Jake’s Journal: Carless commute? What about B-O-B?
This Sunday, Team Garmin will compete in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, part of the Belgian classics and one of five "Monuments" of the European professional road cycling calendar. The race covers 261 km and goes from Liège to Bastogne back to Liège. Yep, it's not just a clever name. And that's why my carless commute – which I did for the first time this week on Earth Day – will now be known as "Brookside-Olathe-Brookside". There are some interesting similarities between Team Garmin doing L-B-L and my B-O-B. We're both on bikes (for the most part). We both count on the Edge 705 to show us color mapping and our real-time data, such as time, speed, distance, heading, elevation and GPS location. We both use Garmin Connect. (Here's recent data from Team Garmin's Ryder Hesjedal. Here's the data from my trip home.) We both have a lot of traffic to avoid. In Belgium, they're navigating through the world's top cyclists and overzealous fans. On my bike trails, I'm dodging joggers and walkers with babies in strollers and pets on leashes. And … I think that's where the similarities end.
At Liège-Bastogne-Liège, there are 11 recognized climbs, with one being 4km long and one heartbreaker at a 12% grade. Now don't get me wrong, Brookside-Olathe-Brookside has plenty of hills. And at least one spanned more than two blocks. L-B-L starts in the heart of town and finishes in the northern suburb of Ans. B-O-B starts in a southern suburb and finishes in a neighborhood right in the heart of KC. Oh yeah, and probably the biggest kicker aside from the distance (261km vs. 83km) is that Team Garmin gets on the bus after the ride is over. For me, the bus played a big part in the Brookside-Olathe leg (5 miles of bike, 21 miles by bus). But the 26 miles home was all pedal power. And it was exhilarating. The one regret is that I forgot to turn on Auto Lap to help me overanalyze each mile on Garmin Connect, which replays the route on its map player. I'll have to remember that for the next edition of B-O-B.
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