Last year you may have remembered reading about a couple who had incorporated Schwinn into their wedding where the groom rode down the aisle on his bike. This year we are bringing you a love story that is a bit closer to home with an interview from another happy couple whose future groom, Brian, who also happens to work for Schwinn, incorporated Schwinn into his proposal to Alison.
First, I have to ask you guys my favorite question. How did you two meet?
Brian: We actually met online. I had only been on for a few weeks when I saw her profile; she was gorgeous, and her photos showed that she enjoyed biking and a bunch of outdoor activities, so that was a big plus!
This was the day before Valentine’s Day, but I decided I would message her and invite her to my church’s Valentine’s Day Dance. She responded that she already had plans… but ironically enough we found out we went to the same church and she gave me a chance.
We went on our first date the following Tuesday.
What was your first date like?
Alison: Well, we met at Red Sushi and stayed there for a while because we had to polish off the ginormous bottle of sake that he “accidently” ordered.
Brian: I didn’t realize it would be that big!
Alison: Then we decided to continue the date at a local tavern where we just talked, played some Scrabble, and had a late night drink. I was actually supposed to meet a friend of mine who was staying in town, but by the time I got home at midnight she was asleep in her car… oops!
How was the second date?
Alison: The second date was coffee at Barriques and he brought me earrings...
Brian: I had told her on our first date that I was working on a stool made out of bicycle pumps and she told me she thought recycled things are really cool. So I was like “ohhh I'll make her some earrings”.
Alison: But he ended up bringing me a whole box of them and I was like who is this guy? But it was awesome!
Brian I didn’t know what color she would want so I made her about 5 different colored pairs.
(Side Note: Brian and Alison now make recycled bicycle part jewelry together on their Etsy site BrisonAccents!)
How was biking a part of your lives before you two met?
Brian: I got my first mountain bike because a couple of my dorm-mates in college were into it and I quickly fell in love with it too.
Then, when I transferred universities, I decided to switch it up and go from playing soccer to racing on my college team.
Alison: I grew up in a very large family. There were nine of us, and for our family activities we would camp and bike. So we started doing bike tours on tandems. We had four tandems and in the summers we would go to tandem rallies. My sister and I actually would win an award for being the youngest combined age on a tandem.
Then I didn’t really bike much until after college when I joined my company’s bike team. We did the MS 150 together and even I raced crits for a year, and I did well, but decided it wasn’t for me.
Then I met Brian and fast-forward to now; I am now mountain biking and commuting to work when I can.
Brian, where did this idea to propose to Alison on a tandem come from and how did you keep it a surprise?
Brian: When I heard that Alison grew up on tandems I was like, “Well, one day we will have one”. And one day I was able to obtain a leftover Schwinn tandem frame when work was cleaning out some extra frames. I let Alison know I had it, but that was it, because I also secretly decided to use it to propose!
I stored it at work while I built it. Then the day I was planning on proposing I had Alison ride to work alone and told her I would just pick her up at the park for a picnic and had a big surprise for her, so she figured that something was up.
Alison: Brian is terrible at keeping secrets. Riding to the park I kept thinking “Oh my gosh I don’t know what is going on, is this going to be it?”, but then I also remembered he said that a proposal wouldn't be until later.
Then when I got to the park he took my bike and told me to wait.
Brian: I took her bike to the car and rolled out of the woods riding the tandem and she was like, “Ohh that is the surprise…”
There was just a touch of disappointment.
Alison: I was not expecting the tandem at all! He had told me that he was going to take a lot of time in order to get the parts and do it affordably, so I had no idea it was finished.
Did you propose right away, or did you bike around a bit to kind of keep her guessing?
Brian: Well, my friend Caleb was there with his camera, so I think she was still suspecting something more than a picnic, but I told her Caleb was just going to get some pictures as we rode along by the lake.
Then we rolled back to the bench and I pulled out our journal. Now, every month since our one year dating anniversary, I have written her a love letter in this leather-bound journal and that day was not our dating anniversary, so you can tell the wheels are really turning now and she was adding it all up. When I gave it to her she said, “You are three days early” and I was like, “Just read it”.
So she opened it up to a two page entry in which I had written probably all the things you would typically say verbally in a proposal, but it was all written down, which not only saved me from having to stumble through anything, but also allowed her to keep that forever. At the end of the entry I had asked her to stand up so that I could get down on one knee. Which she did.
Then I got on one knee and proposed and she said yes!
Alison: It was wonderful to have it written down so I could read it all over again, because when I read it the first time I was a bit flustered and was rushing to get to the end!
What a wonderful thing to keep and share in the future!
Alison: It is!
Brian: So now our new milestone anniversary date is the 16th and I will write her every month on that day until we get married and have a wedding anniversary date.
You guys have incorporated biking a lot into your relationship. Do you have suggestions for couples who want to bike together but have hesitations because of skill level or other factors?
Alison: Oh yeah, it is really fun to have hobbies to do together and the nice thing about biking is that there are so many different ways you can do it. So we can still go ride together and have it be noncompetitive and we can go relax and have a good time too!
I also learned to mountain bike because of him as well, so now we are able to do that together as well.
Brian: Also I think when you have a hobby or a sport where there is a level of skill and fitness that could separate two people it is important both people have patience with the other. I think as long as you have that balance then you can share a sport.
Alison: At first I just felt terrible when we rode together because I felt like I was holding him back and that he wasn’t getting in a workout. So I just had to take his word for it when he said, “I am riding with you because I want to ride with you, and if I want to get a work out I can ride other times solo or with a group”. So once I accepted that I was more relaxed and it was more enjoyable for both of us.
So Alison, any nods toward biking planned for the wedding?
Alison: The tandem will definitely be there! Cycling is a big part of our relationship and the tandem was part of the proposal; I think it is also just a great symbol of unity.
Inspired by Alison and Brian's love story? Invest in mountain bikes, hybrid bikes or other Schwinn bikes as a hobby for you and your significant other! There are tons of opportunities for connection and quality time when you bike with your partner (or any loved one, for that matter). Enjoy the ride and the time spent together.