“It won’t be a stylish marriage; I can’t afford a carriage. But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.”
According to writer Harry Dacre, his heroine, Daisy Bell, and her sweetheart seemed destined for marital bliss.
My husband and I? Not always.
Whatever a stylish marriage is, I don’t think ours qualifies. I don’t look sweet, either, red face sweating as Hubby and I climb hills on our tandem bike.
We’ve come a long way since our first tandem ride 19 years ago, when we bought the bike as both celebration and consolation for our empty nest.
Hubby explained this “togetherness” hobby would work for us. “It’s the perfect solution for riders of — er — unequal athletic levels.”
Let Hubby do most of the work? Sounded like a plan to me.
After 30 years, we didn’t expect our first ride would send us back to Marriage 101. That we would nearly take out our neighbor’s trash cans. Starting and stopping required the precision of our operating like bicycle gears. Hubby hadn’t realized navigating turns would be like driving a semi. Dragging an extra person up a hill would resemble hauling an oversize load.
I, taking the back seat, hadn’t realized I’d see nothing in front but Hubby’s back. Nor did I understand that without exception, I had to communicate my intention to procure my water bottle. Once, my shift in balance sent us careening toward a pickup.
Hubby and I still disagree on how to deal with 4,371 dogs that guard roads throughout our county.
Canines always lunge for riders on the back seat. Ergo, my approach: “Pedal for your — I mean, my — life!”
Hubby’s: “We’ll never outrace them. Yell at the dogs to alert the owner.”
What if the owner commutes to Chicago?
Despite our differences, we enjoy aspects of the Indiana countryside many people miss — rustling cornfields, forested hills and flower-covered meadows. Cows and horses can’t make heads nor tails of this odd, two-headed creature passing their fields.
Daisy and her man probably discovered that riding a tandem and achieving wedded bliss are work! Both are acquired tastes — especially puffing up those hills.
Though on that first ride, we hit speed bumps, Hubby and I have kept both tandem and marriage moving. They’re our favorite pastimes.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever ridden a tandem bicycle?