Plight of the VMW

merckxwedding
“I now pronounce you Prophet and VMW. You may go for a ride.”

He didn’t really want to be awake at this hour, but it was the only way. Or one of them, at least. Because he wanted to spend more time with her, he would rise before the sun, making use of the small window between their entwined slumber and the dirge of another day at the office. But still she saw those stolen hours as time he could be spending in her company. She never said it, but he knew…

He didn’t want to give her up, nor the bike. Why should he have to choose? He loved them both, of course, in different ways. She never asked him to make a choice, she knew how much it meant to him, and she knew how much he meant to her, and her to him. There would never be one or the other. There never could. He would always be shared between her and the bike, though in the literal sense, he truly only loved her. In some strange way, she felt lucky for this.

He had made concessions, a ride conveniently forgotten, waylaid, postponed. Still, it seemed to her that he was always flitting off to the trails, always managing to squeeze in another loop. There was never enough time in the day, he would lament. Always tired, both of them. His energy used for the ride, legs and back dully aching, mentally drained, too fatigued to do anything but sleep.

They were not interested in fighting. I don’t want to fight, she said. He didn’t want to either. Rather than fight, they simply wouldn’t talk. When he told her that he could never give up his bicycle to another man, her reaction was one of bemusement. It’s just a bike, she said. His contemptuous retort indicated otherwise; he would never give her up to another man, it’s just not done. Same with the bicycle.

She accepted, if not understood. How could he compare her to a bicycle? He couldn’t, she was the most important part of his puzzle, one that had taken an age to find all the right pieces and fit them together. Some pieces could be interchanged, but not that one. She never wanted to be a Velomiwidow. He would see to it that she wasn’t.

Flesh and blood, steel and rubber, heart and soul.

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82 Replies to “Plight of the VMW”

  1. @brett@meursault

    I can’t understand how you can sing something so far out of tune (in particular the “harmony”) and allow that to find its way onto the internet.

    It is truly awful. To the VMH’s credit, the studio version, which she played, is much better.

  2. My VMW and I are not married but our 1st date was on the 8th of June several years ago so this has served as our anniversary and will do so until we get officially hitched. This was all well and good until earlier this year when @snoov chose this as the date for the Scottish Cogal. I tentatively mentioned it to my beloved the week before, “Have you any plans for the weekend? No… well there’s a bike ride on Saturday I would like to do, I haven’t entered it or anything but…” Thus permission was granted and I hadn’t lied but I wasn’t being strictly truthful either. I neglected to mention it was an all day affair and when asked what time I would be home I simply avoided eye contact and mumbled a “not sure”

    She was not happy when I arrived home at 9pm, exhausted and sunburnt and penance had to be paid numerous times over the following weeks. I had to work hard to pay off that particular debt but it was totally worth it.

  3. Great article. I was at a loss as to what to call my girlfriend, used S.O. here just last week. She’s coming to grips with being a VMW. Both in our 50’s, I’ve been riding for 30 years, she’s not a cyclist, we’ve been in a relationship nearly 3 years, living together just a couple of months. She’s very considerate, and tolerant, of what my bikes mean to me, but doesn’t yet appreciate how deep that goes. Downscaling from a house I lived in for 26 years to a condo adds to the challenge. I won’t have my n1 stored in the garage, she won’t have it in plain sight in the living room, and I’m not hauling it up and down stars around corners and furniture. We’ll get a screen. She appreciates what the riding does for me, mentally and physically. If you want to do just what you want in life but have someone there for when you want, I guess you get a pet. I couldn’t keep my dog under those circumstances, but she was always happy to see me. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, we’ll adjust, we’ll be fine. Life is good.

  4. Last year i started bike commuting (20k each way) a couple times a week at the behest of my vmw. I believe the quote was- “yeah, you’ll come home tired but less an asshole.” she at least was right about the tired part. smiling and tired; the latter, well…

  5. @frank Pedant alert: Shouldn’t the phrase be “I couldn’t care less about you.” istead of “I could care less” ? I mean she could care less if she wanted but chooses not too. That means there’s a ways to go to “couldn’t care less.”

    I couldn’t care less about her singing voice.

  6. Upgraded from Aluminum to Carbon a couple of weeks ago.

    Me, “I feel like I could ride it all day.”

    She, “I hope this doesn’t mean that you’ll be riding more than you do now.”

  7. @Kyle

    Upgraded from Aluminum to Carbon a couple of weeks ago.

    Me, “I feel like I could ride it all day.”

    She, “I hope this doesn’t mean that you’ll be riding more than you do now.”

    “Oh, no, where would I find the time?”

  8. Ok, an attempt at some redemption here in terms of musical references, but here we have some insights from my boy Robert Plant. Ever heard of him?

    I’ve felt the coldness of my winter

    I never thought it would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us…

    But I know that I love you so 

    These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall 

    This is the wonder of devotion – I see the torch we all must hold. 

    This is the mystery of the quotient – Upon us all a little rain must fall.

  9. @Kyle

    Upgraded from Aluminum to Carbon a couple of weeks ago.

    Me, “I feel like I could ride it all day.”

