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.