‘If it’s not on Strava it doesn’t count?’
These are words I have heard and unfortunately, words I have said but in the end does it really matter.
Firstly, this is not solely aimed at Strava but those devices or apps that provide technical data only previously available to the elite.
I recently had a conversation with a fellow Twitter cyclist and discussed why we thought we had lost our cycling mojo? This is not the first time I have had this type of conversation. A member of Back On Track Cycling routinely ‘goes underground’ in January. Rides are not logged, no mileage recorded, it’s as if he does not exist. He still rides but does just that, rides. He admits he needs to cleanse himself of stats, he makes it sound dirty. It works for him and sets him up for the year. I followed in his footsteps and so do others, getting over the lull by ignoring the bike computers. I’ll still use my Garmin to calculate the mileage, but showing a screen devoid of the numbers. Opting for the virtual partner set at a low average, I’ll just point the bike and ride.
This did get me thinking. Is the available data removing our focus from enjoying the cycle ride? The number crunching, chasing segments or you own personal marginal gains. It’s nice to set goals but should this be at the detriment of the enjoyment of cycling. When I first learnt to ride as a kid, just after the Boneshaker was invented, I’d find the biggest hill, from the top, hammer it to the bottom, pedals spinning faster than your legs could cope with, laughing all the way down. This is how I remember cycling, having fun.
There is a time and a place for stats, it is an invaluable tool and can be worth the investment.
Sometimes do we just need to switch off and remember why we ride? Get on the bike and ride and go find that big hill…