Valentine’s Day on a bicycle built for two

What better way to celebrate an unseasonably warm Valentine’s Day than to go for a spin on a bright red tandem!

When we headed to the grocery store to pick up some supplies for a mid-ride picnic, it was promising to be a lovely day, the temperature pushing 50 degrees.

Alas, when we came home and prepped the bike, Bugman’s Meniere’s disease flared up with an episode of vertigo, and he had to rest on the couch for an hour.

We didn’t hit the road until 2 p.m., by which time the temperature was dropping: 46 degrees at the start, 32 by the time we got home two hours later. The wind was also pretty intense, at 25-30 miles per hour. Our ride out with the wind was fast, but the ride back would be be less so.

My initial plan was to head to the picnic shelter in Lyman, as we had previously done for Easter. Then we scrubbed that in favor of a loop through Morrill. Ultimately, we cut the journey to a 25-mile loop through Mitchell, with the hope that some business in downtown Mitchell would take pity on us and let us picnic inside.

Despite the wind and the chill, it felt good to be back on the tandem again after a five-month hiatus. The countryside delivered its usual diversions. We laughed as whole herds of cattle stared at us, cornstalks dripping from their mouths. Prairie dogs barked at us and scuttled into their burrows. A hawk rose up from a field, a small rodent’s body clutched in its talons along with some grassy debris. On a grueling stretch of road where we bucked the wind, we had the diversion of a youngster who piloted his ATV alongside us and chatted. (“You’re doing 15 miles an hour!” he said encouragingly.)

Thankfully, the gent holding down the fort at Hometown Harvest Cooperative was more than happy to let us camp out inside the store for a little bit, to warm up and fuel up with the picnic items we’d packed.

Bugman looks to be rubbing his hands in anticipation of eating, but he was actually rubbing them to warm them up.

Bugman looks to be rubbing his hands in anticipation of eating, but he was actually rubbing them to warm them up. Poor guy. He bucked the brunt of the wind as captain of the tandem.

Our Valentine's day red-and-white food picnic: grape tomatoes, cheese curds, roasted red peppers, banana-and-strawberry salad, yogurt-raisin/peanut-M&M/dried-cranberry trail mix, and to drink, a white chai beverage and a red fruit smoothie.

Our Valentine’s day red-and-white food picnic: grape tomatoes, cheese curds, roasted red peppers, banana-and-strawberry salad, yogurt-raisin/peanut-M&M/dried-cranberry trail mix, and to drink, a white chai beverage and a red fruit smoothie.

Thanks for the much-needed shelter, Hometown Harvest!

Thanks for the much-needed shelter, Hometown Harvest!

Happy Valentine's Day, from Wyobraska Tandem! <3

Happy Valentine’s Day, from Wyobraska Tandem! ❤

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

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