Pinkbike Poll: Mountain Biking Unplugged

Aug 9, 2013 at 0:05
Aug 9, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
 
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Think back to the last few mountain bike rides you went on. Did you have your phone with you? How about an MP3 player? A GPS unit? Or maybe a smartphone that has all of these feature plus the internet? It's easy to stay connected these days, but getting away from it all can be the real challenge. Technology has become such an ubiquitous part of our daily lives that it can be difficult to fully unplug and get off the grid – we often don't even realize how much we are tied to our electronic devices.

Can you be too connected? Do electronics affect how enjoyable a ride is?

Before the advent of cell phones (yes kids, there was such a time, and no, we didn't hunt wooly mammoths or live in caves) heading out on a mountain bike ride felt like more of an adventure, an escape from civilization and into the wilderness, even if the wilderness was nothing more than a tract of abandoned land surrounded on all sides by block after block of suburban sprawl. Now, it's possible to check your email, pay bills, post blurry photos and more from nearly every corner of the globe, even in locations that used to be considered the middle of nowhere, miles from any visible civilization. I'm no Luddite, but part of me is nostalgic for the days before status updates and Instagram posts, before every activity needed to be documented and shared. If you divulge every detail of your latest adventure in real time, what story is there left to tell when you return home?

With scenery like this, who cares how fast you're going?

Give it a try – leave all the electronics at home, hop on your bike and go for a ride. Can't function without that heart rate monitor? If you start seeing red and it feels like your head might explode, ease up the pace a little bit. Wondering what time it is? Well, when you can't see the trail in front of your tire, that's a sign it's time to head home. Or start gathering leaves and branches to make a nest to sleep in for the night. And what about those KOMs and personal bests you're missing out on by turning off the GPS? Strava will survive without your presence, and you'll probably end up feeling more relaxed by riding for the pure enjoyment of it instead of trying to beat a ridiculous time some energy gel swigging mutant put up.

Shedding the electronic leash every once in a while helps bring things back to focus, clarifying what really matters – riding your bike.


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215 Comments

  • + 343
 Never leave home without the phone, not worth the risk of not being able to contact anyone if you have a massive stack!
  • + 39
 Agree. Could be a very long way to drag yourself otherwise
  • + 141
 I agree with Azrun, it's not worth having no contact in an emergency, but while I'm riding I keep my phone in my pack where it stays until the ride is over. I could care less about trying to go faster with electronics, I ride for fun.
  • + 17
 but it's just a matter of whether or not you use your phone on the ride or just leave it in a pocket for emergencies
  • + 41
 There's nothing more annoying that your mate stopping to answer the phone. Take it but at least put it on silent.
  • + 7
 I dont have a phone and always ride with other people so i cant listen to music :3
  • + 18
 Maybe your mate waving around his phone going "just got to wait until my GPS gets a signal" is more annoying.
  • + 8
 I was glad I had my phone with GPS and a emergency app last month when I dislocated my shoulder in the forrest. Would have taken me a long time to get out, and I would propably have lost my bike and gear in the process.
  • + 7
 My phone got soaked on a ride last week and stopped working, then went out on the weekend and dislocated my shoulder! Luckily my mate had a phone on him but the speaker doesn't work so had to walk about 5 miles to his car to connect it to his hands free to ring a ambulance! Lesson learned lol
  • + 2
 I think the first step is to realize why is it good to have a phone with you. An obvious one is the situation of emergency, either so you can reach someone, or if someone else needs your help (kid fell of the stairs, come to the hospital and stuff). Then if you had a mechanical you can call someone, that you are alright, but you'll be late for dinner - all sorts of things.

But then comes the second step, "into the wild" kind of thing, once you are fully aware of the first issue you might want to bring additional element of "risk" and "disconnection" to the ride (or you just fkn hate electronics) If you are smart, you might know various ways of Bear-Gryllsing yourself out of various situation, just be aware of the risk and have plan B.

