Dan England
dengland@greeleytribune.com

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April 19, 2013
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The couple that bikes together, stays together

The talk usually starts after one of them checks the weather for the weekend.

Maybe it’s a Thursday night, or possibly that morning, before Windsor’s Steve Stromberger leaves for another 12-hour day at his Greeley Office Supply, a business in downtown Greeley started by his parents, which is no-frills enough that a UPS calendar counts as a wall decoration.

“Where do you want to go this weekend?” Lori, 56, will ask.

Maybe the Bingham Loop, Steve may say. Or the Boyd Loop. Or Horsetooth. Maybe, if he’s feeling frisky, and the months are warmer, he’ll suggest Estes Park.

Steve, 59, and Lori were searching for something to do together years ago. It’s a search many married couples go on. They tried golf, but Lori didn’t like it. Then, in 1999, Lori’s co-worker at State Farm suggested a bicycle ride Greeley hosted as a fundraiser for the Poudre Trail. They agreed to ride it, even if it was 20 miles, and they didn’t work out, unless you counted the occasional afternoon of golf.

“We didn’t know if we could get out of bed the next day,” Steve said and laughed.

It’s funny now because the two will ride 100 miles over the weekend, every weekend, unless there’s one of those annoying family gatherings or it snows a foot. They also ride four mornings a week, but that’s early, by 5 a.m., and that means lots of soul-sucking workouts on the stationary mountain bikes in the basement of their Windsor home to keep in shape during the dark winter months. It also means, when the sun cooperates, lots of glorious, 10-mile rides outside.

They were hooked on the biking almost right away, even if they rode old clunkers, and for fall 2001, they took their first bike trip to Vermont to see the fall colors. Despite their “casual” training plan — which was their description but may not be entirely accurate, given that they could ride 35 miles in one sitting — they rode 60 miles a day for a week through the reds and golds, and they loved it.

“We went from bed and breakfast to bed and breakfast,” Steve said. “It was really neat.”

They rode their mountain bikes at first, until that morning near Rist Canyon.

“I heard a thump behind me, and Lori was off,” Steve said. “There were two rocks embedded in her helmet. That was when we put the bikes on the stands downstairs, and we haven’t done it since.”

They’re glad to see spring. The winters here aren’t terrible, and they will ride in cold weather, but their limit is below 30 degrees. On most weekends, they were able to ride, even if they had to wait until that afternoon to do it.

They took two other biking vacations, one on the west coast of Ireland, the other through the wine country of Italy. But since 2006, like many small businesses, Greeley Office Supply had to make cutbacks, and Steve hasn’t taken an extended vacation since then. So they take long weekends to bike in the mountains.

In fact, Lori wonders if she would see Steve at all, given his long hours at work, if they didn’t bike together.

“It’s super-good quality time together,” Lori said. “It’s our fun time together. And I hope we can do it as long as we possibly can.”


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My Windsor Now Updated Apr 25, 2013 04:12PM Published Apr 26, 2013 05:08PM Copyright 2013 My Windsor Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.