Tangent: In the reading room this morning when flipping through an old issue of Outside magazine I saw an article on electric assist bicycles. It reminded me of a recent experience I had flying out of my driveway only to find myself abreast of a very pleasant grandmotherly woman on an electric bike pedalling (barely) up the gentle but long Kaiser Drive climb.
Tangent on the tangent: We see few cyclists on this part of Kaiser. If we do, it is either an avid cyclist (road or mountain) or it is a teenager pushing their bike up the hill. Nothing against teenagers (I have a wonderful one of my own), but jeeze what the heck!?Back to original tangent: Anyway there I was on the long climb through the neighborhood, riding next to grandma and exchanging pleasantries. Her bike looked like a beach cruiser and had a basket on the front and streamers on the handlebars. She was barely pedalling. I was spinning my ass off and barely keeping up. I hung in there but it soon dawned on me this would not be sustainable.
And finally it happened. We hit the plateau at the top of the neighborhood and she picked up a few mph. With 32x20 gearing on my singlespeed I could no longer spin fast enough to keep up. I watched helplessly as she dropped me, singing to herself, the pink and purple streamers flowing from her swept back handlebar grips. She waved goodbye and disappeared around the corner.
I am imagining that later that day, after her husband's afternoon nap, her ruminating about some friendly but obviously sluggish young man on a bike. "Jeeze!" she would say," kids these days..."Chris
“I'll take the Pain and Humiliation Combo, super-sized”