Myself, having my own family, I prefer to be on the leash...
  • - 16
 fuck breaking my iphone when i have a dumb crash. never ride with anything except gear
  • + 30
 A friend had to be helicoptered out with a broken femur last year. Without a phone, it would have added two or three hours to the response time. It wasn't known at the time if that would have caused him to die from internal bleeding. Also last year a guy dislocated both elbows and got a concussion. I couldn't even look at him as he turned gray. He couldn't talk or walk after he went into shock. The ambulance was going to a bad pick up spot. It took three people with phones to coordinate and help direct the ambulance to the correct spot and then lead the paramedics in. It is idiotic to mountain bike without a phone. Just show some self control with how you use it. Self control is the only possible problem, not the fact that there is a tiny object in your pack.
  • + 7
 I have a spare unlocked £10 phone which i swap my sim into before a ride, to save me from smashing up my magic phone. (good for whitewater kayaking too.)
  • + 3
 Agree with Azrun...for the same reason, emergency call only !
  • + 6
 Turn off phone. Put in bag. Otherwise work could call... Its there if you need it.
  • + 2
 @ fitbiker4130, my sentiments exactly
  • + 5
 About a month back, a local rider was out by himself and broke his collar bone. He had his phone on him but he couldn't get it out of his pocket due to his injury. Luckily a passing rider got it out for him. Your phone is only as good as your access to it.
  • - 7
 Yeah, I'm 110% on board with this reasoning...
There's a place in Charleston, WV that I rode once while I lived there, and I didn't even go two miles on the trail I was on before retreating.
Why?
No cell signal, and I ride alone.
Not to o hard to figure out why that's REALLY dangerous!
  • + 7
 I dont have a phone... maybe heres a reason to tell my parents I should get one lol
  • + 8
 don't keep it in your pocket then, keep it in your pack. or strap it to your face.
  • + 10
 It's not REALLY dangerous to ride alone with no signal, just tell someone where you're going, tone it down and live a little.
  • + 14
 we've all seen 127 hours. Always tell someone where you're going.
  • + 0
 Tell someone? That's cool. My wife always knows where I'm going, where I'm at, what I'm doing, but that doesn't matter if I fall and skewer myself on a freshly broken trunk of a sapling from the night's storm...
Just not a smart move IMO, and I know and fully understand the risks of outdoor adventuring.
  • - 5
 Riding without a phone is not cool, but stupid. Just like riding without a helmet. And if you don't want people bothering with phone calls while riding, just put it on airplane mode. Better have it and don't need it, than need it and don't have it. As an XC rider I love to see my progress, so my Garmin is another thing I never leave behind, that thing has turned into my own R2D2.
  • + 0
 With all due respect: you can't rely on the phone that much, you must have an idea how to react in a case of emergency. I never move anywhere without it, for the reasons you describe, but I don't put too much trust in it if I go anywhere further off the paths where people don't go too often. Just as protection gear, it MAY save your life, but what it actually does, it minimizes the negative consequences of an accident, it doesn't eliminate them. The most important thing is to contemplate how not to end up in such situation, what can seriously screw me up here? If the answer is: anything, then learn before you ride!

For instance: if I know, there are mooses around my trails, and they can be aggressive, and terrain is difficult, lots of rocks, I am wondering how can I run away from one if it charges at me. If I haven't put such thought through my system, I might try to ride out, which would be stupid. So I must put into my brain, that if I see a fkng moose, I get off the bike and I run, because I will be faster sprinting than riding. What if I meet wild pigs. Thing nr 1 to do: look for a tree to climb. You have to have those things in your head. If I'd go riding in big mountains, where I don't know the area and weather patterns, I would always take rain jacket, light wool fleece and hat, lots of snacks, iodine tablets, no fkng SPD shoes. Shit that will allow me to stay the night or weather break down. Phone would be lower down on the list.

Hello! I have a broken leg and wrist, then chest pains, I fell into a creek, I am all wet, and temperature is already below zero, when can you pick me up? - Where are you sir? - I don't know, that Vodafone is shit, you know, I have no 3G, so I can't upload my position to my FB page. - do you have any map? yes but I can't download it, don't you understand? - I mean do you have a paper map. No, who the F uses that?!
  • + 1
 Leave home with your dumbphone lol. How about updating my facebich page while I riding, hold up I need my devices hellllp!!!!!??????
  • + 3
 I think the heart of the question is do you ever go unplugged or are you always monitoring your heart, tracking your ride and listening to music, etc. I never leave home without a phone but hardly every listen to music or track my ride. However I do have an emergency app that is able to send a distress call within a few button taps. I also carry a few survival essentials... 'in case a rock falls on my arm and I need to cut it off to stay alive' kind of stuff (That guy is unstoppable!).
  • + 2
 If you have a massive stack theres some chance you wont be able to use a phone, and so much good riding is out of cell reception. Coming to terms with the posibility of bleeding out while gazing at a beautiful forest and nothing to do but relax is alot easier for me than the idea of getting plowed by some idiot driver and put in icu and being a perapalegic or something. Also You cant fly fearlessly through a deep water crossing with a 600 dollar phone on you.
  • + 1
 Waterproof phone slipcase. Mine has one, notmally used for watercraft needs / watersports / snorkeling.
Can get three different brands of the item at Cabela's alone, much less the internet...
So there's one argument down...
  • + 3
 i dont even own a phone long live the 1800s bitches
  • + 1
 I myself made the mistake once of going without my phone, this was when I first started doing downhill, and on my single crown bike, I jackknifed a corner and cut open my belly button. I had to then drag myself down the rest of the way with my bike, all the way home until I then had to go to A&E. Thats what I never leave without my phone haha
  • + 1
 pixilyfilms how big/deep was the cut
  • + 1
 Agreed! Riding with a friend and phone saved my life.

