No Such Thing As A Meaningless Accomplishment These Days

Okay, this whole situation sucks, but this morning I decided to go into Lycra mode and grab life by the nipple piercing:

So what does that even mean? Well, it means I fired up my new bike computer:


Yeah, that’s right, I rode slightly faster up a dinky suburban street just a tiny bit faster than I ever have before. Take that, pandemic!

So how did I do it? Well, I was curious about the “starred segment” function. See, in Strava you can “star” certain segments, which I’ve never bothered to do, since I’m not out there trying to outdo myself or anybody else. At most, maybe if I’m feeling good I’ll try to go fast up a climb, and then when I get home I’ll look and see how I did. Or else after a race I’ll check in to see if we were going as fast as it felt like we were. Otherwise, I’ve got very little invested in my times.

Nevertheless, now that I’ve got this flashy new computer I figured I might as well get a little more involved, so before rolling out I starred a couple of local hills. Once you do that, what happens is that the computer beeps at you to lets you know when you’re approaching the segment, and when you’re officially on that segment it beeps again and tells you to GO!

On the first climb I gave up almost immediately and instead tried to photograph the screen in order to capture how the computer shows you whether or not you’re on pace to beat your best time. (I failed in that regard too, since I was on a steep hill and my phone was buried under two layers of clothing and sheathed in a plastic baggie.) But the second time I actually focused on my time split and set a new PR, which the computer notified me of immediately with a congratulatory medal. To be honest, it was far more rewarding to see the computer do its nifty electronic dance than it was to set the PR, because I suck so bad that I’m not even a match for myself. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever be impressed by my own performance, but I certainly am impressed by how far the humble bike computer has come.

Meanwhile, you’ll be pleased to know that the automotive media is now giving people permission to ride bikes:

Following your local rules also includes traffic laws. You hate that guy who blasts through intersections, won’t stay in his lane and abruptly darts in front of you when you’re driving. Don’t become that guy on a bicycle. Most importantly, do what you can to stay out of our over-stressed medical system. That means wearing a helmet and riding within your limits. Don’t try any sweet jumps for the first time, for example. 

Oh please, you’re in no position to judge.

They’re also exploring the deep cuts of bicycle history:

We truly live in Bizzaro World now.

Finally, it should be obvious that bike shops are essential businesses, but New Mexico is only just catching on:

“Under the new orders, customers can’t enter the bicycle shops, retail sales are banned, payments are to be made by credit card or debit card remotely; customers must leave and pick up bicycles outside the store; and the bikes have to be disinfected before being brought inside. Staff must also wear protective equipment and the stores have to be routinely disinfected,” the governor’s office told the mayor, according to the paper.

So they can stay open but they can’t make retail sales.

That makes sense.

It’s like saying that deli can’t sell you a new sandwich, but they can remain open to repair the one you already have.

But apparently Michigan is even more draconian:

Michigan now has the most restrictive state order in place, according to a database maintained by PeopleForBikes. In Michigan retailers are allowed to service bikes only if the bikes are used by workers to get to a job that is considered essential. 

If you’re a Michigander who needs your bike fixed, I recommend you tell them you repair sandwiches for a living.

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