A Clipped-In Marriage

My in-laws pulled in at 7:30am to pick up our kids for a breakfast date. After saving my birthday money in 2019 and looking for almost a year, we ended up buying a Giant Liv mountain bike from my neighbor. It’s a Cadillac. I named her the Pinky Pie Express.

Spence and I took advantage of early morning childcare and decided to take her out for spin this morning. My maiden voyage on the PPE had me calculating how long it had been since I’d last mountain biked. 18 months. And Probably 18 months or longer before that. My last true recollection of mountain biking with Spence was shortly after we moved to Circle C and a grandparent stayed with the kids so we could go play. I remember we jumped into the neighborhood pool at the end of that ride. It was delightful.

I felt rusty today, but remembered the countless days we’d weaved through trails throughout Austin early in our marriage. It was sweet to think that we were doing this same thing 12 years ago and how differently things look now than they did back then. I am so thankful for the great trails within riding distance of our house. I’m grateful that Spence leads the way. And I am grateful for the opportunity to cover so much ground, to see so much beauty, and to push my body in a way that requires my full attention. I always thought something like yoga or rock climbing would have to be that for me, but when I’m clipped in and gripping those handlebars, I really can’t have anything else on my mind but the trail right in front of me.

It was a cool morning and I was rusty, but I was also surprised by my muscle memory. My body remembers hairpin turns, rock gardens, steep downhills and gnarly climbs. Yes, I’m older now (I’ll actually be pushing 40 a month from now), but it’s still in there. And when we pulled to the side to let an older woman pass going the other way, I thought, I want to do this! I want to be out here as long as I can. I don’t want to look at my watch or be in a workout class glancing up at the clock every five minutes to see when it’s over. I want to be outside, playing in nature with my husband and children. I don’t want to get too excited, but Spence told me he and Brooks biked the same route we took this morning just a few weeks ago. Sabra has the endurance, Brooks has the skill, so I’m rooting for us to be a biker family.

In honor of this foray back into a sport that used to be so central to our lives, I thought I would dig up my first ever published piece. It was actually published in a journal and then later in an anthology, so I guess we could say it was double-published. It’s all about biking and us. It was written long ago, there are a few errors, but no one has been my cheerleader in writing or in life like my husband. To Spence!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *