Last night my husband and I went for a bike ride, it was the first time we rode our bikes in over two years. Of course I was drenched and completely exhausted after just a few minutes, but we managed to ride for about an hour. It was the most amazing things that has happened in a long while.
When I met my husband, I learned about his passion for bike riding. He used to do this a lot with his friends, all throughout his late 20s and early 30s. They would go on long biking trips, all around the lower mainland of Vancouver. He would go on trips with his friends often, even if it’s just road cycling around the city, or occasionally some light mountain biking on the trails around here. It was his go-to exercise, alone or with others. Apparently he was really good at it. He had a lot of stamina and endurance and I know he used to be super fit, thanks to cycling.
Then when we met, he expressed to me that he would like to go bike riding with me as well. I already rode a bike around the city I lived in, but I never did it as a sport. So when I moved to Canada, and we were still living with his parents, he bought me a decent bicycle. We rode around the residential area where we lived, and then only a few more times after moving into our apartment, in a busier area of the city. Even though I wanted to go on bike rides with him, there was always a sense of insecurity for me. The drivers here are crazy, and there are only very few cycling paths. Mostly, I am scared, but on top of that I was never really willing to do the physically demanding activity.
One our last cycling trip to a nearby part of the city, there was a weird situation, most of which I don’t really remember. It was caused by me being unsure and making an unsafe maneuver, and my husband getting mad at me. There was a fight, and that was the last time we rode our bikes together. Until last night.
I can tell that he wants to re-introduce cycling back into his life. We brought his road bike to his mom’s place, from where he can easily access a stretch of road where he can safely ride, and he bought second air pump for the bikes we still have at our place. Then last night, around midnight, he asked me how tired I was. I told him I was tired, but asked if he wanted to go for a drive, which we sometimes do at night, he asked “drive or ride?” with a grin on his face.
So without overthinking it, I agreed. It was a blast! Even though it was exhausting, it felt amazing. I forgot how freeing it it to ride a bike. The wind in my face, the cool air and the sounds all around me. I felt like my body was a machine, and I was in control of where I was going. I hadn’t had this sort of connection to my body in years, it’s nothing like lifting weights and doing squats at home. I felt empowered.
However, the very best part of it was the connection I felt with my husband. He was so sweet, paddling next to me at a speed that must have been a joke to him. He was very patient and encouraging and I could tell he was having fun just riding around with me. He seemed a little concerned about how exhausted I was, even after a few minutes I was breathing heavily. I think it’s normal though. I am very overweight, when I paddle I don’t get a lot of momentum, and my heart and lungs are working like crazy. Nothing I ever do for a work out compares to the strain on my whole body like cycling on the road does.
The physical strain will get better as I get fitter. I am looking forward to riding our bikes again and again. Not only is this a great workout for me, but the potential of re-connecting with my husband by sharing this hobby that he loves, is immense. Who knows, maybe I can become a good cyclist like he is. At least now my mindset is completely different. Where before I dreaded the strain, now I welcome the connection to my body, I want to push myself and go further each time. Also, I will not stop myself by weird insecurities and brush my husband’s wish to do this together aside anymore. Last night was just too amazing, and the feeling of partnership seeped into my thick scull while I was riding with my love.
After we came home, he quietly said: “We need to make more memories.” I didn’t react to him right then, but I heard it. I agree, let’s go again tonight and then venture on!