Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cross Training and Cross Talking


I wrote about an aspect of the recent trip to Antarctica that hanging out with the other passengers topped the list of great things about the southern adventure. In that case, the manifest list specifically comprised runners. So, talking about different marathons that we had tackled (bragged about) or hated (commiserated about) or wanted to attempt (fantasized about) filled much of the lounge's air space.

Today, I again experienced the phenomenon that this type of chatter is not limited to adventurers of the same species. While visiting our hardware team (RO Design), discussion did not stay for long on work because three of the four of us have races in the next 2 weeks. Yet, my guys up at RO tend to hit the dirt trails not with their feet but with their wheels. I'm speaking about cycling up intense inclines and then down at maddening speeds. Long road races and short sprints. And while I cycle only occasionally for cross training and they rarely run (although they have done marathons), speaking across sports seemed natural and fun. I know enough to keep up about cycling, and I find their adventures as interesting as I hope they find my own. Perhaps, the bond of the crazy?

Where we all completely overlap is on tracking data. Tim showed me a site http://www.strava.com/ which professes to be the coolest online cycling club. One neat aspect is that the site can determine from GPS data portions of rides that other people have tackled. Say you rode from Half Moon Bay to Big Basin? Well, if a number of people had done the middle ten miles of that ride, the results for that section will show a ranking table. You can then virtually race against people based on rides you or they have done. Very cool. The site doesn't seem set up for runners, but I sense that it could be easily expanded. Given what I have observed about athletes loving to swap stories no matter the sport, I suspect more sites like this will sprint to get online.

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