The Touring Tandem
Sauntering through the Indian desert while fighting off sickness and defeat, over the Christmas season no less, was not something I had planned on. Obviously. Normally, I would have been on the Collins chairlift at Alta Ski Resort, shredding fresh powder and answering questions from friends and family about life in medical school. But life doesn’t always go as planned. This trip, cycling across the world with my wife on a tandem bicycle, wasn’t something we planned on. Like many of life’s great events, it just kind of happened. One thing led to another, and all of a sudden we boarded a plane to England with a tandem bike, looking forward to a year of freedom and the hope that our love for each other would endure the trials of the road. England, however, with its quaint villages and rolling hills, is not where this story gets interesting. Our journey began before that. To start our story in the Heathrow International Airport where we assembled our tandem with nothing more than an Allen wrench and a screwdriver would be incomplete. It also wouldn’t address the question everyone had hurled at us before we left: “Katy’s quitting Google and you’re taking a year off medical school to go on a bike ride?” This trip, then, began with a feeling, one that is shared by most people, because Katy and I are, in fact, just like most people. This feeling was that at some point in the future, maybe when our last child graduated from high school, or maybe not until we were old and wrinkled and life had run its course, Katy and I would look back at our life and wonder if we had missed out, if our good years were over, and if we had perhaps failed to live the life we should have. For me, this feeling came loud and clear when I was twenty eight years old, and only one year into medical school. And it happened, of all places, on a bicycle.
- The Touring Tandem