EDIT: That said, any electronics I do have always stay in my pack until the ride is over, unless it is one of the rare occasions I use my helmet cam.
  • + 1
 I ride with my phone, but it lives in either my pack or a zipped pocket. I have gotten in the habit of hanging a GoPro off the side of my helmet every run down the local bike park though, and once I get a Hero3 Black the remote to that will live on my handlebars...
  • + 1
 Waki, if you can outrun a moose then you are in the wrong sport. Same as the pigs, look for a tree to climb. I bring my phone with me for emergencies. 3 weeks ago I was looking for an e-mail a buddy had sent describing where a new trail was (first time I had checked my phone while riding), got a text to call home immediately, long story short, my mom had a heart attack. Had I not had my phone or checked it I would not have gotten home in time to catch the last flight to Calgary.
Back in the day we rode with walkmans, now it's MP3s, nothing like cleaning a rock garden while Danny Carey goes ballistic or railing a berm when David Gilmore hits the high notes. Have had recurring arguments about how music would not allow me to know if I'm being stalked by bears or cougars. If a wild animal is hunting you, chances are your not going to know until they are on top of you, same as surprising an animal.
  • + 1
 That was just an example man. I will try to remember that phone is nr 1 element of safety and survival equipment. It seems that so far I was foolishly thinking that what's inside my head is.
  • + 1
 Going unplugged has its advantages.
  • + 1
 It pretty much is "Waki", cuz chances are your phone will still have signal when your legs, arms or back don't work...Just 2 weeks ago I got lost @ pinhoti Georgia, and it's all cool and fun till you find your self in a situation you can't control. This was at 5pm, and Thank God we found a way out, had a phone and were able to call for help before it was night time, cuz after climbing 2500feet straight the last thing you want to do is get lost and have to climb another 1,000 not knowing WTF you are going to. I remember at the time all I could think was how not to get eaten by a bear or wild cat. I come from Puerto Rico, so bears or wild cats are not common predators to me...
  • + 1
 I am talking of a situation where one uses phone as a warrant of safety and abolishes other precautions, like nutrition and appropriate clothing. Such mentality is not uncommon and you can talk to any rescue service you like, anywhere in the world, and they will tell you that most people needing their help are people not prepared for trips in the mountains - not experienced tough boys who happened to be exposed to a series of unfortunate events. Many people meeting wild animals take out the phone or camera to picture of it, in the first crucial moment, not recognizing it as a potential threat - get it?
  • + 1
 Marcus always stop his bike and talk to his bangladesh friends.
  • + 1
 Corywiliam, it was bellybutton depth inwards
[Reply]
  • + 93
 cellphone, so the bear can phone my family
  • - 86
 Shut the fuck up homo
  • + 29
 Will pinkbike delete this kev-roberts account? Clearly just a 12 year old boy hiding behind a keyboard to post offensive stuff
  • + 12
 He's obviously obsessed about homos and dicks....
  • - 15
 So yeah, this actually wasn't me... Probably hear it all the time but I appear to have left my account logged in elsewhere!
  • + 6
 who the messes with a buddys pinkbike account? like people messin with others facebook maybe but thats your pinkbike excuse? who do you live with man?
  • + 1
 As I look his history looks like his "friend" has been posting pretty much...
  • - 9
 I don't live with him, was just on his pc... Been an active member for like, 3 years, what's the point in me f*cking about now and getting banned for it?
  • + 3
 its just the internet lads, no big deal
  • - 1
 haha that has a funny a$$ comment shark 555 haha
kevroberts go kick this suposid "friend" in the nuts haha
  • + 11
 Well kevroberts does ride a kona stinky so I can see why he is so mad
  • + 0
 someone f*cked with my pinkbike last year when i lent him my laptop while i was on holiday (and with kev as well actually), which led to me getting banned. Good times
[Reply]
  • + 23
 I ride with my phone but it's always on silent and is only used for an emergency which so far has only been to call my wife to start cooking something cause I'm bloody starving.
[Reply]
  • + 16
 For me, it's absolutely impossible to ride with headphones. I need to listen to the bike noises to make sure everything is working properly. Also, hearing cars coming on the fireroads. I tried to use Strava, but at least here in Brazil, it's a roadie addiction. Some got mad at me after being beaten by a 13,5kg Specialized Enduro riding 2.3 tires.. hahah
[Reply]
  • + 17
 This is easy. I'm on Vodafone so their terrible 3G signal means I have no choice. I'm disconnected from the internet as soon as I leave the city.
  • + 1
 really ? here its pretty good
  • - 26
 Cyberdork
  • + 4
 what the fuk is your problem kev,. .. .education ... or a proper raising.. ?
  • + 2
 lol, i cant even get it in my bedroom....
  • - 22
 you lose your key hoolydooly? im sure cyberdork has one..
  • + 10
 Mate you have a photo album dedicated to Uni students testicles. Now i have nothing wrong with gay people, but thats just straight up fuckn weird. So please take your weird ass shit elsewhere.
  • + 1
 ..ahhh dont sweat it.. i run into these kids twice a year orso.. most of the time they are reported so many times in one day.. they loose their account the same day.. not even worth the effort. .
  • - 9
 Fuck sake! Probably going to sound like the same old bullshit but I appear to have genuinely left my account logged in at a friends house!
  • + 3
 That's sounds like a good friend you got there...
  • + 1
 No you didn't...
  • + 0
 Its called banter, get over it
  • + 2
 kevin roberts right? or is it just kevroberts. you do relize that if you watch the offensive language you might not lose your account
  • + 1
 why doesn't the legitimate kev-roberts just change your password, then the intruder won't be able to log in next time they clear their cache and try to post a commment, at that point, that will be the end of your alter-ego....hehehe... good luck with that... Or maybe you're just really crazy and you have some kind of bi-polar disorder ....
  • + 1
 im not very smart so can you restate that in simpler words
  • + 2
 What about.. If you all stop caring about it, like he said he left it logged in, on my computer in fact.. It was funny between me and a few mates, who gives a fuck, if your that easier stressed go gets some medication.
  • - 4
 As I said before, it wasn't a case of someone knowing my password... I stupidly lett it logged elsewhere...

