My husband and I were married twenty years ago today. We know two other couples married on that exact day in 1990 and they are both divorced. We have been married three years longer than my in-laws, but we are still 31 years shy of my parents’ mark. The best thing is, we are still in love and still best friends.
As we have counted down (up?) to the twenty-year mark, my husband has enjoyed telling pretty much everyone a story about our honeymoon. He usually begins it like this “We went to Crested Butte to go mountain biking for our honeymoon and I didn’t know until 17 years later that my wife thought I was trying to kill her.” Some background: my husband was an early mountain biking enthusiast. He was the first person I know to own a mountain bike. He bought a Univega in 1984 while we were at Colorado College and it was an oddity. I am from a road biking family. Growing up, we competed in weekly community time trials. We entered road races and criteriums and from high school through college, I rode pretty much every day the weather would allow. Until our honeymoon, I had never been on a mountain bike. But being “bike-savvy,” I was pretty sure I could handle it. Wrong. As I chased him up and down the Elk Mountains, I was pretty sure I was going to die. I hated mountain biking. Even worse, I was afraid of mountain biking.
Fast forward 19.5 years: I am still not an enthusiastic mountain biker. My kids are better than I am by a long-shot. I am still really afraid of exposure and have an unreasonable fear (for a skier) of going downhill. And then, one of my ski buddies invites me to join her Wednesday morning mountain biking group. Suddenly, mountain biking is social! I am with riders who don’t mind getting off when they feel too much exposure. I am with riders who ride hard and then stop and wait and chat while they wait for everyone else (me) to catch up. In short: I am with serious female riders, instead of with serious male riders. Big difference.
Fast Forward 2 Months: Our family rides the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park with two other local families. After logging 100+ miles in 3 days, I feel pretty darn good on my mountain bike. So, what do I do? I buy a new full suspension bike. Suddenly, I love mountain biking!
In 2007, when my husband discovered how much I had hated our honeymoon, he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He told me that for our 20th anniversary, I could pick any destination, any activity and he would come along. First I considered hiking the Haute Route in Switzerland. Then I focused on South America, thinking that maybe we would go to Argentina and Brazil. Then the economic downturn hit and all plans were put on hold.
And herein lies the irony. For our 20th anniversary, I bought my husband a new mountain bike. We are at the family cabin near Telluride and to celebrate, the boys, my husband and I are going mountain biking. It took 20 years, but I can now mountain bike with my husband. Happy Anniversary Sweetheart. Catch me if you can!
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