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Cycling: The Single, Best Reason You won’t need a Power Meter

I was out for an early evening ride with Chuck, a cycling bud of mine, and less than a mile in he says that he’s thinking of buying a power meter for his bike because he wants to get his functional threshold power up to 300 watts for 20 minutes… or something. Maybe it was a half an hour. He’s currently at 220, and he knows this because he’s got a smart trainer.

Here’s the kicker: I don’t have any of that crap. I thought about getting into the power meters and heart rate monitors several years but I balked, and I’m glad I chose to spend the money on bikes instead…

I know a lot of exceptional cyclists. I can keep up with some of them, but I don’t ride to be the fastest. I don’t care about the numbers, I don’t care about functional threshold power, or about whatever it is they call the average power numbers over a Tuesday night club ride.  I don’t have the power meter, the heart rate monitor or the doohickeys, because I’m happy just riding with my friends. I’m stoked about being a B-Group’er….

I’m not a numbers guy, though I used to be (and it could be argued that’s why I’m as fast as I am today). Nowadays I’m an experience guy, though. I ride for the fun and enjoyment of the exercise… the experience. I like to be fast, there’s no doubt about that, but I have no need to be in the upper echelon of cyclists.

My friends, cycling is an astonishingly expensive sport as it is. If you’re happy with where you’re at and you enjoy the experience of cycling, going to the length of picking up the monitors and gizmos probably won’t make the experience better. It is my experience that good old fashioned “want to”, some excellent cycling buds, and a nice bike (or four) will more than do the trick.

I don’t have that stuff because I already have everything I need:

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