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Love Notes

by Sabrina Rocco

Love Notes: A match made on bicycles

Linda Osmundson, 62, and Maurice Kurtz, 58, of St. Petersburg. Married Aug. 20, 2011.

They sometimes saw each other under the tree in front of North Shore Pool, where the St. Petersburg Bike Club gathers for weekly rides. For a year, Linda and Maurice didn't meet. The club had hundreds of members, and the two never found each other in the sea of superjocks.

But before a ride in spring 2006, Maurice noticed a fellow biker with a turquoise, or "celeste," bike similar to his. It was a Bianchi, an Italian brand that few people have. He asked Linda about her bike and they exchanged names. Linda, the executive director of Community Action Stops Abuse, told Maurice how she had been granted a three-month sabbatical to ride across the country. Maurice, a science and children's museum exhibit developer, was impressed by how nice Linda was, since she was often publicly perceived as tough. Later, the brisk bikers began to date.

Neither thought they would marry again. Even after four years together, they didn't talk about it. She had been in an abusive 18-year marriage, which inspired her to work with domestic violence survivors; Maurice had been married for 20 years. But their relationship took a turn in December 2010 when Linda asked him if he would consider it. She knew he wouldn't give her a definite answer. Maurice was a thoughtful person and never did things on a whim.

Three months later, she went to Myanmar for a few weeks — no communication whatsoever. When she returned, Maurice had an answer: "I really missed you. I think we could get married." That was simply the proposal. No ring, nothing grandiose.

Linda and Maurice were married at the Friends Meeting House in St. Petersburg in a traditional Quaker ceremony, to honor Maurice's religious beliefs. The theme was bicycles, and the color was celeste.

Sabrina Rocco can be reached at srocco@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8862.

Love Notes: A match made on bicycles 10/01/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 1, 2011 5:30am]

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