Still another friend, Enrique, is eighty. He raced bikes from fifteen to twenty-four. He did stop, because he had to concentrate on work and then tennis became his leisure sport until he got aced by his knees. I had trouble keeping up with him the other week. Knowing his age, I diagnosed my struggle at that moment of incredulity as not enough air in my tyres, not enough oil on my chain and to a heart problem that must have just arisen. Five years ago his wife of forty-nine years died and he found riding a better alternative to staying home. Much heartache can be abated by riding two hours with friends at seventy to eighty percent of your max pulse. Don’t go down there looking for Enrique the next three Tuesdays because he will be in Spain with his new wife, following the Vuelta a España.
I hesitate to mention Alfonso only because he is seventy-nine and stronger than me. I average fifty kilometres a training session compared to his seventy. When we are riding side by side I’ll often look over and spy his heart monitor. When his is showing one hundred, mine is typically at a less efficient one hundred and fifteen for the same workload. Alfonso is the owner of an elevator repair company so I assume he is good at recalibrating electronic devices to his liking. How much different can a heart monitor be from an elevator control panel? Forgive my imagination, but I need something to explain away the painful discrepancy.