The Science Nerd

Tag: communication

It’s a Trust Thing

October 16, 2012

There are many reasons to celebrate.  And there are as many ways to celebrate as there are reasons.  September 15th of this year was a day worth celebrating.  And celebrate we did. We had to work in the morning, but spent the rest of the day just enjoying life.

We started with lunch, and then made an interesting purchase.  We have been talking for a long time about wanting a tandem bike.  We both love riding our bikes, and thought a tandem sounded like great fun for just cruisin’ around at the beach or downtown or wherever.  A few years ago, Gayle even got the frame to a bike with the idea of fixing it up, but we learned pretty quick that the time and money investments would be large.

A few weeks before, we drove by a tandem bike that was for sale….marinated on it for a while, and then decided that it would make the perfect way to celebrate being together, by being together on a bike.

So we bought it!  


Our bicycle built for two

It’s a ’60′s Bicycle Built for Two by Columbia.  After all nothing says I plan on sticking around like a vintage bicycle :)

We went on two short rides that first day, the first just to test drive the bike, and the second when we brought it home.  We had other places to go, but just couldn’t resist a short trip through the neighborhood on our “bicycle built for two”.

Because Gayle is the more confident of the two of us (by far), I almost insisted that she take the front seat.  Riding on the back of a tandem bike is an interesting phenomenon.

There is a lot of trust involved, more than I would have anticipated.  From the back, you can’t see what is directly in front of you.  You have to trust the person in the front seat to avoid obstacles and let you know if bumps are coming.  You also are at the mercy of the driver and how well they communicate turns and other movements.

Both riders need to trust the other, as balance can be a challenge.  Both riders have to work together to balance the bike.  You can’t try to do it all by yourself, because that is the easiest way to tip over – hurting both you and your partner.

Don’t get me wrong – the tandem bike is great fun!  It’s a way for Gayle and I to get outside, get some exercise and enjoy this beautiful area that we live in.  We love it!  It just takes some getting used to.

There are a lot of parallels between riding a tandem bike and life.  When you have a partner, whether it’s a business partner, friend, life partner or other family member, you have to trust that person.    It’s critical to communicate with them so you both are on the same page about where you are going and what is coming up.  And you can’t try to take everything on yourself.  You need to work with the other person to solve problems and deal with things together.  Trying to do it all yourself will cause both of you to crash and burn.

These are issues that I have had problems with in the past.  I am a horrible communicator.  I don’t want to cause waves, so I keep quiet about problems or issues which just makes them worse.  I need to remember that things are better if I communicate early and trust that things will work out.

I’m trying to remind myself of this each time I walk past our tandem bike.  Aside from being great fun and good exercise, I think it’s going to teach me a lot about trust in all areas of life.

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