Guest Post: How My Dad Got Me To Start Riding, by Geoffrey M

05.28.2012 | 1:32 am

My dad is a loon. A nut. Not in the “step away slowly, and don’t turn your back to him” way, but more of a “He’s really going to do that? Really?” sort of way.

When I was in college my sophomore year, he called me, and mentioned a friend of his showed up at his door with a mountain-y bike. It was 1990, so they weren’t as mountain-y as they are now, but it was what they had. He asked my dad if he wanted to ride. My dad said yes. He told me about this on the phone, and mentioned he wanted to do a ride when I got back for the summer. He was going to try to find someone he could borrow a bike from, so that I could ride. At that point, I hadn’t really ridden a bike since I was a kid.

My dad picked me up from the airport, and as we were leaving, he said, “I couldn’t find a bike for you to borrow. We’re going to stop by the bike shop on the way home.” I haven’t even dropped in to see my mom, and my dad is taking me to look at bikes.

I left with a Trek 950 Singletrack. We went home, and gave hugs to mom. The plan was to go up to my parents’ small cabin in Frazier Park, elevation ~5000 feet, for the weekend. This was also the starting point for the ride. From the cabin we rode up to the top of Mt. Pinos, elevation ~9000 feet.

Note: if you look up the word “rode” in my dictionary, this is definition 4: “To ride some, walk a lot, and grumble that you haven’t actually test rode the bike so the resultant shifting is totally messed up.”

From the top of Mt. Pinos, we rode to the top of Mt. Abel, after descending into a valley. In the snow. In June.

Did I mention I’m from southern California?

We made it home. My dad was hooked. I was interested. My dad needed a riding partner, and I was willing. We’ve both been riding ever since.

When I got married, I asked if there were days he preferred for the wedding. He casually mentioned he wanted to do a race on August 18, so the wedding was the week before. On August 18, my dad won the 65+ XC Mountain Bike Nationals, by 0.25 seconds.

That was 10 years ago. He still rides.

I need to stay in shape, because I’d rather not be dropped by a 75 year old man. Of course, it isn’t that awe-inspiring to beat a 75 year old man, so we both enjoy the ride. Now, if the road is flat, we bring along Hudson, my 7 year old son.

I suppose you could say that both my son and I have the same riding starts; we started because our dad dragged us out there, but we keep at it, because we both love to spend the time with our fathers.


  1. Comment by cece | 05.28.2012 | 6:42 am

    Love this story about you and your dad! Wish you could put up some pics! Your dad sounds very cool! And I bet your son feels the same way about you!

  2. Comment by SaddleAmericana | 05.28.2012 | 8:34 am

    Great story. I especially love the final paragraph! That’s a great image of the 3 generations out pedaling together, enjoying life on 2 wheels! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Comment by davih-marin,ca | 05.28.2012 | 9:50 am

    Wow!!! I know mt pinos, and I know what a so cal native feels like going up. Hats off to you. I have my kids hooked up in a mt’y bike camp this summer, and when I’m 75 I hope they’ll still want to ride with me!

    Great collection of stories Fatty, I think I see another book coming together. 7

  4. Comment by Geoffrey M | 05.28.2012 | 12:28 pm

    I’ll get some pictures posted. Actually, the whole family will be together today. And, we’re eating Fatty-style brats for lunch. If we get on bikes, I’ll be sure to take more pictures. I do have a good one of my dad and my son riding on the beach at low tide.

  5. Comment by Sidney | 05.28.2012 | 1:41 pm

    Geoff! I am so proud to read your written word. What a nice fatherhood legacy you have shared.

  6. Comment by Yannb | 05.28.2012 | 2:22 pm

    Great story. Great way to stay connected with a parent.

  7. Comment by Elisabethvi | 05.28.2012 | 3:53 pm

    “I suppose you could say that both my son and I have the same riding starts; we started because our dad dragged us out there, but we keep at it, because we both love to spend the time with our fathers.”

    *sniff, sniff*

    Time to go for a ride with my daughters!

  8. Comment by Matthew | 05.28.2012 | 4:46 pm

    There is nothing better than time with your family. Blending a hobby in with happy family time, hey that’s bliss. That was a great blog, thanks from the UK.

  9. Comment by sllym | 05.28.2012 | 8:02 pm

    I got into riding because of my Dad too. He raced until he was about 40 and then started up again when he was 75! Still trains daily and is planning on making his second trip to the Masters World Track Championship later this year. Nothing motivates you more to get riding than your 75-year-old father telling you he’s doing two-a-day workouts!

  10. Comment by Carol Zupkas | 05.29.2012 | 12:13 am

    It’s neat to read about how it all began, inspired and led by your dad. Now you’re passing on the legacy. and you’re inspiring others with your blog. Very cool ~ thanks for sharing!

  11. Comment by Matt | 05.29.2012 | 7:04 am

    This is a beautiful story. Bravo to you, your Dad and Hudson.

  12. Comment by Robert | 05.29.2012 | 3:40 pm

    Wonderful story! Love how yous tarted not ridiculously early in your life, shows that it’s never to late to get into biking.

  13. Comment by TK | 05.30.2012 | 8:44 am

    Fantastic post. Totally made my day to read it.

  14. Comment by AKChick55 | 05.30.2012 | 10:12 am

    What a sweet post! I wish my dad was here so I could ride with him. We live at opposite ends of the US – he’s in Florida and I’m in Alaska. Boo! I love the mix of posts. They are all inspiring and they all make me proud to be a fan of Fatty and surrounded by such amazing people.

  15. Comment by Dianne S | 05.30.2012 | 10:22 am

    I am married to a 71 year old guy who
    went riding with his 45 year old son
    over Memorial Day weekend from Carpinteria
    to Summerland. Our 5 year old grandson
    did not join his dad & gradfather because
    he just got the training wheels off his cycle
    so probably will not be road ready for a year
    or so.


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