A Personal Best

Drat! I forgot to turn my Garmin on after the break at the turn.

Sunday’s ride featured a personal best for distance, not mine but my wife’s.  We completed an epic 24-mile trek on the Rte 234 multi-use path, past the Lake Jackson Dam, all the way to the Meadows Farms Nursery.  This is the farthest The Diesel has cycled to date and puts her in good shape for the 34-mile course we will ride in three weeks as part of the Reston Century ride.

Topping off the water bottle at Meadows Farms

I continue to be fascinated by The Diesel’s development as a cyclist as it touches upon the distinct differences between running and cycling.  She routinely jogs 10 miles as she prepares for her first marathon this October.  This is a distance on the edge of my fitness – comparable to a ride of 80 or 90 miles.  I could go farther (and have) but to do so would be a significant emotional (and physical) event.  Despite this high level of running prowess, she had her fill of cycling at 24 miles.  I am happy she is taking on the 34 miler in August.  At least she’ll be able to say her longest cycling distance is farther than the marathon she just ran.  To have your longest run exceed your longest bike ride is kinda silly, in my opinion.

My first attempt at a “double shadow portrait.” Not my best work.

I believe I’ve discovered that the Madone is not a good bike to use on my trips with The Diesel.  It’s simply too fast a machine and my wife is regularly frustrated as I errantly scoot away from her when I’m not paying attention.  It’s not fun getting regularly dropped – I know this from experience – and I’m not interested in visiting the experience upon her.  I believe Old Ironsides will work much better in the future. 

I enjoy many types of bicycle rides.  I like riding fast, riding far, riding in groups, and riding in new places.  But the rides I like best are with my wife.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?


18 thoughts on “A Personal Best

  1. Wives… can’t live with ’em, can’t live… actually we can live with them. We need them, while they could get on just fine without us. You are a lucky, lucky man.

    Allez, Diesel!

  2. Wonder who’s succeeding faster – you, at getting her more into riding, or she, at getting you running more? Either way, good for both (and us – more stories!)

    Btw, I learnt that trick about riding a slower bike long time back. Now, unless their are hills on the route, I ride my hybrid when she’s riding her road bike so we mostly keep apace.

    • The only reason why my wife isn’t a better cyclist is because she chooses not to be. She’s the athletically gifted one and is busily kicking butt in the running world. If she ever chooses to focus on cycling, I’ll quickly find myself in her wake.

    • I asked her that very question and she reported no difficulty. I had some challenges on 40+ mile rides with my hybrid and found ergonomic grips helped a bit. My wife’s challenge is back soreness, which is what drove us to buy a flat bar with a stem riser. It seems to help.

  3. I am absolutely with you on having the right bike to use when cycling with your better half. I find walking with Mrs T a great pain as we can never find the right mutual pace but cycling is a great pleasure and the slow bike fits the activity perfectly as it is comfortable at her speed. Have you got the Diesel to hang on to your back wheel? Mrs T refuses to ride anywhere but in front which is a waste in strong winds.

    • LOL! The Diesel has the same issue. I have repeatedly offered to pull for her but she views drafting as being too much like racing and somehow unfair to me as the person doing the work. She also worries I’ll do something unexpected which will cause her to run into me – not an unreasonable fear, to be honest. My wife views bike rides as pleasant pedals through lovely country and therefore drafting in order to increase speed and reduce work is not helpful.

      • It’s not the increased speed, it’s the reduced work that I think of. Still, I must say that your wife seems like a very sensible person.

    • I don’t know much about tandems, but it seems to me they require a significant amount of cooperation. I can only imagine the… discussions that would ensue between my wife and I should we try one!

  4. Great post. I haven’t been able to get my wife into cycling…yet. In any case, I’ll be participating in the Reston Century as well. See you there!

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