Friday, August 14, 2015

Not Getting Sucked In By Strava

Which of the following is the best description of my commute to work yesterday?

Yesterday morning I rode exactly 18 miles to work across Peone, over Argonne Hill, and following the Centennial Trail into town. It only took me one hour and nine and one-half minutes and I did 502 feet of elevation gain. My top speed was 38.3 miles and hour and my average speed was 15.6.

Yesterday I left home early to ride a longer route that takes me over Argonne Hill. The sun was bright red as it rose, the only beauty from the smoke in the air from all the wildfires. The temperature was a cool, which made climbing the hill easy to tolerate. Going down the hill a cop had someone pulled over so traffic slowed down to the speed limit, which meant I was riding with traffic for a change so that was cool. Coming in on Upriver Drive just about everyone on a bike going in the other direction waved back. I passed a guy who had a small cooler on the back of his bike. It was probably his lunch. I asked him if he had any beer in it. That made him laugh out loud. I said good morning and waved to the regular morning runners and walkers I see on the trail between Mission and Riverfront Parks.

I prefer the second one because it focuses on the experience, not the accomplishment. Some years ago I got rid of the small computer on my bike that kept track of my distance, speed, etc., because I found I was focusing on the accomplishment instead of enjoying the ride. When I ride with other people I notice a number of them pause to start their tracking app or, after we've started riding, stop to start the tracking app they forgot to start, and when the ride is done, announce and compare results. Me, I just want to enjoy the ride.

Yesterday was my first attempt at using Strava. Why am I doing this? One thing I enjoy is exploring roads all around Spokane. There are some really good gravel roads and I'd like to map them out to help me remember where I went. So I'm playing with Strava on my phone to see how well it works and how it affects battery life, especially on rides exceeding 50 miles.

I find it disturbingly appropriate that the icon representing Strava while it's active on my phone is a trophy. I will do my best to avoid segment comparisons, top speeds, and all those other bits of data that people post on their blogs, forums, and Facebook pages. If I fail to do so, then please ask to see my phone when you happen to run into me and smash it on the pavement. It'll be for my own good.


Unknown said...

your auntie calls experience..."adventure". You keep on goin, Hank.

Anonymous said...

I have the old fashion bell wireless speed-o-meter on my beater bike. (former commuter). I log my miles once every week or two and reset the device. Like you, I got out of that mileage, VO2 Max, average speed thing, a couple of years ago and enjoy riding much more now than back then.