Monday, June 6, 2016

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. (Jim Carrey)

Before we moved to Miami, we didn't know many couples who rode bicycles together. And all those couples were touring cyclists.That has changed. We ride with couples all the time in Miami.

Cycling is a very time-consuming sport. You can sit on the sidelines...or you can join the fun. Joining is much, much better.

It can be frustrating to be the slow-poke novice when your spouse is fit and speedy. If you want your spouse to take the time to ride with you, you have to commit to working your butt off.

I remember when Al and I first started riding together. He had a road bike. He found one for me. Problem one: I just couldn't learn to shift all those gears. I "solved" my problem by going to K-Mart and buying a cheap 5-speed. It had skinny-ish tires, hand brakes, big fenders, and a huge kickstand. It weighed a ton. But I could shift the gears. Al hung his head in dismay, but he sucked up his pride and rode (and rode and rode) with me. In time I got a better bike. (And another and another.)

At first I was slow, and I couldn't ride very far. He got me faster. He pushed me to ride farther (and farther and farther). The big family rule was no whining, no bitching, no bellyaching, no quitting. (I did, however, sometimes cheat and vent in some blog posts.)

I was lucky. Al knows me well. I can be bribed. Shiny new bikes. Nice bike clothes. Fun trips. Lots of good times together. At the end of long, hard rides, I was sore and exhausted. But I felt wonderful. And I really got hooked on that feeling wonderful part of cycling. Cycling keeps us both fit and healthy. It keeps us busy and involved. And it gives us a circle of cycling friends. Fun people who like being active.

We ride a lot. We see a lot of wonderful sunrises. We wander Miami's neighborhoods. We pedal barrier islands, causeways, bridges, and parkways. Best of all, we are riding together.

My recommendation if your spouse rides a bike: Don't let 'em pedal off without you!