Tag Archive | tandem biking

Tandem Living: Communication is Key

tandem bike drawingLast time, I talked about how important it is in tandem biking–and marriage–to make sure you’re going in the same direction. This time, my observation is that communication is a must in order to ride smoothly. My husband is an internal processor. He thinks about things and then makes a decision. Problem is, because he’s been talking to himself about things, he thinks he’s been talking to me about them. We often have conversations like this:

Me: Where are you going?

David: Home Depot

Me: What are you going to get?

David: Supplies for the fence project.

Me: What fence project?

David: You know, the fence project. I told you about it.

Me: Umm, no, you didn’t.

David: Yes, I did. You just don’t remember.

I may forget things, but usually it’s not about conversations we have about projects around the house. Every once in awhile, I have to ask him, “Thinking of anything I need to know about?” just so these things don’t come out of the blue.

In tandem biking, it is important for the “captain,” the one in the front doing the steering, to tell the “stoker” what is coming up. If there’s a low branch in the way, if there’s a big bump, if the stoker needs to signal a turn, the captain needs to communicate these things in order to make the ride more pleasant for both parties.

Likewise, if the stoker wants to go a certain way, and there’s not a specific destination in mind, then the stoker needs to communicate that. And the captain needs to listen. Recently, on our trip to Colorado, we rented a tandem bike. We let the owner drive off before making sure the bike was completely rideable, and therefore we ended up with a stoker’s seat that kept tilting as we rode. Every few minutes I would need to tell David to stop so that I could readjust the seat to a position that wouldn’t make me feel like I was about to fall off. I could have just kept that information to myself hoping he would notice how uncomfortable I was, but that would have just made me fume and him continue in cluelessness. My discomfort wasn’t his fault, but he certainly needed to know it was there so that he could help alleviate the problem. As soon as we got to our destination, we called the shop and the problem was fixed. Why go a week with a tilty seat when a little communication can solve the problem?

Communication in marriage is not an option. Small problems can become huge irritations if we don’t let our spouse know that something is bothering us. If husbands and wives don’t let some of the internal processing they’re doing become external, then misunderstandings will ensue.

Tandem biking is a partnership, and tandem living works the same way. Don’t let me get blindsided. Tell me about the big branch in the middle of the road as well as the cute little rabbit you know I’d like to see.

Next time: In tandem biking–and marriage–trust is essential.

Husband, Handlebars, Horses and Honest-to-Goodness Southern Seafood

David and I spent 2+ days in Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island for our anniversary. The days for me centered on four things: my husband, of course; handlebars (for alliteration purposes) of our tandem bicycle, on which we traveled many a mile; horses, which we rode down the beach via a stable called Kelly Seahorse Ranch; and lots of yummy, honest-to-goodness Southern seafood.

Husband: David is a really great guy. Of course, why else would I have married him? Not for his money, that’s for sure. We’re poor missionaries and don’t see that lifestyle ending anytime soon. He’s handsome, funny, caring. He’s a great dad–even by his 15-year-old’s estimation. That’s saying a lot. When his parents separated three years ago, he didn’t hesitate one bit in opening our home to his mom, even though it makes our eventual “empty nest” not so empty. He’s often putting others’ needs and desires above his own: the fact that we have any pets at all is testimony to that.

Handlebars: Many years ago, on a trip to South Africa, David and I came across a tandem bicycle for sale in a bicycle shop. Turns out, there’s a Peugeot bike factory in South Africa, so the cost was way cheaper than we could have gotten one for here in the States. Since then, we have enjoyed many hours as a tandem twosome. This trip was no different. Though we only had two full days, we spent several hours of that on our bike, enjoying a ride on the beach, through Fort Clinch State Park and along AIA in Fernandina Beach. David’s passion is cycling, and I enjoy it, too, so this was a fun activity for us both. We’ve had that bike longer than we’ve had kids!

Horses: Something I’ve always loved, for as long as I can remember, is horses I still hope to be able to get one some day, but that looks like another one of those dreams that’s going to stay just that: a dream. So when David asked me what i wanted to do and where I wanted to go for this getaway, my first response was, “I want to ride horses on the beach.” So I googled “horseback riding on the beach, Florida,” and got a hit for Kelly Seahorse Ranch.

This wasn't the actual horse I rode. My horse was named "Blaze" and was a wonderful russet color. But he wasn't out yet when we were allowed to take photos before the ride. This guy's pretty handsome himself, though.

This ranch offers the only on-beach horseback ride in the area, and possibly even the U.S. We had a great time with 3 other couples and 3 guides riding about 6 miles along the coastline on Amelia Island. David had been on a horse only once before, and that was just barely, and I only get to ride once every couple of years. Oh, how I would love to make it a regular event. Morgan, my 9-year-old, just started taking riding lessons, and I find myself envious at every lesson, wanting to join in. Ah well. Maybe someday. Thanks for the memories, Blaze.

Honest-to-goodness Southern Seafood: I didn’t take any food pictures, sorry to say, but we have so far enjoyed crab cakes, vegetables Southern style, which means squash casserole, broccoli rice casserole, cheese grits,  at a place called Barbara Jean’s, and dinner at the Marina Seafood Restaurant, where there was a live music event going on. As soon as I get this posted, we’re going to go have brunch at a place called Bright Mornings Café. I love eating out!

But soon we’re headed back to reality. School, work, cooking and cleaning await us. But so do our kids. Days away are a wonderful thing, but our reality isn’t so bad either.

Forgot to post my thankfulness list yesterday, so I’ll double up today:

72. anniversaries

73. my tandem bike

74. perfect weather

75. my texting girl who just randomly pops in to say “hey.”

76. someone else doing the cooking

77. our comfortable van