By the Numbers

I've had the opportunity to use a power meter on my road bike a few times. I borrowed a power tap wheel for a few weeks last winter and have also had access to the computrainers at CTS. I loved the data with the workouts - the neat precise numbers that revealed so much more then heart rate alone. Coach Adam had been "encouraging" me to get my own for my mountain bike for the last few years. I always had a good reason why not - money, getting a new bike, swapping to 29er, and so on. It was only December last year when Nick and I got serious about looking into options for a power meter for my Fate. But just research - Nick was supposed to get his long desired trail bike first. So I was completely surprised when I found a new, fancy rear wheel and hub on my Fate.

So now, when its not 15 degrees out, I can head up to the trails and enjoy single track and sunshine - and still get the real data from all my workouts. I love seeing the numbers (when it's good) but also knowing that I've taken my training to that next level. But I also realized I can't be a slave to the computer. Unlike on the trainer where I can closely monitor the numbers and not worry, outside is different. I have to pay attention to my riding and the obstacles in my path. And when doing all out efforts, thats a lot to focus on! So the numbers and the analysis of the numbers has to wait. Its still just ride my bike and make sure I am still getting the technical stuff.

I haven't really had the chance to go for many long rides to see what happens at hours three and four into the ride. I can tell based on my heart rate and perception if effort when I start getting tired - seeing the power numbers will only confirm that. I'm looking forward to spending some time pouring over all info from the rides later this summer and comparing. And since the power meter is on the Fate, I'll still have plenty of rides without the data on the Era. I'll be able to take everything I've learned from riding with the power meter and translate into "old fashioned" numbers. As long as I keep the rides fun and don't become a slave to the numbers, that is.

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