It’s usually around the 20-minute mark of my weekly spin class, that I feel like puking. Somehow I have to find a way to get through the next 40 minutes without bonking. Find my comfort zone, still on the edge of blowing up so I’m getting a good workout, but under control of my breathing and lactic acid build-up. Cycling is pain. This is when I start day-dreaming to get my mind off the euphoric discomfort.
I find myself half-way up the climb at l’Alpe d’Huez, stage 16 of the Tour de France. A breakaway group with 6 of the greatest cyclists of all-time stand in their seats determined to drop the peloton—and I must go with them. Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Sean Kelly, Greg Lemond, and the greatest of all-time Eddie Merckx. And me. Of course in reality most of these riders never competed against each other. But neither did I. It doesn’t matter. Because all that matters in my mind is staying on the wheel of The Cannibal, Merckx, until he strikes at this group with 300 metres before the summit finish. And I go with him.
I don’t know how many times I’ve "won" that stage at l’Alpe d’Huez but I know dreaming about it has gotten me through many a tough workout. But not all of my motivation comes from fiction. I often get through a workout thinking of some of my past sporting endeavours (cue the music, Bruce Springsteen, Glory Days) or some of my favourite places where I’ve worked out. And some of these memories have inspired the current line-up of MaxPlus2 gear and those under development. I hope you find our gear and the stories behind them as inspirational as I do. And remember—Extend Your Limits.
John Yip-Chuck, MaxPlus2 President