In Tandem

20“She’s stronger than she thinks and her efforts are necessary for us to achieve our objectives. If she stops pedaling, we’re in trouble, I thought as she said, ‘If we weren’t connected, I wouldn’t be pedaling.’”                      

Jeff & Laura Williams, father-daughter tandem team


Marital love is meant to be agape, committed and unconditional. Love like this may begin in romance but continues in confidence that another’s differences or viewpoints can contribute to what’s best for both lovers. Connie Carpenter and Davis Phinney must’ve figured out something really important about how to incorporate cycling into their lifestyles beyond their talent and world-class performances – wonder if they would write us a he said/she said book about marriage between cyclists? This would be valuable advice that’s sustained a happy relationship and produced another world class cyclist in son Taylor Phinney. While they are one of cycling’s famous families, all of our families can be famous for being loving. No family is completely without its challenges. Because of the gap between perfection and reality, there is familial dysfunction even with a loving couple possessing masterful parental skills. Today isn’t so much about coping with your past family experiences as it is about how to think about being a passionate cyclist and building a happy family simultaneously.


My theory is that because of Europe’s knowledge of cycling culture, European racers have better odds at starting families and having stable home lives than American counterparts. The spouses of Europe seem to have more understanding of what it takes to be a bike racer, and they live in proximity to where their mates race. Perhaps we can take a lesson from them in family life as we have for decades in racing strategy and training physiology. Quality time and being faithful to understand one another are strong wheels to roll beneath in tandem.


Prayer for Marriage & Family

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.” 21Hebrews 13:4


We are in awe that two can become one. We confess our inabilities to think and behave in the best interests of our better halves at times. We ask for improved communication that leads to understanding our mates’ concerns/needs and for blessing on the marriages and families of cyclists.


Ponder What is my familial ideal/reality? Affirm I learn what it takes to include my spouse/family in my cycling lifestyle. Watch for freedom to ride by offering your family to participate how they wish.


20“The Power of Teamwork: A Bicycle Built for Two by Jeff Williams in Daily Grace & Truth, an email devotional. Jeff Williams is a Marriage & Family relationship expert, Counselor-Mediator, Leadership Coach, Recreational Cyclist, and friend. Jeff was the President of the Board of Team Spirit, a non-profit to bring chaplaincy to cycling active in 2005-2006 founded by the author. Jeff is currently the Founding Director of Grace & Truth Relationship Education. His relational principles can be found at


21Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Tyndale House Publishers

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