6:13am this morning I was already in Piermont, and starting my ride. Nasty for a weekend, but that’s the price I pay for having a full life. No real complaints… except it is seriously cold these days in the morning. And dark. Like, no going anywhere without lights dark. Fortunately traffic is light at that hour on Sunday. However, you can’t really relax, because the folks who are up at that hour seem generally annoyed that they have to be up at that hour on Sunday. Maybe surly would be a better description.
On a similar ride last week, I was feeling terrible. That is, I kept looking down at the speedo and seeing really low numbers. 9mph, 12mph and I felt I was working really hard. At first I chalked it up to the early hour. Then I got worried my ride partner would get annoyed at the pace and pick it up, and really I felt like I couldn’t really go a whole lot faster for very long. Strange I thought, that I have so little this day, but it happens sometimes (usually a mental thing) and since my ride partner was not complaining about the pace… who cares?
We get to the bottom of our loop and after a small climb we hit a gradual but long downhill section… one where we almost always enjoy gravity and push for whatever we’ve got. So off we go and I’m feeling like it should when we’re cruising at 24mph or so… except I look down at the speedo and 16.5, 17… Huh? not possible. There’s a permanent radar installation near a school we were just about to pass. I look up and sure enough 24 or so. Aha! Hey, Jenni! What does your speedo say? 23 or so Why? Tell ya later…
So here’s the payoff. After the last ride I commented to Jenni how slow the avg. speed had been on the ride. So she had tried hard to pay attention to the pace and keep things moving. (I, of course, thought I was going to collapse moving at what I thought was only 12mph.) Naturally, the speedo was set wrong for the previous ride also (the wheel size was set wrong). So she pushed because she wanted me to have a good ride, and I pushed the pace because I thought I was moving at a snails pace with the end result being one of the fastest rides of the year. Silly. And it leads me to this.
I often ride without any “data” like a speedo. I don’t have one on every bike. And there is something to be said for that. You trust your feelings entirely with no other gauge available. Now I enjoy seeing the numbers and having the data. Measurement is one of the few ways to ensure progress. But times like this make me want to ditch the thing entirely. All of us had a good chuckle about it though.