm and drop everyone. Or knowing you were about to explode and be left on the side of the road. I remember once seeing my heart rate go to 200bpm (not just a spike) and I didn’t go into cardiac arrest. That was kinda cool.

  16.  

    FFS, what would Merckx say about all of this technology – BS?  I only want the speed and the distance and the speed is never fast enough and the distance is never long enough.  Take your next ride and leave the Garmin/phone/cyclometer at home.  you’ll see and hear more than ever before – and never miss a beat.  PS – the world is not going to shut down if you aren’t available for an hour.  You aren’t that important, neither am I.  I don’t own a cell phone – people can call me at work or at home, between that, I’m out riding and don’t want to talk to you anyway.

  17. I love my garmin! (and I’m not going to apologize for it, I don’t even feel sorry for it)

    Technically it’s not my garmin. I bought it for my husband, and he bought me a camera. After three weeks we swapped.

    Unlike most, I’m not really interested in speed (most of the time it’s not even on the display), but I want to see my HR (and distance and time and then some other stuff just for fun (I like numbers)). Speed is useless, today I went along the river and there was ‘a bit’ of wind, 26km/h going out 37 km/h coming back. It’s good the 26km/h wasn’t on the display…

    In general I have no problem killing myself, but I find it very difficult to retain myself. Most of my rides are scheduled training rides (not that I’m any good, hence the training), and then the HR is necessary. On the long(er) weekend-rides, I need the HR-monitor not to go too fast (which would be contra-productive, according the training-schedule-guy). It’s not that I should continuously check it, but I’m supposed to glance at it from time to time (however trying to hang out with the big guys is so much more fun).

    Also, let’s be honest, the thing brought me to places which I would never have found by just following my nose…

    As for my pockets:
    left: ziplock with mini-pump, Co2, tire patch kit (with spare money, tire leavers, patches and dafalgan), mini-tool and spare food (which has melted and frozen and I really have to be desperate before I’m ever going to eat it)
    middle: ziplock with money, card, house key and phone (with special ringtone for my husband, the rest I ignore) and a spare tire
    right: food.

  18. @bea

    This post tapped into one aspect that can change my perspective on choosing a good cycle-computer. @bea “the thing brought me to places which I would never have found by just following my nose…” Building legitimate routes is not always a straight forward process, especially on gravel and forsaken roads.

  19. @chuckp

    @freddy

    Ditched the computer two years ago. iPhone in the middle back pocket logs my ride on Strava. I’m good…except for one thing: gauging the group speed when it’s my turn at the front of the pace line. Thinking about a RFLKT or something else that works with my phone to display speed. My bike has ANT+ so that’s another possibility. Am I going to hell?

    Nothing worse than someone on a group ride who doesn’t know what speed the group is riding (even if the group is just two or three of you) and tries to do it based on “feel.” Sorry, but you can’t “feel” speed.

    Bullshit. Of course you can. If you can’t roll over smoothly and maintain a steady pace you’re not the shit-hot rider you think you are. There is always one jack hole who tries to pile on 4 or 5 kph when they roll over, which gives everyone the shits but that’s just inattention and/or not knowing better. Seen riders with garmins, power meters, all sorts do it.

    You need some sort of device to tell you how fast you’re going.

    Nope.

     

  20. I have a Cateye Strada Slim. I try to find the smallest usable computer I could. I like to see what time it is(is this a 1 hr ride or 3?), and in general what speed I am managing, so as to keep it consistent, but rarely ever look at any other function.

    I run with Strava on the iphone, back in the jersey, tucked away. Never look at it, until the ride is all done. End Ride.

    Most of the people who are Garmin enabled do seem to be too plugged in. And the wanks with an iphone 6 on the bars should get a good talking too. Ridiculous. They couldn’t find the “V-way” with all the help in the world.

     

     

  21. @chuckp

    @frank

    When you go to the front of the line, just keep the rhythm. The pressure in your legs will be different but it is the same as riding on a flat and maintaining speed up a false flat; you just apply some more pressure to the pedals and keep the legs turning over as they were.

