Monday, June 04, 2007


I seem to be in something of a technological paradox. My bikes keep getting more expensive and high-tech, while my interest in collecting digital details of my rides seems to be fading fast. Until a couple of years ago, I kept a detailed ride log on a PDA each season. Then I set up a winter bike without a computer and learned to enjoy ignoring cumulative miles.

Now I have this fancy, GPS-enabled bike computer and I'm finding that, more often than not, I'm either not bothering to use it, or ignoring the ride data after I get home. I sat down tonight and uploaded profiles of four rides, but couldn't remember three of them well enough to give them a description or title, so I just deleted them. The only one I salvaged was last weekend's ride with Ken, which is shown here.

I'm not even bothering to reset the mileage on the (relatively) old-school Cat Eye bike computer that's still mounted on my mountain bike. Basically, I have no idea how many miles I've ridden so far this year. And I don't really care.

It's way more fun to simply enjoy the feel of a fast, hard-leaning curve on my road bike or a fast, swooping descent on my trail bike. As long as I'm spending enough time on my bikes to be happy, and my gut isn't not spilling over my belt too much, I really don't give a damn how far I've ridden this year.

I'll keep tracking miles or ride profiles when I'm in the mood, or if there's a good reason to collect the data. Otherwise, I'll just continue to find myself looking down at the empty handlebar mount where my computer should be as I think to myself, "Oops, I forgot the computer again.

"Wow, this bike is fun to ride."


Dano said...

Yeah, like most bike gadgets, it cool to play with for awhile, then you get bored and just ride.

Now I use my Garmin just for time and mileage, just what my cateye did anyway.

Jeff Moser said...

I don't really like computers on my bike. I think a simple bike is a beautiful bike. Also, I work on computers all day, and I use my PC when I'm at home. My bike time is my time away from computers. I know in my head how far each ride is. At least the ones I do regularly. I add up the mileage in my head at the end of the week sometimes. When we do big group rides, someone else always has a computer...I can get data from them if I need it.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm - This exactly reflects my (lack of) updates to my training diary this summer. I got too busy with work and family stuff, and sadly cycling suffered. All I do is ride when I can now, not "training" any more. Still enjoying it as much.

Smudgemo said...

I care for measuring my rides less each year. Having little kids makes me just happy to be doing any riding I guess.
I would like a GPS next month when we hit Downieville again, just in case. Last year, my friend and I took a wrong turn and went WAY further than we should have to find Big Boulder. We got into town at dusk (thank goodness), but it wasn't fun wondering if we were going to be sleeping in the wilderness. Now I know that route, but I'd like to do some other really epic ride, and the maps aren't all that great. said...

Riding for the ride's sake is the best you can do. My computer logs every ride - but I fail to upload the stuff and the same happens: I can't even come up with a title... not speaking of remembering intensities.
But I fail not to care when my computer or heartrate monitor is acting up... - this is your great advantage. Tip me off: how do you do it?
Ride and enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I'll put a computer on my bike when I start wearing spandex tights and calling myself a "cyclist."