In cycling – as in most pursuits – from time to time we find something special. The day begins like most days, but it dawns on us somewhere along the way that it’s not going to end like most days. It’s going to be a really good one.
I didn’t see it coming as I got onto the road after lunch. My legs felt heavy and I was immediately irritated by a grabby headwind. Every time I settled into a new rhythm it would change, and I’d be caught leaning the wrong way. After 7 miles of this nonsense I crossed a busy intersection, turned north, ate my first banana and picked up a tailwind that would have made Dorothy and Toto run for the root cellar. Coincidence? Or was this a manifestation of the secret power of bananas?
As I settled into a comfortable 22 mph pace the sun seemed a little brighter, and it dawned on me that I had found something special. The dead weight was gone from my legs as my average speed crept up past 19 mph. When my loop turned west I was subjected once again to the aforementioned grabby crosswind. My special-ness sprung a leak and began to deflate. After assessing the situation and doing some attitudinal triage, I glanced heavenward and pulled out my second banana.
Now, I’m a middle-aged cycling hack, and though I dress sharp and mostly avoid low-minded transgressions of cycling etiquette and tradition – I’M NO RACER. So I credit the secret power of the banana as I turned south into the headwind and absolutely crushed 1200 feet of climbing along roller coaster roads. When I rolled to a stop, my Garmin showed an average speed of 18.8 mph over 42 miles. A few minutes later, during my post-ride double espresso, I had a startling revelation: I’D KEPT IT IN THE BIG RING…all day.
I owe it all to the secret power of the banana.
Go eats one and find out for yourself.