the numbers game
I recently added a new little gadget to my dashboard – a bike computer. And I’ve been promptly seduced by the numbers game.
I’ve been there before, I know how this works. When I first started running, I became obsessed with tracking my miles, calculating my pace, talking PRs, and charting miles per minute. It’s only natural that a new activity would inspire this kind of mania – running was like a shiny new toy that I wanted to discover inside and out. Now, I’ve become equally curious about my cycling. How many miles to I bike per day and how fast am I going? (Kind of fun to compare to driving or running speed).
In the end, it makes no difference. With running, I was training for races and those numbers all played into those efforts. With cycling, I do it for fun and transportation, it matters little whether I’m going at 10 mph or at 16, whether I clock 4 miles or 14 miles a day, and it’s of no consequence how much ground I’m covering on any given week. All that matters is that I hop on my bike and ride to work or to the store. But somehow I still can’t resist this little guy, now gracing the right side of my handlebar, and I’m having a lot of fun peeking at it throughout the day.
After becoming a more ‘seasoned’ runner, I abandoned my GPS watch almost altogether. I can now judge pretty well how fast I am running and I can tell based on my route what my mileage is. It’s likely that the same will happen with my cycling calculator once I absorb the information it provides for a good amount of time. After a while, your brain becomes the calculator and a pretty accurate one at that. For now, however, I’m loving this little ride companion and the insights in provides. Count on, little guy!
*A technical note: Unfortunately, the calculator is not easy to remove and switch between bikes. It sort of glues onto your handlebar and it calibrates to you wheel. So the one drawback I see is that you can’t switch it between bikes and track your mileage using more than one commuter bike.