On Con­sum­ing the Right Amount of Tech­nol­ogy, and Beer

Two things that can add to a ride, or take away from it

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - EDITOR’S LETTER - Matthew Pioro Ed­i­tor

Iwas shocked. Just shocked when I had read what An­drew Ran­dell and Steve Neal had writ­ten. Were they con­tra­dict­ing them­selves? In Ran­dell and Neal’s ar­ti­cle in this is­sue (‘How to Stay Fresh All Sum­mer,’ p.37), they write, “Put aside your head unit and just en­joy rid­ing. Don’t worry about heart rate, power num­bers or Strava. These can of­ten be detri­men­tal to your en­joy­ment of a beau­ti­ful sum­mer’s day.” It’s great ad­vice, sure. But these guys, just two is­sues ago, had writ­ten about the im­por­tance of col­lect­ing data, as much data as pos­si­ble, to help you im­prove your fit­ness. So, were they chang­ing their minds about get­ting b.p.m., r.p.m. and watts? No, of course not. I’m sure both Ran­dell and Neal would say grab those num­bers if you can. But if those num­bers are hin­der­ing your en­joy­ment, well then leave out the data col­lec­tion for a bit. More im­por­tant than get­ting ride data is just rid­ing. That might seem a bit ob­vi­ous, but some­times a ride can seem…clut­tered.

I def­i­nitely take “tech breaks,” which may sound a bit blas­phe­mous com­ing from some­one who tests so much gear. I’d say, how­ever, that those breaks are no dif­fer­ent than the time you might take away from your bike, to rest and recharge, so you can then get back on with re­newed en­thu­si­asm. A lot of the tech I spent time with for this is­sue has fea­tures that can make it less ob­tru­sive. For ex­am­ple, be­fore your ride, you can set the Shi­mano sport cam­era (p.82) so that it starts record­ing only when your power me­ter reads a cer­tain amount of wattage. The cam­era will film when you drop watt bombs be­cause it will trig­ger when you launch. You can fo­cus on rid­ing. Af­ter­wards, you can fuss with the video. Even fea­tures that are much more hum­ble can make for a less clut­tered ride when you use them well. With the Garmin Edge 820, the ju­di­cious use of its bat­tery save mode can keep its screen off for most of your ride. You’ll record all the data you want and get nav­i­ga­tion in­struc­tions when you need them. Oth­er­wise, you can keep your eyes on the sur­round­ing coun­try­side. You can strike the right bal­ance.

In this is­sue’s look at beer and bikes (p.40), there’s an­other bal­anc­ing act that comes up. Writer Cheryl Madliger speaks with Nanci Guest, a di­eti­cian who stud­ies the con­nec­tions be­tween nu­tri­tion and genes. I wasn’t sur­prised when Guest said that if you don’t drink al­co­hol, don’t start. If you are se­ri­ous about per­for­mance, then the best thing to do is to avoid beer, wine and cock­tails. But, even Guest ad­mits, there’s more to the post-ride beer than calo­ries, carbs and al­co­hol. There’s the so­cial as­pect of grab­bing a drink, which is ben­e­fi­cial. Beer, like tech, is best con­sumed in ap­pro­pri­ate amounts at the ap­pro­pri­ate times.

I’ll drink – oc­ca­sion­ally – to that.


The most dec­o­rated DH rider in his­tory, Greg Min­naar, en­joys a cold one af­ter fi­nals in Mont-sainte-anne

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