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May 19, 2014
Here we go again!

March 20, 2014: Going for a test ride at Trader Joe’s in Cupertino

He says…

Five years ago, I celebrated my 50th birthday by walking 160 miles from California’s Gold Country in the Sierra Nevada Mountains back down to the Bay Area. This year I’m turning 55 on May 21, so it’s time for another mid-life crisis adventure.

We are taking the same basic trip, but this time we are on a tandem bicycle (a bicycle built for two). Yes, I said “we.” Gail is going to share the adventure with me this time!

We have spent the past two months training on both solo bikes and the tandem. (Well, we also took a two-week vacation in April to go to Hawaii.) We may not be ready, but the time has arrived.

We spent the past weekend packing. This morning, we drove the van up to our mountain home to the starting point of our journey. As a backup, we brought our two solo bikes as well as the tandem. As a further backup, we also brought our car as a chase car.

We are treating this as a vacation, not a race. We will be staying in motels and eating in restaurants. We will only cycle between 10 and 20 miles per day. We will have rest days a couple of times along the way. We want to enjoy the small towns that we pass through. When I did my walk five years ago, it took 10 days. For this bike ride, we are going to take 15 days. Our goal is to enjoy ourselves.

She says…

My husband is nuts. He seems to always have these great ideas that are so out there that I have to force myself to believe he is serious. One of his first big ideas, “Hey, let’s take a year-long trip around the world,” worked out pretty well. The next was “Hey, let’s build our own house,” and that’s going… and going… and going. Then came “Hey, I’m turning 50 and I am going to do a 160-mile solo walk.” My role there was support, so no real issues for me.

So I was mildly alarmed when, back toward the end of 2013, he started making that “Hey” sound again. “Hey, I’m going to be 55 and I want to do that walk thing again, but maybe differently this time. Do you want to go with me? It’ll be fun!”

Ummmm… What?

And yep, I caved.

So here we are, on the night before we leave on this 160-mile tandem bike ride. I will be giving you my side of the experience over the next couple of weeks.

So let me take you back in time a bit.

Russell has been talking about this bike ride, and I have been sort of tuning it out but nodding and smiling politely. He says we can go from our Cupertino home to our mountain home on our electric scooters and go ten miles a day. I say this is nuts, as we would get all the way through Sunnyvale on the first day. Not really worth it. Plus that would mean we would be going up in elevation the whole way. He nodded like he understood, and I thought I put a stop to his insanity. Nope. (Really, I should know better.)

He then came back a few days later with “Hey, how about we bike and we could go from there to here, so it would be downhill.” I point out that I have multiple issues with my hands and wrists, and could not lean on handle bars for any length of time. Not to be deterred, he says “Hey, how about a tandem bike? Then you could let go when you need to rest.” And then he went out and found a tandem bike on craigslist. I never saw that coming. I just gotta love this guy. He really doesn’t give up… and he doesn’t let me give up either.

So that’s how we ended up on a tandem bike, testing out whether we could ride together, balance ourselves and communicate without wanting to end someone’s life.

My husband is nuts. And I am nuts for following his big ideas. Or am I?

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