Once Upon a Time, I Made a Promise to a Girl…

That title sounds curious, doesn’t it? Sometimes all you need to get clicks to your site is a clever title. In this case, however, the title is true.

It is no secret that I love bicycles. Such a simple machine, but can be life changing. It can be world changing! Burns calories. Saves money. Saves fuel. It (mostly) keeps nasty smelling fumes from entering the atmosphere. A bicycle will likely never save you time, but it can (and will) shift your perspective, causing you to not be so worried about time. You can slow down, take your time, and enjoy the journey. I love bikes.

We struggle to remember the details now. When did I make this promise? Lisa says it was when we lived in the Tulsa House (this is how we organize the chapters of our life together—“when we were in the apartment,” or ”in the first Sand Springs house”), but I thought it was before that. It doesn’t matter, really.

The point is not when the promise was made. The point is that I didn’t keep it. The promise was, ”I’ll get you a hot tub before I get another bicycle.” As I remember things, I’ve purchased three or four bicycles since making that promise. Lisa says it is more like five or six. FIVE OR SIX? Surely not. Okay, maybe. But the last few don’t count. When I worked at the bike shop, it didn’t count because I was able to purchase bikes at cost. They were practically free! (Not really, but that was my argument). When I was diagnosed with MS, I bought a recumbent trike. That one doesn’t count because I sold all my other bikes to purchase the trike—a zero sum proposition. When I bought the Trek Supercommuter, I sold the recumbent to pay for it (mostly). I feel like I got my money’s worth out of both those bikes—I rode the trike 3,500 miles in the three years or so that I owned it, and on the Supercommuter I rode close to 7,500 miles. I was pretty proud of myself, because I exercised great discipline and restraint after seeing the Specialized Turbo Creo Comp Carbon electric assist bike. It was the latest in the evolution of the electric assist bicycle—carbon fiber, light as a feather, fast. Plus, most people have no idea that it was an e-bike. All I cared about was that it was yellow. I love yellow, especially yellow bicycles. As bad as I wanted it, I didn’t buy it, because of that promise. That, and the fact that it cost over $10,000. I stayed strong and continued to ride the big red Pee Wee Herman Supercommuter. But then one day last year, circumstance met destiny when a lady ran a stop sign and collided with me. I did a 360 in the air and landed on the pavement—it must have been legendary—and my bike was damaged. I had no choice but to get a new one. This also turned out to be a zero-sum deal—between the settlement the insurance company paid, and selling the Trek, we ended up money ahead. I don’t count Big Yella (my newest bicycle) against that promise I made to a girl, but she does.

The Catrike 559 recumbent trike–fun to ride but don’t let your friends see
The Trek Supercommuter+8 was a game changer
My newest bike, the Specialized Creo SL

I can’t say with certainty when that promise was made, but I can tell you precisely when it was fulfilled. Last year at the Tulsa State Fair, we were purposefully looking at pools, hot tubs, and the many alternatives. We quickly ruled out an in-ground pool. All that limestone just beneath the surface in our backyard makes that an expensive project. I’ve never much cared for above ground pools. That left us with one option: hot tub, so we started looking. For years, Tuff Spas have been at the top of my list. Those commercials showing somebody dropping hot tubs from an elevated position really convinced me, although I’ve never felt the compulsion to lift a hot tub by crane into the air, then drop it. But the point was well taken. Old school hot tubs use wood that mildews, rots, and looks crappy after a fairly short period of time. Tuff Spas are made with molded plastic, and pretty much look the same no matter what. And if it happens that my hot tub gets dropped from a crane, I’ll be in good shape. That day at the fair, we were blindly going from booth to booth, unaware of what brands each company sold. One hot tub salesman was trying hard to dissuade me from Tuff Spas. He was trying TOO hard to talk me out of it. I left his booth, vowing to think about the things he said. The next spa booth we came to happened to be the Tuff Spas booth, where we met Kyle. Kyle is from Arizona. Kyle made no defense when I told him what his competition was saying. ”Well he’s right. Sometimes the pump goes out. If it does, this is how to change it. Easiest thing in the world” He said only good things about his competition, but skillfully articulated the reasons he believed his spas were superior. I needed little convincing—those commercials were still in my mind. So, after a little negotiating, we put down a deposit. That was October. He said that it would be April before we saw it. He was right.

As April approached, we started getting prepared. Lisa’s brother, an electrician, was at the house one evening, and he encouraged us to consider using higher voltage, so he ran a 220v circuit to the backyard. Then we had a concrete slab poured, and a couple of weeks later, the hot tub was delivered, set in place, and started changing the atmosphere. Life will never again be the same! Here are some pictures of the project.

The before and after photos of the patio job (2019)
Happy wife, happy life.

Published by jasonk5322

I'm a teacher, historian, pastor, cyclist, and guitarist. I've been waging a sometimes-noble battle against MS. I love Jesus, and am amazed that He loves me back.

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