On May 10, I started out by loading my bicycle in the back of the Escape to make the drive over to the Sports Basement Store located in the Presidio near the Golden Gate Bridge. I’d driven about 5 minutes and was on the freeway headed for the Bay Bridge when I realized I’d forgotten my Garmin GPS. This was a Christmas gift from my family. Designed especially for biking, it gives me all sorts of interesting and useful data. It even creates a map of my ride once I upload the data onto my computer. It tells me my riding speed, maximum speed achieved, cadence (how many revolutions I’m making per minute), the time of day, and most importantly for me, my heart rate.
Last year I did all of my training rides with a much less informative bike computer, one that did not give me information about my heart rate. This year, I know what my maximum heart rate should not exceed and that there is a danger in pushing too far beyond that rate for any extended period of time. Did I exceed that rate in a major way on some of last year’s training rides? Probably but I was ignorant because I did not have access to that sort of data. But this year, I’ve used that heart rate data to pace myself and not over exert my heart. I appreciate this very important biofeedback.
Now I was faced with a dilemma. Ride without my Garmin and be nervous on the strenuous hills about what my heart rate might be, or turn back and risk being late for meeting the training ride group that was meeting by the snack bar on the southwest end of the Golden Gate. I opted for turning back and picking up the Garmin. I made it to the meeting point at the GG just barely in time to hear the “Rules of the ride,” which everyone on the ride has to hear before every ride for reasons of safe conduct and probably the ALC liability insurance.
It turned out to be a great ride and again I was stuck by how much more in shape for riding I am this year as compared to last year. The map of the ride, thanks to my Garmin, is below, along with some other statistics, including my heart rate!