My wife and I rode the Dawn Farm Ride for Recovery yesterday. 100k of pure joy (technically it was 103 or so, but who’s counting). We did it in around 4:10 – 4:15 and while it could have been warmer, at least it wasn’t raining this year.
This was my wife’s longest ride by just shy of 20 miles. She was a total trooper and muscled through that nagging committee member who said, “you can’t”.
Fortunately we lucked out with the wind too, it was directly in our face for darn near the entire first half of the ride. We stayed with a group of three other guys until I could sense the Mrs. struggling to hang on, so we let them go and I pulled the rest of the way to the turn around. It took some doing to get the pace and cadence right but I managed to find a butter-zone that I could hold easily, hands on the bar tops to block as much wind as possible, and Mrs. Bgddy could keep up with well. We just clicked off the miles one by one.
When we hit the turnaround I let her take the lead so she could choose the pace with the wind at our back. If I’d have taken the lead and not matched her pace I’d have created a yo-yo which would eventually have the effect of creating doubt – and I’ve been there before with my wife… Once the doubt sets in, it’s all bad and snowballs into something ugly. She cruised well and we made some good time. We arrived at the last stop with 17 miles to go and it was time for a shoulder rub and a pep talk. With that, we were off.
The next ten were pretty fair but then we turned north and were hammered by a nasty crosswind. My wife hunkered down alongside me and we ground out the next five-ish side by side. The last two of those brought some tears. She was really tired and ready to be done. I tried to reassure her that we were almost done, we were almost there, focusing on reassuring her – and I think it worked because she didn’t realize that five were almost all uphill and quite a grind.
We turned onto Stoney Creek road and the celebration started. Tears flowed, fist bumps and high five’s… And we turned into the farm.
For me, the time spent with my wife cycling was awesome. Light on the worries and expectations, high on the fun. It was also, by far, the best I’ve ever felt after a long ride. I’m looking forward to many, many more of those.