It’s Monday night, I’m watching the Tigers clobber the Cincinnati Reds, maybe 50 miles north of Detroit. It’s raining so hard up here that Noah’s thinking of a comeback. Detroit? Comerica Park is an open air ballpark. Not a drop.
Earlier this evening, Mrs. Bgddy and I barely fit in an easy 16 mile ride before it started spitting on us (We even took the rain bikes just in case). Our last mile was spent in a lazy drizzle that cooled us down nicely. God, I love riding in that kind of rain. Riding in what you see on the photo on the other hand, woulda sucked – bad enough that all you could do would be laugh and keep pedaling (or phone in a ride home – that much rain on the windshield of a car would make seeing a cyclist exceptionally difficult. I would prefer not to be on the road).
When we pulled into the driveway my awesome wife apologized for “being so slow tonight”. She was fighting a little bit of a lung thing that started in the rain yesterday and she just wasn’t feeling herself. Riding the rain bikes, I had to track the ride on my phone because I don’t have a computer on that bike so I really didn’t know how fast we were going throughout the ride, though I had a general idea simply by knowing the gear I was in…
I reached into my back pocket to pull out my phone and stop Endomondo. 16 mph on the nose. 16 miles, 59 minutes and 49 seconds, and she had just apologized for being slow. On her slow bike.
Lately that is a little slower than normal, but on a Monday, that’s exactly what I wanted, to spin my legs up for the big ride on Tuesday. Monday is supposed to be slow. For my wife, she’s coming off a decent effort in miserable conditions Sunday morning. She’s supposed to be slow the next day… This is interesting
becasuse because (how did spell checker miss that one?) last year 16 mph for her was fast – 13 mph was slow.
With regular saddle time and consistently increasing intensity, my wife has gotten fast in less than a year. We’ve even started talking about a babysitter for the kids on Tuesday night so she can start riding with the club.
This presents its problems for me though. Historically, Tuesday night is my night to be fast. It’s my night to hammer. To work on my fitness and to hang with my friends…
On one hand, my wife joining our group on Sunday has been a gift, not only for me but for several of my friends as well. We ride hard on Saturday, so when we show up on Sunday and grind out the first 15-20 miles, we can drop back when my wife is out, let the racers hammer, and protect my wife on the ride back – we get the best of two (or even three) worlds in one ride: we get to hammer for half and enjoy a reasonably paced ride for the second. Truthfully, my wife joining us has doubled my enjoyment of the sport.
On the other hand, Tuesday is not a day for taking it easy, unless you count the 8 mile warmup as easy. Not at any point during the 30 mile jaunt except when we form up at the 20 mile mark do we ride in a fashion that could be mistaken for easy.
Now, this presents a problem because, as I’ve made abundantly clear previously, everyone gets dropped on Tuesday night. I do and don’t want to be selfish here. I had to make it on my own, I wouldn’t want to deprive my wife of the satisfaction of doing the same. I also want her to make it, because the faster she rides, the faster I get to ride. So do I wait when she drops, or not. Let’s just say that if I do, it would be the first time in three years I’ve waited for anybody, with the exception of forming up for that last ten mile ride in. I think we’ll simply have to have a frank discussion about expectations and see where it all shakes out. One thing’s for sure, I want my wife to be as fast and happy as possible, without sacrificing my own speed and time with the boys.
One way or another, I’m going to have to figure out how to have my cake and eat it too… Which leads me to another interesting realization: I love my problems today. It makes me laugh when I think about the bad-old-days, back when I was drunk on a daily basis and had a tough time paying for my car insurance let alone afford a place to live. So much has changed since then, I can’t even relate to who I was back then. This doesn’t, of course, mean I should double-down on stupid and try drinking again, it simply means I’m on the right path. I don’t miss the old me. Not even a little bit.