(Strava crunches the numbers for ya)
My wife just got an Apple Watch. It is an amazing piece of technology. It tracks your fitness and activity levels through pedometers and heart rate monitors. It tells you when you’ve been sitting too long and demands that you “Stand up!”
Get off my back already and stop telling me what to do!
I am guilty of data overload. Most cyclists love data. I know guys with spreadsheets of their power meter data. Nerd alert! When I go for a ride I strap on my heart rate monitor switch on my Garmin 510 with GPS, speed and cadence. I’ve forgotten my extra tube and CO2 once and still went ahead and rode. But, if I forget my Garmin…I turn back.
You want credit for your efforts. More importantly you want to track your progress. Strava is my measuring stick. Measuring against my peers and pros but more importantly myself. Goals are met and splits are improved.
Some have taken this to extremes and have gotten injured or killed trying to be the top rider of a neighborhood segment on Strava. Stupid, I know. But, I have a few near-death experiences doing just that. I have also been steaming mad after getting halfway through a ride and realizing I hadn’t pushed start on my Garmin.
I have a problem. I know this. Big Data is coming for me.
So, how can you combat this obsession?
Easy, when you ride, ride all out, record it, then analyze it. Mostly compare it to your own efforts and track your improvement to yourself. There is ALWAYS someone faster.
The other part is this…ride for fun every once and a while. Just tool around the neighborhood to remind you of the kid inside that loves jumping curbs and going fast and going slow.
I pulled a BMX bike out of my neighbor’s trash and that is my third bike now. I love it. I ride it to the bus stop to pick up my kids. I ride it when they want to tool around the ‘hood. I also have been known to do some tricks and take it off some sweet jumps. I can do like a thirty foot skid, too. It’s the opposite of doing ladder intervals and downward spirals.
There is no record of the watts I push when jumping a curb but in my mind I’m winning.