Okay, I think I’m getting the hang of the GPS (Garmin Edge 1030) I’ve owned for three years. Since it’s spent much of its existence mounted on Yann’s bike, I didn’t bother learning the function of its three buttons or how the interface worked. To my chagrin, it took about an hour of impatient fiddling and button-mashing before I finally got it to sync with my phone, a success marked by the creation of my Strava account. (I’d already written about this here.)
One of Strava’s appeals is the stalking functionality. This could be me:
While I may not excel at figuring out handheld devices, I am an incredible sleuther. I feel like lurking is something most people do that they merely won’t admit to doing. Do some of you really think I don’t notice when someone reads 50+ of my posts in one go or when my Flickr stats spike? Please!
Instead of asking myself, “I wonder if this person…” I will use the power of the internet to satisfy my curiosity. If only I could apply my dedication to digging up information on people to learning the ins and outs of a fucking GPS that I’ve had for three years! Bah!
So far, my Strava lurking has mainly focused on finding the most intriguing red squiggles on the map of the Capital Regional District. I’m willing to confess that I sometimes check out guys and titter at the photos they’ve chosen to upload of themselves in which they look badass, dorky, or cute. Or all three!
I found a route that enticed me to explore East Sooke, which I then duplicated upon the creation of my course. After all, if I were to copy someone else’s route exactly, it would lead me to their home. I am not ready to achieve that level of creepiness just yet.
Here’s what the middle portion of Sunday’s ride looked like so that those of you not familiar with Strava can see what is meant by “red squiggle”:
Here is how I looked posing in front of the Salish Sea with my bike, Ponyboy. Do I look badass, cute, and/or dorky? Do I make you titter?
The route was well worth the struggles I had with the GPS. East Sooke Road had no traffic lights, a low speed limit (30 to 40 km/h), and minimal traffic. If there were any stop signs, then Yann and I definitely blew past them. The road surface was decent, and except when marked by a sign warning of low visibility, the visibility was good!
Unlike the previous day’s ride with Maggie and Davy, there were no surprise rabbits or dogs, both of which were drawn to poor Maggie. The animal magnetism of that lady is strong. I hope they know that I think it’d be cool to go for a ride with them sometime… again.
And Sunday’s riding buddy, Yann, of course, was a pleasure to ride alongside. I took a photo of him eating a banana angrily. Instead of sharing it on here, I’m going to save it for an eventual photo exhibition titled “Yann Eating a Banana Angrily” because it wasn’t the first photo I’ve taken of him in this manner.
While East Sooke Road dazzled me, the Galloping Goose Trail gave me grief. On our way back into town, Yann and I found ourselves stuck behind a long line of cyclists with too-low saddles and under inflated-tires dilly-dallying at 10 km/h.
Every cyclist, no matter how low or slow, has the right to ride on this path; however, good practice dictates large groups split up into smaller packs so that faster riders can pass safely. A safe pass entails a shoulder check, sticking out your left elbow, and putting your palm up to indicate that you’re passing then, picking up enough speed to move to the front before oncoming traffic arrives.
Yann was successful in doing this. Now, it was my turn. Except, one of the guys in the middle of the pack decided that he, too, wanted to pass. No shoulder check, no hand signal, and he could only muster to speed up by 2 km/h.
Yann gleefully rode out of sight while I found myself bottlenecked behind this horde of mumpkins. When I noticed that I’d have enough space on the shoulder of the path to pass, I looked over my shoulder, signaled, and stomped on the pedals. Right there and then, this bozo decides that he also wants to turn left just before a rest stop. I braked hard and swerved to the left; he finally noticed me and too hit the brakes, limiting our collision to the smashing of shoulders.
I didn’t end up getting hurt, nor did Ponyboy get dinged, but because of how careless this mumpkin was, who knows if his shoulder was tainted with COVID. For this reason, I refrained from licking my shoulder.
I am tempted to reactivate my Zwift account and ride virtually again, not because I’d been traumatized by this experience, but because there’s a new virtual world that will transport me into the Japanese countryside! Also, without traffic, obstacles, and surprise critters, my legs can truly go mad with power!
Aside from archiving photos of an indignant Yann packing potassium, I am working towards curating photos featuring the strangest objects owned by an assortment of people, which I will feature in a future post.
If I haven’t asked yet, please take a photo of the strangest object you currently own and send it to me via WhatsApp or email it to squaremeat at gmail dot com. I will keep you anonymous unless you take pride in being an oddball, like Zoée, whose submission is one of the best thus far.
If extra motivation is needed, I suppose I could offer a prize (TBD) to the top three eccentrics.
Please and thank you.