Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Miracles of Technology

Santa was good to me this year: a shiny new Garmin Edge 800 now sits perched on my stem. This little baby can do almost anything. Any data you can think of, it can display, however you want. On multiple pages. The touch screen works easily with thick gloves on. A swipe of the finger changes pages. It's a cinch to create a route on and upload it to the device, then just follow the color screen navigation around backroads in unexplored countryside, avoiding the worst traffic, and going new places.

Technology is amazing. It's a freaking miracle.

The more we have, the more we rely on it. And we forget what technology won't do: it won't do your homework for you. And it sure won't pedal your bike.

I uploaded a route yesterday that took me from SE PDX out to Gresham and then through Sunny Valley (hah - big lie) and back to the Springwater Corridor trail. 42.05 miles exactly, predicted by the Garmin. And since the weather was crap, I took the fixed gear. One great thing about GPS devices is that you just drop them onto any bike and away you go - no magnets, wheel size changes, just click and go.

So I did. And, 20 miles later, I realized the two failures of technology: it didn't tell me that I would be going over some short steep hills, it merely informed me, while I was climbing in my 44x16, that the pain I was feeling was inflicted by an 8% grade and that I was now 100m higher than I was 10 minutes ago. Great. I should have looked at an elevation profile before picking my bike. And no, the little miracle of technology wasn't going to help me schlep the bike over the hill. That job still belong to my legs.

I was blinded by technology. On the other hand, I knew exactly where my dry clothes were waiting.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Early Morning

I forget sometimes how much I enjoy being out the door in the dark, on the road before anyone else, and getting a ride in at the very start of the day. Last week I went down to Eugene for a couple of days to finish off some moving, and rode before dawn for a pair of peaceful 3-hr rides - just me and the wild turkeys - that put me home right about the time most people were starting their day, with time for a stop at Hideaway Bakery for a hunk of coffee cake and a large cup of java.

Monday, December 13, 2010

CX Nationals - the elites

Katie Compton is a bad-ass. She had a bad start, rode through everyone, and when she and Gould had a big gap on the rest of the world, she turned up the gas until Gould blew up. 7 in a row, done.

The men had a drag race on their hands. Watch Trebon toss the Rapha guy's bike at him after they all go down in a pile on the first lap.

And finally in the Baller category, how about this guy, who finished 7th in the Elite race while racing on a single speed?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dear Portland Drivers

Putting your cell phone in "Speaker" mode and holding it to your chin does not count as "hands-free".



PS this goes for the rest of the country as well.