Argument over can we move on now?
  • + 1
 I'd rather someone had a phone, helped me out nicely for the ambulance to arrive... but as Shoe said... signal gets pretty bad outside the city!
[Reply]
  • + 11
 Riding without a phone is irresponsible. I've had to call an ambulance for other riders before and it's also useful to let your friends at the bottom know that you're alright and that you've just got a flat tyre.
  • + 0
 Easy to say and true when you're an urbanite. In Haines, Alaska where I live there is no phone service for any of our rides. Does that mean I'm irresponsible? I find phones create an artificial sense of security anyway. I feel safer with brown bears in the Alaska wilderness than riding with most people. Knowing someone is there to save you can rationalize some risky behavior. Cell phones are like condoms for riders. Just cause they work to get you plowing the strange doesn't mean you will actually enjoy putting yourself that situation. It's still best to not risk ambulatory actions and be a cockrotter just cause you got a plan B.
  • + 9
 So you don't use condoms either?
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Only a phone, and only for emergencies. I have an crappy nokia feature phone that I carry for emergencies because the batteries last for weeks. NO INTERNET, NO GPS, NO STRAVA and other bullshit. When I'm off to the mountains a map, a phone, a watch, a compass, tool kit and an emergency kit. Nothing more, nothing less. And ALWAYS notify the rescue service and your next of kin. When I'm running laps at the local Dh spot, only a phone and a tool kit.
  • - 3
 If everyone called the rescue service every time they went into the mountains, they wouldn't have time to rescue anyone.
  • + 6
 I don't know how does it go in Scotland, but here in Serbia that's the pretty much standard mountaineering procedure. You don't call the rescue service when you go to the mountains, you go to the prior the trip and notify them, just in case.
So if you get stuck, or lost with no way of contacting they know roughly where you are in case they need to send a search party. Especially if you are going alone.

Every region has their mountain rescue service that is in charge for 3-4 mountains in the region and there are stationed mostly in ski centers.

Have in mind, I'm not talking about trail centers or bike parks, I'm talking about unmarked wilderness and wild trails, where a chance of meeting someone is less than 4-5%, completely cut from civilisation, no cellphones, no signal.
  • - 1
 u seem like the sort of guy who would take all the things i recommended to take in my previous post Wink
  • + 2
 @lochussie If only the rescue service employed administrative staff to answer the phones, things would be a lot simpler....
  • - 2
 @gdr-inc

what I usually take on epics are

1. Hi battery cell phone
2. Multi tool, 2 pairs of tubes, tube patches, spare link
3. Antiseptic or a dermo spray, bandages, clean gauze, headache pills (for sun strokes)/ sun cream (this is an absolute must on higher altitudes)
4. Knife
5. length of rope or straps (I have removable straps on my back pack) for immobilizing
6. Emergency blanket
7. Topographic map and compass (I don't own a gps and I know how to read maps)
8. Eye protection (a must for high mountains)
9. Helmet
10. Food rations, mostly hi mineral and hi protein food (vegetables, capiscum, cuecubers, tuna fish, dried meat)
11. A LOT of water (3l bladder + 750ml bottle on frame)
12. 0.5l of electrolytes
13. Notify someone (first of kin, mountain rescue service), if you visit a mountaineering home on your way up, leave your plan of riding.
14. Go rested, if you get tired rest, don't push yourself in the wilderness.
15. Matches or lighter or flint
16. Quick drying clothes, and a couple of pair (light jerseys) and change shirts often, don't ride sweaty
17. Battery light (usually head lamp) and spare batteries.
this is for day epics,
18. A camera sometimes

the list is much longer when I'm carrying a tent or a sleeping bag for multi day epics.

So basically, only technology I'm lugging is phone/camera and a battery lamp
  • - 1
 I've never known anyone to pre-notify Mountain Rescue here in Scotland. You can take safety too far and erode the sense of adventure and the thought that you are relying on yourself to get back to the car, I think. For this reason I often don't research my route or stick to the paths, just take a map. Why do you take high mineral and protein food on a day trip? All that matter for such a short period is energy, ie long and slow release carbs. I would take less water and use streams. I agree with much of your list though.
  • + 0
 Well, here is simply a must, because most of the mountains are really hard to reach, and the wilderness is really wild, plus I'm from South Serbia, and most of the mountains are notorious for poison snakes. Better to be safe than sorry. Simply, prepare upfront and don't think about it and enjoy the view. The terrain is really harsh here, and when something is remote, it's really remote.

As for the food, just my personal preference I guess. I don't eat a lot of carbs and when I go for a whole day ride I get up at 5, and come home at 21+, and I realized that carbs don't do me that much good, as proteins and minerals, minerals especially.

