Thursday, September 1, 2011

Riding with a spouse is cool, but…

Often times, I hear  my fellow riders lament about how they *wish* their spouses/significant others would ride with them. Often in mountain biking couples, you find one spouse who is completely in love with the sport and the other wants nothing to do with it. I am lucky in that way. I am definitely the more avid lover of MTB, but my husband rides too. He likes to ride and he rides well. And I must admit, he has much more technical skill than I do.  And far better balance.  So I learn a lot when I ride with him whether I want to or not.
However, as the saying goes:  “with great power, comes great responsibility”….so to speak. 

Don't try this at home kids.
The other day, we were in a group ride with my husband leading down a familiar trail taking it with lots of speed as he has countless times before. And wham…within a second, he was on the ground, knees bloodied, the wind knocked out of him and his bike off to the side in a heap. The horror that goes through you when you see your loved one get hurt like that on a ride is indescribable.  You immediately wish that you were the one who went down and realize how quickly that it could have been you. So we quickly take inventory of body and bike and end up hobbling out of the woods with a tubeless tire fail that can’t be fixed on the fly. And, my husband keeps trying to convince me he is “okay” when I ask. But, I know better. I can read the pain that his limited words convey.

Afterwards you deal with the ensuing healing of the other person that just seems to take forever. You wish you could wave a wand and fix it all immediately.  But, you can’t.  So days go by with lots of bacitracin and bandages and maybe even a trip to the ER at Midnight because an infection has brewed in the wound despite the fact that you have been diligently working to keep it clean.  And you both can’t wait until you are able to ride together again. It just isn’t the same when one of you is bike broken. But, you are thankful that it was not worse as you know so well that it could have been.

So, my advice is to keep that in mind happy couples where only one of you are participants in this sport. Next time you imagine how awesome it could be if you could do this together….think about if you could handle it if you watched that person get hurt on their bike.  The other side of the coin….the inevitable and harsh reality that will occasionally come with it.  The part I wish I could just take away and fix right now. But, I can’t.

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