Technology is awesome until the battery runs out (8 of 113 miles didn’t happen?)

What's with the hay bales? They're rectangular, not round! Oh, right, we're not in France yet.
What’s with the hay bales? They’re rectangular, not round! Oh, right, we’re not in France yet.

It was time, time to test Kevin’s recovery and my willingness to suffer. Time to do another run to Santa Cruz. Haven’t done so since shortly before Kevin’s kidney surgery 3 months ago, and with our trip to France coming up in less than 3 weeks, and pretty warm weather forecast today (and it will definitely be warm in France!), it was time.

As usual, we got off to a later start than planned when Kevin’s heart rate monitor wouldn’t sync with his Garmin. Actually several heart monitors wouldn’t sync, including both Bontrager and Garmin models. Weird. By the time we got out the door it was 9:30 instead of 8:30, and we still had to

Kevin showing his approval of Davenport Cafe
Kevin showing his approval of Davenport Cafe

stop in Woodside for breakfast (coffee & pastries). Felt kinda sluggish on West Old LaHonda just 10 minutes later, but still rode faster than we should have, given the length of the ride. We also rode faster than we should have up Haskins. And with favorable breezes on the coast, I put in a much harder effort than I should have, so by the time we got to Davenport we were hungry and already feeling like we’d been riding longer than just the 50 miles so far. The Davenport stop itself was far longer than normal; first because the food at the exceptional Davenport Cafe took forever (they were overrun with motorcycle groups that had dropped in for lunch) and second because we discovered, as we were about to leave, that Kevin had picked up a staple in his rear tire. Had we noticed his soft tire when we arrived, we would have had plenty of time to take care of it before the meal arrived. Note to Kevin- always check your tires when you first stop at a place to eat or whatever, not as you leave.

From Davenport to Santa Cruz we kept up a pretty strong pace, fast enough to score a new PR on Strava. Looking at some of the other times posted, I’m sure there have been much-stronger tailwinds than we had today! Yeah, that must be it.

The mapping capabilities and display on the new Garmin 1000 are excellent!
The mapping capabilities and display on the new Garmin 1000 are excellent!

I should mention that the new Garmin Edge 1000 is a phenomenal bike computer, perhaps the only one available with a large-and-clear-enough screen for the over-40 crowd to deal with. I was uploading the ride in real-time using Garmin Connect so my wife could see where we were (and it could be tracked in our Los Altos store, which is open Sundays), and therein lies the explanation for its failure to complete the ride. When you’re uploading in real time, your Garmin is connected to your phone using bluetooth, and it’s sending out new information every 30 seconds. By the time we got to Boulder, 72 miles into the ride, I had a “low battery” indication from the Garmin (down to 18% capacity) and the phone was at 22%. At this rate, neither was going to make it to the end of the ride! So I disabled bluetooth and ended the ride-sharing program, which did in fact keep the phone going (I ended the ride with 13% remaining) but the Garmin died at the base of 84, near Woodside.

90+ degrees at our final water stop before climbing to Skyline
90+ degrees at our final water stop before climbing to Skyline

Overall the ride went very well. The low point was the usual- the run through the San Lorenzo Valley, between Santa Cruz and a point a few miles past Boulder Creek. It’s not a friendly road, being pretty narrow and busy, and the uneven terrain is hard to get in sync with. That plus the 90+ temps were getting to us, so by the time we got to Boulder Creek we were quite ready to down a quart-sized Mtn Dew each! Kevin later complained of feeling “bloated”, claiming that much carbonation expanded his stomach so much that his jersey felt tighter. Whatever the case, he really didn’t get in the swing of things until we’d started climbing a couple miles towards Waterman Gap. From there, it was smooth-sailing home. Almost. No Mr. Mustard at Skyline! Had to settle instead for a Pepsi at the fire station, which we’d planned ahead for and brought quarters (their machine doesn’t take dollar bills anymore).

So are we ready for France? I think so. I think there’s more work to get done getting things settled at the shop than anything else. Working on that one. Still looking for at least one more sales employee, full or part-time (but must be able to work Saturdays, by far our busiest day).

3 thoughts on “Technology is awesome until the battery runs out (8 of 113 miles didn’t happen?)

  1. Hey Mike! Love reading about your rides, as always. Looking forward to hearing about France this year!

    It might be worth carrying a USB battery power pack on a long tracked ride. They’re roughly smartphone sized and can recharge your devices while they’re still turned on.

    1. You need a dynamo hub they are rage with long distance riders! They charge Garmin’s, ! lights coffee maker

      1. Dynamo? As if I need an excuse for riding slower? Present-day battery technology is so good that a very small backup battery can handle quite a few recharges. I’ve got a small one by Neptor, $39 at Frys, and the thing is wicked-fast for charging. –Mike–

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