More about numbers … 🤔


Yesterday I wrote that I must be a slave to cycling numbers – speed, cadence, HR, training zones. I recounted how my cycling computer died with all batteries simultaneously failing. And how I measured my ride based on feeling rather than hard data.

Today, I rushed out to purchase new batteries. Four 2032’s for the cadence, speed, and HR sensors, as well as the computing unit as well. I figured I should replace them all to ensure against another horrifying failure. The best part, they were on sale. I got a bargain. Or so i thought.

When I returned to the cottage, I decided to replace all of the batteries now instead of just before my next ride. There is no urgency. It is poring rain here but I didn’t want to be rushed.

When I was removing the computer from its holder, I noticed it wasn’t properly seated. I must have inadvertently loosened it when it was first mounted, or when I was resetting all of the counters.

Guess what.

All of the batteries are fine. All of the sensors work just fine. This has never happened to me before, and I never thought to check it. I checked everything else.

What an idiot 😂

When I reflect back on this, I think there was a purpose for this. It was a ploy designed by the cycling gods to make me feel the ride, feel the speed, feel the difficulty, and to rely on my intuition.

Years ago, I learned golf is a game of feel. The swing is a very complicated movement that is difficult to repeat consistently. And, if you think to much about swing techniques, you lose the feel of the game. It’s OK on the range, but on the course you need to feel the wind, slope, lie, humidity, and adjust accordingly.

Well, cycling is no different. When riding, you need your senses about you to avoid hazards – potholes, ruts, traffic – and compensate for wind direction, humid, and slopes. You don’t need to be constantly checking your numbers.

Who cares how fast you are cycling into a 30 kph headwind? Does it matter whether your cadence is 92 or 97?

It doesn’t.

What matters is that you enjoy yourself, stay safe, and gradually improve your fitness and cycling skills.

I’m going to try something different. Instead of tracking and recording my numbers every ride, I’m going to accumulate them for the week, maybe even a month, as if they are for one long ride. This is what matters, isn’t it? Performance over time. I have a training schedule with monthly distance and training zone goals. I just need to review my numbers once a week, or month. I’ll have my computer on, but will pay less attention to it on each ride, and learn to feel the ride better.


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