Hmm, that sounds like an awfully *harsh* statement. Lots of people have
done well over lots of miles without ever hooking one up and I'm sure that
will be true years from now. You would also rule out a great group of first
or second timers that are trying the sport out but haven't acquired a lot of
I personally use one and like it but it is a *tool* just like lots of other
things - to say that you shouldn't ride just because you don't have a
<whatever item> is a bit silly.
Personally, I think you should be able to take an accurate pulse the lo-tech
way (with a stethoscope) before using a monitor - at rides, the vet staff
couldn't care less what your monitor says - it's what their stethoscope
hears that counts. The vet staff makes this painfully clear at the pre-ride
meeting. I *always* check with a stetho prior to going in to make sure that
what I'm seeing on the monitor is what the vet will hear.