One of my all-time favorite movies is Creator (1985), starring Peter O’Toole. It’s a quirky film that appeals to my nostalgic and sympathetic nature. The main character (Dr. Harry Wolper) is talking longingly of his late wife when he says: “When Lucy and I first met, Paul, the world was a pet. It came along with us wherever we went, like a good dog. Obedient. Loyal. Friendly. The world responded to our commands.”
Riding two-up with Cori makes me think of that line and that movie every time. I don’t know if there’s a better way to spend time with someone you love deeply who also loves to ride. There are few other ways I can think of where each has the complete attention of the other. Riding is such a joy to begin with that the line from the film makes perfect sense. The world really does respond to our commands.
Often when we ride with our group, we’ll stop and someone will ask, “Are you guys using helmet radios?” “Yep.” “I thought so; Cori was talking with her hands.” We’ll ride and point out landmarks, animals, clouds, talk about music, places we want to visit together, future ride ideas. The point is, it doesn’t really matter. It’s time together in a place where no one and nothing can reach us until we say they can.
Last summer we were leading a ride on unfamiliar roads, and I missed a turn and ended up leading the group (many of whom were on shiny cruisers) up a steep, twisty, gravel road. I was embarrassed and felt responsible for the safety of those riding with us, which I voiced to Cori. Her response: “People will forgive you anything if you own it, Bud.” It calmed me; I made the requisite apologies, everyone laughed it off, and everything turned out fine. It was just another example of how well we complement each other, both on the bike and off.
We’re both pretty happy people to begin with, happier still together, and we both enjoy talking to people, whether they are fellow riders or not. We have a Zen-like approach to life, so when it comes to where to eat, where to ride, it doesn’t really matter, it’s not important. Great meals, new friends, spectacular views can only add to the experience, and not much can take away. Riding is like that. Riding two-up is even more like that.
Lots of couples have two bikes, one for each; in some couples only one rides; and, like Cori and I, some ride two-up. If you have someone you ride with, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. The world really can be a pet that responds to your commands.