As for water, summer is a bitch here, most of the time it's 35+ deg, and for instance, on my last AM epic, I've travelled 40 km of off road without encountering a spring or a well. I guess it has to do something with the mountain called "Dry Mountain" Razz And on a scorching mountain side on 1500+m altitude, with 37 or so degrees you use up water like crazy,
  • + 0
 Sounds like a fun place.
  • + 0
 Well, it's challenging, and challenging is fun. Big Grin
  • + 0
 drakche why no slapchop ???
  • + 0
 I prefer, pro-V slicer.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Thank goodness i didnt ride with anything last night when I did some urban riding. Bike cops stopped my friend and I, asked for ID or if we had anything on us, gave them a fake name, address and everything, got away citation free, cause they couldnt find me (well my alias Sean) in any system and couldnt call me out about lying cause I was on the ball with answering their questions. If I would of had any wallet, phone or ID on me I would have been screwed.... suck it popo, im off the grid even in the city!
  • + 0
 What city do you live where they write a ticket for riding your bike?
  • + 3
 one of the most (commuter)-biking friendly cities in the world: Eugene, Oregon....apparently it is illegal if both wheels come off the ground, big load of sh*t if you ask me.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 It's good to have your mobile for emergencies but I get really annoyed by people that are constantly using their phones , I go to the woods to get away from all this bullshit not to listen to people texting or playing shit music from the shitty speakers on their phones. Last year my local hill was nearly empty until some dicks turned up with their Ipod docking station junk playing fucking eminem .... Totally kills the chilled nature of the woods with that guys squeeky little voice crying about his life.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I ride with an iphone and a GPS with a heart rate monitor. For the most part, I ignore the electronic devices while I ride, though I'll sometimes look at my heart rate or take a photo.

I have the iphone in case of emergency. I have the GPS to record my rides. Except for the heart rate, I don't look it at while I ride. I use it after rides to build a map of where I've been, that I look at when I'm not riding. It helps me understand the layout of the places I ride and plan better loops. I'm not sure I would need to do this out west; in the Eastern US where I ride, many riding areas are small with dense trail networks.

The only reason I ever look at heart rate, is to make sure my heart rate has slowed down before trying something technical that's giving me difficulty. I've discovered that if my heart rate gets high, I have a harder time on hard technical features. If I let it slow down, I'm much more capable.

So, I agree with the idea that one shouldn't use the instruments while riding... but I have no problem with using them before or after a ride.
  • - 18
 yet another American with an essay
  • + 0
 kev roberts are you seriously picking fights when you almost lost your account or did you
  • - 1
 Well, if I'd have actually had control if my account all day, then chances are, none of these comments would have been made...
  • + 1
 sounds legit, just exit out next time
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Anyone know the range of those elderly "help I've fallen and I can't get up" things lol Put that in your vehicle. And strap the button to your face.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I cant stand riding with headphones. I prefer hearing the birds/wildlife and also hearing the bike and knowing theres no sticks stuck in the mech etc! I carry a phone for emergancies but sometimes use it for pictures if i see something interesting. As for speedo's etc no need on a mtb. If you scared your going fast if not your going slow!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 when undertaking a epic ride i generally take with:

1 smartphone with internet connection, gps and all the emergency apps u can think of
1 old phone which is practically unbreakable, for when my smartphone dies
1 gps to conveniently plot my way back to civilization, also for when my smartphone dies
1 sat phone...just in case
1 emergency foil blanket
1 emergency first aid kit
1 emergency rations kit for when ur lost an feeling peckish
1 emergency distress flare... for when ur really lost and ur gps, phone, smartphone and sat phone dont work...
a must for all serious bikers

