Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mr. Miyagi kicked my ass! - April 27, 2011

He really did.  Of course I didn’t know it was Mr. Miyagi when I was NOT trying to catch him and it really may not have been him, but if he ever needed a doppelganger this guy was it.
So there I was riding across 405 in Canyon Park, cursing the 10mph head wind when I spot a cyclist in the distance.  From what I could see they were moving along very well up the little hill there.  Successful at convincing myself I wasn’t going to try and catch them, I did happen to notice that I closed the distance once I got going down the other side of the hill.
They made the light in Bothell and I didn’t, so I figured it was a lost cause because there are so many options and directions to go in Bothell.  Imagine my surprise when they appeared just ahead of me awhile later.  We had taken different routes to the same point.  I noticed as I slowly gained on him that there appeared to be large wood pannier boxes on the back of the bike and even though I am still riding my own ride and speed, they seemed to be making great time into the wind with them.
I figured with the extra weight and wind drag that as we started up the next hill I would quickly overtake the rider.  As I rounded the first corner at looked to see how much time I had made up I was shocked to see I had lost ground.  WHAT?  I wasn’t moving that fast, seems as I was being good and pacing myself, but surely I wasn’t that slow?  I picked up my pace a little (because I wanted to) and found that at about an 80% effort I stopped losing ground.
Going down the next hill I finally made a lot of headway in catching this rider and yes I was trying at this point.  He stopped at the next red light and as I rolled up beside him I noted that before the panniers he was probably on about 50lbs worth of a steel bike with big wide tires and a mustache handle bar.  Then I noticed him in his comfortable cotton pants and casual top and oh it’s Mr. Miyagi! 
“I cheat, electric bike” he says.
It had to be that or this guy could have given Fabian a run for power output.  We chatted for a second waiting for the light and once it changed I took off.  There was another hill coming up and I didn’t want to get in the way of the very comfortable looking cyclist behind me.  Right at the bottom of the hill I caught another rider who was making good time and paced me up the hill for a bit.  We had the normal discussion of where are you going/coming from.
A glance back showed me Mr. Miyagi was catching up.  I knew that there was a long downhill followed by a flat and didn’t want to play leapfrog with him.  Cautioning the other rider my parting words were:
“Oh and you are about to be passed by an older guy on a really heavy steel bike”
I stomped on my pedals and dropped them both.  I can only imagine his surprise when HE is passed by Mr. Miyagi pedaling up the hill without apparent effort.

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