Hi-tech Swedish rescue (nearly) | Cypress Semiconductor
Hi-tech Swedish rescue (nearly)
I'm back from vacation and my love-hate relationship with technology continues. I set off for Sweden about a month ago with a bicycle and a watch that computes everything from the curvature of spacetime to the mean distance between pot-holes in the road. The pot-hole measuring feature broke, though, because I was in Sweden where there aren't any to measure.
Sweden is a marvellous place to ride a bike and I completed the Vätternrundan, a 300km circuit of Lake Vättern. It's an annual recreational bike ride characterized by smooth roads, rolling hills, low traffic, and a bikini team to cheer you on at every stop light.
I set off at 1am with a batch of about 60 other riders. Not the best start time but a serious dose of jet-lag ensured that my body had no clue how to feel anyway. Soon after starting I realized two problems. Firstly, I was in rural Sweden and there were almost zero stop lights. And those had been turned off to accomodate the 20,000 people doing the ride. Big disappointment there.
Secondly, I needed to pace myself. I'm not very young and not very fit and an over-excited charge to the first rest stop could leave me in a very unhappy state for a very long time. But it was dark and raining and, depite everything I've previously said about knowing how fast I am going and how hard I am working, that was in daylight, in the dry, on roads I know, with landmarks other than trees and a big lake to gauge your progress. Technology to the rescue! The combination of watch / speedo / black hole detector had all the information I needed.
If only I could have read the damn thing. It doesn't have a back-light feature! Luckily I was saved by nature. The sun rose at 3am and my internal speedo re-started itself. Thirteen hours of pedalling later, plus nine rest stops, sixteen bananas, four gallons of water, and innumerable dashes into the forest for a little privacy, I rolled past the finish line and promptly tossed the speedo into the lake.