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Thread: The Better Half

  1. #1
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    The Better Half

    I was out riding with my wife yesterday. I led us out past the hikers, and then she took over and led the ride as a strong pace for the next 20+ miles. When she pushes the pace, you have to work hard to keep up with her. I realize not everyone has a better half to ride with. I got lucky. I won the lottery.

    Years ago, my best friend asked me if I could take an old friend of his for a mountain bike ride. I agreed. I took her to a beginner trail because she had never ridden before. The parking area was full of horse trailers so I drove up into the mountains to an expert trail. She rode it with confidence. Wow. Two weeks later, I entered a race and asked her if she wanted to race as well. She entered her first race and she won. A week later, a group of us went to Moab to ride and she rode well on her fully rigid Cannondale. We dated and eventually decided to move to Boise. She entered two more races and won them both. They moved her up a class and she won several more races. When we moved to Arizona, and she was told she had to race expert class, she still ended up on the podium every time she raced.

    She quit racing in 1998. She still rode, but she also took up tennis. She quickly became one of the best tennis players in town. She was a 4.5 level player. I don't know exactly what that means, but there was only one woman rated higher and she was a pro player and instructor.

    We were married by now and she worked at a health club. A friend asked her if she wanted to play volleyball. Another friend asked her if she wanted to play on their soccer team. She did both. She was playing semi=professional two person volleyball when we first met, and she was on a 2-time national championship college soccer team, as goalie. She once hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in California. She and a friend were the first to ride the Arizona Trail from Utah to Mexico, just over 800 miles.




    There she is, leading me up a trail near Apache Junction.


    After they completed their ride on the AZ Trail, they got two friends and entered the 24 hour race at Old Pueblo, near Tucson. With two serious riders, one serious runner who almost never rode, and one rider who was a monster hiker, they won. Then, my wife had a few more goals she went after. She rode the Great Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico. I got stuck sagging, pulling our camper. She had troubles with her I-T band after 650 miles and decided to quit. I was glad. The last couple years, she joined some people who hiked / ran from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and then back. I think it is around 45 miles. One former pro rider did it under 14 hours and she was 20 minutes behind him. She got back into racing bikes after 19 years, and got first place in her first race, then a couple second place finishes. All that while riding only 4-5 days a month. But she goes to the gym 20 days a month.

    I feel very lucky to have met her. Probably the best female athlete I've ever known. But also a great wife and my best friend. She works hard and always has a positive attitude. She has skills at crafting and loves to play with our dogs. She wants us to go live near a beach in Central America, or maybe in Australia. She doesn't care for the music I like, and few people do, but she loves to eat all types of ethnic food like I do. She has a twin sister who is just about as driven as she is. We have a picture of her in her wedding dress, hanging from a rope, hundreds of feet off the ground, behind the El Tovar Lodge in Yosemite, where she was a ranger and did most of the rescues off Al Capitan.

    My better half is clearly the better half.
    Respect the land, defend the defenseless, and don't ya never spit in front of women and children - The Code Of The West

  2. #2
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    Right on Boris. If that's not a passion post I don't know what is. I like to think (know) that I married up as well.

    Your wife also quite possibly saved the life of a friend of mine in the parking lot at the Athletic Club. He was in respiratory distress and likely minutes from cardiac arrest.

  3. #3
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    Excellent post BB!
    One gear is all you need.

  4. #4
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    Lucky man! Nice post.
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    I take Fvckitol and couldn't be happier!

  5. #5
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    Hey, Boris, if she loves you, you can't be all that bad(enov). Nice passion post!
    Veni vidi velo!

  6. #6
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    It begs the question: Why'd she marry you? You must be pretty awesome too.
    Last edited by Lone Rager; 01-02-2018 at 10:43 AM.
    Do the math.

  7. #7
    Magically Delicious
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    Congratulations!
    You scored.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  8. #8
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    Boris, "the better half". After getting to know you via these forums it would be hard for her not to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  9. #9
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    Very nice post Boris!

    Good on you and your beloved wife.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  10. #10
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    Mine has poor penmanship.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  11. #11
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    BB, I hold you in ever greater esteem. You did absolutely win the lottery. I've been looking for a dedicated bicycling enthusiast to date all of my life.

  12. #12
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    Who wrote the book?

    Your wife or her sister? I'm guessing that Andrea is the sister?

    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  13. #13
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    Boris, did you make all that up?

  14. #14
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    I thought she looked like this:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Who wrote the book?

