Six and a half years ago when Dick and I were planning our wedding, I was having trouble getting motivated. The only thing decided was a wedding date of January 1st, which I liked because New Year’s is the perfect day to start something new, like a married life together. Plus we’d always have our anniversary off from work and nothing happens on New Years anyway except football games that we don’t really care about.
Dick wasn’t helping either. Whenever I asked for his opinion about wedding plans, he would say, “Make sure the ceremony isn’t too early in the day, you know I always ride Mt Hamilton on New Year’s.” So the inevitable happened: we ended up with a bike wedding. The plan was to ride up Mt Hamilton with an entourage of friends (and select family in cars), have a simple ceremony, and then ride down on a tandem.
The weather turned out to be wet with dangerously high winds, so we skipped the ride and performed the ceremony at the bottom of the hill at Grant Ranch. It was still very special, even without the ride.
Now we celebrate our anniversary with the ride we couldn’t do on our wedding day. This year the weather was more spring than winter with clear skies, no wind and warm temperatures. I was worried about the 11 mile, 2800′ climb since I’ve been doing more cross-town trips than hills, but I surprised myself. Still, the climb goes on forever, with the observatory on top remaining in view so seemingly close and yet so far away, taunting you.
The best part of a long climb is the long descent, and Mt Hamilton was even better this year due to large sections of fresh pavement. On the top third we had it free and clear until we caught up with a Prius who had too much pride to pull over for a couple of bikes. My hands were hurting from all the braking, but it gave us more time to spot Brian climbing up the hill and call out a quick “Hi Brian, Happy New Year!”
That evening we went out to dinner dressed as we did for the formal dinner that followed our bike wedding. I am grateful that my dress still fit (ditto for Dick and his suit). But mostly, I’m grateful that after six years we still enjoy each other every day and still enjoy celebrating the beginning of our life together as a committed couple.
What traditions do you have to remember and celebrate the big days in your life?