I’ve been having some challenges with my Garmin technology lately. Specifically the heart rate monitoring. This started last year during the Tour de Bowness road race. Halfway through the race, it appeared that I was experiencing a coronary event.
I certainly felt half dead, but my heart was clearly functioning normally. After swapping batteries and going on multiple rides after that, the problem seemed to have been resolved. There was a bit of whining that my data had been skewed, however I was still happy I finished the race and not in last place.
Then it happened again. And again. Despite new batteries, strap adjustment, ensuring proper electrode contact with the skin, and pounding on my chest like a primate, my heart rate data would be inconsistently inconsistent. Like trying to track down a particle with quantum mechanics, I could never be sure what the root cause was. Only the result. And only sometimes. The season concluded and I put my toys away for the winter months.
Now that spring is almost here, my thoughts turn towards annual goals, trips & rides. My friend asked me if I was attending the Golden Triangle bike tour again this year. After declining, I was reminded that the one year warranty is fast approaching. I took a trip to the local bike shop where I bought the device from and explained my woes. Basic troubleshooting ensued with replacing the batteries again. I ended up getting a new strap because mine was pretty gross. This was a last ditch effort to get it working before sending the whole unit back for warranty. It turned out that it was definitely a faulty strap. Maybe I didn’t take care of as well as I could have.
Between the wheel magnet slightly ticking the speed sensor, breaking the otherwise silent machine that is my bike, changing batteries, chasing down a free wall outlet in a pub so I could charge my technology whilst on drinking beer, and tracking down the troubles associated with this heart rate strap, I was a little fed up. Why have I allowed this technology to distract me from the riding experience? Am I a slave to gadgets? Am I obsessed with data more than I am with actual cycling?
I don’t think I am. I enjoy riding my single speed into work. I love leisurely rides along city pathways. It’s not all about #provingit. It is just a bit frustrating when technology, built and designed to improve our lives, refuses to cooperate the way we want it to.