I know I’ve never formerly introduced you to the Mechanic, also known as Mr M. or my husband, but I promise you, he is real and not the virtual partner I refer to here. Virtual Partner is a training tool designed by Garmin to help you meet your goals. You can customize the Virtual Partner to cycle at a target speed, to encourage you to keep pace.
Mr M. has a Garmin, and regularly uses the Virtual Partner on our rides. I have a love-hate relationship with this digital rider, and have probably made the mistake of letting my imagination give him a personality. You see there, I’ve already decided he’s a man, but there is no reason the training partner could not be a woman. I have not named him, but I have a vision of a rather dull cyclist who is always smugly ahead of me on the road. Looking over his shoulder not offering encouragement to keep up, but just letting me know that he’s beating me.
It is of course me or Mr M. who dictates the route, and suggests to Virtual Partner what speed we will cycle at. On the rides that the three of us do together, that is Mr.M, Virtual Man and myself, our Garmin friend is usually set at a target speed of 25kms per hour.
Our home, is at the top of a small incline, so things usually begin okay, the three of us setting off together at the same speed, but then Virtual Partner never stops at the red lights at the bottom of the hill, he just keeps on riding. He also never requires a ‘comfort break’ and miraculously can send us on a wrong route, but stay on the correct one himself. Usually when cycling with friends it is customary to stop and help out if one of the group has a puncture, but not for Virtual Partner, he just rides on. He’s always first to the coffee and cake stop, but never wants to take a break, and always back home before me.
On one occasion I did keep pace with him, I had to put in so much effort, and only beat him because I had the benefit of the wind behind me, and sat on the Mechanic’s back wheel, I was rewarded with a little chiming fanfare. If I wanted more congratulatory fanfares, I could set Virtual Partner at a slower pace, but I think we would loose respect for ourselves and each other, if I was to do that. Now don’t get me wrong I am a great fan of Garmin and would not dream of riding by myself without the assistance, however I choose to leave Virtual Partner ‘off’ when its just me and him.
If you have a better relationship with him please do let me know, I’d like Virtual Partner and I to be friends, any advice welcome.