Ben and Robyn
We live in Sydney with our two teenage daughters and our cat called Stuart O’Grady. Robyn grew up on a farm in rural Australia and Ben grew up in the South of England. We met in a pub in Dublin and moved to Sydney 19 years ago.
Robyn says, Ben’s bike riding is the result of his midlife crises. After doing very little in the way of activity for 40 years he took up running. He used to jog around the block then it got serious and 10km events turned into half marathons. It culminated in him running the London Marathon, an experience I would rather forget. He badly damaged his knee the week before and a family holiday for all of us turned into a week of hell as he didn’t know if he would be able to run. He got around, and did some serious damage to his knee in the process so subsequently he couldn’t run for 6 months. This is when he he morphed into a MAMIL.
A similar pattern emerged, short rides became longer and then he was gone for days on end. He rode 8 stages with the Tour De Force in 2013 and came back talking about one day being a “lifer” (somebody who rides all 21 stages). I have watched with amusement as Ben has thrown himself into his new passion it has only been the last couple of years that I have decided to join him.
Ben says, when I first met Robyn in Dublin she rode a bike everywhere. In wind rain and sunshine nothing stopped her. Being a country girl she doesn’t complain much. She’s mentally tough, if she decides she is gong to do something it will happen. Robyn only got back into cycling 3 years ago. It was a slow burner to start with and then she decided that she was going to participate in some of the events that I used to disappear to. She wrote about her transformation into a bike rider and got it published on a cycling news website, “Cycling metamorphosis from amused partner to lycra clad peak conqueror”. It’s well worth a read.
People often ask if Robyn rides her bike just so she can spend time with me, in her article she sums it up nicely by saying, “Nobody makes me ride my bike. I do it because I want to and because I enjoy it. I enjoy being fitter, I enjoy the time I get to spend doing something for myself and I enjoy being able to achieve the goals I set.”
I just noticed that she didn’t say she enjoyed riding with her husband!