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Old 08-29-06, 08:03 AM   #1
rguysailing
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Freee at last I'm Free at last

O thank God Iím free at last . Not from my lovely wife but from my silly bike computer. I use to watch cadence, average speed, miles per ride, ride time,
you know all the things that make you a slave to the time and distance not to the ride itself. Iím not saying I will never use on again but not on every ride.

I commute 4 or 5 time a week and I got so caught up in ďdid I shave a few seconds of my ride timeĒ or ďhowís my average speed doing - O my Iíve got to do betterĒ.
What a rat race it became. Iíve done some stupid things trying to increase the average speed by not riding safe and taking chances. BUT NOT ANY MORE.

Any of you old guys been enlightened on this issue or am I just a slow learner? (careful )
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Old 08-29-06, 08:10 AM   #2
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I record my miles in a journal, and look at my speed occasionally. My computer has a clock also. That comes in handy.
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Old 08-29-06, 08:22 AM   #3
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This is another argument for multiple bikes! I can choose to ride with or w/o a computer. Both are appealing depending on your mood. Don
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Old 08-29-06, 08:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rguysailing
I use to watch cadence, average speed, miles per ride, ride time,
you know all the things that make you a slave to the time and distance not to the ride itself.
...

Any of you old guys been enlightened on this issue or am I just a slow learner? (careful )

Still do, but not on a day by day basis, rather on a quarter [25 days]. If you are riding the exact same route, then average speed is useful. If riding different routes, it is moderately useful as effect expended depends on the climb and wind resistance.

I've only been riding again for about 2 years, and body is not yet where I'd like it to be. I find consulting the data useful for training:

-- some improvement, usually about 3%, over the quarter means I'm training well on rides
-- no improvement over the quarter means I'm no longer pedaling effeciently
-- some decline, usually about 2%, means either I'm carrying more weight, ie winter, or something is wrong and I really need to review technique, cadence, and body positioning.

I know some don't like the data, and that's fine. However, for me it is a help is keeping up my enthusiasm. It feels good to find something encouraging about the data. Sometimes is something as simple as increased the number of days riding or the distance.
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Old 08-29-06, 08:45 AM   #5
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I still have the computers on both bikes but now only use them to record mileage...not too hung up on the average times. I don't record in a daily diary much anymore, just take odo readings once a week.
I have put the HRM in the box for good though...don't miss it or the dang strap a bit. Not sure my rides have changed but my attitude has and rides seem even more enjoyable.
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Old 08-29-06, 09:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
O thank God Iím free at last . Not from my lovely wife but from my silly bike computer. I use to watch cadence, average speed, miles per ride, ride time,
you know all the things that make you a slave to the time and distance not to the ride itself. Iím not saying I will never use on again but not on every ride.
that's why I don't have a computer, I know I'm far too obsessive and would focus on the numbers, not the fun of the ride.

still, though, I'm tempted...
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Old 08-29-06, 12:17 PM   #7
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Have computers on all my bikes but the Road bike one interferes with the heart montor so Which one do I want working- Normally forget to reset the magnet on the wheel and the heart rate monitor is left at home. The Tandem we do want to know speed,cadence and average and top speed and how slow we are generally. That has a wired astrale on it that works. The mountain bike is the one where the batteries keep giving out and I can't be bothered to buy new ones.

Computers have a use - For me to look pretty on the bench in the bike shed.
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Old 08-29-06, 01:02 PM   #8
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I've dropped my heart rate monitor, and when riding, only use the screen with time of day, total miles, and an arrow that indicates if I am above or below the average speed for that ride. I ignore speed and average speed, but occasionally switch over to see what my miles for that ride are...which I can get by looking at the total miles if I remember what I started at that day.

I use the arrow that indicates if I'm over or under the average speed just to keep my output on the plus side if I get bored...but don't take it seriously.
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Old 08-29-06, 03:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rguysailing
Any of you old guys been enlightened on this issue or am I just a slow learner? (careful )
Its surprising but your body has its own calibration. With a little practice you will know your best cadence, you will know how to set your heart rate for sustained pedaling by choosing the right amount of effort. You just won't be able to put numbers on it.

For me cycling is the mental journey, the thoughts that I think while pedaling, the experience of the scenery whizzing by, my relationship to the road. Its not something I would care to give up.
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Old 08-29-06, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rguysailing
[B]O thank God Iím free at last[/B ...but from my silly bike computer.
liberating ain't it.

I've been free of the statistical addiction for almost 10 years after being a slave for 10 years. I think I had one of the first computers w/ cadence and HRM back in '86, it was about 2"x4" but worked pretty well if you didn't mind being "wired" (HRM) to the computer.
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Old 08-30-06, 06:26 AM   #11
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I have 3 bike computers, but only 1 on a bike right now. It's on my mountain bike, I like to keep track of how far I've ridden on bikejournal.com (trying for 6000km this year) I usually use my Timex Ironman watch to time my ride and go to Google Earth for road distances. I like to know how fast i'm going too. Last week's road ride a big descent felt like 80 kph to me, my buddy's computer said only 70 kph. I think he needs to adjust it!
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Old 08-30-06, 08:18 AM   #12
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I have a Hewlett-Packard laptop running Linux strapped to my handlebars. It records HR, wattage, altitude, speed, cadence, VOmax, CO2, GPS coordinates, moon phase, sunspot activity, EEG, and LSMFT.

No, really, I just have the basic cyclometer. Don't record mileage, though I tend to check both mileage and average speed at the end of most rides, especially club rides where the route is basically the same.

I got Friel's Cycling Past 50 book from the library and read all about using a HRM and all that and decided no, that's not for me. My measure of improvement is, can I hang with a group that formerly left me in the dust? Are the hills easier? Can I do them in a higher gear and still keep a good cadence?

Last night I did a 30 mile club ride, not fast paced (14-16mph, occasionally up to 18+, flat). At the beginning of the season it would have been a challenge. Last night I could have done another 20 miles, no sweat. Now the "challenging" rides are 18-21mph. That's progress enough.
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Old 08-30-06, 09:25 AM   #13
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I haven't worn my HRM all summer. My heart still keeps beating, which is a relief. I thought you had to have the HRM to keep your heart going while riding the bicycle. Whew! I was scared the first time I didn't use it!

I like to know how far I have gone, and how fast I am going. Period. I don't even know how to use the "average speed" thingie.
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Old 08-30-06, 10:13 AM   #14
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I use to keep a diary of all posted miles, time, and average speed, I gave that up some years back.
I can usually tell by my cadence or how hard I am pushing myself.
As I have gooten into the middle fifty bracket I still check my average speed, miles, and times but there is no recording of the data. As long as I can get out and ride it is all that really matters.

Any ride is better than no ride
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