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“If a bicycle rides along the road and no Garmin is around to record it, does it really happen?”

November 26, 2013

I went for a ride today without the Garmin. It wasn’t a commute, just a cycle for the fun of it. I didn’t forget the bike computer, just decided I’d rather go without it. I’d like to claim this was due to a desire to leave the distractions behind and engage with the spirituality of cycling, but it was mostly because I was bunking off work for the afternoon and didn’t want it publicised all over Strava.

However there was an enjoyable simplicity of cycling with no computer. No worrying about average speeds and times up hills, or that somebody might snoop on my performance once posted online. It also gave me the opportunity to contemplate life, forget my stresses and just enjoy the scenery, rather than obsessing about the ‘data’ on my handlebars.

When I got home I put the bike away, had a shower and then enjoyed an evening with my family. No frivolous uploading of ¬†pointless data. I guess this is the problem with technology – sometimes it feels like the cart comes before the horse. We didn’t develop GPS due to a social need for amateur cyclists to compare themselves to other amateur cyclists, but the technology has ¬†allowed it. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should necessarily do it. I like my GPS bike computer but sometimes feel like ‘Big Brother’ is watching me as I ride.

Today I was left with no ‘data’, photographs or record of my enjoyable ride and I’ve started to doubt whether it actually happened. Was it just a figment of my imagination? Whatever it was, it’s a happy memory.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 26, 2013 8:58 pm

    That title is priceless brother. Wife and I both laughed about that.

    • November 30, 2013 3:09 pm

      It came to me in a moment of inspiration mid-ride. A ride where I wasn’t distracted by looking at a GPS …

  2. November 26, 2013 9:05 pm

    A philosophical question, i like it. It’s a pleasure to ride with no on-board computer from time to time – i find it forces me to focus on how i’m feeling and how hard i’m working (as apposed to what my average speed is).

    But to answer your question, in these modern times where technology is king, no, your ride never happened…until you blogged about it. NOW it’s happened.

    • November 30, 2013 3:02 pm

      Good point. So the answer to the original question is: “yes, but only if you blog about it!”

  3. November 26, 2013 9:52 pm

    Very true… its hard not to get sucked into everybody else’s data on strava and other apps and hard to try and not go for those KOM’s or quicker pace etc… its an awful feeling knowing that technology controls our lives and where would we be without it?

    • November 30, 2013 3:04 pm

      I think the scary part is that it’s only going to get worse. All of these intrusions and distractions seem to take small bites out of the beauty of cycling

  4. November 26, 2013 10:51 pm

    Wait till you my age. If you don’t record it somehow, it will really have never happened. I always take a camera of some sort so that I know where I’ve been.

  5. mytravelmateblog permalink
    November 27, 2013 10:01 pm

    I think it is rather hartles of you to travel without your device! You do know that leaving home without your Garmin, could bring about the end of the world as we know it!

    • November 30, 2013 3:07 pm

      I just have to hope that all those spying satellites in the sky don’t spot me and report it to the Strava Police for riding without a GPS device

  6. December 2, 2013 1:18 am

    Oh for a Garmin-free cycling world! The only person to drop off the back end of the club run today had a Garmin, it (the Garmin) crashed and he took a wrong turning…… And there was I with my simple Cateye………But I see an Edge Touring on the horizon, and it may appear in my Christmas stocking…..

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