Monday, August 24, 2009

True Love: It has to be



My wife and I just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. It doesn't seem like 11 years have passed. Ok, maybe I had more hair and less weight, but time has flown by. This is a story of true love, one of fairy tale proportions. It has to be true love or it wouldn't have lasted 2 years!

True Love Part 1:

In 1996 when Emily and I were still dating, I convinced her to buy a mountain bike. You know the plan, "hey, I've got an idea, lets find an activity that we can do together." That always works out.....right? She did very well, only a few scrapes and bruises, at least there were no broken bones. Then I convinced her that clip-less SPD pedals were the way to go. More bruises and scrapes, but she stuck with it (more importantly she stuck with me). As memory serves, she crashed the day before our wedding and scraped up her knee, her mother was less then impressed. But we were married and have been since.

True Love Part 2:

Fast forward to 2007, I had just purchased my first bike in many years. We were living in Alaska and about to move to Virginia. I trusted the moving company with all of our heirlooms and precious things, but I could not tolerate them packing my brand new Salsa, so I packed it in the van for the 5,000 mile drive. It couldn't go on the roof rack because it was -40 degrees and the next 2,000 miles would be as bad as the moving company. I carefully packed around it, taking care not penetrate it's aura. Did I mention that we had two kids and two 50 pound poodles in the car as well (yes, I have poodles). The bike even stayed in some hotel rooms, I am not sure why, it might have been better for it's aura.

Anyway, we had been in Virginia for a several days, we were living in a hotel room until our townhouse was ready, nothing like a hotel room with two adults, two children under the age of 5, and two 50 pound poodles. Oh yes don't forget my bike. Of course when you live in a hotel room you are forced to eat out a lot. So there we were getting ready to go through the drive through, my wife was driving, I had dozed off when I was awakened by a blood curdling crashing sound. My heart sank, my bike was on the roof and had just met the 8'6" clearance sign. I know that my wife felt bad, the bike only had a couple of hundred miles on it. I fought back tears (I cry in the shower so no one sees the tears).

I had the rear tire zip tied to the cargo basket due to a flaw in Yakima's Load Warrior Basket. True, the "flaw" may have involved me ripping a clearance sign off at the Mall of America when I left the front well on the wheel mount on the basket. But I digress, so there we were in the Burger King drive through, we can't go forward, we can't go back and I am trying to get my bike off of the roof. The lady behind us, clearly seeing the struggle, started honking and gesticulating. It was at that point that I learned that people are generally intolerant of bikes, on or off the road. It was not until we got back to the hotel that I assessed the damage. My beautiful bike's top tube had a series of scrapes several inches long. True love, although my wife clearly violated the aura of my bike, I still love her.


True Love Part 3:

In November 2007, I received a large bonus that involved a few years of commitment. I thought that if I would potentially end up in Iraq or Afghanistan, I might as well enjoy life. So I convinced my wife that I needed a new mountain bike. I wanted simplicity, just like I had when I first started mountain biking in 1994. Nothing that was clouded in technology, I wanted steel, I wanted 29 inch wheels. So I ordered another Salsa, the El Mariachi.

It arrived and was ready for pickup on 21 December. I picked it up, it was just like my first Huffy (wait, that doesn't sound right). I was a 32 year-old kid that just got a new bike, like when I got my first Huffy (that sounds better). I spent the next couple of days trying to escape so I could ride it. Christmas day, we sat around the tree opening presents, of course my family sent bicycling stuff. Olivia and Vance were excited. Emily did not look so excited, it was at that moment that I realized I had done wrong. I was so focused on my new toy, I had forgotten to buy Emily a Christmas gift. I guess it is a good thing that we have true love, especially as I dug a hole about the true spirit of Christmas and that it wasn't about material things. She still loves me.

Fairy Tale Romance
Once again, my wife and I have a wonderful relationship. It is truly based on love, when she gets frustrated with me she doesn't yell, she says "Why don't you go for a ride." She gets it. Maybe someday Disney will make a cartoon about us. Maybe they will illustrate me with hair.



That would be cool since I noticed most have mullets!

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