From January 25, 2010
So tonight I show up at the Monday night Tribalistic workout with my new bike. And before I am allowed to get on and ride, Michael, who was coaching for the evening as he does every Monday, lifts my bike and trainer into the center of the room and proceeds to begin pouring plastic wine glasses with Gatorade to everyone but me. I honestly had no clue what was going on. I was then adorned with an ivory coloured bow for my head and my bike with a black bow tie (after all, I did say, my bike was a He). He then whips out the Cyclist's Training Bible (really, that is the title) and proceeds to read the following:
I believe this is before the ceremony started. I had absolutely no idea what was going on here.
We are gathered here to celebrate the union of a rider and her new bike. As we all know it is a relationship that we should not enter into lightly because the hours we spend in the saddle often exceeds the time we spend with some members of our family. We travel together with our bikes, we take them on vacation. Together we see miles and miles of beautiful scenery. Some of our highest and most exhilarating moments are experienced on bikes, and inversely, surely some of our lowest moments too.
Like in all good relationships, the more time you spend together, the closer you feel to one another. You grow with one another and you change together, perhaps growing more alike. Certainly the bike will grow more handsome and dignified in time as he gets scratched up and abraded with use. And hopefully the rider will morph into a steely cycling machine.
If you commit to a bike -- maintain it and respect it -- the bike will return your love and reward you with rich experiences. It's a sacred relationship that is worthy of exchanging vows, so,
Kim, Do you promise not to covet sexier time trial frames in transition?
Do you promise to maintain the bike, clean and oil its chain, keep his derailleur in tune and learn how he works so that you can do basic repairs as necessary?
Do you promise to not upgrade any of his stock parts in a bid to go faster, when instead more smart training would probably do the trick?
Will you endeavour to wear out the bike before you grow weary of his style and trade him in for a more fashionable and youthful model?
(Kim, naturally, says, "I do")
Bike, Do you promise to make Kim faster and more agile?
Will you forgive her when she rides you in the slush of Spring, the road grit that sprays up in the rain and the bleaching UV rays of a searing summer sun?
Will you cushion the bone jarring and teeth chattering vibrations of the road in Manitoba?
Do you promise not to be a searing pain in the neck, back and ass?
(On behalf of "bike", Krauss says, "I do.")
I pronounce you ride and rider. You may straddle the bike.
I then am asked to stomp on one of the plastic wine glasses (wrapped in an Ironman Canada plastic bag) for good luck.
I seriously think I am laughing harder retyping these vows that I did having them read to me. I can appreciate them more in retrospect while not feeling so stunned. I was the picture perfect blushing bride.
So that is it, I am officially married. To a bike. And thanks to Michael Krauss for the effort he obviously put into this ceremony. He seriously has too much time on his hands.
"I got married tonight, 15 guests present. The bride was adorned in orange seamed cycling shorts and technical shirt. the groom whore a lime green tux with silver accents, black bow tie, and ultegra cumberbun. The proceedings were conduced by Father Krauss of the Church of Tribalistic. Vows were spoken. A toast was given to this new relationship with a tasty red wine from the Gatorade vineyard, vintage 2010. Yes it is all true. I am hitched."
Oh and the bike rides beautifuly. Changes gears on a dime. The techy's ooohed and ahhhed over the ultegra. It is one fantastic ride. I am sure this will be a long satisfying relationship.