Riding Without Data
I’m compliant with Rule #74: no Garmin, no cyclometer, just an uncluttered cockpit. I’m not anti-data, if I could generate some awesome data I’d like to know about it. If I was racing I would train with data. I just got bored with looking at the numbers and not doing anything about them. When my Cateye cyclometer/heart rate monitor demanded yet another bi-monthly battery change, I took the whole thing off and never looked back. Total milage, elevation gained, I no longer care about these numbers.
Can you ride without data? Does a ride even happen if it doesn’t show up on Strava? Bretto brilliantly introduced the V-meter three years ago. It was an idea that flew in the face of all the new technology we needed on the bike. Push on the pedals and if in doubt, push on them harder.
I did buy into a heart rate monitor or two in my time. Early on we used them like kids used the early alcohol breathalyzers installed in bars. That was an ill conceived notion if there ever was one; it’s a damn bar, only young drunk males are going to use breathalyzers and it won’t be to see if they are too high to drive. Rather, they are going to use it as a drunkometer, to see who can get drunker. For us it was young males on bikes, I’m gonna peg this HRM, see, see, I can get a higher number than you because you suck.
Without data I know when I’m going faster than 65 kph, things do change at those speeds. And I know when I’ve done a 160 km ride only because it’s a route I know from past centuries. I do live on an island. But I still make deposits at the pain bank at regular times. Being too big to climb and living on the side of a volcanic island has made every ride something. When I was younger I couldn’t enjoy a forty-five minute ride, I actually wouldn’t go on one. What was the point of such a short ride? Now forty-five minutes can mean forty minutes of steady climbing and five minutes of descending. That’s a ride.
Getting shelled by your friends tells you something, something you already knew, they are faster. Riding with friends who are faster is the best training aid. I figure it’s a quality training ride if I barely make it home. Do more of those, keep doing them a little harder.
Keepers Tour 2012 was doubly fun for the training required before the trip even started. We all need incentive to crank up that kind of fitness. I’m sure the 200 on 100 Cogal riders felt the same way; this ride is going to hurt but it will hurt less if I murder myself in the months before. The Spring Campaign is looming and I’m already devising training rides that will either make me fit or ruin me, or both at the same time, which is what usually happens.