By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
(Our blog posts in May will feature content surrounding health of various types - with a connection to relationships, of course!)
Those of you that know Ronda and me well know that we've become quite fond of bicycling. In fact, you may know that for the past thirteen years we've ridden about 13,000 miles on a rather unique looking tandem recumbent bike. It has provided us with hundreds of hours interacting with each other and working together as a team (most of the time😊) to enjoy biking adventures, sometime up to 30 and 40 miles at a time. We've accomplished six or seven "century rides" - that's 100 miles in one day.
What you may not know is the "WHY" of bicycling for us. You'll see three solid reasons that have made this activity our favorite health investment.
On December 5, 1961 President John F. Kennedy called upon Americans to become physically fit. "We look instead of play, ride instead of walk. The remedy, in my judgment, lies in one direction. That is in developing programs for broad participation in exercise by all of our young men and women, all of our boys and girls." Kennedy lamented the "sad fact" that "our national sport is not playing at all, but watching."
“There are more important goals than winning contests — and that is improve on a broad level the health and vitality of all our people,” Kennedy said.
We couldn't agree more. But we add three solid and specific reasons for why bicycling is our favorite investment to this broad picture of health as advocated by President Kennedy.
When couples and families experience positives in their body, soul, and spirit - relationships feel the impact of our three-fold existence being in harmony.
Recently, Ronda and I sold our beloved tandem bicycle to an experienced biking couple from Antwerp, Ohio. They knew what they were looking for and believed this option would add to their fulfillment. The day after their purchase of the bike they rode 40 miles. Our hearts lifted when we heard that!
We've begun a new chapter of bicycling, now that the tandem is no longer available to us. In March of this year we purchased two Lectric e-bikes - mine is the black XP 3.0, and Ronda's is the white XP Step-Thru 3.0.
They each feature some pretty cool bicycling add-ons, the most amazing being "pedal-assist", which kicks in when you start pedaling or when you activate the throttle on the right handlebar. Five levels of pedal assist are powered by a robust battery that is said to last between 20 and 65 miles before recharging, depending on the level of assist used.
A major difference for us now is that we're bicycling separately. For thirteen years we were inseparable. Within 24 inches of each other.
Fortunately, technology helped us with a way to stay inseparable while bicycling separately. We found a simple Sena Pi 2-way intercom that fastens to our bike helmets, and it greatly enhances our sense of connection and communication . . . until Ronda decides to make annoying clicking sounds or I need to cough or sneeze!
We hope to keep investing in our body, soul, and spirit health for many years to come. As we age, it seems that paying attention to our health must be more proactive and less taken for granted.
By the way, President John F. Kennedy also said, "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
We agree - if it also includes ice cream or a meal!😊
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.