Smart Alec Software…

My Garmin 1000 died a a few weeks back. After 5 years and almost 1,000 rides, it was kind of like losing an old, familiar friend. I even wrote a blog tribute to it.

But all things must end, even ‘stay at home orders’, or at least so we are told. My new Garmin 830 arrived, and I got it configured and installed with only a few false starts and one call to tech support.

The 830 is quite nice. It is much smaller and lighter than the 1000. Since I am known to weigh everything that goes on my bike, I like losing a few grams here and there.

It also has some major software ‘upgrades’. If you wear a heart rate monitor and tell it your heart rate zones the device will let you know whether you are training enough or too much or too little. It will let you know when it detects a ‘New VO2 Max!” Which would be nice if I knew what a VO2 Max was.

During this panicdemic, I have been riding quite often, mostly from home. Sometimes I ignore the checkpoints at the county lines and take my bike up in the hills. I have been riding regularly enough and hard enough that the Garmin assures me my training load is ‘optimal’. Until yesterday, that is.

Steve and I headed south to Escalon to visit Dr. Carl. We did not leave the county in the car, but on the bike we did sneak over the Stanislaus River into the neighboring county a couple of times. The good doctor has had some health challenges which he is dealing with as well as possible. He is a very fine rider who has been advised to keep his heart rate below a certain number. He got an e bike (battery assisted) so he could still ride with his friends.

We did a very easy 23 miles, keeping social distance and watching for guards on the county lines. My Garmin was unimpressed.

This is the first time I have been informed that there was ‘no benefit’ to a ride. Usually if I ride easy I get a ‘recovery’ sticker to put on my refrigerator, but my Garmin seems quite judgmental.

Another thing the computer tells you after a ride is how long you need to recover before you are ready to make another effort. Usually I am advised something like 12 to 20 hours. One memorable day last year in the Pyrenees, after 75 miles and 12,000 feet of steep mountain roads, I was informed I needed 72 hours to recover. But we climbed Hautacam (5000 feet) the very next morning.

Yesterday my recovery time was ‘0 hours’. A new low. I need to get some software with better manners.

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