Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ode to a Cycling Buddy

I have a friend.  During a lot hot ride she got me back on my bike as I lay on the grass having a mini-meltdown.  She laughed a long side of me as we fought gale force winds and sideways rain out in the middle of lettuce fields.  She changes my flat tires because we might still be sitting on the side of the road if she waited for me to change them.  She has met me at various points all over Northern California at all hours of the day just to get some miles in.  She knows when I need a pep talk and knows when to let me push through my low moments quietly.  She always make sure at least one of our rest stops on a long ride is a Starbucks.  We have cheated death together in the form of a crack in the road that almost sent us both crashing to the ground.  She makes me go the long way, even when I curse her name the entire time cause she knows it will make us stronger.  Even when she can't ride, she meets me at the top of a difficult climb with an ice cold coke.

From our very first ride together in 2008 . . .
To finishing ALC together!
I never imagined that back in May 2008 when, on a dare of sorts from another co-worker, we biked across the causeway to work together for "May is Bike to Work Month" that two years later along that same route biking home we would plan to train to ride 100 miles.  

I never imagined that two years after that first 100 mile ride we would have riden 5 more together.

I never imagined we would spend 7 days and 545 miles togther biking from San Francisco to Los Angeles together. 

Samantha and I just "get each other" out on the bike.  My weaknesses are improved my her strengths.  There is never any pressure to ride a certain way.  We can ride for miles without saying a word or we can spend 80 miles chatting away.   With each ride we encourage each other to pull ahead or fall back if one of us is having a "off" day although we never get too far ahead without making sure the other is okay. 

Over the last few years of riding together I have watched us both become stronger cyclists and enjoyed having someone to celebrate the milestones with.  Whether it is 100+ degree heat, rain, wind, flat tires, etc you never know what kind of a ride you are going on when we are together.  Funny things have a way of happening to us out on the road, all which provide great memories.  Knowing she is out on the road with me pushes me when I don't think I can continue and gives me something to look forward to when I know I have 80 long miles ahead of me that day.  I only wish we still could still bike commute together.  

As I capped off what was probably my best and strongest year on my bike I thought the person who was beside me 99% of the time deserved some of the credit.  I can only hope I have been able to help her as much as she helped me.  I can't wait to see what adventures 2013 has in store for us!

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1 comment:

  1. OMG YOU! I'm crying on my couch here over this post. This means the world to me. :)
    I have enjoyed every single minute - the long ones, hot ones, slow ones, hard ones, easy ones, quiet ones, chatty ones ....all of them!

    It has been nothing but a pleasure having you by my side these last few years. You've made me a better rider and a better riding partner. What amazing things we have accomplished, right?

    More than anything though I just simply adore you, and K, and your parents too. Thanks for all the moments and miles and looking forward to the future!


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