I have this fancy bike computer.
Perched atop my handlebars this digital scribe diligently records ride characteristics like distance, speed and elevation change by constantly bouncing signals off an array of satellites; its kinda miraculous really. It's the kind of amazing we blithely take for granted, like garage door openers and microwave popcorn.
Despite its wizard like ability to quantify your ride in detail you never thought possible (try downloading a track into Google Earth sometime) it is hopelessly inept at capturing the truly sublime; the soft clicking of a bike’s chain, the snapping of twigs under tires, the scurry of fuzzy things in the tangled underbrush.
If you remember to charge it, take it and turn it on it will surely provide a wealth of data but leave unmeasured the exclusive satisfaction that comes from cresting a tough climb or the adrenaline shot you earn from negotiating a spooky obstacle that is clearly bent on your destruction.
All these realizations came to me in a cascading catharsis as I gazed upon my lifeless, uncharged computer right before our first Gnome Fest ride. Last year I wrote up some pretty detailed, and overly dramatic, blog entries about the Gnome Fest, mostly based on information from my little gadget. I was trying to decide whether I was irked about it being dead when Nick said:
“It's just about riding and having fun, I didn’t even bring mine.”
He is as wise as his tent is waterproof, but he got this one exactly right.
We stopped in Decorah on the way up for some pre-gnome gnoming. The guys were a big help when I needed to change a tire.
Once we got to Levis Trow, in central Wisconsin, it was most assuredly ON.
Even great rock chasms were powerless to stop us.
Phil showing sometimes a guys gotta seem epic.
Flexing just seemed appropriate.
Matt examines his instructions and reports "Guys, it says here everything sounds funnier with a French accent."
Follow the yellow brick road
It aint called Goat Dance 'cuz its flat.
Big - I mean HUGE - air.
Not wanting the festing to end, we rode the Human Powered Trails in LaCrosse on the way home. I highly recommend it.
More Gnomelishesness here. Page 3 of the thread for some of this year's pics.
Big props to Nick who took all these pictures as I ditched my camera too.
Fantastic time once again.