Barb and I enjoyed a long-term love affair with large motorcycles. One day, we realized that we were missing much of what was truly important to us. We needed to find a way to slow down. Bicycle was the first topic that came to mind.
From the barn, I retrieved a British, 3-speed Dunalt we’d purchased in the West Indies and a Free Spirit 10-speed from Sears. Their condition was appalling–the chains were stiff with rust, the tires were flat and weather checked. Reconditions was beyond my capability, so I loaded them into the pickup and hauled them to a local bike shop.
After returning home, we agreed that we should visit a small, county café located some seven miles to the southwest as soon as the bikes were finished. We’d cycled there before. The course involved a couple of hills, but in all it was a relatively easy trip.
With our bikes in top shape we set out for coffee. I was hardly a mile from home before my legs screamed to go back home. Failure was a bitter pill. Had we waited to long? Had life passed us by?
Unwilling to announce our defeat so early on, we began a physical-conditioning schedule: pedaling a mile on Monday, walking the same mile on Tuesday, then repeating that schedule on Wednesday and Thursday. The speed of our recovery was astounding. At the end of the second week a trip to the café was in order. It was a new beginning.
We branched out, cycling to other destinations. All was well except that our strengths didn’t develop in a linear fashion. While Barb pedaled her heart out I was forever waiting on her. One evening she mentioned that owning a tandem bicycle might solve our dilemma.
That seemed simple enough. “Let’s go buy one,” I said.