    She, “I hope this doesn’t mean that you’ll be riding more than you do now.”

    I was half hoping you’d say she said something like, “I appreciate the time off.”

  10. @Mike_P

    @Rom

    I’m the victim here. My VMH rides more than me and gets a bit grumpy when I get a TT in while she’s at the boy’s cricket game.

    but on the positive side we have matching BMCs and both got a set of C 24 s for Christmas.

    She’s keen to replace her bike already and insists we upgrade together.

    Have you got matching anoraks? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    We do have 3 matching jerseys (because they were free) and we try to not to match unless we’re riding as Team Awesome.

  11. @PeakInTwoYears

    @frank

    @VeloVita

    @Ron

    Anyone know what has happened to a pretty darn good site, http://ildolore.cc/archive?

    In a sea of reblogged rapha photos and custom neon team kits, those photos were a nice change and retrospective on the beautiful pursuit.

    http://ildolore.tumblr.com/

    Everything you need to know about Cycling you can find in this photo:

    I saw that today, too. That look. That look is the look of someone you do not want to turn your back on.

    Yeah, and Chuck Flop knows it, too.

  12. Great great article Bretto! Serious. Unless you’re single, this is something you will face more than once in your life.

  13. I’m taking my wife away for a mini-break this weekend.  Nothing strange in that, but it’s the first time it will be just the two of us overnight since our kids starting arriving five and a half years ago. I’ve just realised that in the last 18 months I’ve been away with the bike, leaving her with the kids, for 15 nights.

    She is a good woman and I think I need to call ahead to get the champagne on ice!

  14. @Mike_P

    I’m taking my wife away for a mini-break this weekend. Nothing strange in that, but it’s the first time it will be just the two of us overnight since our kids starting arriving five and a half years ago. I’ve just realised that in the last 18 months I’ve been away with the bike, leaving her with the kids, for 15 nights.

    She is a good woman and I think I need to call ahead to get the champagne on ice!

    Flowers in the room too?

  15. @Teocalli

    @Mike_P

    I’m taking my wife away for a mini-break this weekend. Nothing strange in that, but it’s the first time it will be just the two of us overnight since our kids starting arriving five and a half years ago. I’ve just realised that in the last 18 months I’ve been away with the bike, leaving her with the kids, for 15 nights.

    She is a good woman and I think I need to call ahead to get the champagne on ice!

    Flowers in the room too?

    Steady on mate, there’s a limit.

  16. @DerHoggz

    @frank

    @VeloVita

    @Ron

    Anyone know what has happened to a pretty darn good site, http://ildolore.cc/archive?

    In a sea of reblogged rapha photos and custom neon team kits, those photos were a nice change and retrospective on the beautiful pursuit.

    http://ildolore.tumblr.com/

    Everything you need to know about Cycling you can find in this photo:

    Fuck me I want some Factory Pilots.

    Gianni Bugno is looking distressed because he is Italian and looks awesome in his Chateau d”Ax kit and should therefore be setting the bar for looking good.. What’s bugging him is that a Frenchman looks ever better and is wearing the most awesome cycling shoes of all time. Game over!

  17. I am noticing that @the engine has not said anything. Just as well or I will let his tyres down.

  18. @mrs engine

    I am noticing that @the engine has not said anything. Just as well or I will let his tyres down.

    He has been most quiet. I assumed you had finally put him in little bags in the freezer. It is only a matter of time.

    I also assume this post from you is a smokescreen to keep authorities off the trail.

  19. @frank Aye well, stranger things have happened and no one has noticed the new decking yet..  Its turning 50 that does it.

  20. @frank

    @mrs engine

    I am noticing that @the engine has not said anything. Just as well or I will let his tyres down.

    He has been most quiet. I assumed you had finally put him in little bags in the freezer. It is only a matter of time.

    I also assume this post from you is a smokescreen to keep authorities off the trail.

    It’s awfully dark in here isn’t it?

  21. @the Engine

    @frank

    @mrs engine

    I am noticing that @the engine has not said anything. Just as well or I will let his tyres down.

    He has been most quiet. I assumed you had finally put him in little bags in the freezer. It is only a matter of time.

    I also assume this post from you is a smokescreen to keep authorities off the trail.

    It’s awfully dark in here isn’t it?

    If you get your mouth off the straw it it lets in light!!

  22. @the Engine I have it on good authority that if you break off a finger you can use it to pry the gasket loose then you will be able to breathe and not freeze so you might be able to hear the little Engines enjoying Thanksgiving? Thank goodness for small blessings!

  23. @Mike_P

    @Teocalli

    @Mike_P

    I’m taking my wife away for a mini-break this weekend. Nothing strange in that, but it’s the first time it will be just the two of us overnight since our kids starting arriving five and a half years ago. I’ve just realised that in the last 18 months I’ve been away with the bike, leaving her with the kids, for 15 nights.

    She is a good woman and I think I need to call ahead to get the champagne on ice!

    Flowers in the room too?

    Steady on mate, there’s a limit.

    Chocolates and maybe see if there are beauty rooms nearby and pay for a wee relaxing massage!! You know she’s worth it….

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