Well kids, I went out and bought myself a heart rate monitor. Now I have scientific proof that I am old,fat and slow.
I have always approached new technology with a certain sense of unease, but in a moment of weakness, in the friendly confines of our local performance bike shop, I faltered, and subsequently gave in.
Carefully reading the multinational "easy" set up guide, (forget Rosetta Stone. Want to learn another language? read the owners guide to any piece of electronic equipment) I soon coaxed the unit to life.
Not content to merely subtract my age from the number 220, I set forth into a complex formula of algorithms, incorporating resting heart rates, lunar cycles and relative humidity.
Now for the first test ride. Peddling along at a easy pace, I glanced at my shiny new handlebar mounted monitor, hoping to glean precious data from my maiden voyage. Only one problem. According to my monitor, my heart rate was higher than Captain Phil Harris's during opilio crab season. What the hell? The monitor is not working properly. Wait, Am I not working properly??? The formula, it must be the *%$!!** formula that's wrong! (I knew I should have consulted the tide chart!)
So for the next several weeks I tinkered with the max heart rate formula, muddled through hundreds of articles on the web, and rode dutifully with my monitor, feeling exhausted every time I glanced at it during a ride.
Then one morning, in a rare moment of clarity, I went out for a ride without the heart rate monitor. And guess what. I felt better. I rode hard. I felt strong! Glancing over at the the monitor on the handlebar, it merely flashed the time of day. Ha Ha! you bastard! you shall not torment me this day!
So now my transmitter strap sits in my gym bag, waiting for me to return to it one day. I am sure I will, perhaps in the winter, when the conditions are too miserable to inspire one to get outside. Plenty of time to reformulate my max heart rate, and maybe learn to speak Portuguese at the same time! (I have saved the user's guide) For now, I will enjoy riding.
See you out on the road