you know what they say, never be under-prepared
  • - 1
 oh an i forgot to say, i also wear my avy beacon for when im rideing shale mountainsides and get into landslides, so they can find me n dig me out Smile
  • + 0
 Well the last part was sadly ur dead being dug out Smile
But im with u mate;
they dont call it technology for nothing, use it when u have it but be prepared for when all the batteries are out.
(a postable solar panel or map)
  • - 11
 gdr-inc shut your trap
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I can't be a Stravasshole without my phone though
  • + 0
 Hahaha Ryan...
  • + 1
 you know how i roll
[Reply]
  • + 3
 i used to take my iphone everytime i went for a ride, but then i had a big crash which broke my foot and also broke my iphone, so now i dont take one because i dont own one Smile
  • - 1
 Next time try a Sony Experia Pro Active. It is dustproof, waterproof, and hard to kill. Two nights ago I dropped it ten feet onto concrete. No problems. Smaller than most other smart phones too.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=F92CvRflk18
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Yeah, must admit I'm a bit of a gadget man to say the least... that's where it ends where riding is concerned, I pop my phone in my pocket in case of emergency and just ride ! A pocket full of gadgets that you're scared of busting if you have a tumble is just a major distraction if you ask me...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think there is a lot of truth to this article but i think if we have the resources to keep us safer we should use it. I like to think that even when we are using Strava that we are still able to stop and talk to people and friends on the trail.
  • + 6
 I agree, I am happy to talk to friends and people... just as long as they keep up and don't ruin my KOM attempt.
  • + 3
 If you didn't strava, it didn't happen Wink
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think it is stupid to do a potentially life threatening sport and not take something with you that is able to make a phone call to the emergency services, if you ride alone and get hurt you are pretty much fucked without a phone. Even if you ride in a group at least have 1 phone between you for obvious reasons.
  • + 1
 we have lived without cell phones for thousands of years i think we might be okay, that's just my opinion
  • + 1
 Picture it, you are blasting through your favourite trail, you go round the next berm over a jump and boom there's a log, you smash into it and break your leg from the resulting crash. Without a phone what do you do?
  • + 1
 thats a good question i think i would lie on the ground in screaming pain then i would take out my knife and drag myself to some branches get 2 fairly strait ones or cut some off a nearby shrubery and attempt to fashion a splint then drag myself to try and find help. i have no idea how the situation would play out this is just an idea
  • + 1
 Yeah I guess that could work but you'd still be in a lot of pain. May even pass out from shock.
  • + 1
 oh yeah without a doubt i would pass out
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  • + 1
 I rode my first 20 years without a phone and even now leave it behind on occasion just to feel that totally freeing feeling of being on your own and letting go of all distractions,yes it would be " responsible " and safer to have one with you but since I had experience many years out there with no safety line I know how much more enjoyable the ride is to now leave it behind at times even if turned off you still are aware that you are still connected and takes some of the feeling of being totally reliant on your own resources!
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  • + 1
 While I definitely believe in the safety of carrying a cell phone for emergencies, I am proud to say that I am Strava-Free. After years of tacking every possible statistic on my road bikes, I shed all that crap when I am on the dirt. If I am really off the beaten track, a Garmin GPS with topo maps is handy to have, but I just say "no" to the other life-infringing electronics.
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  • + 1
 Even in park I ride with a phone in my first-aid waist bag on a back. Though I use it only with Endomondo-logger to check the profile of a new track later at home. How you can wear headphones with a full-face is still a mistery to me. HR monitor? really? not in XC?
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  • + 1
 Usually nothing, because I don't want to keep things in my pocket while riding and I don't usually have backpack with me. When I have backpack with me then I take the phone also. But I ride street so I think it's okay. If I was riding in the woods or somewhere that's far away, I probably would take phone with me.
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  • + 1
 Where we ride, phone is needed. Only way off the mountain is helicopter or a long walk out on steep singletrack. But I can still notice it ring/vibrate in my pack, annoying. I had a Garmin 310XT GPS watch, but gave that up. Don't miss it.
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  • + 1
 Glad I'm old enough to have been around before all these electronic crutches…
Glad I also ride with people who are 'switched on' and know how to self rescue.

As long as we had 10p for a phone call is was all good. No risk no fun.
Having a phone is useful but its foolish to rely on one.
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  • + 1
 never but on silent mode dont like any notification I only take it out of my camel if I have an emergency...... Just my wife contact is with a rington that always sounds but she will only call if there is an emergency............MTB is my time of the work and everything!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • + 1
 A couple months ago I decided to ride without anything. I was just going to the trails a couple miles from my house where I ride several times a week. I didn't take anything except a water bottle. No phone, no GPS, no tools, no tube, no pump. Well, one of my crank bolts came loose and my crank arm fell off. I actually walked down the trail and found the bolt, but then I had no way to reattach it. I ended up hiking out and pedalling home one-legged. Not my ideal ride, but it was definitely an adventure. That said, like most folks have commented, I always take at least my phone with me now. Even if it's just in my pocket or pack. No Strava, no music but the sound of my tires ripping through the dirt.
  • + 1
 So you could have fixed your crank with your phone?. You have a tool app?
Maybe you should think about carrying tools?
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  • + 2
 I would like to know the age breakdown of those who reasoned to the poll. I would assume the people who always ride with electronics would be younger than those who never ride with them
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  • + 1
 i never ride without my smartphone. I never use it to 'track'' my route becaurse im not interested in speed or distance. Its just a safety feature when i lost the track or when i need to phone home. I also doubles as a nice photo cameraSmile
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  • + 1
 Ive been out ridin. The phone rings.....whatcha doing? Riding......Wana ride. K. I then met my friend at the bottom of the hill and do another ride......True story Smile
My dumb phone also has my music.
I can easily ride out of service of my phone.
Once apon a time cell phones were huge! I did not bring my phone with me then and would have considered the idea ridiculous.
Im old.
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  • + 1
 Never ride with headphones, technically it's illegal according to the Hwy. Traffic Act. Having a phone these days is imperative for your safety and others. I also carry a Fox40 whistle with me in my pack, never know when cell reception is crap and I gotta blow my whistle....yes, just the whistle people. ;-)

