Guest poster Don Blount finds that sometimes, it’s better to just ride.
I don’t like these early wake up calls when it is dark and cold. According to Accuweather, the windchill was about 34 degrees.
But I was set to go. I was dressed, tires inflated and even had warm non-caffeinated tea in my water bottle. I pushed the button on my Garmin 305 to get it powered up as I hit the road.
I hopped on my saddle and looked at the screen of the Garmin, it was blank, showing none of the familiar settings. I pushed the button again. It beeped, the welcome screen flashed, and then it went out again.
I had charged the darn thing, or so I thought, two nights earlier. I tried two more times. Nothing.
So it was 6:30 a.m., my choice was to either go back inside and not ride or ride without a bike computer. I had my Blackberry in my jersey pocket, so if I stopped I could use that to view the time. However, I had nothing to track distance, cadence, speed, heart rate or any other of the data that I use while riding.
I decided to set off on a familiar route of about eight miles out, focusing on the bottom part of my stroke. I felt as if I were riding blind since I had no idea how fast I was pedaling, or my speed or my heart rate.
But I was comfortable, warmed up quickly and my breathing was steady.
I arrived at my turnaround point and stopped to check my clock. If my calculations were correct, I had gotten there in about 25 minutes.
I doubled back, and arrived home – another eight miles – in about 25 minutes.
It was a short ride but a good ride for that time of the day. I felt I had worked but enjoyed the ride and really could’ve gone much farther.
And by not having my Garmin available to show me what I was doing, at least for this ride, I enjoyed myself in a different way than I usually do. Maybe because it was more of a self-regulating challenge and less of a “trying to do what the reading tells me to do because I want to get a workout challenge.”
I do all of my riding alone because of my work schedule and family obligations. But, I think I had gotten so wrapped up in the numbers of my Garmin that I was missing out on enjoying the ride just for the sake of riding. (It’s the Type A part of me.)
My Garmin is charged and ready but I’m going to find a way to do this type of riding more often.