I’m not even going to try to avoid getting too sappy on this post. The best I can promise is that I’ll try to limit the damage.
With my newfound romance with my wife, something so special I’ve struggled putting it into words, we set out for Sunday morning’s day two of the Horsey Hundred knowing the group was going to do the 52 mile route but we were keeping it to the 37.
My wife, fearing the old me would resurface, asked delicately the night before, “I may not feel up to the full 52 miles, would you mind it if we decided to cut it to the 37-mile route if I’m not feeling it?”
I responded, “I loaded the 37-mile route on your Garmin yesterday. Whatever we ride, as long as we’re together, I’ll be happy.” My wife wiped a tear from her eye…
We rolled out at 7:45 to head over to the start line downtown and stopped for our group start line photo:
We rolled out with the main group at a decent pace. I took position behind my wife – she doesn’t like being last bike, she likes being second to last so she feels impelled to keep up with the group so the rider behind doesn’t get dropped. After the hundred the day before, I was more than happy to take that role! We stayed with the group for about ten miles before my wife started falling off the back on the hills. Shortly thereafter we were talking about splitting from the group and Chuck decided to go with us on the shorter route.
Before long, it was the three of us cruising down the road. Chuck would pull ahead, then wait for us to catch up. My wife and I just cruised along with smiles on our faces, enjoying the sunny, warm Kentucky morning and each other’s company. This was a complete departure from the normal Jim.
When my wife struggled up a hill, I’d pull up next to her and rest my hand on the small of her back, kicking up my watts to give her a small boost – we call this “Jenkinsoning someone”… in other words, “to be Jenkinsoned”, coined after our friend Greg, who helped my buddy Mike up the tough hills when he returned from an illness.
We did our 37-miles and had an absolute blast. After we finished, in the parking lot, my wife said that was the ride she’d always prayed for with me on a Horsey Hundred Sunday. Now it was my turn to wipe a tear from my eye. Friends, it’s as good as it gets.
Now that’s a happy wife… and a happy husband.
We showered up, packed the car and headed over for lunch before hitting the road home. Choosing the 37-mile option worked out great. We were heading for the car when the 52-mile group showed up for lunch.
We worked on our marriage renewal vows on the way home and sent out a text to our family that we were going to have a ceremony in our backyard in a couple of weeks. It was the best ride home of any Horsey weekend.
Good times and noodle salad. It’s as good as it gets.