Those that know me know that Harley-Davidson is one of my greatest passions. If I was put in the situation that I had to give up photography or motorcycles, I would have to drop the camera. It is my therapy, my release, my church. Living in Southern California gives me a riding season of 12 months so when I feel the need to get away from the hassles of everyday life, escape is as close as my garage. There are a couple days a year I like to go riding whether or not I “feel the need” based solely on the fact that there is no traffic. When you live in LA, you have to take advantage of these things. One day is Christmas; the other is Superbowl Sunday.

This past Superbowl Sunday was gorgeous around here. It was close to 80 degrees out and because the Superbowl was starting around 3:30 PM local time, it was a safe bet that this was going to be a great day for a ride. The problem was, Tanya was feeling really wiped out from her Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD) and was not feeling up to it. Well, after the guilt I felt being in Las Vegas last month, you might imagine that I was a little hesitant just going off and having a good time without her. I am just not wired that way. To her credit, a couple hours later she said she would like to go for a ride, but she only felt capable of going out for a few minutes. That was not really what I had in mind.

A few days ago I was reading the blog of a gentleman that is married to a woman with RAD. In it he talks of having two wives; his wife before RAD and his wife after RAD. I can kind of relate. While I did not really have the pleasure of knowing Tanya personally prior to her diagnoses, I have had the pleasure of being with Tanya when she is in remission as well as dealing with her misery when she is flaring. They are definitely two different people. Tanya in remission can ride on the back on my bike from LA to Las Vegas; Tanya flaring has problems sitting in the car for more than an hour.

After reading the article, I told Tanya that I could relate, and she asked me how. After chuckling I told her that there were two Tanya’s and she had to admit it was true. Somehow she had never given it much thought. I told her that I had really wanted to go for a ride that Sunday afternoon, but since I had “sick Tanya” instead of “feeling good Tanya” there was no way I could leave her. Tanya said that was silly and that if I need to go for a ride, I should just go. I wish it was that easy.

What do I do in this scenario? It is a sunny day and I want to go for a ride; Tanya is feeling good and wants to join me. My idea of a bike ride is to be out for four or five hours and ride up the coast to Solvang or head up to the mountains around Lake Arrowhead, or ride down south and meet up with my son. Tanya wants to go for a ride, but only feels up to 30 minutes one way, with a little time to stretch her legs, then another 30 minutes home. To be honest, under most circumstances the latter ride will be more work than fun as anything within that 30 minute radius is going to have a lot of traffic, unless it is Christmas or Superbowl Sunday. Tanya said I should just leave her at home and do my long ride. The thing is I enjoy my time with her on the back of my bike. I know she enjoys those fleeting moments as well. I also know that I am going to start feeling guilt and end up cutting my ride short so I can get back to her. These are some of the things I need to work on.

Last week I wrote about training Tanya’s dog. For those that care, you might be interested in knowing that Hershey is getting with the program. In fact, since I wrote that article Hershey and Tanya have joined Buddy and me for two walks a day, every day . . . except one night that it was raining. Buddy and I went solo. The fact is, Hershey is learning. He even acts likes he wants to walk once in a while. Now I need to train me. I know it is not going to be easy, but if I do not there is the risk of resentment. I will do my best. Wish me luck.

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