Here's what a geeky athletic couple my husband, Grant, and I are: we'd rather go for a bike ride together than see a movie. (We fell in love on wheels, really. When we weren't riding, we'd bond over the fact that we both entertained the idea of being a bike messenger in NYC.) With both of us traveling too much lately, we haven't talked about anything more than who is "brushing" Ben's teeth tonight (read: wrenching his jaw open, then jamming in a toothbrush while he wails) or figuring out how to use our newly-bought composter or responsible for leaving bananas off the grocery list. Compelling stuff, I realize, but not enough to carry a relationship. Desperate for some QT together, I found a babysitter for Saturday morning so we could take our first ride together in over a year.
Buoyed by a low-wind, sunny morning--and the prospect of starting a weekend not with chores, but with each other--we set out, and after we got out of town and traffic, I couldn't slow down. As cheesy as it sounds, my spirit was soaring. Newly fitted into my aerobars, I rested my forearms into them, put my head down and pushed and pushed down the route that was, for these hilly parts, amazingly flat.
I was working hard--I was feeling too strong to just cruise--and as soon as I felt like I couldn't carry the pace, Grant would pull up in front of me and toe the line. I'd hang back in his air pocket for as long as I needed to, then assume the lead again. I wasn't watching my heart rate or my bike computer or anything, really, except his ankles or the road. We leapfrogged like that for nearly two hours, hardly exchanging words, but knowing exactly what the other person needed. If only marriage were that fluid and simple.
Towards the end, I rode up beside him and said, "Now I remember why I fell in love with you."
"Why?" he asked. (Truth be told, I wished he would've yelled something like, "Yes, my sweetness! Bikes!" But he didn't, so I helped him out.)
"We love to ride our bikes together," I said, and he smiled.