I would love to know how many miles I cycled as a kid. I suspect it’s a fair amount. Any and all opportunity I had I was out on my bike just playing around the village and going on ‘epic’ bike rides with my friends.
I did have a simple Cateye cycle computer which told me how fast I was going and it did record my miles but I don’t think I ever paid much attention to it. It wasn’t really important at the time. Now though, my Garmin provides me with so much data I get lost in it and to be honest I still have no clue what some of it means or how to use it effectively.
I think it’s fantastic and it allows me to see how well or how badly I’m doing on a ride. I get so into what I’ve done at the end, I start analysing the segments I’ve completed in Strava and comparing my efforts against my friends. But, does it ruin the ride?
I’m sure there are strong feelings about this on both sides, and by no means, I am not an expert on the matter, this is just my honest opinion. Gone are the days that you would just grab your bike out of the shed and start peddling, or just call your friends up and go play on your bikes without worrying about how many miles you’ve done or what was your highest speed down a big hill.
Afterall, one of the best things about riding a bike is how enjoyable it is and the way it puts a smile on your face. Why can’t we do that without having all of this data thrown at us? I’ve even heard some people say if it’s not on Strava it doesn’t count.
On the other hand, it’s so cool to see how much power you’re generating when sprinting, or how much quicker, or slower, you were going up your favourite hill compared to your last attempt. And let’s be honest, achieving a KOM (King Of the Mountain) or QOM (Queen Of the Mountain) is a pretty incredible feeling.
One major benefit of having your Garmin provide you with all of this data is when you’re training. It could be for a sportive, race or enduro or something in between. It can be great if you’ve got a training plan and you’re trying to hit targets that you’ve set yourself. Or you’ve got a particular route you’ve created and you want to follow it.
I know the area that I live in pretty well, but I sometimes struggle to remember which left or right to take on a longer ride. Going on an 80 or 100-mile ride, the Garmin just takes the worry about navigation away.
Either way, I do find it difficult now to go out without it. I love being able to keep track of how I’m doing or know that I’m getting closer to my targets. Plus a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone, especially with yourself.
Until next time.