January 4, 2002
2002 in 2002

David has decided that we're going to ride 2,000 miles on our bikes this year.

Mind you: he's not talking about 2,000 combined *his-and-her* miles ... a thousand for him, a thousand for me. He's talking about 2,000 miles EACH.

He makes this astonishing announcement on Tuesday night as we're snuggled nose-deep in bed, watching FOX re-runs and listening to the rainstorm outside our window. (And -- I would like to point out -- as ONE of us is recuperating from a particularly flattening recent encounter with The Steamroller Flu). "I think 2,000 miles is do-able, don't you?" he says. And he gives me a big dopey hopeful smile.

Obviously he's been talking to Graham again.

"You've been talking to Graham again," I say -- not a question, but a statement of fact -- and he nods sheepishly and says yes, as a matter of fact, he talked to Graham on the phone today, while I was in the bedroom enjoying that third or fourth mid-afternoon coma. "Graham says he's going to ride 6,000 miles this year," David says wistfully.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh-kay. THERE it is.

Graham has been David's best friend since high school. During the halcyon days of their youth they were two golden California Boys, riding everywhere around the Bay Area on their Cannondales ... muscles rippling in the sunshine, long hair flowing, tanned young faces glowing with the sheer joy of living. (Or that's how *I* picture them anyway. David says that mostly they were trying to pick up girls.) While David's life may have taken a softer, spongier turn since then, somewhere along the way -- years of dumping assorted poisons down your throat/up your nose/into your lungs will do that to a person -- Graham has remained an athlete even into middle age. Last year, at age 45, he participated in something ominously called The Markleeville Death Ride ... which, as I understand it, is basically a vertical ascent 43,897,621 feet straight up the side of a mountain. He completed the ride in one day, then turned around the very same week and flew to TicTac to attend our wedding. David has spent the last six months ping-ponging back and forth between admiration and gooey, roiling black envy. 

"I should be doing stuff like The Death Ride," he mourns. 

Never mind that Graham is single and doesn't have kids and has oodles of free time for things like training and work-outs and riding his bicycle up the side of mountains. If Graham is riding 6,000 miles this year, then, by gods, Ю僱êrvØ¡ and Secra are going to attempt a comparatively ludicrous goal.

(Or die trying.)

Meanwhile, David is still waiting for my reply. Two thousand miles of riding this year? 

"I'll think about it," I say very, very carefully.

And I do think about it, for the next two or three days.  As a matter of fact,  I think about it a lot.  Here is what I'm thinking:

I'm thinking that David is insane, first of all. I'm thinking that I'm married to an insane person, and that I did this to myself -- I stood there in front of everybody and said "I do" last summer, without anyone pointing a gun at my head -- so if I'm married to an insane person, I have no one to blame but myself.

Second of all, I'm thinking that two thousand miles sounds like one HELL of a lot of bike-riding for a couple of flabby middle-aged recreational cyclists. (Especially for a couple of flabby middle-aged recreational cyclists coming off a chocolate-intensive two month *Hiatus From Fitness.*)

Third of all, I'm thinking that this sounds like a HUGE committment of free time. If I do say OK, let's shoot for 2,000 miles, it's going to come at the cost of a lot of other stuff that we like to do during our precious non-working hours.  Like sleeping. Or laundry. Or writing *FootNotes.*

Fourth of all, I'm thinking that I totally don't have the right bike for this level of riding: that my beloved Addie, while sturdy and safe and reliable, is way too heavy for the sort of riding David has in mind. (YOU try carting 40 pounds of Schwinn up that stoopid Moraga hill.)   I'm thinking that I'm probably going to have to go out and buy something a lot lighter and a lot groovier ... and that it isn't going to be cheap.

Fifth of all, I'm thinking that if I promise David I'll ride 2,000 miles with him this year -- and then for some reason I'm not able to keep up my end of the bargain: for instance, if I 'accidentally' drop a six-pack of Hires Root Beer on my foot and break my three middle toes, making it impossible for me to ride for two or three or eleven weeks -- I'm going to feel like I'm letting him down.

I'm not sure if I can handle letting David down.

And here's what else I'm thinking: I'm thinking how absolutely amazing it is that one year ago I didn't even own a bike. I'm thinking that if you were to go back in time and tell One Year Ago Secra that not only would she soon be shelling out a big bunch of money for a bicycle, of all unlikely things -- but that she would ride nearly 600 miles before the end of the year, and would manage to fall in love with riding, in the process -- One Year Ago Secra would have suspected that you were mixing your medications again.

Finally, I'm thinking that if we're going to do this stoopid thing ... we're going to have to get started on it more or less immediately.  End of *fitness hiatus,* in other words.

We're standing in the grocery store check-out line, a couple of nights later, when I suddenly leap to my decision. 

"Let's do it," I say. 

"Seriously?" David asks, his face lighting up like a Zippo lighter at a Journey concert. 

I nod.  "While we're at it," I say -- proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that insanity is contagious, especially between marital partners -- " how about if we raise the stakes a little?" And I suggest that we tack a couple of extra miles onto that goal, making it 2002 miles.  In fact, I say, that can be our official *FootNotes* motto this year:

"2002 in 2002!"

David is all excited. We're not home thirty seconds before he's got the calculator in his hand, punching in numbers and figuring out riding schedules. "It breaks down to five and a half miles a day," he announces. Of course we both know we won't actually be riding every day.  There are all of the customary variables to take into account: weather, work schedules, family obligations, hormonal fluctuations, planetary alignment, "Tick" re-runs.  It'll be more like two or three weeknights after work, plus Saturdays and Sundays, plus occasional holidays/vacation days/"sick" days. We'll have to accumulate mileage in fits and spurts, the way we did last year.

"I think we can do it," David says earnestly.

Privately I'm not so sure. The truth is: I don't know whether or not I've got it in me. It seems so far beyond the scope of my personal abilities. But then again ... that's what I said about sobriety.

So what the heck. I'm willing to give it a shot.

And I'm already designing the *FootNotes: 2002 in 2002!* T-shirts in my head. Get your checkbooks ready.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

p.s. technically this isn't a new year's resolution ... ok? it's a GOAL. there's a difference. [plus it's not even *my* goal: i'm just along for the ride.]

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have i mentioned that graham is single? and gainfully employed? and that he cleans up ok?
[once you get him off the damn BIKE, i mean?]