Saturday, June 25, 2011

Spinning Forward.

… dark fruit aromas and flavors of black cherry and ripe plum with light oak influence for a smooth, luxurious texture.   

– 2008 Red Bicyclette® Pinot Noir 

I have two very nice bicycles in the garage. That aren’t going anywhere. My rump, however, has a different plan and before it takes a permanent detour from tight and trim to loose and lumpy I need to take control. And there is nothing like committing to an exhausting outdoor activity in the dead of summer … in Phoenix.

I blame this on my husband. Lance Armstrong. The mid-summer bikini check.

It’s always July when I make a dedicated effort to commit to my bicycle. It’s not that I don’t think about doing this at any other time of the year. It’s just that unless it is priority one on the daily checklist there is not enough of me for a time commitment like that. And when I do, it’s clear that there is no love lost between my bottom half and a bicycle seat.

My husband was the cyclist. I was the runner. Looking back, I should have campaigned for role reversal. My husband's legs looked like they were carved from marble. Mine are the “work-too-hard-have-two-kids-and-this-is-the-best-I-can-do” kind of legs.

He always hoped I would grow to love two wheels as much as he did. For the birth of our son he gave me a powder blue mountain bike. A road bike for our daughter. But after long work weeks, two toddlers and his hours of spinning there simply wasn’t any time left. So the bikes became expensive racks, I stayed a runner and the most time I spent with two wheels was popping the cork on a bottle of Red Bicyclette.

But there is something about July. It isn’t just the images of sinewy legs climbing mountain passes and speeding through pastoral scenes that invade our psyche for the entire month. Cycling represents so much of the life we built together. In it he found a circle of dedicated friends whose common ground was an unquenchable zest for life and adventure. When running pregnant in the summer heat was too much, he set his bike in the house and I spun as we watched the hunt for the yellow jersey unfold.   

July is here again and I am committing – to a bottle of red and a tube of chamois butter.

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