WHAT CAN AN E-BIKE DO FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

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

Nice morning, nobody but me, time to clean out the cylinders

Checking in on the reconstruction work on West Old LaHonda
Pretty nice morning; surprising nobody else showed up for the ride! Younger Kevin is still sidelined with his knee issue (plus he got in pretty late last night from a date) and everyone else? Maybe they were scared off by the fog up on Skyline, but if so, they missed out since the roads were dry the whole ride.

Even though alone I still stick to the plan, and since it’s Thursday, that meant riding up through the park. Without anybody for pacing I wondered how it would go, but with things like power meters and heart monitors, you’re hardly flying blind when riding alone. It wasn’t a fast climb, but it wasn’t terribly slow either. A bit over 30 minutes, and once on top I just kept going, easing off enough to let my heart rate drop from 165 to 150 but definitely not resting. For some reason I had this idea that I’d just keep pushing. There was never a feeling that I was chasing imaginary cyclists up ahead; I didn’t see a single other cyclist once I got into the hills.

No shortening the ride for me today; been there, done that, too many times lately. I kept the pressure up on the pedals all the way down west-side 84 to West Old LaHonda, rode up to the point where the construction is taking place (shown in the photo), then headed back the same way, continuing to push the pace back up to Sky Londa.

Somehow, even after stopping to take a few pictures, I managed to finish the ride almost on schedule for a “fast” ride. The 228 watts that showed for average weighted power were the best I’ve seen in recent memory and the 112 “suffer score” on Strava was yet another indication that I’d been working it. It was really nice knowing that, despite everything that’s gone on with the bike shop and the meds I take for my bone marrow issue, I can still pretend to dance on the pedals.