Riding with Heidi brings with it both good and bad.
I'll start with the good.
- She's prettier than I am. This is very important, very good. When people see us riding together they tend to focus their attention more on the pretty lady. They want to rest their eyes on someone who is obviously in good shape. Her toned, athletic body, draws peoples attention away from me. When I ride by myself, they realize that an overweight man has attempted to stuff himself into skin tight clothing and is riding a bike.
- She makes me give a full effort. When I'm riding with Heidi, I have to work hard the whole time. There's no casual riding. Maybe for her. But, I have to ride hard in order to stay with her. There are occasions where I will be thinking to myself, "I probably wouldn't be riding this hard if I was by myself". Heidi motivates me to get the most out of my rides.
- She carries two extra tubes. Usually these aren't needed, but it's nice to know they're there. On one of our rides I flatted 3 times in about a one mile distance. If I had been by myself on that ride, I would have been calling her to come pick me up after the third flat.
- She's pretty. What could be bad about riding with a pretty woman? Sometimes I get temporarily distracted. Luckily I have always managed to snap out of it before slamming into a parked car or crashing off the side of the road. She looks really good in a pair of bike shorts.
- She makes me give a full effort. Riding with Heidi requires manly riding, macho riding. I can't let her see me tired and struggling. I have to appear as though I am ready to sprint for that next sign at any time. I can't let her see me breathing hard, on the verge of crying. There is no slacking, no free spinning on these rides. There is no crying in cycling!
- I'm riding with a girl. Not just any girl, I'm riding with Heidi. The problem with riding with a girl falls in line with having to give a full effort. If I fall too far behind her, people laugh as they drive by in their cars. "Did you see how bad that girl was beating that guy?" "Was he crying?" "What was that face he was pulling?" "He didn't look like he was having very much fun" "Probably wishing that he had stayed home to sneak another donut when she wasn't there to see." But Heidi isn't just another girl. Maybe if they knew her they would understand and quit laughing at me. Last month Heidi rode her first century (100 mile) bike ride with some of her friends. The next weekend she competed in the Daybreak Triathlon, winning her age division and placing 5th overall.
On our ride today, Heidi wanted me to take her on a ride that I have done a couple times the last week. It's a good ride that is close to home, and has some pretty good little climbs. Of course she wants a ride with climbs. She knows that 110 pounds on a bike are a lot easier to move up a hill than 220 pounds are. Once again, there would be no slacking today.
We rode over and climbed above Blackridge Reservoir in Herriman, then climbed to the top of Rose Canyon. Heidi has been feeling a little sick the last couple of days, and after coming down out of Rose Canyon she decided to return home. I continued around to Copperton and back home through West Jordan. It was a very windy, very hot, 42 miles of fun.
Thanks Heidi for riding with me. You're the best riding partner I could ask for. You push me hard and you don't mind being with me in public when I'm in my bike shorts.