Strava, what a better way to tell everyone where your secret trail is... never use it, never will, unless I"m searching to poach your trails....don't strava if you don't want people riding your secret trail. Just sayin...
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  • + 1
 Sigma bike computer, phone for emergency and sometimes some speakers.. but I'd never leave my phone at home. I'm riding trails that are so remote from people so that no one would ever find me if I get hurt.. But I always switch my phone to loudless. Beautiful sceneries are cool and awesome, but I want to see my speed and heart rate when I'm riding my bike..
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  • + 1
 I have my phone at the mtb park cause I loose track of time and my woman isnt happy if I do that, but if I ride some downhill I dont wear a backpack and I dont like falling on my phone so its in the car or truck. But I always tell ither my girl or my dad where I'm going so if I dont show they know where I am.
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  • + 1
 With the amount of technology in bikes these days, it's absolutely ridiculous that people would get snooty about someone choosing to ride with some other form of technology, unless they're ruining others' chosen experiences with it.
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  • + 1
 I Half rode, walked and then used my bike as a rolling crutch for about a mile back to the truck. That was like a death march. I had flipped onto my tail bone and broke two lumbar vertebrae. So much pain it made me throw up. No phone in the Camelbak. Doctors could not see how it was possible for me to rescue myself. Take the phone.
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  • + 1
 One of my biggest peavs is being on the trail and having a buddy who cant stay off his phone. Drives me nuts and totally disrupts the ride. Bring the phone so you can call out in an emergency but leave the f*cker off while we are riding! Nothing kills flow more than "hold on bro i gotta check my phone".
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  • + 1
 I generally always take my phone with me. Be realistic here, if you stack it hardcore and break your collarbone/rib puncture your lung whatever chances are you may be a long walk away to someone's house to ask for help or you might not be able move much due to the pain or because you smashed your foot apart.
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  • + 1
 i like being to call 911 if needed even though i've needed it for that, little comfort especially riding DH solo. so i usually do have a phone with me sometimes i use gps sometimes i don't but i do like having the option for emergencies.
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  • + 1
 As has been said a phone is by far the best 'safety' accessory you can carry even on the shortest rides. Camera is essential for me as well - yes, I'm one of those strange people with a phone for phoning people, and a completely separate camera for taking photos Wink

Also a fan of Nightriding so I'm fine with having half a dozen lights and wiring everywhere. Also like a speedometer on the road and touring bikes.
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  • + 1
 I shut my phone off when I ride and leave it in a zip-lock bag. But I've been known to crash because o ride aggressive. So it would be stupid to not bring my phone.

I'm sure 99% of us real rides have had to roll or carry are bikes out of the woods before. I prefure not having to do that with a broken leg.
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  • + 1
 I always carry my phone around with me, for emergency use if I need it, but also because it's my primary camera (and lets face it, some of the landscapes we ride in are absolutely stunning), and also to check Twitter/Facebook if I'm having a rest / cafe stop / whatever, though I rarely do that. I also sometimes have my GoPro with me, but that's pretty much set and forget. Finally, I always carry a GPS with me - yes, I do Strava all my rides, but I almost never race myself, it's purely for maps of where I've ridden. It's also useful if I ever need help - my GPS can show a grid reference which the ambulance service in the UK uses.
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  • + 2
 I was riding dj with a buddy a couple years ago and had a pretty bad stack breaking my wrist in two places. I didn't have my phone and neither my mate, longest and most painful walk of my life. ALWAYS BRING A PHONE haha...
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  • + 1
 I usually ride with my phone in my back pocket, but I don't text anyone, call( inless my dads calling ) or listen music. I focus on my riding not my phone, that's why I'm at the bike park or race.
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  • + 1
 I use only phone as a GPS and in case of emergency otherwise it is turned silent so no one would bother me. And I am not racing against the GPS I have just that I know where I rode, how fast etc.
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  • + 1
 I use strava for fun, but I rarely get my phone out while i'm actually riding. Riding without a phone or some means of contact, particularly if you're riding alone, which i frequently do, is a stupid idea, end of story.
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  • + 1
 never ride with out a phone your never know when you will need it biggest, thread best safety equipment (after helmet and neck brace) how whould you call fror help with out one? if you where to ride alone.
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  • + 2
 stop whining about being irresponsible without a phone, alot of the worlds milestones were reached with no phone or contact to the outside world
  • + 1
 how do you know?
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  • + 3
 I never ever ride with a phone on me, and very rarely with my ipod. My bike noise is a good song
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  • + 2
 I bring a phone, but it stays off and in the pack and I don't use it unless I have an emergency. Biking gives me a chance to get away, so why lose that chance for quiet?
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  • + 0
 I like to have strava running, im not a massive race freak or anything but it rekindled my enthusiasm for biking and I enjoy having a record of where ive been and how many miles ive done. Some how I feel that if I havent logged it it didnt really happen.
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  • + 3
 With out strava I would have never learn't the location of the best trails and how to find them and link them together.
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  • + 1
 Phone comes with just in case its needed. don't listen to music while riding rather listen go what's going on around me. phones calls are ignored etc etc its just there for back up.
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  • + 0
 Went for my first ride with a phone the other day. Never had one up until I started going to school, but only 'cause I was living in another city and needed to be able to be contacted at short notice
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  • + 1
 A phone really shouldn't count as an "electronic" as they describe here. It sits in my back pocket, and can save my life if needed.
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  • + 2
 sanctimonious shite. id like to be able to call an ambulance when i fuck myself up
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  • + 2
 Ride alone, no cell phone etc all the time. Nothing better than finding new trails and just seeing where they go.
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  • + 2
 I ride with my Garmin for getting those super important KOMs and my phone for snapping some sweet instagram pics of nature.
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  • + 3
 I´m leaving phone at car or basecamp always. Hate riding with that
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  • + 2
 Geez i wonder how anybody dared do anything before mobile this and gps that.
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  • + 1
 To me ridden on mt. Trail you need to be aware on surroundings what s going on . Enjoy open mind on nature pon only for emergency used
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  • + 2
 I think i would need a lot of phones with the amount i have smashed so far...
  • + 4
 Go dig out that old Nokia 3310 and bring it for emergencies. Smart phones are too brittle. You can land on one of the old brick phones in a rock garden and it'll be fine.
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  • + 2
 Always take my phone and only my phone. If I'm hurt and can't get myself out, I need something to give me a chance..
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  • + 1
 I like having music playing in one ear when I ride it makes the scenery that much better I also have 100's of awesome pictures taken with my phone
  • + 0
 No one has ever taken an awesome picture on a phone.
Many people have taken very average pics of awesome things though Wink
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  • + 1
 learn how to fix a flat, and of all else fails you still got your arms and legs, you'll be alright i never bring anything on my rides no matter how far, its unnecessary
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  • + 1
 I always ride with my phone just in case I get hurt or an emergency comes up. But I don't listen to music when I ride.
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  • + 1
 I keep a phone and walky talky purely for saftey so if me or my bud crash the other can phone in.
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  • + 1
 How often do you go on a ride without any electronic devices?

