Paddles for Peddles

I consider myself extremely lucky in that not only does my wife support my passion for getting outdoors in a kayak, but actually participates with me on most occasions. So when Theresa suggested that for this year's anniversary we try something different, like trading our paddles for bike peddles, I felt I needed to be as equally supportive regardless of my hesitation.
The bowsprit of a schooner in the marina dockyard. (Photograph by Steve Weileman)

I consider myself extremely lucky in that not only does my wife support my passion for getting outdoors in a kayak, but actually participates with me on most occasions. So when Theresa suggested that for this year’s anniversary we try something different, like trading our paddles for bike peddles, I felt I needed to be as equally supportive regardless of my hesitation. It’s been years since I spent any appreciable time on a bike, and she wanted to rent a tandem? I was reminded of the line in Something Wicked This Way Comes, “You could smell trouble in the air”.

Every year I instruct at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium, and whenever we have guests from out of town we always make a point to take them to Port Townsend. It somehow has retained much of its charm when it was a thriving port-of-call for the old sailing vessels. I’m sure much of that has to do with the high concentration of Victorian homes on the bluff as well as the historic waterfront, but it also has an intangible romance that’s hard to put one’s finger on. Despite our frequent visits, we never really seem to have the time to explore all the back neighborhoods, or off-the-beaten trails and as there is a cycle shop in town with tandems for rent, we decided to return to PT for a longer visit.

Bob of PT Cyclery, greeted us the morning of our arrival and spent a considerable time going over the “do’s” and “don’ts” of riding a tandem which I greatly appreciated as I hadn’t stopped to consider the implications. Properly outfitted, and educated he then gave us some suggestion on where to ride, one of which was the portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail which runs along the waterfront on the east side of town. To reach the trailhead you have to cut through the marina.

Reflections
Reflections at Port Townsend Marina. (Photograph by Steve Weileman)

Riding through the marina I was like a kid in a candy store; every boat of every size and style was represented here, all in various stages of repair or restoration. While we were exploring the marina, we came across the biggest boat sling I’ve ever seen. Its massive tires taller then myself.

Steve on Bike
Steve trading his paddle for some peddles. (Photograph by Theresa Weileman)

I’m happy to say that we managed the weekend on the bike with no mishaps; obviously Bob did his job well in couching us. Although I doubt we’ll be buying a tandem bike any time soon, I was, besides being fun, a great practical lesson in communication and teamwork, and we’ll be back for more.

Did I mention that I’m lucky because I have a wife with such good ideas?

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