Friday, March 9, 2007

The difference ten years makes

Dad and I turned about 5.5 miles and 450 feet today in the preserves. We covered some fairly rocky trail but nothing too technical. I would stop every five minutes or so to let dad catch up. We made a couple of prolonged stops, one so that I could extract thirty some cholla spines and the other was just to take a break.

My dad has been an avid cyclist as long as I can remember. When I was growing up in Portland he commuted the six or so miles to and from work year round. When we moved to Spokane we lived 400 yards from miles and miles of trails and he was out there almost daily. Later when my parents lived in Kansas City he was riding to work on a fairly regular basis once again. They moved back to Washington again for a couple of years and he got a fair amount of road riding in and a little mountain biking in but I noticed it was starting to taper off. For the last four year or so my parents have been living in a small town outside of Wichita Kansas. He still commutes to work on a somewhat regular basis, but the ride is a 1/4 mile at most.

I can't help but think back to what it was like to ride with him right after my time in Americorps. That was ten years ago, I was 20 and dad was 45, Michele and I were moving to Spokane together and my parents had been there for about five years. On the drive from back from Denver dad and I rode the Slickrock Trail in Moab. At the time I was riding around Denver a lot but not much in the way of technical riding. I got my ass kicked all over the place. Dad was riding up and down what seemed to me like impossible terrain. He was tearing ahead and waiting for me. I'm sure he got off his bike at least once, but I sure don't remember it. I think I must have walked almost every challenge out there. When we got back to Spokane dad and I rode together on a semi regular basis and he still continued to kick my ass right up untilthe time they moved to KC. We've ridden together few times since then. Now I'm 30 and he's 55, I'm not in great shape but he's worse off to be sure. I'm not by any means saying it's time to put my pop out to pasture, it's just that there's not much in the way of good riding in his part of Kansas and it's showing but as long as he's still enjoying the ride I'm game.

Picture from last years visit

4 comments:

john said...

It's good to know that the ol' man is still ridin'. Coolness.

Sean said...

We're going to do some riding in MO this summer when Michele and I head back for her graduation. With better weather he'll be out on his road bike more and I'm sure I won't get to rest near as much.

michele said...

Don't forget he's also had MAJOR back surgery...

Bernie said...

It was 3 back surgeries and 2 years of living in Kansas that made me as slow as I am now. I've been and OFS rider longer than that kid's been alive! I did get out today on my road bike and cranked out 10 miles into a 30 mph wind. The return was a bit quicker, averaging almost 30mpf with the tailwind.