The Cycling Widow

5:07 AM

This thread on a local biking forum caught my eye:

The spouse and I entered cycling together – our road bikes were acquired exactly one week apart – and every addition to our bike corral is soon followed by a similar bike purchase for the other person.  (He currently has one more bike that I do – a 29er – but as I am not interested in riding the wagon wheel, I’m fine with this imbalance.)  There are a few other cycling couples on our team; more often than not, however, I am introduced to a spouse at a race who doesn’t have more than a poorly maintained cruiser in the garage.  And more often than not, that spouse is a woman. 

I always feel some responsibility when I meet these women.  Perhaps this is what religious door-knockers feel like, but I have to fight the urge to shake them by the shoulders and exclaim, “Get a bike, woman!”  Part of it is because I cannot imagine anyone wouldn’t fall in love with cycling in any of its forms after trying it out, but the other part of me cannot imagine spending so much time away from my significant other in pursuit of something that gives me so much joy. 

Let’s face it: cycling is a sport that demands long stretches of time in rides, in preparation, and in maintenance.  When the cycling is good, everything else in our lives fades into the background (dishes pile up, errands remain uncompleted, bookmarks stubbornly stay in the same place day after day).  And while it makes the weekends a bit more hectic – you have to catch up sometime – it is always a compromise worth making. 

The spouse and I are not always aligned on our cycling schedule.  This week, for example, is his rest week while I am still building more hours on the road.  All of our interests do not magically coincide - I’ve never taken to video games, and metal music is just not music, not matter what he says.  But whenever I meet one of those cycling widows, I always wonder why they aren’t also out there spinning the pedals…

So, no grand insight here, just a musing, but there was one comment on the thread that did make me giggle:

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