First a little background-
I’m a 59+ year old 6’ 250 lb. Clyde.
I started riding about 3 years ago because I simply couldn’t afford a car.
My town has public transportation, but its pretty lame. Basically it’s a bus that makes a “loop” once per hour.
As often as not, it’s faster to walk rather than wait for 45 minutes for a 5 minute bus ride.
I ride an old 86 RockHopper with street tires. I have a bad back & bad knees, so I put on a riser bar and pretty much plod along, catching the wind.
Three weeks ago, I decided to “splurge” and get a cheap speedometer. My local dept. store had the Bell’s on sale for $11. I thought, why not?
I was always curious about my actual speed, but thought it wood be a good tool to actually determine the shortest routes for my errands. Most the time I ride because I have to, not because I want to. For me, pleasure riding usually means it didn’t suck too bad.
Anyway, the first couple days were horrible! I’d look at my paltry speed and think to myself, “I can do one more MPH!” After all, “it’s just ONE MORE”!
I found myself panting on a regular basis and generally feeling disgusted.
After that initial introduction, I held myself back to my regular pace and things pretty much got back to normal. EXCEPT- I now find myself hopping on the bike just to ride around the neighborhood to “fill my quota”. I DON’T have a quota, but I’m trying to fill it anyway!
Something else I’ve discovered, to an extent, is cadence. Since I don’t have the cadence function, I did a little calculating on the spreadsheet and determined I was riding with a cadence of 60. I’d estimated that was about my cadence and was a bit surprised at my accuracy. I’d just assumed that if I was spinning faster, it was because I had to be in a lower gear and therefore was going slower.
I started playing around with cadence and noticed on my spreadsheet, that IF I shifted from my 13 to the 14 tooth cog, my cadence only went up by 5, to 65 to maintain the SAME SPEED!
I’m now doing the same speed with less effort! Eureka!!! Riding sucks MUCH less! I’m even riding a couple extra blocks out of the way, just to “pad” the mileage a bit.
Moral- Computers can be very useful/educational, even for us “plodders”.