The Gazelle, talented man that he is, not only was once the pronkiest pronker that ever pronked, but he also rode a bike.
In every day life the humble bicycle was our mode of transport, to work, to parties, to do our shopping… Obviously, when CFS came to play, the bicycle was out of the question.
Aside from the obvious, one of the worst things about the Gazelle’s inability to ride his bike was what it did to me. Suddenly the lifestyle that I knew and loved, and that I believed in wholeheartedly was challenged. If we went anywhere together it had to be in the car. Which meant that I was tied to his weariness and worse, we became seperated from our friends. When everyone else was saying ‘let’s ride together’, we were working out where to park, and tiredly dealing with traffic.
Our first attempt at solving this problem was when the Gazelle was still very sick and we lived in a flat place with good bike paths. We tried a tandem (you gotta try a tandem, CFS was a good excuse to try crazy ideas in search of solutions).
I was pleased to find the picture above and to note that it is the woman riding at the front. The reason for trialling a tandem was that we figured the Gazelle could ride for free when he needed and I could do the work.
Picture this. Small me on the front of a tandem bicycle. Remember that tandems are usualy built so that the big person is on the front and the small person on the back. Off we wobbled the Gazelle slightly squashed and me slightly stretched.
The thing about tandems is that you have to work as a team. When coming up to a busy intersection, communication is key. I am a cautious cyclist. I hit the breaks. The Gazelle, likes to speed through, he hit the pedals. I think I probably yelled out something like “Oi! I’m the boss of this machine!” as we narrowly avoided disaster.
In the end the tandem wasnt for us. It’s not so good up hills and it does mean that you have to do everything together. At that stage, the Gazelle just didn’t have the energy to share the load, but didn’t have the self control not to pedal (but for anyone interested in trying a tandem, it’s worth contacting your local bicycle advocacy group. Pedal Power in Canberra hooked us up with one for a week so we could give it a whirl).