Mike J- reasonably hard-core enthusiast road biker who likes to push hard up tough climbs.
Karen J- married to Mike J and has very different ideas of what a good time on a Sunday afternoon means. Hint: It’s never, ever, meant sweating hard on a climb, trying to keep up with people who think that’s fun.
Can this marriage be saved? Er, I mean, can these two go out on a bike ride together and have a good time? It’s been literally 40 years since that answer was sorta yes. But that changed when the two did “The Loop”, Mike on his road bike, Karen on a Trek Super Commuter E-Bike. Truth be told, Karen hadn’t been on a bike ride longer than 4 miles in quite a few years. She’s endured breast cancer three times and willfully inflicting pain on her body just doesn’t make much sense to her. But that Sunday, she cruised, pedaling easily (“effortlessly” would be stretching things just a bit) up Woodside Road from Redwood City to Woodside, and rode comfortably along Mountain Home Road. Meantime Mike was riding at an enjoyable speed, a little bit below normal, but happy that he could actually ride with his wife again.
The plan (if you’ve read his “Almost daily diary” you’ll know there’s always a plan with Mike) was to head out to the new Roberts in Portola Valley for lunch, before completing the loop and returning home. Karen didn’t think she could make it that far, but she did, with just a couple stops along the way for water. She was so please with the E-Bike that she was even giving test rides to other cyclists who stopped at Roberts.
After lunch she was convinced climbing back up Sand Hill would be too much and tried to convince Mike to head back via the much-flatter Alameda; this was probably the only real disagreement on the ride. She gave in to “the plan” though, and motored up Sand Hill quite nicely. Then it was back to Woodside via Manzanita & Mountain Home, then Canada Road and over Jefferson to home. But, not before stopping to say hi to a Woodside resident walking his Corgi (named “Lance” and he had another until recently named “Tiger” and yes, both named after defrocked sports heroes before they were defrocked).
All in all a very nice Sunday afternoon bike ride, made possible by Trek’s Super Commuter E-Bike. It’s entirely possible that Mike & Karen could do more rides together, and still remain married. That’s amazingly high praise for what an E-Bike can do for a couple, any couple, where one is a much stronger rider than the other. Mike J, Partner, Chain Reaction Bicycles