Wednesday, June 26

Warning: Possibly offensive but still mostly about bike cycling computers

I do so appreciate the comments here and on FaceBook, as well as the random texts with advice on how to make greater bike computer.  I honestly do.

You see, long before the internet was useful for things like seeking advice, trolling unknowing fuckwits, and influencing elections, I used a heart rate monitor.  Consistently.  Annoyingly.  With information gleaned from books, magazines, and ancient scrolls.

I wore my heart rate monitor while riding the rollers, on road and mountain bike adventures, while sleeping, at races... and I used it to measure my anaerobic threshold VIA the Conconi Test.  I kept track of all of the whole idiotic pursuit in this journal here:

Average, waking, maximum, and whatever other heart rate information that seemed relevant.  Basically, my journey of going from a good beginner class mountain biker to a decent sport class mountain biker... recorded in numeric form.

At some point around the time that I moved from Ohio to North Carolina and no longer had to ride rollers in the basement to stay fit year around, I gave it all up.  I hold on to this journal to remind myself of those days, in a binder along with printed out (and received in the mail) race results.  There's also some pictures of me racing from the way, way back days, as well as some pictures from the NORBA National event up in Michigan that War Child and I drove up to so we could spectate and race in Traverse City.

This is also in the binder:

Strange, but allow me to explain.

There was an ad in the back of Bicycling Magazine that caught my attention.  Someone was basically offering "motivational" materials with very little description as to exactly how the motivation would be administered.  All you had to do was send a self-addressed stamped envelope and wait.  Being that I didn't have a coach or professional guidance, I figured this might be what I need.  What I received was a sample image of homemade porn and an offer to buy (more) photos and some sensual home videos.

The letter explained that she was trying to raise money to pay for college.  Oddly enough, she was an art education major, which just happens to be my BS degree as well.  At least there was a higher purpose to it all.

Basically, back in the '90s, if you wanted SPAM mail like this:

It cost you a stamp and an envelope.

I don't hold on to many material objects from the past, but somehow this still remains in my world of things.  A reminder of simpler times, I guess.  Mebbe because at some time long ago, there was an ad in the back of Bicycling Magazine for semi-personalized porn, and I thought it was important to note this moment in history.  Mebbe it's because I knew someday I'd have a blerhg and being looking for content.

Back to what I was writing about in the first place. 

I know basing heart rate zones on anaerobic threshold makes the most sense (for the layman without access to "sciences"), but I'm not willing to bother with all that.  I did go ahead and bury myself going up Spencer to the intersection of Trace Ridge to see what kind of maximum heart rate I could manage.  It was no STRAVA KOM attempt, what with riding at a chatting pace up to the Killing Fields section, but from there, aside from having to get around some other riders, it was all I could muster.

186 BPM was my max, and I found that I'm actually capable of holding over 180 BPM for small stretches of time.  So, I went ahead and plugged that all into my Wahoo cycle sporting computer, and I ended up with what looks like more reasonable numbers to work with in the future.

Obviously, the old 220 - your age (50) = 170 Max HR is not the buenos it's cracked up to be.  From all I can gather, @150 BPM is where I'm going anaerobic, which hurts a little... part of the reason I bothered with the HR monitor at all was to act as a tachometer to keep me from going into the red too early into a long race.

(big but).

I can't imagine starting the Pisgah 111 or 55.5 going up Clawhammer or lower Black Mountain and not blowing through that cap right from the beginning.

Anyways, this toy has been quite the distraction so far and mostly just confirming what I already know.  It will be interesting to see what kinda numbers it spits out when I'm at the Breck Epic riding above 10,000 feet for six days straight... and to see what it's gonna do two to three weeks later.

So, mebbe not as motivating as glossy soft core nudie pictures and videos, but it's certainly something, if at the very least, slightly less strange.

1 comment:

FourMat said...

I've messed myself up by having the HR numbers displayed during a race. Glance down at the number on the smart box, and see it's over "red line", think to self, "Oh, that's a big number, I'd better slow down". Boom, I've lost. I don't have the discipline to ignore those numbers, but I know in an intense situation I can dig deeper than that arbitrary restriction. Repeat same race, turn off the HR display, and was able to go above that max number. Funny how that works.