November 14, Dating a mountain biker comes with some surprises. When I met my boyfriend I immediately knew that my life would change forever with him. More in a there-will-always-be-three-of-us-in-this-relationship-kind a way.
When I visited his shoebox size studio apartment for the first time, I noticed that he had a wardrobe bigger than mine. This made me suspicious, as did the fact that when he grabbed a new T-shirt he did not open the massive wardrobe to grab one, but got the shirt out of a drawer. I was intrigued and at the first chance I got took a peek into the wardrobe.
Gretchen, Bertha and Agnes were hanging in the wardrobe on big butcher hooks. Being German myself, this freaked me out. Anyway, this is all water under the bridge, we have in the meantime started a family, moved houses twice, had a bike stolen two days after he got it, have bought and sold no less than 6 mountain bikes and gone on numerous holidays together.
Let me tell you about the 10 things the last years have taught me about life with a mountain biker: Holiday destinations and road trip routes are chosen based on proximity to the nearest bike park or trail centre. When we go on holiday when I say we I obviously mean him, myself, our son AND at least one member of his bike collection we look like we are moving. Before our son was born everyone warned me that going on holiday would now involve tons of baby gear, let me tell you this is nothing, compared with taking the bike box , helmet, gear and GoPro equipment.
We also need to be at the airport extra early to check in the bike and call the airline at least once before the travel date to confirm the bike luggage and car seat have both been registered in the system correctly and have a spot on the flight.
Being German I judge cars by their ability to handle themselves well on our limitless Autobahn, while my boyfriend is all about cargo space. Finding a car that fulfils both criteria comes with a price tag, this leads to the I-could-buy[name a bike part of your choice]-for-that-instead-dilemma. Unfortunately, we currently call The Netherlands our home. This country is as flat as a pancake with their highest peak at metres 1, ft.
For my Colorado born mountain biker this means he has been borderline depressed since the day he got off the plane. And we are forever spending weekends away in neighbouring countries with hills. When he just started dating, he showed me the How to be a Mountainbiker Video. I laughed it off back then, but now I can say it is true, all of the stereotypes are true. He is constantly on his phone to check out new bikes or compare components, loves his stickers and forces himself to not look at any bike forums when the races are on, as if it was a FIFA World Cup news blackout.
This bike is one of the most talked about purchases in our relationship. His Christmas wish list is pretty much just an adult version of our sons list. This is the guy who daydreams about upgrades he can do to his bike, the day he buys it. He sometimes orders new parts for a bike that he is planning on buying as there was a great offer on Chain Reaction.
I have jokingly asked him once, if there was a way for him to deposit his paychecks directly into the Chain Reaction bank account and he actually seemed to take me serious. I was 15 weeks pregnant at the time and 3 days into a 2 week road trip. We were a right pair for a while, me with my morning sickness and him with all his bandages and massive bruising. I have had to replace plenty of bedlinen, as our sheets tend to end up looking like some sort of twisted Halloween prop.
We sound like broken records when we for the millionth time talk about why he feels it is not enough to only own one bike and why none of his bikes can under no circumstances ever be stored outside. By the time he was 10 months old he actually sort of started using it and by 14 months he was walking with his bike.
Seeing our little one pointing at the bike and sitting on it like on a rocking horse, I was literally watching him fall in love with someone else right there and then in front of my eyes. I hope for our little one that he will continue to like bikes, else this momma bear will have to protect her cub and console her hubs. Why am I crazy enough to put up with it all? It gives him the adrenaline kick he is craving, a sense of freedom and connects him to a global diverse passionate community.
Above all it reminds him what it means to be a kid again so he can better bond with our son. I know I will forever be pacing whatever city or resort is close to the trail he is riding on that day, together with our little one, waiting for Daddy to be done for the day.
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