Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Worlds' Best Bike Toy - the Garmin Edge 705

For the last couple of years I've been riding with some guys that have the Garmin Edge 705 GPS/bike computer. But calling this thing a GPS is like saying that a Ferrari is a car. The Edge 705 is an uber bike geek toy. I bought the package that has a heart monitor (hey, I'm under medical orders to use one!), maps for both US cities and the topo maps of the Mountain West, trip computer, barometric altimeter, cadance sensor, speed sensor, trip history, integrates with desktop and web software for posting results, etc, etc. etc.

If you don't ride a bike much this is probably way uninteresting and if you followed the link, you realized that I've just paid more for a basically completely superfluous component than many people pay for a complete bicycle. I do admit that this is a completely selfish move on my part but there you have it - why focus on short term disability for 6 weeks and then not bring the right tools to the job? So that's what I did - got a great tool to help me heal my lungs and hopefully the rest of me as well.

Today Susan and I took the 705 out for a spin with the Tour of Louisville. A couple of laps around Louisville, including a climb up McCaslin. Not much of a challenge for anyone in reasonable bike shape (1 mile of a 5% grade) but for my lungs this is a big deal! You can see the details of the ride data here. As you can if you expand all the charts, I did honor the 150 bpm max. And you'll also see the blazing average speed of 11.9 mph for about 14 miles. In a good year, I would probably average 18.5 mph for this loop and earlier this year during my chemo I would probably average around 16.5. So averaging ~12 suggests I'm down about another 40% from where I was before the bleo poisoning did it's little number on my pulmonary tissue. Sort of a scary decline but on the bright side, I did this ride two days ago and averaged about 11.2 mph. So I do see improvement and if I keep up at this rate of increase (which won't happen forever, of course), in about a month I'll be able to kick Andy or Alberto's ass!

Another quick look at the kind of information you can get from the device using some Garmin desktop software that analyzes data from the device:

Again, this is probably hard to interpret (click on the image to see an expanded view with the right margin showing speed and bpm)  but it shows that I'm going slowly, not climbing much elevation and when I do go uphill, I quickly have to work really  hard (as indicated by my heart rate going up).

So no surprises but the great thing for my  training is that I'll now be able to get quantitative feedback on how I'm doing and gauge how hard I should be pushing.

Well, enough bike geeking for one night! Hopefully over the next few weeks I'll post some ever improving rides that will document my return to something approaching health. Wish me luck!


  1. That Garmin seems AWESOME! I hope that is the one Justin ended up getting for his ride. Seeing the map and data is pretty killer...and yes, extremely geeky. I love it!

  2. Justin posted yesterday that his GPS died so I hope that he didn't get the Edge 705! And did you notice that he's riding the The Dalton!!! As in the road they travel on ICE ROAD TRUCKERS! Can't wait to hear his blog posts about Atigan Pass. I feel so connected! IRT, Justin, man, it's a small world.

    And yes, the Edge 705 is AWESOME!

  3. A word of warning though. You want to keep riding the bike and not riding the computer ;-)