After another wind-swept ride on Saturday, in which I had a disappointing time in a 30-mile route, I spent Sunday with my lovely wife. Our first activity was going on a 4.5 mile run together. By “run together,” what I mean to say is she slowed down to a 9:00 minute/mile pace and I struggled to keep up. You will note a distinct lack of photos. This is because I do not take good pictures when my heart rate is over 90% capacity.
Our run completed, we then cleaned ourselves up and went grocery shopping. I was much better able to keep up with my wife in this activity, although it must be said she is exceptionally dexterous in a crowded store and I had a few moments where my ability to follow with the cart was tested. Sadly, I did not take any photos here either.
Then we went for a bike ride. Finally, we were in my element.
My wife has not yet reached the point where riding on roads seems to be a rational thing to do. We therefore opted to stay on pathways for eight miles, which took us to a local shopping center. Once there, I introduced my wife to the bicycling tradition of the mid-ride snack. We stepped in to a local Subway sandwich shop and had a lovely break, all the while watching our precious machines through the shop window. I could have locked the bikes up but there were no bicycle racks nor anything else which would serve the purpose. Also, it was early on a Sunday afternoon and things were moving slowly in the area. It was highly unlikely they would be taken so we decided to live life on the edge.
By now, the discerning reader will have noted the snazy rack bag on the back of the Absolute. This handsome addition was purchased a few weeks ago and it was put to use on this ride as the place where my sneakers were stored. This allowed me to enter the Subway without clomping about on my road shoes – very nice. My wife also attempted to store her soda from lunch for the return trip. About half a mile into the return, she discovered that a significant bump (in this case, a road gutter) would launch the cup from this position into the air whereupon it would land on the ground behind her. This was an inexpensive lesson in the capabilities of her newly bought bike bag.
Finally, my wife was pleased to try out her very first set of cycling clothes and happily discovered the benefits of a proper chamois pad (which she affectionately calls a “diaper”). There were far fewer issues with her seat than with previous, unpadded, journeys and morale soared commensurately.
In the end, the ride was about 16 miles. I was able to introduce my wife to all sorts of exciting aspects of cycling. In addition to the previously mentioned mid-ride snack, she had a chance to dodge cars coming from side streets, do a little bit of drafting, hear another cyclist shout, “On your left,” and grumble at the slowness of traffic signals to give pedestrians the right of way. At one point, she flew past me on a hill as I was patiently spinning my wheels to let her catch up. I attempted to explain that what just occurred was a microcosm of competitive cycling – she attacked on a hill and I was in the wrong gear to respond.
She looked at me like I was an idiot. I guess she still has a ways to go before fully embracing the roadie ethos.
It was a good day.