Broken spoke: Give the electronics a rest

Broken spoke: Give the electronics a rest


Broken spoke: Give the electronics a rest


Duncan Moore


In this week’s Broken spoke Duncan decides to give the electronics a rest


The other day getting ready to head for a ride I realised my computer needed a new battery fitting. Fortunately, I had known for a while that this would need doing and so had already purchased said battery. Old battery out and new one in no problem. Well, that’s not strictly speaking true…


Garmin Edge 1000 (41)

Because I’d taken the battery out the head unit had defaulted back to the factory settings. All very well except for the fact that that means everything zeros…


Okay, time to reset the wheel size measurement in the set-up screen so the speed and distance readings are accurate. Once again, easily done, or it would be if I could remember the number I need to enter…


Time to get the instruction sheet and check the number I need to match my tyre size… Oh dear, I knew I’d put the instructions somewhere safe for just such an event but could I remember where that somewhere safe was? Of course, I couldn’t.

Bryton Rider 40

After wasting nearly half an hour trying to find the instructions I gave up and decided to just go and ride. I mean going riding was the idea to begin with how important could the computer be to the ride?


I started the ride in a terrible mood, but as I turned the miles over my mood lightened and by the time I was home again I realised I’d really enjoyed myself, much more than I had on many recent rides.


It was not until a few of days later when I’d eventually found the computer instructions and got everything set-up and running again that the realisation hit me as to why I’d enjoyed that ride. It had been fun because I wasn’t fixating on my performance. With no computer on the handlebars, I wasn’t constantly checking my mileage, average speed, top speed, and whatever else I can find to obsess over while out riding.


Since that realisation, I find myself more often than not leaving the computer off when I go riding and it feels good. It also makes me wonder about those riders who have GPS computers and heart rate monitors on their bikes. Do these people even notice what is going on around them?

Cat Eye Stealth 50 GPS ANT+ Cycling Computer CC-GL50


I first got into cycling as it offered escapism; a way of getting away from everything. Then came the comprehension that I was getting out in the countryside and seeing the beauty of nature. Well, at least until I got wrapped up in technology and data logging. This recent return to riding tech free has reminded me that cycling need not simply mean getting my head down and the miles in, it can be a pleasant pastime, a time to let the pressures of modern life slip away just like I used to do.


Thinking back to the time I was trying to find the instructions so that I could sort out my computer, I was having thoughts about upgrading and getting a GPS enabled device and joining the Strava brigade. Hey, any excuse to spend money on bike parts, and if I couldn’t find the instructions that would be a good excuse to buy a new computer. Now I wonder what was I thinking? Does it really matter how quick I am up my local climbs? Now I’d much rather enjoy the ride and simply listen to what my body is telling me. If I feel good I’ll ride longer; if I don’t I’ll ride less.


Yes, I’m a luddite and proud of it.

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