New Year, New Gear
19 Oct 2015

New Year, New Gear

Turning 31 brings with it some useful gifts.

Though I would have preferred to remain 29 forever, the age of 30 has treated me well, but no sooner had I gotten used to the ring of it, the ugly inevitability of 31 emerged on the horizon.

One advantage of birthdays is that, sometimes, nice people do nice things for you. For example, this year I was given the Garmin 920XT Sports Watch Tri bundle and my first road bike!

At some point down the road, I will endeavour to provide a full write up of the 920XT and heart rate monitors, but for now I will just outline my initial thoughts:

The 920XT is an ugly watch, however it is not as bulky as it appears in the pictures. Having grown up in the Jurassic Park generation, I’m of the belief that expensive technology should be heavy, however, given the purpose of the watch, it’s probably a good thing that it weighs next to nothing.


The 920XT is easy to operate, although its bleeps and buzzes makes it feel like a Tamagotchi. The Garmin Connect service seems promising, although it lacks a mobile friendly way to embed recent activities in blogs such as this.

The Tri bundle comes with two heart rate monitors which can store data. One can be used in open water, as well as on the bike and whilst running. The second HRM can only be used in a pool. Having two sensors is not a particularly elegant solution to the problem of aquatic cardiac surveillance.

Garmin 920XT Tri Bundle

Miss Womble turned 31 a few days before me, so I planned to take her on a surprise weekend away on the bikes to Stow-on-the-Wold. This was before she had given me the new road bike, so we pumped up our tyres and set off, me riding my existing “hybrid” bike.

After just 1 km, disaster struck as my front wheel exploded, destroying the rim in the process.


Fortunately, we weren’t far from home, so we decided to cut our losses and drive to Stow. Unfortunately, this made for a rather lacklustre inaugural outing for my new Garmin watch! Briefly, it seemed like the trip was doomed as, whilst driving, a black Nisan Quashqui  (reg WP57 LRU) reversed into me before trying to make a speedy getaway. I gave chase and after failing to lose his tail, the driver of the Nisan reluctantly pulled over. An aggressive wide-boy in an orange high-vis jacket emerged from the car and we exchanged harsh words, but since there was no damage we were able to resume our trip, which turned out to be exceedingly pleasant.


A couple of days later we were in Somerset, where I was presented with my very first road bike and I was given a basic bike fit by Miss Womble’s father, Geoff Womble.

New Giant road bike

Following that, the three of us set off on a leisurely ride to Tri UK, which happens to be the UK’s largest triathlon store, where I picked up a new pair of tri-bars, which were a bargain!

New aero bars

The ride gave me a chance to get used to the bike and riding with clip pedals for the first time, but it also gave me the opportunity to give the Garmin 920XT a bit of a better outing.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
02:42:33 01:40:27 30.95 18.49 47.16 274.00
hours hours km km/h km/h meters
Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance
02:42:33 01:40:27 30.95
hours hours km
Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
18.49 47.16 274.00
km/h km/h meters

I am currently dealing with an injured shoulder and knee, however when my training kicks back in, I’ve got some great new tools to help me along.

The journey continues…


  1. Yay for Daddy Womble he is just the nicest man! Love him and what a super awesome birthday present!! Hope you had a lovely day celebrating!

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