Tandem Conversations

Written By: Steve and Sara Dobbs

We’ve had the pleasure of doing the FCBA 2015 Spring Ride on a tandem. For the most part, our experience is the same as the rest of the group, but riding the Natchez Trace on a tandem is different in a few key ways: First of all, the uphills can definitely be a little more challenging (extra weight) and the downhills fly by a little more quickly. And even if you haven’t been on a tandem before, you can imagine that it takes some extra communication, coordination, and trust in each other to ensure a smooth ride. Here’s a sampling of conversations during our ride this week:

“Nice job on that hill, Babe! What did you eat for breakfast?” (Positive encouragement from the Captain always pays off with extra effort by the Stoker!)

tandem 1

“When I’m 87, I want to be biking like Jack!” Jack, our 87 year-old “youngster” on the trip has inspired us and the entire group as well. The two of us hope to be snowboarding and skiing into our 70s, and now, we think our new goal should be to participate in a biking/mission trip when we’re well into our 80s like Jack.

“Bump!” may be the most frequent communication from Captain to Stoker this week on the ride, but fortunately those words have been fairly minimal as the Natchez Trace Parkway has to be one of the best roads we’ve ever cycled on. Prohibiting commercial vehicles is one of the primary reasons the cycling surface is so smooth and also has the added benefit of reducing the chance of cyclists getting blown off the road. It’s been great changing our most common warning yell from “Bump!” to “Small Bump” all week long.

“Live to love and serve others.” Ryan challenged each of us during a morning devotional to think about what our personal mission statement should be. Sara came up with the live to love and serve others statement, and Steve’s morphed from “Make Sara Happy!” (just kidding….) to “Be the best Husband, Father, Son that I can be.”

tandem 3

“Many hands make light work.” Once again, a highlight of the FCBA trip was supporting a Fuller Center Partner for a build/work day, and we were amazed how quickly a job can be completed when everyone pitches in and works together. Steve’s work team removed the roof shingles (in preparation for a new roof) from the same house the FCBA team worked on a few years ago. Unfortunately, the homeowner was ill and couldn’t talk with them, but it was great to go back and see the work that had been set in motion by previous FCBA efforts. Sara worked on a yard team and did have the opportunity to talk with the home owner, as well as her daughter and grandson. The kind words of thanks and hugs of appreciation as we left were an unforgettable memory.

“Oyee!” We’ve heard this cheer as a send-off and encouragement at the start of our ride, as well as a thanks to our church hosts for providing food and floor space. We’re continually thankful to sleep under non-leaking roofs and have enough to eat each night–a luxury many people worldwide do not have and are reminded that our aim to “live simply” this week keeps us mindful of ways we can help others “simply live.”

Posted in Blog, Natchez Trace Blog.