Always Coming Back, Part One

I opted out of the Thanksgiving group ride on Thursday morning, for a solo mountain bike ride at Bonelli; it sucked, or at least my riding did, but man was it a beautiful day.

Back in the before-time, when we were yet to become Mrs and Mr, the wife and I would go on rides. They were often out along the coast - the Mar Vista, Venice, Santa Monica area, 
because that is where she lived. During one of those rides, and after barking at her one too many times - you know, something along the lines that maybe she should try pedaling rather than coasting as a way to keep from dropping so far behind and getting lost - she bestowed me with a new nickname, Sgt. Wagner. 

Then and there I decided it just wasn't working. Not the relationship, just the riding together part. We were at different levels, and the meeting ground was a muddy bog of unsatisfying compromise. She refused to heed my, clearly expert, advice, tips about riding on my wheel, maintaining momentum, and the like. For my part, I viewed everyday as a training day, and found it impossible to let my speed drop down to Cat 10 level.

Little has changed over the years, yet somehow things have continued to work out adequately. Knowing that I have to prepare mentally, I rarely extend an invitation for a joint excursion. But that is exactly what I did today, just a simple thirty mile out and back on the SGRT. It wasn't bad, but at one point she asks, "I'm riding pretty good today, huh?" Growing frustration, and my quick retort got the best of me - "sure, for a seventy-year-old." Oh, man - you just said that didn't you? - Fortunately she took it the way it was meant, as a joke. Yeah, thats it, a joke.

Truth be know, the mrs is a pretty good rider. She's not going to win any race, she won't even come in fifty-fifth out of fifty-seven starters but, even though her riding has fallen off lately, she is game for just about anything. Slow and steady wins the race, the turtle to my hare, and at the end of the day, if you can look back and know you had a good time, you can consider it a success.

Friday morning's ride was much better. Hope everyone got to enjoy a couple extra free days this week and that you didn't have to spend them in lines. Unless, of course, it was a line of riders.