Horses, E-bikes, and achieve new heights

I have been trying to be more active for the last year. I bought an ebike, and so far I have put over 900 miles on it in the last 6 months. It’s fast enough, and it’s a fun exercise for me. There is a 9.2-mile loop that starts at my house and goes thru the middle of Rogers past the wonderful aroma of downtown shops roasting coffee and back home. Last year when I started it took me 45 min to make the trek. Since then, I have reduced my time to a steady 33 min. I started feeling like this was my absolute best about a month ago. I have tried several things to shave off time, and nothing seems to have made a dent. 33,33,33,33 minutes. Then I began to think if this is my best, this is my best, I will be fine with it. Until last week.

Last week I cut my time by 10%. My new number was 30 minutes. Same loop, same bike, same rider. So what changed. Well, about halfway around the loop, off to my left I saw a shadow creeping up. When I arrived at the next stop sign a young man on a bike ( not an e-bike) was standing next to me, waiting for the crossing lights. As we began to cross I started off with my usual fast pedal, and the young man kept at my pace. I then increased my effort to try and pull ahead, and with the occasional glance to the side, I could see him drafting. I thought is he using my large size to shield himself from the wind. I think he is! I pedaled harder. He kept pace. Until I broke away about 2 miles later. Then I could vaguely see him in the distance still pushing hard. I could clearly see my heart rate pushing 150 on my iwatch. I continued on. When I made it home, I looked down to see a new lap time achieved. It didn’t completely surprise me. I was out of breath, and I understand accountability and how we are all better together.

I read a book that talks about the power of draft horses, which are very large, muscular animals that, throughout history, have been used for pulling great loads and moving very heavy objects. A single draft horse can pull a load up to 8,000 pounds. You would think that 2 could pull a combined weight of 16000 pounds. However, they can actually pull three times as much. The two draft horses that can each pull 8,000 pounds alone can pull 24,000 pounds working together. Another interesting fact was that if the same 2 horses are trained as a team, they can pull 32000 pounds. 4 times as much as an individual. This is literally where the word “teamwork” comes from “a team of horses”.
So here’s my question- when it comes to your personal finance who’s on your team? Do you have someone setting a good pace? If you are hitting the same marks you always do, it might be time to try something new.

Here’s the cool part for me. Since the rider showed up that day and I set a new time, every day since I have been hitting the 30 min. mark on my own.

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