    The data in this case is really just the result – train your body to feel what it takes to shift between an incline or taking the wind on the shoulder. It can become very intuitive.

    If you’re riding with experienced racers and you’re all familiar with each other, I’d agree you can do this. But I honestly don’t think this works for most “average” riders on most “average” group rides.

    But then again, this isn’t a community for “average” riders, is it? Now before anyone gets too pissy with that statement…

    A Velominatus welcomes all cyclists but is observant of Rule #3 when doing so. Part of the way of the cyclist is learning how to use the V-meter (and avoid whatever the hell @Chipomarc has going on in that photo up there). Can you feel whether or not you are going XX.xx km/h? Probably not, but you can feel how deeply you are drawing on the V-bank and for how long you can sustain that withdrawal.

    So far, the only thing valuable a head unit has every told me is what I already knew by listening to my legs and lungs.

  22. @frank

    @Barracuda

    @frank I ride harder and faster with my Garmin 800 on my bike, BUT, I have more fun and less stress and enjoy the ride more without.

    Says it all I think

    This brings up my major problem with Strava, heart rate monitors, and power meters in the hands of people without the background or discipline to understand how to use them. (I’m not saying you’re one of them, but I’m also not saying you’re not!)

    Strava and the segments and KOM’s (which are widely misused as a term to describe more than just having the fastest time up a hill, FFS) promote rampant overuse of high intensity, never allowing for an easy ride up a climb without trying to go for a PR or KOM. It settles in and grabs hold of your competitive spirit.

    HR and power are the same, so long as you don’t have a good coach who can really help you understand your maximum and your thresholds, and then it all focuses on discipline and true – genuine – training. Which is a very cool, rewarding process and some of us have experienced it to great satisfaction.

    But training is its own liberation; the liberty of riding untethered is something else entirely. The freedom to go butt-ass slow, or to lay down the five up a monster grinder just because the legs have a little Merckx in them that day.

    You’re right, I’m both !

  23. If a rider continues to rely on a computer and never developed a feeling for estimating speed and distance, then of course it is not a good idea to ride on feel with any group. Developing a proven feeling for time versus distance allows a rider to intercept and chase on effort alone, without actually seeing any other rider(s) up the road. I hope that you agree with this ChuckP.

  24.  

    No amount of Data or beeps from my Garmin was going to let me catch this prick last night !

  25. I’m pretty sure that bicycles are around a little bit longer than speedos, hrms, power meters etc. It is possible to ride on the front, or simply enjoy/experience your ride without any of that shit. Speed, HR, watts… It’s all relative!

    On a lighter note; does anyone else think that froome is the image of Jimmy Somerville (of bronski beat/communards)?

  26. P.s. I forgot to namedrop all my kit. I use a very compact gps unit and sensors to record my shit. But when I’m on the bike, I’m on the bike. I try to concentrate on not falling down.

  27. @Veni, vidi , et cecidi birota

    First post, been vouyering a long while (is that a word)

    Over 20 years have used many varieties of speed, cadence, HR etc etc, even a heads up unit.

    In the end I figured I dont need any of it. If I cant remember a ride I will go back n do it again. Alhzeimers is wonderfull, I go new places n have a new wife everday. No racing anymore so not trying to prove my V commitment.

    I abide by most of the rules and try hard everyday to do better.

    Cheers one n all

    Welcome sir!

  28. @minion

    @chuckp

    @freddy

    Ditched the computer two years ago. iPhone in the middle back pocket logs my ride on Strava. I’m good…except for one thing: gauging the group speed when it’s my turn at the front of the pace line. Thinking about a RFLKT or something else that works with my phone to display speed. My bike has ANT+ so that’s another possibility. Am I going to hell?

    Nothing worse than someone on a group ride who doesn’t know what speed the group is riding (even if the group is just two or three of you) and tries to do it based on “feel.” Sorry, but you can’t “feel” speed.

    Bullshit. Of course you can. If you can’t roll over smoothly and maintain a steady pace you’re not the shit-hot rider you think you are. There is always one jack hole who tries to pile on 4 or 5 kph when they roll over, which gives everyone the shits but that’s just inattention and/or not knowing better. Seen riders with garmins, power meters, all sorts do it.

