Woes of a cycling widow

When Karen Visser’s husband (Ryan) first got a bike, she thought “this is going to be great!” We had been married just under a year and due to all that puppy love, he had picked up roughly 10kgs. I thought cycling would be a fun thing to do together and would provide a new topic of conversation for him and her father to engage in…

I can laugh now at my naiveté.

Cycling Widow

Yes, he did slim down and my husband’s relationship with his dad-in-law did improve. But I didn’t have any idea how commonplace the whirring of wheels would be in our lounge, or how adept I would become at folding down the seats in our Golf to make way for his two-wheeled ‘other half’.

As he grew in his knowledge of cycling and bicycles, he began fixing things and trying things out. I will never forget the first time he tried to put slime into his tyres. Being an engineer, I was fully confident in this guy to get it right. It didn’t cross my mind that we would be cleaning up trails of green as they shot across our passage tiles for the next hour.

Other memories include him teaching me how to ride a bike. Now I had learnt in school but had fallen when I was fifteen and not ridden since.

Whoever said that you never forget how to ride a bicycle is a jerk.

While I was wobbling all over the road and hurling verbal abuse in his general direction, he sucked it up and tried to only snigger when my back was turned. I smile when I think of that (terrifying) day now.

Of course we have had our spats about cycling. Leaving parties early because of a race the next day; constantly tripping over bicycles in the house and trying to convince him (unsuccessfully) to not cycle down a stupidly steep hill with a Go Pro on his helmet in the middle of the desert, were just some of the obstacles we have had to overcome.

But when I think of the last five years, I don’t want to forget the crazy hairstyles I have seen from helmet hair or the cheering in the middle of the night as he did another round at a 24 hour race. It has been a wonderful, upside-down, cycling-enthused five years, and I wouldn’t want to take any of those bike memories out of it.

Karen Visser is a laidback, ride-on-the-cycle-lane type of girl. She is married to crazy, cycle-til-you-drop Ryan Visser. They stay in Tableview, Cape Town and are expecting the newest cyclist in their family at the end of May this year.

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