The Cycle Spouse

cycling widowAt RTI, we’re pretty self centred. In the year since we went digital, we’ve never yet “reblogged”a post from someone else. However, we came across the Cycle Spouse article from Laura Tanner and felt it needed greater visibility as it hits the nail on the head in so many ways.

We’re hoping that the Cycle Spouse can become a more regular feature. If you’re a cycle spouse and have a story to share then we’d love to hear from you. Posts can also be made anonymously if you’d prefer….

4:45 is a very very early time. Why would anyone wake up then? This is not right. This morning, Barry was not a ninja. He was crashtastic and loudatious. There was much slam. I tried to get back to sleep after his stomping bike shoes finally walked away. Then the fridge, whose door he left ajar, started to cry and need attention. That was not very nice. Then the combination of my subtle yet aggrevating malaises began to demand my attention: body aches, work stress, headache, and a lack of 5am joy. So I got up again, and addressed these concerns with coffee and peanut butter toast. I am now in a semi-zombie caffeinated state wondering what to do with my life.


It is now that I realize, with all of the 5am brilliance that I can muster, that the cycling spouse deserves much acclaim. Could my friends tell you how many cycle overall-kinis and jerseys will fit in the wash? Whose idea was it originally to develop the cycle station super storage center?

Who figured out how to book Barry’s race trip on airline miles? Finally, who was here when this happened (the crash)?


This is the cyclist, sometimes, when he comes home


This strange species, pumped up with sport-dorfins, skips across the impractically white marble floor, tries to embrace his freshly showered partner, forgets where to dispose of his soiled spandex. Most importantly for him, this is the man who has an urgent need to “upload his ride” to the mysterious land of Strava. Here, the like minded lycra-clad with abruptly awoken spouses plot important life achievements, such as who biked fastest, furthest, and longest. His (or her, but in this case his) strava “friends”, whom he cannot recognize if they’re not helmet-clad, send “kudos”, which is the sport’s equivalent to social interaction. His rides, kudos, computer-calculated score of suffering, which is inexplicably a good thing, and other such features help him to validate his bikexistence and bikenjoyment, and enable him, finally, to get into the shower. I do not think a “I woke up too early” Strava would have the same effect for me, regrettably.

Other practices of cycling life that impact spouses include tribal hair-removal practices. Much like maori tattooing, or Koteka gourds, this is a way to belong to the tribe of spandex and wheels. However, it also can lead to strange and alarming scenes in the bathtub during and after the process. These practices also include the use of the oven for baking footwear, which is then formed around the cyclist’s shaven feet. Barry has an unusual love of sock patterns, and I have yet to identify if this is normal cyclist behaviour, or just him. However as bike spouse I know that the worshipped socks must not enter the dryer!


As I went to take this sock picture, realizing it’s still very, very early, I put on a load of laundry. Mostly spandex. There were some odours. And that about summarizes why the cycle spouse deserves some kind of medal. Or spa treatment. As does the cyclist too, of course


Laura Tanner is the cycle spouse of Anza cycling member Barry Davies. She is
an occasional freelance writer, and author of the excellent blog Laura in Singapore

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