We’re into June already and I just had my first bike ride of the year. I was feeling pretty bad about starting so late in the season. Last year, which was my first season back on the bicycle since before there was a Bush or Clinton presidency culminated with a spectacular Hilly Hundred Weekend last October. It turns out, I didn’t have my first ride last year until June 1st so I wasn’t too far behind my “best year in decades.”
So I suit up and hit the road. After a couple of miles to warm up, I decide to kick it up and see how much I’ve lost over the winter. When I’m up to speed I check my cyclocomputer and it tells me I’m whipping along at 10.3 mph! I think this is way too much effort to be going so slow, but there it is in digital display. I crank it up some more. Now I’m going about as fast as I think I can go and the darned thing still says less than 12 mph!
Let’s pause for a minute here and consider the situation. I’m a Rose-Hulman engineer. I run Port-to-Port Consulting, which is a computer company where everyone spends a significant chunk of their time solving problems. I’m the king of curiosity. And I’m working on having a heart attack because this little digital gizmo tells me I’m going too slow. Now back to the story…
By now I’m about 7 miles into my training ride and I look down at this bike computer that is taunting me and it says I’ve traveled…5 miles. I immediately reach down and adjust the magnetic sensor on my front fork. The display jumps from 10.3 to 18.5. I nearly killed myself because I assumed the computer must be right!
The rest of the ride was pleasant, and I got home much sooner than usual for that route. I felt silly for not considering that my data was bad to begin with, but I also felt pretty good that I was able to put out that kind of effort so early in the season (for me).