For a long time, probably decades, my husband Steve has wanted to go on a bike trip in Europe. I always said “no”. I emphasized that he could go without me, but I didn’t want to be in some country lane with crazy European drivers whipping around me while I wobbled along. And I especially didn’t want to be climbing up some god-forsaken hill in the Loire Valley, or Tuscany, most likely pushing a bike on foot rather than pedaling. My mental image of the whole thing was myself sitting in the back of the sag-wagon while the rest of the capable bicyclists were speeding along with their powerful thigh muscles going round and round.

An external event provoked a wake-up call for me, though.  I decided to say yes to a physical challenge.  In the early fall of 2008, I got on my old mountain bike and progressed from a hot and sweaty 8 mile ride on Grant’s Trail to easily completing the round trip from our house to the end of the trail, a full 23 mile ride, by the time winter put a stop to outdoor riding.


I always said “no” to spinning classes, too, that Steve frequently mentioned and proposed that we participate in. But in February of 2009, eager not to lose my new-found biking skills, I said “yes” and we started going twice a week, then three times a week, and finally as many as five or six times a week. By the time summer rolled around, I also said yes to a ride on the Katy Trail to Hermann, Missouri, starting from Defiance. That was more than I was actually prepared for, though, and at the end of the 47 mile ride my muscles were screaming. But it prepared me for cycling in Door County, WI, in August with days of 50+ miles of cycling.


Finally, I could say “yes” to a bicycle trip in Europe:  six days of biking from city to city in Italy in October, 2009.   It was just Steve, myself, our bikes, our maps, and our water bottles as we cycled along in the Veneto, with our end destination of Venice.


You must be logged in to post a comment.