memory lane

image courtesy of

I came in late from work to greet my wife who’d worked late as well, “Are you done widing bikes”? I asked. She let out a long exhale and said, “I-AM- Definitely done widing bikes”!

This is an expression in our family that has come to signify how we feel when we’re beyond mental and/or physical exhaustion.

It was coined by our little one about 10 years ago while on vacation in San Diego, precisely Coronado Island. Being the somewhat pathetic losers that we are, we usually make exercise the focal point in our vacations that we seldom take.

After going early to the resort gym and finishing a workout that ended on a stationary bike for an  hour, I met my family for breakfast. Right after breakfast, my psycho wife who finished Platinum at the Tour De Tucson, (a famous 109-mile bike race) decided we’d rent those bulky beach comber bikes and explore Coronado Island.

The two oldest decided vacation was for sleeping in, fair enough, so we rented two, one with a two-wheeled trailer for our little one to ride in and tow behind mine. Off we went, my wife, the spinning instructor determined to make a work out of it. I the worn out one from way too long a workout with about one hour rest, struggling to keep up.

As I struggled pulling the trailer that was overused and underserviced, I knew right away it wasn’t much like site seeing, it was more like me working to keep my wife’s peddles in view.

My wife had decided to ride off the island toward San Diego, no quick trip even for an experienced rider on a descent bike. My only consolation as I struggled along trying to keep up was the headwind we were riding against. I knew once we got there getting back would be infinitely easier.

When we finally got to the main land we stopped at the first 7-11 for water. My little passenger was getting restless along with thirsty so we picked up some treats to pacify her on the ride back.

After letting me vent and grumble as I expressed my displeasure for having to ride a marathon on a junker towing #3, my wife said, “OK- LET’S GO”!

Off she went at warp speed headed back toward Coronado. As we turned onto what would become known as memory lane that led to our destination, something very strange happened. The wind increased significantly, it was blowing between 20 and 30 miles per hour. As fate would have it…The wind had changed directions…

We were peddling straight into a head wind. My wife, who is normally an animal, was reduced to standing with all of her weight plunged at full force onto one peddle and would come to almost a complete stop before plunging the opposite peddle.

I kept peddling knowing if I stopped I’d never get started again. About half way back as I was pressing forward, straining every fiber in my being to get back, with eyes watering from the salty wind whipping, I heard a tiny voice from behind me…

“Daddy,” she said faintly, “I’m done widing bikes”…

In my agony, I started laughing. “I’m sorry baby, we’re not done yet”! I reached into my pocket, unwrapped a sucker and gave it to my cute little extra weight behind me, loving the fact that she was there. It took another 4 or 5 suckers to get us back to the hotel.

The bloody rips on the inside of my thighs and groin did eventually heal. I find it interesting how our most painful experiences become the most prized possessions.

When someone in our house says, “I’m done widing bikes.” I smile, remember, and thank God for all the blessings, the big ones and the small ones alike. These are the things that can’t be measured by a number in this life. These have more value than silver or gold…

I’ll share the next episode of me towing my little one in Telluride when she was a little older and dragging her feet on my back tire while I was racing her mom and sisters.

But for now…

“I’m done widing bikes.”