    Your wife or her sister? I'm guessing that Andrea is the sister?
    Andrea wrote the book. She was a park ranger at the Grand Canyon when we met her. President Clinton visited the park back then and his secret service agents talked her husband into becoming an agent, forcing them to move to Marina Del Ray. He once got assigned to protect one of President Bush's daughters. Andrea has written several books and she solo hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in something like 5-6 months. Andrea started the AZ Trail ride on a clunker bike that broke down. I repacked the bearings in the rear hubs after a day they rode in the rain. Andrea rode with panniers and my wife rode her K-2 Razorback pulling a BOB's Trailer with gear and water. I hauled their bikes from the north rim to the south rim, while they hiked across. I picked them up at the Mexican border. I can't recall the total number of flats, but it was a lot. They also had to push their bikes up Mt. Lemmon, as the trail was too difficult to ride. I think maybe 200 miles out of the 810 total was fun to ride.

    My wife's twin sister is not a rider. We took her to Durango on her first ride and she got mad at us and never rode again. She was a skilled climber. She hung out at Camp 4 while working at Yosemite and met some of the worlds best climbers. She was in charge of search and rescue in the park. In October, 1999, she was present during a sanctioned BASE jump protest off El Capitan. You'll see her in uniform in the video. She insisted that she and her Y.O.S.A.R. (Yosemite search and rescue) staff be geared up and ready to respond to any accident that day, but the park superintendent wanted to keep it very low profile. Dateline or 20/20 was filming the jumpers. They were advised they would be fined and lose their chutes, I believe, after participating in the protest. They felt it was worth the cost in order to prove how safe BASE jumping is and to help get it allowed in the park. You can hear Mary speak to the first jumper who landed. This was not the network video, but one shot by a civilian.

    Respect the land, defend the defenseless, and don't ya never spit in front of women and children - The Code Of The West

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Boris, did you make all that up?
    It's hard to embellish about her athletic accomplishments. I think she could have pursued a professional career in soccer, if not mountain biking. Back when we met, an FBI agent was interested in dating her before I convinced her to go out. I had long hair and wore a brown fedora. Sounds pathetic, and it was, but from a distance, if you squinted, there was a sort of Johnny Depp, 21 Jumpstreet look that some women seemed to like. I put together a collage on the ottoman. It doesn't really prove anything I claimed, but sort of shows the lifestyle we had. We rode bikes, camped out, rafted, hiked, she climbed with her sister, she and her friend Andrea paddles the entire length of the Florida Keys, something over 200 miles, and we traveled around North America on long trips.

    This first picture is of my wife and her twin sister in Yosemite, just before she got in the helicopter to go rescue some Europeans off of El Capitan. We were visiting Mary and her husband and were playing Monopoly when the phone rang and she scrambled to get her gear on. She repelled from the top of El Capitan with a rescue basket and when she got to the first man, he refused to get in. He said he did not want to be rescued by a woman. She said get in or I'm leaving you here. He got in.

    In the second group of pictures, top to bottom, you see our old pop-up camper, "The Porkchop Express" aka my '89 suburban, a few of the 14 people who rode the White Rim Trail in Moab, Beth climbing at the Grand Canyon, Some guy hauling hundreds of bikes to the recycling center in Boise, Me working for the Forest Service, me rafting down class 5 (maybe 6) Maytag rapids near Downieville, Mary in her wedding dress on top of some spire behind the Yosemite lodge, some crazy mountain bikers in Deep Cove, BC, riding down tree bark ramps, me with two of the fastest mountain bikers in Arizona a few years back, my high school 4x400 relay team, Beth and Andrea kayaking the Florida Keyes, one of my international trail crews, Beth and Mary climbing, my old Mantis Pro-Floater up in Idaho, Arches National Park, and a couple of friends attending a Nebraska Cornhusker football game with us. Oh, and one last one of the two sisters. Beth crafted the hat Mary is wearing. She wins first prize each year at the Christmas Party for crazy sweater design or crazy hat design. She earned a full day off work, paid.

    The Better Half-20180103_121512_resized-copy.jpg

    The Better Half-collage.jpg

    The Better Half-20171215_185335_resized.jpg
    Respect the land, defend the defenseless, and don't ya never spit in front of women and children - The Code Of The West

  17. #17
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    Lucky... I'm trying to get the wife into it. I got her a ladies only fundamentals course which is this weekend. She doesn't like to listen to me and, to be honest, I've been riding long enough that there are things I "know" that are second nature and wouldn't even think of if she did want to listen to me

    Hopefully, she'll feel a little more confident and we can get out together more.

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