Always. And I have the pics on my cellphone to prove it.
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  • + 1
 'off the grid' yes - I never take my phone .. but i'm never without some tunes
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  • + 1
 I tore ligaments in my knee when riding once, i managed to phone for help. NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT A PHONE!!!!!
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  • + 1
 I take my home in case of an emergency. There are three times I don't answer my phone, sleeping, riding, or sex.
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  • + 1
 Unplugged since i smashed my iphone in a crash. Wouldn't risk doing it again
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  • + 1
 I usually take my cell phone. it stays in my pack or pocket but better safe than sorry
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  • + 0
 Just ride where there is no service, problem solved. Don't know how yall ride with music. Wind and buzzing tires are the best sound on a bike.
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  • + 1
 riding is what the do not disturb feature on the iPhone was invented for...
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  • + 1
 i hate having to click never since i always carry a phone for emergency reasons
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  • + 1
 i believe that most of us are no long be able to imagine how we survived those days without smartphones, tablets, laptops...
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  • + 0
 I always have my phone, sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I track my ride but usually it just sicks in the pack in the event of a major catastrophe.
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  • + 1
 i bring my phone just incase somebody eats shit and needs to go to the hospital
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  • + 1
 basic phone in case of emergency, thats it. GPS....nah just take a map. You can't forget to charge paper.
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  • + 0
 I never owned a cell phone until about 1-2 years ago. I didn't need one before & I don't need one now. It stays home unless I need to shoot some vid'.
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  • - 1
 Phone for emergencies but leave it on airplane mode it saves battery life! GPS is also great for pacing and great for discovering new terrain because it shows a map you can retrace your ride back.
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  • + 2
 Yea gotta have the phone at least for safety reasons.
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  • + 1
 i take nothing but money for beer.
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  • + 0
 half the places I ride there's no service so you couldn't use your phone if you wanted to
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  • + 2
 Never bring it
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  • + 1
 One does not simply be in a relationship and be off the grid,
  • + 2
 That's beautiful and very responsible, what's his name?
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  • + 0
 I always keep my phone on me, and it only comes out for pics or ambulances.
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  • + 0
 i always ride with my smartphone and my boombotix rex cause music make you ride faster
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  • + 2
 my gopro just follows me
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  • + 1
 will only take a phone if none of my mates have one
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  • + 1
 I ride alone, because kids like you "only ride park".
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  • + 1
 GPS apps are sweet to track your top speed an distance Smile
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  • + 1
 unless you want to be a next "aron ralston"
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  • + 1
 I like to use my phone-strava to keep track of my mileage.
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  • - 1
 I f*cking hate when people call me when im riding.i ride to get away from all my problems and my #1 problem is my annoying ass phone!
  • + 1
 Put it on silent or switch it off?
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  • + 0
 I only ride with my phone if I'm solo. If I'm riding with my lady I make her take her phone so I can go device-free! haha
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  • + 0
 go night riding alone in cougar country - bring your phone
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  • + 0
 Am a family man, so the phone got to be with me.
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  • + 0
 Y would u go cycling with out an emergency phone just stupid reely
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  • + 1
 WHO GIVES A f*ck ? !
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  • + 0
 Without the electronic devices how can you take these photos?
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  • + 1
 STRAVA BRO!!!!!!!!!
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  • + 0
 Android or Apple ,( tech. geek or snob) that's the question...me thinks.
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  • + 0
 I carry my boombox, I wanna make sure you hear me!
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  • - 2
 Smart phone, Ipod and speakers any time I ride alone.
  • - 6
 You ride alone because you have no friends
  • + 2
 If you have a smart phone, why would you need an iPod?
  • + 1
 Power consumption. I ride for a full day when I get out to the mountains.
  • + 2
 nice troll, kev
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