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This evening I am sitting outside with Jim enjoying a peaceful summer evening. It has been a very low key day and the evening looks to be ending up pretty much the same way. Enjoying a glass of wine, there are no kids outside and you can pretty much hear birds, crickets and the occasional dog barking . . .
My post tonight is about my recent decision to join my husband in something that he really enjoys doing . . . biking. Long before we were married Jim belonged to a group from Indiana called "Wandering Wheels". This organization takes bike rides cross country. Jim has been on two of the trips, once riding from San Diego to Florida and then from San Diego to South Carolina on another trip. In recent years as our kids have gotten older he has picked up the love of riding again.
He started out with buying everyone in the family new bikes several years ago, but it soon became apparent that he was the only one that was really going to get much joy out of his long distance riding. The kids quickly realized that if dad asked you to go for a bike ride, he was talking at least 10 miles or more! It wasn't unusual for him to be gone for several hours on a beautiful day as he discovered new trails and new adventures. This summer CJ has joined him a few times for shorter trips, Jim is looking forward to him getting older and being able to ride longer distances with him.
I really never had the urge to intrude on his time, he has a stressful job as the Dean of Students at a local college and he had been working on his doctorate, I just thought it was his time to "unwind". Lately though I have been trying to think of ways that Jim and I could spend more time together. Our girls are both in high school and are able to stay with CJ and Jim didn't really want to run, something I started doing a few years ago as a way of meeting a personal goal.
If you follow this blog you know that a few weeks ago Jim and I went up to the North Shore to get away for our anniversary. We brought our bikes and we rode along beautiful Lake Superior. When we got back, my anniversary gift to Jim was to allow him to finally get a new bike that he had been eyeing for quite some time. Since then, I have joined him on 3 additional trips.
We are slowly modifying his "old" bike to fit me and I've been able to take some 14 miles rides with him before I head home and he goes on. Today I was able to complete 20 miles! Not bad for my 4th time out. I can honestly tell you that while sitting here on this very relaxing evening, I can tell that I rode 20 miles!
When we are out riding together, Jim has to ride at a much slower pace than he is used to and he probably has to stop for breaks more than he normally does, but he doesn't say anything. He's constantly checking to see how I'm holding up. It's not like we talk a whole lot while we are riding, (most likely because I'm out of breath!) but we are together. I've also been introduced to trails, lakes, streets and scenery that I didn't even know were part of our community while riding with him.
I know that I have started late in the season, but I'm sure we have a few more rides left before we put the bikes away for the winter. I'm happy to join him on something that he loves doing, and can see this being something that we could continue to do for years to come. Since both of our girls will be out of the house long before CJ is a teenager, we've talked about how future vacations will include the 3 of us bringing our bikes and hitting the trails.
Joining my husband biking falls into my own personal goal of wanting to be more active and fit before I turn 50 next year, and I get to enjoy being with him while meeting that goal.