    You need some sort of device to tell you how fast you’re going.

    Nope.

    If I tell you to ride at xx mph, you can do that based on “feel”? I seriously doubt it. And a one mph difference makes a difference. That’s my only point. Per one of my other posts, if you’re riding with a bunch of other experienced riders and you all have more or less the same experience, then fine. Y’all ought to be able to ride together perfectly well. But that’s not most riders or most rides … speaking generally … not speaking to you or this group.

  29. @RedRanger

    If you go the other way it makes a V. What you did is technically the right way but do you really want one of your three contact points to be Anti-V?

    @Oli

    @frank

    The tape is totally the right way.

  30. @DeKerr

    @chuckp

    @frank

    When you go to the front of the line, just keep the rhythm. The pressure in your legs will be different but it is the same as riding on a flat and maintaining speed up a false flat; you just apply some more pressure to the pedals and keep the legs turning over as they were.

    The data in this case is really just the result – train your body to feel what it takes to shift between an incline or taking the wind on the shoulder. It can become very intuitive.

    If you’re riding with experienced racers and you’re all familiar with each other, I’d agree you can do this. But I honestly don’t think this works for most “average” riders on most “average” group rides.

    But then again, this isn’t a community for “average” riders, is it? Now before anyone gets too pissy with that statement…

    A Velominatus welcomes all cyclists but is observant of Rule #3 when doing so. Part of the way of the cyclist is learning how to use the V-meter (and avoid whatever the hell @Chipomarc has going on in that photo up there). Can you feel whether or not you are going XX.xx km/h? Probably not, but you can feel how deeply you are drawing on the V-bank and for how long you can sustain that withdrawal.

    So far, the only thing valuable a head unit has every told me is what I already knew by listening to my legs and lungs.

    Always nice to compare how the V-Meter is running to your Current HR and Current Power output.

    One other metric that is happy displaying itself during the ride is how much TSS you have built up so far.

  31. @RobSandy

    A question for the more experienced racers; does data while racing help or hinder? I’m thinking TT’s, Crits and possibly road races. I’m thinking for TT’s I’d like to know my HR and how much of the course is left (i.e distance/time). Crits I want to know time of the race left. Is there standard practice for using data during races?

    It totally depends on a two factors. The first is, are your parameters correct, i.e. do you have your max heartrate or power accurate (it changes with training) and therefore do you actually know your true thresholds. For most of us, the answer is no, so it is a hinderance. For the Pros, they probably have it right so it does help.

    The second is about the human spirit and being able to surpass limits when adequately motivated. If you have the personality type of sticking to data, then you will be in a box and maybe you can go faster that you think. If you have a fuck-off personality, then you can go beyond that but you might also blow up and suck.

  32. I have to admit I like my Garmin. I have been hooked on speed/distance gizmos since my first Cateye about 30 years ago. At least today I don’t have wires, zip ties, sensors, and  and shit.

  33. @emerson

    If a rider continues to rely on a computer and never developed a feeling for estimating speed and distance, then of course it is not a good idea to ride on feel with any group. Developing a proven feeling for time versus distance allows a rider to intercept and chase on effort alone, without actually seeing any other rider(s) up the road. I hope that you agree with this ChuckP.

    I wouldn’t disagree or argue. I don’t “need” my computer to ride. And I don’t rely on it. But the data has its uses when used properly. I don’t think it’s a black-and-white, either-or proposition. Some have proposed relying almost solely on their on V-meter to gauge their riding. Fine for solo riding. Or making an effort to bridge a gap. I’d argue less fine for group riding if you’re actually trying to keep a group together. Your V-meter is different than mine. You may not have to go very deep to put me in the red zone. Fine if all you want to do is drop me. Not so fine if we’re actually trying to ride together.

  34. @chuckp

    @Oli

    I don’t need some fucking device to tell me I’m slow as shit.

    Word.

