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Archive for the 'Marriage' Category

Time to get married

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Sarah and I are getting married this weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s happening so soon. We got engaged back in February, and at that time it seemed like we had to wait forever to get married. But the time has flown by, and now the wedding is upon us.

It’ll be a small wedding, with close friends and family. I can’t wait for everyone to see how wonderful Sarah is, how happy she makes me, and how much I love her.

Don’t expect any blog posts from me in the next few days; I’ll be busy revelling in what a lucky man I am. I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend. The next time I post on this blog, I’ll be a married man!


Monday, August 11th, 2008

Sarah and I went up to Green Bay, Wisconsin this weekend for the wedding of a couple of friends from college. We drove up to Chicago last Thursday night after I got off work to stay at another friend’s place there, and give them a ride to Green Bay.

Now, there’s a saying that Chicago has two seasons: winter and construction. And there’s a lot of truth to it. Last time we were there, it was winter and the high temperature was hovering around 0 degrees. This time, the drive up there, which is usually about 4 1/2 hours, took over six hours. We hit major construction and traffic on the way there. In fact, every leg of our trip was plagued with traffic jams. The drive back from Green Bay, which was supposed to be about 7 1/2 hours, took more like 10 1/2 hours. Yikes!

I’ve lived in Chicago before, and I have a lot of fond memories there — but this trip served as a reminder of just how much I prefer living in a smaller town. A place where parking isn’t an issue and the roads aren’t packed with vehicles all the time. A town that sleeps. And, a place where getting out of the city doesn’t involve driving for an hour or more. I have re-adapted to a much slower-packed lifestyle, and I love it. During some more frustrating moments, I found myself thinking of the Fred Neil song “Badi-Da:”

I get so tired
Hanging round this town
Oh this old city life
Sure brings a fella down

ba da da da da da
ba da da da da da da
ba da da da da da
ba da da

I sure get tired
Trying to sleep at night
Oh these old city lights
They keep on burning bright

ba da da da da da
ba da da da da da da
ba da da da da da
ba da da

I get so tired
Hanging round this town
Oh this old city life
Sure brings a fella down

ba da da da da da
ba da da da da da da
ba da da da da da
ba da da

On a positive note, Chicago was absolutely crawling with bicycles. I don’t remember seeing nearly as many bicycles when I lived there a few years ago. Was I not paying attention, or has bicycling exploded in popularity in Chicago in the past few years? Even late at night, we saw tons of cyclists.

It seemed like, based on what I saw, Chicago is probably a good place to ride, if you can somehow stay safe amongst all the insane drivers (and there are a lot of them).

I wish I had something to say about Green Bay, but we saw very little of it since we spent almost all of our time on wedding-related activities. It seemed like a nice city, much smaller than Chicago but big enough that it seems to have a lot going on.

The wedding, of course, was fantastic. This couple was the first of my close friends from college to get married, and I couldn’t be happier for them. Sarah and I will be next, in just over a month!

A trip to Fort Wayne

Monday, August 4th, 2008

We had a very busy weekend. We had to go up to the Indianapolis area and meet with the minister who is officiating at our wedding. But that wasn’t until 3:00, so we went up a little early, went to a bike shop (Indy Cycle Specialist) and I test rode a Surly Long Haul Trucker — what an awesome bike! I talked to Jim there about the bike and he was very helpful. He had the touring mindset and a lot of the same philosophies about riding that I have, and knew his stuff, too. I was tempted to pull the trigger and get it, but I didn’t … yet.

The meeting with the pastor was good; he really challenges us to look at our relationship differently, and to actively seek out ways we can make each other’s lives better. I want to be the best possible husband for Sarah, so I very much appreciate his sage advice. At first I thought these pre-marriage meetings would be a little weird or awkward (especially as someone who isn’t religious), but I think they’re quite helpful and give us more of a sense of purpose.

Sarah’s mom had to have surgery, so after we met with the pastor, we headed up to Fort Wayne to visit her and help however we could. I’m glad Sarah got to see her mom. I left Sarah at the hospital for a while on Saturday, and I think they had a good visit. Saturday was Sarah’s birthday, and it was too bad she didn’t get to spend it doing something fun, but I was glad she could be there for her mom.

Sunday morning, I dropped Sarah off at the hospital and headed out for a ride. I had printed a route I found on bikely.com that looked interesting. I parked the car at a strip mall and started riding.

I’ve ridden in Fort Wayne a couple of times before, and there’s some good riding in the area. It’s quite flat compared to southern Indiana, but there are some hills here and there, and some areas are quite scenic. When I started riding, I was facing a headwind and actually had several hills to climb. It was warm, but not overly hot.

Flat farmland


The roads were pretty quiet. I saw few cars, but mostly had the road to myself. I saw a couple of other cyclists going the other way and waved. The west side of town, where I was riding, is pretty interesting because you go from being in town to rural areas very quickly. It’s kind of like Bloomington in that way.


Railroad tracks

I saw one of few shady spots and stopped to look at my map for a couple of minutes. While I was stopped, another cyclist passed me. I rode on and caught up with him. We introduced ourselves (his name is Jeff) and he asked how long I was looking to ride. I said about 30 miles, and he offered to show me a route, so I ditched the Bikely route and followed his lead.

Catching up with Jeff

It was really cool to get a tour from a local. I don’t mind following maps and whatnot, but he told me a couple of the roads I had planned on riding on weren’t very good — one has a fresh layer of chipseal and the other is quite busy. The route he took me on was very quiet — we only saw a few cars the whole time and were able to ride side by side most of the time.


Huge power lines

In talking with Jeff, it came up that he knows one of the mechanics at an LBS in Bloomington who has worked on one of my bikes. It sure is a small world. At one point our ride went through the small town of Roanoke, Indiana. It has an interesting and quaint downtown area, and Jeff pointed out Joseph Decuis, a famous restauraunt, and a bed and breakfast there.

Downtown Roanoke, Indiana

One thing that never ceases to impress me about cycling is how strong many older riders are. Jeff told me he’s 58 … but he rides very well. I guess cycling is a sport that doesn’t beat up your body like a lot of others, and the longer you ride, the stronger you get.

At one point we also passed what is now really just a ditch, but Jeff told me it used to be a part of the Wabash & Eerie Canal. A bit of history I never would’ve known about without someone with local knowledge.



Going over a bridge

The ride ended up being 29.5 miles, exactly what I had in mind. I told Jeff to let me know if he’ll be in Bloomington and I can give him a tour.

After my ride I headed back to the hospital to see if Sarah’s mom had been released yet. When I got there I decided to change clothes in the parking lot, using car doors and the car itself for privacy. I had just looked around to make sure nobody was nearby and I thought the coast was clear, thinking “The only way anyone could see me would be from above.” The next thing I know I hear a helicopter coming in for landing. I waited for it to land before changing.

We were hoping we could give Sarah’s mom a ride home, but she hadn’t been released yet and we needed to get going. On our way back I decided I ought to get the Long Haul Trucker. It was good timing. They were selling two other Long Haul Truckers when I was picking mine up … awesome. I don’t have any pictures of it  yet. I’ll probably be selling my road bike (a 2006 Giant OCR2) as I don’t think I’ll be needing it anymore. It’s been a great bike, but the LHT is very versatile and handles a lot better than I expected unloaded, making the road bike seem pretty superfluous.

It sure was a whirlwind of a trip. We’re glad to be home, and I can’t wait to get some rides in on the new bike. Unfortunately I won’t be able to get any longer rides in for a while, since we’re going to Green Bay for a wedding this weekend.

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