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Old 06-21-08, 03:04 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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The purity of the uncounted mile

Gosh, we get so caught up in the numbers -the meaningless numbers- don't we?
The miles, the speed, elevation, grade, cadence, heart rate...
OK, may be that last one isn't so meaningless. Not for me, anyway.
Sometimes we forget the sheer joy of just... duh... riding

I needed new brifters on my LeMond. Couldn't really sell it with busted brifters.
$300 later they're all fixed. But... I can't get that money back.
It's not like I can pass the cost on, right?
So all I can do, really, is get my 300 bucks' worth out of 'em and the kind of eat the cost.
I've been riding the Reno quite a lot around town lately but since I was selling it, I stripped off the computer and now I ride with no concept of any of those numbers.
I'm just riding to ride and, you know, I'm kind of enjoying it more.
No computer to look at; I just look more at my surroundings.
No miles to count, no "here-to-there" to worry about so I just go where ever on a whim.
I just keep a pace that feels comfortable.
I needed an easier ride today after yesterday's double climb of Sharp Park Road so I just did what felt good. It's nice. I like it.

Riding just to ride. What a concept.

I'm also rediscovering that the LeMond is a nice bike.
I'm kind of getting to know it all over again.
Heck, it's already all paid for (as is the Giant) so why was I looking to sell it?

The Giant needn't worry, though... it's in noooo jeopardy, at all.
There's a reason -a very apparent reason- why it was double the price tag of the LeMond.
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Old 06-21-08, 03:19 PM   #2
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For $300, it's worth keeping.

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Old 06-21-08, 03:41 PM   #3
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I have the Garmin mounts on both the bikes I use but the MTB does not have a computer fitted. I keep breaking the sender units and just can't be bothered to replace it.

Might put the Garmin in the pocket If I am out on the MTB but you are right. Sometimes you don't need to know how many miles you haven't done on a ride. You don't need to know that the average speed is lower than it "Should" be. And to be honest- I do know when my heart rate gets a bit above uncomfortable.

But there are those times when you want to know the stats of a ride. Are you fit enough for the ride planned in a months time? Am I pushing too hard too soon or pushing too hard for the milage planned. OR after all those weeks of just riding around- have I got a bit too sedate in my riding and will have trouble to make the cutoff times unless I push a bit harder.

I have got used to riding on the computer- but there are times when I just want to go out and ride and enjoy the fact that I am riding- and not seeing how much fitnees I have lost over the spring.
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Old 06-21-08, 04:08 PM   #4
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The engineer inside me just can't let go of measurement. Its a curse.
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Old 06-21-08, 04:15 PM   #5
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Smiles per - well, I guess NOT mile, but, how about

"Smiles per ride?"
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Old 06-21-08, 06:14 PM   #6
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I once used a little spoke-driven speedometer on my coaster-brake bike when I was a kid, but never used a computer on my bikes since (except a brief flirtation with that 10 years ago). I have no need for "training" or numbers related to that. I know I would start focusing on numbers rather than the sheer pleasure of cycling, and I don't want that. I just ride. I don't need to have exact knowledge or awareness of distance, speed or even cadence. Besides, a fine road bicycle is a marvel of human mechanical achievement that marries great efficiency with great simplicity. Putting electronics on it seems like defiling it to me. But that's just me. I don't expect everybody to be the same.
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Old 06-21-08, 06:23 PM   #7
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I've got computers on a couple of my bikes but I seldom give them much attention. My wife and I did a very enjoyable tandem ride this morning. I can't tell you anything about average speed or such because I had forgotten to zero out the computer from the last ride.
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Old 06-21-08, 06:42 PM   #8
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I see your point completely. I don't have a computer on my commute bike. I just ride, and about 40-45 minutes later I'm at work. That bike is a heavy, old Univega tourer. I took my road bike to work a couple of times. It has a computer and it is a light, fast, new steel bike (Lemond Sarthe). Somehow, the clunky Univega is way easier if only because I don't worry about anything to do with stats, and just enjoy the ride.
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Old 06-21-08, 08:26 PM   #9
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What a wonderful concept to rediscover....

There are quite a few times where I find myself caught up in "what should be" rather than "what is". It is on those days of "what is" that I can thoroughly enjoy myself.
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Old 06-21-08, 08:36 PM   #10
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People are out there with Garmins, Powertaps, altimeters, you name it. I haven't used a computer since 2002 and I don't miss it. I always know how many miles on group rides because everyone talks about stats.
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Old 06-21-08, 08:38 PM   #11
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I haven't yet put a computer on my Fuji. I only know how far I've traveled when I pass mileage markers on the trail. On the trail I rode yesterday, they popped up about every 3 miles. I liked that ... enough to know how fair I'd traveled and how far I was from the next town, but nothing to draw my attention from the ride.
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Old 06-21-08, 08:41 PM   #12
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I spent most of April, May and June riding without feedback -- going by perceived exertion and mood. Like you, I re-discovered how much fun it is to go fast just for the heck of it, without caring how fast that is, looking at my surroundings instead of the displays, and riding for riding's sake. It was refreshing, to say the least, and gave me the perspective I needed to refocus my training.

