He walks me into the bike store. He smiles and tells me to buy whatever I want. I look behind me through the glass door at the discount clothing store across the street. I would rather be there. He tells me to choose whichever outfit is the most comfortable. He says there are plenty of options but to me they all look the same. The bottoms all come in the same black and the tops in their bright neons. So much spandex in one place, my limbs quiver.
Last year my husband and I did our first joint ride. He encouraged me every step of the way, was my biggest supporter. Even said I looked good in spandex. As we climbed a particularly grueling hill and I tried not to curse the day he was born, I asked why he needed me there. He could have asked some cycling buddy to do the ride with him. His answer made me stop cursing him. He said he liked doing things with me and this is something he enjoys doing and wanted to share it with me.
So here we are again. This time as a family. We are in Moab, UT. I am again dressed head to toe in spandex. I am on my bicycle on a grueling hill. This time, though, I know why I am here. I no longer feel the need to rue his existence for bringing me here, for sharing this magnificent place with me and our children. Because yes, we are struggling. The children and I have to dismount repeatedly in order to make it through some of the more treacherous spots. But I know we’re here because my husband would rather share this with us, spend time with us, then just come here with some cycling buddy*.
I love that though we do lots as a family. Though we spend time together at home and playing in the park and all the other activities that make up day to day life, my husband wants to involve us in his favorite activities as well. And the whole cycling thing, spandex and all, yeah, now my son is getting into it too. I guess pretty soon the two of them can do the joint rides and I may not have to anymore. There will certainly be a little less animosity towards my husband on those days.
*Though I did hear talk of returning with some friends and doing some “real” rides in the future.