i made mention on twitter only the other day, that there are two features of the interweb that i avoid with almost unfailing regularity. those are facebook and strava. before you think me a complete luddite (which i probably am), i do have accounts for both, but merely to facilitate certain aspects of writing thewashingmachinepost. certainly not for any social media reasons.
when the web was young, blogs had yet to be invented, and we were only just discovering that hyperlinks didn't always have to be blue and underlined, a gentleman by the name of jacob nielsen waged a single-handed battle against what he took to be a disparaging of web-page standards. though not alone, he was most certainly not in favour of what was then macromedia flash and would slap your wrists if even so much as one hyperlink refused to be blue.
though he had, and to a certain extent, still does have a point (his website currently still displays blue hyperlinks, though they're not underlined), many of his disagreements were seen to contradict the visual ideas of print designers (such as myself) who were intent on migrating their skills to the world of pixels. it is my contention that mark zuckerberg of facebook, read each and every treatise on web design written by mr neilsen, then ignored them completely and built his own pervasive edifice. on the ocasions that i have had need of following a facebook link either via twitter or one sent to me by e-mail, i am aghast at the pages that occupy my browser.
what am i supposed to be looking at? what in heaven's name is that all about?
strava, on the other hand, i have no real problem with in the comprehension stakes. like facebook, it obviously fufils a need; i simply have no real idea what that is. my account has been used only to provide screenshots when reviewing bicycle mounted gps units, either because the item in question has no bundled software or web presence of its own, or it seems less than usable. drilling down even further, i'm not all that desperate to ride with either a computer or gps unit on the bars in the first place. i'm well past the point of needing to see a slew of numbers in front of me when i'm out on the bicycle; i'm not that fast, my power output is probably derisory and i've been riding these roads for over 25 years. i'm not going to get lost.
however, and it's a big however, when it comes to rapha's annual festive 500, i'd prefer to err on the side of accuracy. it's all very well for me to show my arrogance by mentally calculating the distances covered each day of my festive season. i'm usually within a kilometre or so, but for the sake of being absolutely right rather than approximately so, i ride each day of the 500 with a garmin 810 affixed to the handlebars just in front of the stem.
this would be more usually accomplished with the standard mount that arrived in the box, but in previous years, widely varying weather conditions have necessitated switching bikes occasionally. to be honest, trying to remove the mount from one bike and affix it to the substitute, though hardly onerous, is a bit of unwanted faff. this year, thanks to the graciousness of edinburgh's 2pure distribution, i had a bar fly 2.0 onto which the garmin was placed each morning.
cleverly, the bar fly cannot be overtightened, even on carbon handlebars, an appropriate feature given that this year's transport sported bars of precisely that material. the mount offers two positions for your garmin gps (models 200, 500, 510, 800 and 810 are all supported) depending on its size and how close you'd like it to be to the front of your stem. it can also be had in yellow, white, turquoise and black. that mounting bracket allows close proximity to the stem clamp, effectively making the garmin an aesthetic in-line extension of the stem.
considering the unruly mess in which islay's singletrack roads exist these days (it's a sad comment when you find yourself riding to avoid the road repairs, because they make for a most uncomfortable and occasionally dangerous path), bicycle, rider, garmin and bar fly almost emulated james bond by being both shaken and stirred. the gps unit remained firmly affixed throughout, no matter what i rode through or over and the bar fly never budged a millimetre.
the shiny plastic of the bar fly makes it look a tad cheaper than the stock garmin unit, but when the latter is in place, it can't be seen anyway. and considering how well it carried out its intended function, i have no cause for complaint whatsoever. its compatibility with several garmin units makes it ideal if you own more than one of those, allowing an enviable degree of swapability. according to the minimal packaging, the mount is also compatible with shimano's di2 module as well as that of campagnolo's eps. i'll have to take their word for that, as i own neither and the bike to which it was fitted rather satisfactorily ran on mechanical super record.
and retailing at around a fiver less than the official garmin mount doesn't do any harm either.
thursday 1 january 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................