    That said, I use a Soleus Draft GPS. Pretty sure it’s no longer made as it wasn’t all that popular (I got two with Bar Fly mounts for me and my wife for less than the price of one without a Bar Fly). It’s pretty basic and tells me what I want/need to know when I’m riding: distance/speed/time of day. Downloads to Strava. And it’s compact (not much bigger than a standard Cateye or Sigma that runs off a magnet on you wheel).

    Thank you for wrapping your bars the V way. Makes up for some of your other style transgressions!

  35. @Ron

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: full wallet in center pocket on all rides. I never know when I’ll feel like swinging by the library and will need my borrower’s card.

    Whole lotta WTF going on there.

  36. @coachprops

    FFS, what would Merckx say about all of this technology – BS? I only want the speed and the distance and the speed is never fast enough and the distance is never long enough. Take your next ride and leave the Garmin/phone/cyclometer at home. you’ll see and hear more than ever before – and never miss a beat. PS – the world is not going to shut down if you aren’t available for an hour. You aren’t that important, neither am I. I don’t own a cell phone – people can call me at work or at home, between that, I’m out riding and don’t want to talk to you anyway.

    Welcome! And holy fuck, you don’t own a cell phone? Well done, sir.

    Also, I am that important.

  37. @bea

    I love my garmin! (and I’m not going to apologize for it, I don’t even feel sorry for it)

    Technically it’s not my garmin. I bought it for my husband, and he bought me a camera. After three weeks we swapped.

    Unlike most, I’m not really interested in speed (most of the time it’s not even on the display), but I want to see my HR (and distance and time and then some other stuff just for fun (I like numbers)). Speed is useless, today I went along the river and there was ‘a bit’ of wind, 26km/h going out 37 km/h coming back. It’s good the 26km/h wasn’t on the display…

    In general I have no problem killing myself, but I find it very difficult to retain myself. Most of my rides are scheduled training rides (not that I’m any good, hence the training), and then the HR is necessary. On the long(er) weekend-rides, I need the HR-monitor not to go too fast (which would be contra-productive, according the training-schedule-guy). It’s not that I should continuously check it, but I’m supposed to glance at it from time to time (however trying to hang out with the big guys is so much more fun).

    Also, let’s be honest, the thing brought me to places which I would never have found by just following my nose…

    As for my pockets:
    left: ziplock with mini-pump, Co2, tire patch kit (with spare money, tire leavers, patches and dafalgan), mini-tool and spare food (which has melted and frozen and I really have to be desperate before I’m ever going to eat it)
    middle: ziplock with money, card, house key and phone (with special ringtone for my husband, the rest I ignore) and a spare tire
    right: food.

    I like this girl.

    I have to dispute the pocket distribution in general that I’m seeing here. Heavy stuff goes in the middle, light stuff on the sides, people! Our pockets are not moto panniers! My phone is so light now, it goes in the right pocket, but until recently, it had to go in the middle. Keys, food etc goes in the sides. And we only carry the minimum gear right? (RIGHT?) so all essentials are in the middle, We don’t need that much shit.

    Thoreau said simplify. Thoreau that other shit away!

  38. @emerson

    If a rider continues to rely on a computer and never developed a feeling for estimating speed and distance, then of course it is not a good idea to ride on feel with any group. Developing a proven feeling for time versus distance allows a rider to intercept and chase on effort alone, without actually seeing any other rider(s) up the road. I hope that you agree with this ChuckP.

    I think the big lesson here is that we all need the computer at some point in our development, but as we become experienced we can chuck all that shit out the door. Very well put.

  39. Interesting takes.for..against…staring at stems…being primarily a trackie in my racing pursuits…we( beginners all the way to the top level pros) are banned from looking at computers while we race on the track. It was deemed to dangerous for us to read our displays while we raced by the UCI. Not sure as I 100% agree with that..as my pic shows…I certainly am staring hard at my stem. Sure, no computer to look at, but buried in the detail of my Fizik stem nonetheless. Also of note..I am still taking data…my computer is mounted behind my seat. Do I need it to know that I am drilling it..no. Does it help to look at later and see what my heart was pegged at and when. Yes. I have my computer on my road bike all the time, but often don’t even look at it until I stop it at the end of the ride. I can be plugged in and still ride unplugged. I think that’s the best way to ride. The info is there if I want it, or for targetted training need it for bits of guidance, but there is no need to be a slave to it. That would ruin the ride.

