“I don’t like going in without Pickett. It’s like going in with one boot off.”
~Lieutenant General James Longstreet, July 2, 1863
Longstreet’s sentiments were uttered before the attack of his corps on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. He made the attack with only two of his three divisions. The division commanded by Major General George Pickett was too far from the battlefield and had yet to arrive. Longstreet’s attack failed and Pickett would get his turn on the next day.
More about Longstreet later.
It was with the most profound shock and horror that I discovered my Garmin was not working today. I turned it on as I have done on every ride for the past two years and the thing wouldn’t turn on. The Garmin logo appeared and then nothing else happened. After a few minutes, it shut itself off. I couldn’t imagine what I had done to my Garmin, when suddenly, I remembered – I had installed an update two days ago.
I hopped on my computer and made my way to the Garmin forums and quickly discovered that approximately one trillion people are having problems with the most recent update to the Edge 500. There are a host of problems, some identical to my own. It appears my Garmin has been destroyed (or at least disabled) by its creator. No word on what the remedy is. I tried to call customer support at 6:02 PM, only to discover they closed at 6:00 PM. I then emailed customer support and they promptly sent me a machine-generated email which informed me that they would answer my question within three days.
The USAF Crystal Ride is in five days.
Using my best Captain Kirk Wrath of Khan impersonation, I looked up at the ceiling and shouted, “Garmin!”
I have used a bicycle computer on every single ride I have been on since March, 2010. That’s 256 rides, for those keeping track. I have been on rides without a cell phone. I have been on rides without a helmet. I have been on rides without water, ID, sunglasses, or bicycle shorts. I have even been on rides without every single piece of cycling equipment I own, save one. My bike computer. Now, five days from the event where I need a computer more than any other time, I am computerless.
So I went on a ride tonight, just a short 15.5 miler which I have done many times before (at least this way I could keep my distance logs accurate). As I left, I felt much like James Longstreet must have felt, except I didn’t have 25,000 soldiers at my command or an imposing hill to take. Other than that, it was pretty much the same thing, and by that I mean I was missing my most important item, just as Longstreet was missing a key component of his unit.
It is at this part of the post that I am supposed to tell you what a liberating experience it was to be free of my computer, how I could immerse myself in the sights and sounds of the world around me and truly enjoy my cycling experience in a way I failed to appreciate while focused on my bike computer. I am sorry to report, Dear Reader, this did not happen. Instead of enjoying these elements, I found myself… wondering.
How fast was I going? What was my heart rate? What is my average pace? How long have I been out there? What is my calorie count? What is the temperature? All these things are usually at my finger tips. Now, I had no idea, and it bugged me to no end.
Let us hope that the good people at Garmin Customer Support deliver me from this perdition prior to this Sunday’s sportif. In the meanwhile, I shall attempt to find my inner calm by sharing with you some pics of an interesting vintage truck display I saw this evening. Tracy over at Springfield Cyclist often posts on Things I See While Riding. It’s a neat concept and it is in this spirit I submit the following:
The trucks are the private collection of one Jerry Cooper, or so the sign next to the display states. No further information is provided, leaving a visitor wondering who Mr. Cooper is and why would he pick this spot to display his collection. There were about 15 different trucks, sedans, and tractors and it is a very nice collection. It did nothing for my average pace or my heart rate. I wish I could tell you the precise impact it had, but I don’t know – my Garmin is broken.