The eBike goes a long way to equalising Gayle’s and my performance but it doesn’t make it identical. Hills arouse some combative spirit in Gayle, she attacks them with vigour. Add to that a better power to weight ratio and an electric motor and on hills I’m at a disadvantage.
We don’t live in a particularly hilly area, mere undulations really. It was early in our ride, the first undulation perhaps and I was riding right on her back wheel. A glance behind revealed a car. I called out to alert her that we would be overtaken – she hit the brakes. It earned her a sharp rebuke.
I’m sure you will agree it was well deserved. As I explained to her much later the duty of the drafter is to be consistent and predictable. If the draftee isn’t lightning quick with their reflexes putting on the breaks will result in a collision, or the draftee running off the road into the trees or swerving to the right under the wheels of the passing car. She explained to me that she was under no obligation to tow me along. How inconsiderate.
There then ensued one hell of a workout. Most of the traffic we see on the ride are local farmers moving feed for their sheep, there is precious little grass in the paddocks this time of year. They usually give us a wave as we pass. On this ride we seemed to see many more than normal and they all seemed to be laughing at the sight of me three lengths behind one fit woman and desperately trying not to be dropped.