No, I’m not talking about my wife who, by the way, has been looking pretty darned amazing as she’s been getting into better shape these past few years!
But this morning, slogging my way up Kings, alone, and while not super cold (only got as low as 34F, and a comfy 45 on the climb), it wasn’t just a high-gravity day, where you can still fight your way up (just not very fast), this morning was one of those days where the engine room simply wasn’t producing any power. Just under 40 minutes and not one of those days where it was somebody else holding me back. If somebody had told me I’d get $100 for getting up in 35 minutes, I would have just laughed. I looked at my speed, my time, my power, and thought about how I used to climb at nearly twice this speed. 21 minutes, 15 seconds. How is that even possible?
And yet there are still days where I feel pretty strong, even though my times up Kings are still unimpressive.
So where does “She’s looking better every beer” come from? It’s an old Country Western song (heard it live by Chuck Wagon & The Wheels at a venue on California Street in Palo Alto, 40 years ago?), and pretty easy to figure out what it’s about. This morning, it wasn’t a woman who was looking better every beer… it was a bike. An e-bike. How far off might it be? I had assumed it would be quite a while! But this morning, I’m wondering how much time I have left. And thinking maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it. The newest e-bikes we sell have a readout that shows how much power the bike is putting out, vs you. And I can put my speedplay power pedals on and measure “my” power with 100% accuracy. So what if you ride an e-bike with everything you can put out yourself, and add just enough e-bike power to keep up with the faster riders? Is that really cheating, if you’re still putting out everything you can?