PV Shitmaker

Occasionally people sidle up to me on rides and say, “Listen to this.” So I listen. Of course what they really want is for me to blog about it, so I invariably don’t, unless of course I do. Yesterday was a double whammy. On the one hand you had the Alto Velo bicycle riding club in Richfolksville, CA, suing the Alto Velo Seasucker bicycle riding club in Wankerville, NC, for trademark infringement.

I was all prepped since it had to do with law and stuff, until Wily tipped me off on the new Garmin 520. “DC Rainmaker has a write-up on it. And you won’t believe what it does.”

“What does it do?”

“It shows Strava segments in real time so you can ‘race’ other Strava wankers who are still in bed waiting for a more favorable wind, less rain, or better air pressure.”

“Wow,” I said.

“Yeah,” said Wily. “Just think of all the people who are about to die.”

“How do you figure?”

“Are you kidding? Face glued to the stem while your Garmin eggs you on to your top-10 in the 55+ men’s age group between 210 and 218.6 pounds? Just as you nail down the 32-second Festersore segment, out pulls a garbage truck and wham! KOC.”


“King of the Cemetery, dude.”

I went home and looked up the DC Rainmaker’s review, which is here. I skimmed it, since ol’ DC has a bad case of graphorrhea, and only noted the following, which came after a lengthy explanation of all the computer fiddle-faddle you have to set up in order to race Strava avatars while you train: “With all the prep work taken care of we head out for a ride.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I ride in the morning when time is tight and “prep work” generally involves unloading a pair of corn-studded bowl breakers, wolfing down a cup of boiling coffee, airing up the tires, and making sure my arm warmers match.

So now you’re telling a guy who’s lucky to make it out the door without a couple of skid marks in his shorts and TP stuck to his cleat that he has to pre-load a fuggin’ Garmin (which he doesn’t own) so that he can race an absent stranger while he trains? And isn’t “race while you train” one of them oxymoron things, like “driving while you walk”?

The whole thing makes my head hurt because it is the next ripple in the new wave, which is to further divorce humans from each other and wed them more tightly to their computers. I mean, we have a ride that leaves at 6:35 AM pointy sharp every Thursday that is so fucking hard it will make your gallbladder pop out your eyes. The people who do it aren’t looking at their fuggin’ Garmin, they’re either cross-eyed or staring at the wheel in front praying it doesn’t speed up, or they’re dry heaving or seeing big black spots or lying in the ditch. Oh, and generally they are very familiar with race podiums.

And of the hundreds of serious bikers in the South Bay, there’s never more than a dozen who show up, and why should they? With the new Garmin 520 they can compete in comfortable privacy against 0’s and 1’s; mostly 0’s.



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24 thoughts on “PV Shitmaker”

  1. This reminds me of the guy at Telo who was pulled to the side of the road with what I assumed was a mechanical. I thought he was a friend (he wasn’t) and yelled out “you ok?” He said “yeah, my computer isn’t working.” I thought “What?!?” Why are you even LOOKING at your computer in a training race to know it’s not working? And REALLY?!? you pull out because your COMPUTER isn’t working?”

    I’ve also noticed that so many people do the SAME route over and over and over. I wonder if it’s not because they can’t compare their “numbers” if they changed the route.

    And have you ever noticed the people most fixated on Strava are the least likely to race? They either 1) already know they won or 2) know they can’t possibly win… Strava told them so.

  2. What’s Garmin?…the stuff you have tailing out of your shorts some mornings?

  3. *** SPOILER ALERT ***

    I’ve never asked or suggested that Seth tackle any particular subject in his blog, but I sure hope we’re gonna get to hear about the ass-kicking he delivered on Mandeville this morning. His ride was up briefly on Strava but now I’m not seeing it. Hopefully this is merely his attempt to maintain the suspense of the post.

  4. interested to hear your thoughts on Alto Velo vs. Alto Velo from a legal standpoint!

  5. Johnny French


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