Valentine’s Day and cycling: a match made in heaven!

Yvette Yeates

Feb / 14 / 2020

Well this is interesting… I googled ‘Valentine’s Day and cycling’ and found most of the results about Valentine’s Day gifts for cyclists! Page 2 was mainly about how to show your bike some love (heh?!) and bike Valentine’s Day cards.

I was looking for inspiration and Google was not helping…then I thought…who do I know that loves bikes and met their life partner through biking? Well knock me down with a sledgehammer! It took about 15 minutes but then I remembered - the owner of GTP, Keith Tuffley met his future wife (me!) in a bike shop in Sydney.

Above: After 23 years of marriage... Tuffley surprised me with a new bike and a 50th Birthday Bike tour of the Swiss Alps.

Back in the days when we were young and carefree, I worked at Clarence Street Cyclery and Tuffley was a young city lawyer. He was hanging out with a crowd of high achievers that did corporate law and every weekend either partied or went on crazy epic endurance events – canyoning, kayaking along dried up rivers, triathlons, cycle training and when he came into the shop he was about to complete his first multi day endurance event across the South Island of New Zealand. Mad.

Above: Tuffley finding the perfect balance between endurance and partying!

Anyway he returned to the Clarence Street Cyclery and after a few attempts of failing to ask me out, but managing to spend money, he rang the shop and spoke at length my good friend Gaz, who knew what was going on but decided to make it so awkward and difficult for Tuffley – Yvette is with a customer can I help you? She is still busy, are you sure I cannot help? And with Tuffley on hold, he loudly told everyone in the shop that there was some guy on the phone wanting to ask me out etc.

Eventually after I had finished selling the helmet (I think it was a helmet!) I came to the phone with all the guys listening in and giggling. In a whisper, I said I would meet him after work at the Forbes Hotel and hung up. No idea who he was!

At the end of the day, I jumped on my bike and rode to the Forbes just around the corner and wheeled my bike inside and under the stairs. A quick scout around and I saw a man who I had sold stuff to and he waved to me. I sat next to him at the bar and after the hello, he introduced himself as Keith to which I said I could not call him Keith as I had two acquaintances who lived together called Keith. I asked him his last name. Tuffley. So ever since then I have called him Tuffley…unless I am annoyed and then it is Keith.

So, there you have it. My first date with Keith Tuffley. The second date was canyoning in the Blue Mountains with 2 other men who I had never met before (that was a bit concerning at first), followed by a dinner party at one of his friends where we debated whether Australia should be come a republic or not!

Above: Canyon breakfast club!

And here we are, in Switzerland with 4 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 hamster, bees and soon chickens and geese (although Tuffley does not know this yet!) …possibly renting runner ducks to eat the slugs…but that is another story.

Happy Valentine’s Day.