I'm going to try to take more computerless rides in the future.

Thanks for the reminder...and enjoy your LeMond. Smiles per ride=priceless.
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Old 06-21-08, 08:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
Gosh, we get so caught up in the numbers -the meaningless numbers- don't we?
The miles, the speed, elevation, grade, cadence, heart rate...
OK, may be that last one isn't so meaningless. Not for me, anyway.
Sometimes we forget the sheer joy of just... duh... riding
Who is this "we" you speak of Kimosabe?

Maybe you should expand your circle of bicycling friends. Believe it or don't, some of "we" bike riders never have been caught up in the number (or gram) counting game, nor have ever forgotten the joy of riding while under the influence of a fetish for logging meaningless numbers.
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Old 06-22-08, 01:29 AM   #14
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Who is this "we" you speak of Kimosabe?

Maybe you should expand your circle of bicycling friends. Believe it or don't, some of "we" bike riders never have been caught up in the number (or gram) counting game, nor have ever forgotten the joy of riding while under the influence of a fetish for logging meaningless numbers.
OK, so you're the exception that proves the rule. Or not. I don't know.
And I have no cycling friends... I ride alone. Always have.
But, seriously, let's not get too caught up in the details, here.
I am no weight weenie. Could care less about counting grams.
And bike computer or no, I love riding every mile I ride or I wouldn't be out there.
Certainly, stats help me map my progress over time and I *have* to know my HR.
The rest is just "nice to have"
I had just kind of forgotten that you don't always have to have a goal or a destination. Just ride.
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Old 06-22-08, 03:25 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=SaiKaiTai;6920934]Gosh, we get so caught up in the numbers -the meaningless numbers- don't we?
The miles, the speed, elevation, grade, cadence, heart rate...
OK, may be that last one isn't so meaningless. Not for me, anyway.
Sometimes we forget the sheer joy of just... duh... riding

Hpw many days have you had like these?
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Old 06-22-08, 08:42 AM   #16
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I can't speak to purity.

I had a Cadet speedometer on my bike as a kid, but beyond that, I'm so used to just riding that it just seems natural.

For me though, the metering is internal. Its the feeling of how out of breath I am, or how hard my legs are pushing. Maybe it doesn't have the metered precision of digital readouts, but I know exactly how hard to push myself.

Besides, I'm ADD enough that if I started to keep stats, it would only be a matter of a week or so before I would get side tracked and be off on some other project. The bicycle at least I ride steadily.
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Old 06-22-08, 05:28 PM   #17
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The French would call this le maladie du Garmin. I think it can be serious.

I was riding out in an area I rarely go (because it's a 23 mile one way trip by car) and saw two different species of beautiful wildflowers growing along the road. I could have stopped to enjoy them, or even take a picture or two.

I didn't, because I didn't want to mess up my average speed.

I think that was wrong.
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Old 06-22-08, 06:03 PM   #18
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People are out there with Garmins, Powertaps, altimeters, you name it. I haven't used a computer since 2002 and I don't miss it. I always know how many miles on group rides because everyone talks about stats.
+1 same here....

I'm not into all the electronic gadgetry on bikes.
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Old 06-22-08, 06:51 PM   #19
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Nice post....for this reason I keep my vintage bikes "naked;" no computers. Just fun to ride that way.

My commuting bike - no need for computer 'cause I know where I'm going and I just need to get there on time.

I have used odometers of one type or another on any of my "long distance" ride bikes both to track my progress but also as a safety device - sometimes when I'm exploring new areas I feel like I need to know how far I've gone, how long it takes to get back, whether my speed is dropping, etc. I once wandered out into the Texas prairie and found myself much further from home than I'd planned, on a very hot, very windy day. Not good.
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Old 06-22-08, 07:03 PM   #20
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I can't speak to purity.

I had a Cadet speedometer on my bike as a kid,
So did I. It sucked. No more cyclecomputers for me.

Paul
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Old 06-22-08, 07:28 PM   #21
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I prefer to ride for something. Like to get a coffee and a break in near town, or to buy a bottle of wine to take home or get a flash drive for my wife - just something to give the ride a purpose.
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Old 06-22-08, 07:49 PM   #22
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A wise man once said, "If you want to be free, learn to live simply", and, "The world is full of novelties and adventures. New opportunities come along every day. So what?"

Quoted from "The Tao of Leadership", by John Heider, 1985. Of course, Lao Tzu said it first, but in a different way.
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Old 06-23-08, 11:05 AM   #23
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Sai, I think the light has turned on.

Enjoy the ride.
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Old 06-23-08, 11:17 AM   #24
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The only time I would actually mount and use a computer is when following a route slip on long distance rides that I'm not familiar with.
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Old 06-23-08, 11:31 AM   #25
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For me it's a matter of mind over computer. I want to know how
far I rode, but I don't care how far I ride. Does that make any sense?
It's a very rare occurance for me to set out with a specific "distance
to ride" on the aggenda, like maybe a "birthday ride my age".
Otherwise I'm just out toolin' around, and I check the mileage as a
matter of record type of thing. So though I track my mileage, I don't
meter my rides to make any specific goals.
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