Saving Relationships, One Power Meter at a Time

I’ve been sick for the better part of a week. I slept through the entire three-day weekend in a fever-induced haze (dreams about waking up with Thor Hushovd’s legs again), then spent the week sleeping in the guest room so I wouldn’t keep Sal up with a never-ending chorus of hacking. When I got on the bike yesterday, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The Sicilian and I went out together with an agreement to take things nice and easy. Two things happened: first, I stopped coughing and felt amazing. My head cleared up and I blew snot rockets like my life depended on it. Who needs that brain-eating Neti Pot anyway??!

The second thing that happened was that Sal rode too hard. I was super grateful to have his wheel in the first place, but I couldn’t hold it. When he dropped me the third time (always sitting up politely to wait when he noticed I was off the back), I rolled up beside him and asked him to hand me his Garmin 500. I could tell we were both a little frustrated. He wasn’t riding fast, I just didn’t have anything to give. He wanted to ride together and he wanted to put his face in the wind for me, but he didn’t know how slow he had to go. Luckily, with power, there’s an easy way to communicate such things.

I set the display to show average lap power, hit the lap button, handed it back to him, and gave him an target number: one that I knew would allow me to ride in my low-endurance zone on his wheel. When we started off again, I watched as he struggled with the low number, switching to easier and easier gears so he could spin.

It worked.

In fact, I went from feeling like I was going to have to turn around after 45 minutes, to being able to put in a 4-hour ride that I rather desperately needed. The rain rained, the sun shined and the rainbows, they did their rainbow thing. We laughed and waved at baby cows and battled headwinds and split a cheese-and-chicken sandwich at the end of Sauvie Island Road. My cough all but disappeared and I felt almost human again.

That cycling stuff? Magic, I tell you.




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5 Responses to “Saving Relationships, One Power Meter at a Time”

  1. Patricia says:

    Thanks for reminding me why bicycling is so magical. “It’s too cold!” “I’m too out of shape!” “There is too much rain!” These are all reasons I haven’t been riding of late. But 98% of the time when I do get on the bike, I love it. Especially in the winter when there are fewer people about and I feel more like a superhero. Everyone loves to ride in the sunny summer, but it’s fun to see who comes out in the winter.

  2. Josh says:

    I have a hard enough time riding four hours when I’m feeling good. Can’t imagine doing so on a recovery ride.

    Nice work!

  3. Leann says:

    The magical healing power of the bike. It’s a beautiful thing.

  4. chr15 says:

    I am amazed everytime that I ride my bike how much better I feel afterwards. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

    Garmin, in the relationship business these days? Maybe they should bring out a sat.nav. to map the heart.

  5. Sara says:

    I’m really envious you get to ride with your man. My bike-loving partner in crime lives in Minnesota. Waaahhhh!