Monday, April 16, 2007


I really don't like having a bike computer, but I do. I like knowing mileage for navigational purposes, but I don't like the effects of what having a computer does to my brain while riding. When there is a computer on the bike, I look at the speed and distance and my mind starts to calculate.

That series of calculations that comes to mind ranges quite drastically during a ride. Some of the thoughts are simple ones like how far have I gone. How far do I have to go is only slightly more complex if I don't know where I am going. The one that kills me though pertains to time. What time will I get to my destination is the one that just works it's way into my mind like a pebble in your shoe.

When my mind turns to calculating time, I get frustrated and I forget about the enjoyment of the ride or scenery. I begin looking at pace more closely and sometimes as a result ride faster or push myself more. I begin to think about nagging pains, discomfort, or hunger. Looking at the clock when you might be uncomfortable and going slower than you'd hoped is REALLY depressing. Thoughts like, "at 12 miles per hour and 60 miles to go, that's 5 more hours!" But then the wind will catch, or the grade of the road changes "at only 10 miles per hour, that's 6 hours..." The constant recalculating is taxing and spoils the enjoyment of looking around.

Since I don't like riding with a computer, I only just mounted one for my trip to Rice lake a week or so ago. I'll also need one for the impending TransIowa ride. Maybe I just need to find a computer that simply measures distance. With the exceptions of sunrise and sunset, I lose my perception of time when on the bike. If only measuring distance, then the fun calculations are the only ones.

I've often pondered while riding the calculation of how many times my joints move when the pedals go around and around while riding. Since I've been riding the Quickbeam fixed, determining this number is a fairly simple exercise. Yesterday's ride was 165,701 revolutions of the cranks.

I laugh when I think of someone at the gym, perhaps working with a physical trainer. That trainer demonstrating a leg extension exercise and after the participant successfully completed the first motion barking like a drill sergeant: "Good, 165,700 more reps!"

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