  40. ChuckP, that is a valid point. Catching on to a target is quit different than staying locked on, or synchronized.

  41. @Haldy

    Interesting takes.for..against…staring at stems…being primarily a trackie in my racing pursuits…we( beginners all the way to the top level pros) are banned from looking at computers while we race on the track. It was deemed to dangerous for us to read our displays while we raced by the UCI. Not sure as I 100% agree with that..as my pic shows…I certainly am staring hard at my stem. Sure, no computer to look at, but buried in the detail of my fi’zi:k stem nonetheless. Also of note..I am still taking data…my computer is mounted behind my seat. Do I need it to know that I am drilling it..no. Does it help to look at later and see what my heart was pegged at and when. Yes. I have my computer on my road bike all the time, but often don’t even look at it until I stop it at the end of the ride. I can be plugged in and still ride unplugged. I think that’s the best way to ride. The info is there if I want it, or for targetted training need it for bits of guidance, but there is no need to be a slave to it. That would ruin the ride.

    Looks like you are moving some very respectable gears there too, well-played.

  42. @Dean C

    @Haldy

    Interesting takes.for..against…staring at stems…being primarily a trackie in my racing pursuits…we( beginners all the way to the top level pros) are banned from looking at computers while we race on the track. It was deemed to dangerous for us to read our displays while we raced by the UCI. Not sure as I 100% agree with that..as my pic shows…I certainly am staring hard at my stem. Sure, no computer to look at, but buried in the detail of my fi’zi:k stem nonetheless. Also of note..I am still taking data…my computer is mounted behind my seat. Do I need it to know that I am drilling it..no. Does it help to look at later and see what my heart was pegged at and when. Yes. I have my computer on my road bike all the time, but often don’t even look at it until I stop it at the end of the ride. I can be plugged in and still ride unplugged. I think that’s the best way to ride. The info is there if I want it, or for targetted training need it for bits of guidance, but there is no need to be a slave to it. That would ruin the ride.

    Looks like you are moving some very respectable gears there too, well-played.

    Many thanks…I spent most of last season( and am in this pic) rolling a 51×15, on a couple of occasions I moved up to the 52×15.

     

  43. @frank

    I like this girl.

    Euh… Thank you sir.

    I have to dispute the pocket distribution in general that I’m seeing here. Heavy stuff goes in the middle, light stuff on the sides, people! Our pockets are not moto panniers! My phone is so light now, it goes in the right pocket, but until recently, it had to go in the middle. Keys, food etc goes in the sides.

    I had the pleasure to fall with my back on my pump. Let’s say I prefer falling on my phone. Hence, phone in the middle, chunky stuff on the left, food on the right.

    And we only carry the minimum gear right? (RIGHT?) so all essentials are in the middle, We don’t need that much shit.

    We (I) only carry the minimum gear to get home (preferably cycling) without having to call the cavalerie to come and pick us up.

  44. I love my Garmin so much I’ve started calling it my R2 Unit and talking to it when it bleeps at me.*

    Sometimes a computer is handy to help you get home on time (like @chuckp say). Or for specific training sessions but blimey it is LUSH when you ride with nothing, not even a watch.

    *(a lie)

  45. @Ron

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: full wallet in center pocket on all rides. I never know when I’ll feel like swinging by the library and will need my borrower’s card.

    WTF? Do you then tuck a load of books in your bibs and carry on your ride? You nutbar.

     

  46. @minion

    @chuckp

    @freddy

    If you can’t roll over smoothly and maintain a steady pace you’re not the shit-hot rider you think you are.

    Yes, I’m not. When I’m in a fast chaingang I try to maintain speed on rhythm/cadence rather than looking at my display. I imagine a metronome tick-tick-tick in time with my pedals as I’m 2nd wheel and try to hold it.

     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.