A measured effort.
This is the era of measurement. The philosophy of technology is that measurement equals understanding. It’s a safe haven, a number, a refuge from the storms of life. An expression of faith in an absolute of binary, on or off, in an age where absolutes are rejected! Of course, this is the nature of all humanity, the necessity to embrace contradiction and paradox, consciously or unwittingly, to survive.
As with any belief it’s not so simple. Acting within the closed system, in which we are by definition, there are still far too many actors and influences to make an accurate measurement of almost any one thing in isolation. The expression of measurement as a number gives physical, comprehensible evidence for all manner of unseen ideas, in which we place our faith. A microcosm of ‘intelligent design’.
As with all long ways around, this is simply a scenic means of saying that a Garmin or a Strava file does not necessarily tell the whole truth.
The hub around which Le Sportif rotates is the riding experience. Exploring new routes to share is our goal. To be true cyclists, above all, we must ride, and wherever cyclists get together this the underlying, and even unspoken, experience that we share. Watt are whats, what are watts, a tepid scale to measure the intensity that is suffused in us by the ride.
In the light of all this preamble it would, therefore, be unseemly of Le Sportif to place its faith in the weather forecast, and so to the hills for a new route. Proving to be a validation of this belief system if one were needed.
The salient information is available in the ride guide – distance travelled, time taken, elevation gained and lost, but the tiny handlebar robot cannot tell the story of the ride, and in the end this is all that matters.
The sight of the distant road twisting up the side of a Welsh valley, the snow left on the road which has long been forgotten elsewhere, the fresh, warmer (still cold) blast of the spring wind, the first spots of rain on the tarmac and the chasing of a group in front add texture to the ride. These are the stories that we tell our friends and acquaintances, and long-suffering partners again and again.
Faith in cycling is about finding this within and outside of ourselves every time. Our contribution to the mass of influences and actors is the rhythm of pedalling and the positivity this brings. Faith is the colour to the pencil outline of science.