Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Keeping Track

Back In The Day when I had the Cannondale and rode it ALL THE TIME, I had a cycling computer which tracked total distance, cadence, time, and all the other magical things a cycling computer tracks for you. Sadly, one day as I was headed out for a 40 mile ride, 964 miles on the odometer, the wires broke and that computer never did crack the 1000 mile barrier.

 In the meantime, I've always meant to, and never had the financial freedom to justify getting a Garmin cycling computer to keep track of my rides and tell me all the fancy data a nerd like me likes to know.  Least of all when I was working for a company I could get a discount on one (the cruel joke of my sporting goods life is now that I make enough money for spare spending, I no longer get an employee discount).  In the interminable interim though, I've downloaded Strava, an App that does a lot of the same stuff off the GPS function of my phone. Hurray! I've gots the data again!

There's the small hitch - if anyone's actually read back far enough in this blog, or been reading it that long, the Wurst Ride last year taught me something very, very important. Holy god is it mission-critical to have a functioning phone if you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, unable to muster the urge to ride further. My memories of that ride are largely of gritting my teeth past a drab brown landscape, wanting to kill whoever invented headwind.  While my phone tracked most of the ride (at the time I was using Map My Ride), using the GPS for that long also ate my battery for lunch.  As a result, I was standing at an intersection of BFE and the Boondocks praying to borrow a cell phone with which to call for help.  As situations go, it wasn't the best place to find myself.

But my inner data nerd cannot rest.  So I'm back where I started - thinking about GPS bike computers that can do the tracking for me without risking the battery of my emergency-contact-system.  Dammit, those things are expensive.

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