The Power Meter: A Gateway Drug

They say power is addicting. I didn’t buy the hype. Power is a rich man’s game. The Average Joe like me had no business being in control. The cost of entry was high. The work involved in maintaining your power was limitless. Increasing your power was even more difficult. Power wasn’t for me. That was until one fateful day. I found a dealer online who offered to hook me up with a little taste of power for half the normal price. I thought to myself, “There’s no harm in taking one just one hit.” I agreed to the deal. When my dose came in the mail the following week I already had the shakes. I was jazzed to feel the rush. I went for a spin to a quite place but the first time wasn’t all that thrilling. I had troubles with the controls. Zero offsets, Bluetooth connections; maybe this isn’t for me. It’s just so much work and too technical. That was until I got home. Things all came together and I felt the buzz all at once. There waiting for me on my Strava ride file was the power data. Just like that I was hooked. I’d spend hours in our spare bedroom pedaling away. I’d think about waking up as early as possible to lay some more power down. Sitting in my desk at work I’d sneak open an incognito browser just to look at the data from my last ride. I was on a dark road to becoming a junkie.



The 4iiii Shimano Ultegra R8000 power meter on my road bike

Seeing my power grow over the first few months was exhilarating. But with every high there is a valley just as deep. My first ride back on my gravel bike just didn’t feel the same. I was just pedaling and looking at my heart rate. There was no power data to be seen. “This is a disgusting way to live.” I thought to myself, “I can’t go on like this. How was I ever going to get through the next gravel racing season without piles of data to analyze? How did I live like this all last summer?!” I’d do whatever it took to scratch the itch. I needed MORE POWER data. I searched for months online. I checked EbayAmazon, and whatever seedy corner of the internet I could find to be my supplier. For hours each week I would search for the right meter to give me my next fix. I didn’t want some junk power though. I needed that clean stuff. I am an athlete after all. I studied BCD, dual power readings, crank arm length, bottom bracket size. You name it. I read about it. One afternoon I finally met up with a dealer from Ebay in a dark alleyway online and gave my best offer. The sucker accepted right away. The power was in my hands…and under my feet.


The Quarq Dzero Sram Red power meter spider on my gravel bike

Now my life is lived in the shadows of 5:00pm CT. My typical daily dosage time. Until the sunshine and warm rays return to our lives you’ll find me in the corner of a cool, breezy room just pedaling away. Trying to increase that power. The floodgates have opened and there is no end to my new found thirst and addiction to this power. The power meter is a gateway drug and I am a full blown junkie.

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