A few months ago, Deb and I were talking about how much I enjoy riding. She’s seen how I enjoy the camaraderie, the places you get to see, the exercise benefits and the fact that it’s just plain fun. (she’s also seen how it can restore my sanity after a rough day)
I was telling her how it would be really cool if she could share that with me. The problem is, that she’s just not really comfortable on the bike around cars and traffic and stuff.
Compounding that is the fact that the few times we’ve gone out in the past, I've had a tendency to turn it into a training ride or an exercise session and not an event where we can just go out and have a fun ride.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I’ve tried to come up with ways to share my experiences with her. I usually come home from a ride and try my best to convey everything I saw or everything we did on a ride. Eventually though, her eyes would glaze over and she’d fall back on the “that’s nice dear” phrases which indicate that I’d lost her.
Well a couple of months ago, my friend Jerry loaned me a tandem bike that he’s had since...well...since hot pink tandem bikes were all the rage. (I’m not saying that hot pink isn’t all the rage now, but I think it’s safe to say it’s decidedly less trendy than it was back in the early 80’s)
We both agreed this “sounded” like a fun idea. We both also agreed that this could end very badly – like with us killing each other...
Last night as Deb and I were talking about going for a walk, she suggested we give the tandem a try. So, with no small amount of trepidation, I pulled it out of the garage, added some air to the tires, and off we went with the goal to be surviving one lap around the block. (1 mile)
After finishing that one lap with no issues, we decided to expand our loop to the surrounding neighborhood. It’s amazing the amount of people that wave and smile when you’re on a tandem. I’m pretty sure that almost every single person we passed either said hi or smiled at us as we went by. (I'm pretty sure they were laughing because we were so cute together and not because there was a big old bald guy on a pink tandem)
Well, since it was getting cold and would soon be dark, we decided to head back to the house and call it a good. I think we did a couple of miles total and although my legs didn’t get much of a workout, my face was sore from smiling and laughing.
Afterwards, it dawned on me that I really had a LOT of fun. I guess sometimes, if you’ve been riding for a while you can get locked in to the training aspect of riding. The goal being a certain number of miles, keeping a certain pace or getting in a certain number of feet of climbing. It’s easy to lose sight of the simple joy of riding a bike with your friends and the pleasure that comes from sharing something you enjoy with someone you love...