Yep, any Dad out there will agree with me. We dads can screw up. we are far from perfect. Lord knows I have made more than my share of mistakes, but there’s only really been one involving bikes. Well involving bikes AND kids. I’ve made plenty on my own!
My youngest is almost 15 now, but back in 2009 when he was 11, i convinced him to ride Cascade Bicycle Clubs Flying Wheels ride. I had done the Century ride before, but with him I was going to do the 25 mile loop around Lake Sammamish.
He was a little worried about 25 miles since he had never gone that far before. But I promised him great food stops with plenty of sandwiches, cookies and fruit! He was on board.
At the starting line, you can see he was raring to go:
Ahh, but here in lies my mistake. You see, if I hear a ride starts at 7 AM, I am crossing the starting line at 7 AM. Not a minute later. Had I read the fine print, I would’ve seen that the 25 mile riders didn’t start till 10 AM.
What’s the big deal you say? So we are early. Well I’ll tell ya. In this ride, the food stops are set up as needed, meaning they planed to have our food stops set up for people starting at 10!
So there we are pedaling away,
and we are approaching the halfway point. He’s getting a bit tired and I say “No worries, 2 more turns and its ALL YOU CAN EAT! 11-year-old boys LOVE that phrase. We turn into the food stop and, yep you guessed it, nothing. Maybe the fact there weren’t any other bikers on the route should have clued us in.
No worries, Plan B! To the AM/PM! A fresh bottle of Gatorade, a candy bar, and a soft pretzel later, and we are the wind! Soon after that, we started passing roadkill. Normally this is NOT good thing! But to an 11-year-old boy, who’s only ever seen this from a car, this was the coolest thing ever! I did convince NOT to run over them again with the bike to see what would happen…
We took our time, and I let him lead the way, spotting the Dan Henrys as we went. He was starting to feel it, and it was almost time for a 7/11 stop when we saw the entrance to the park ahead! we were almost done! I raced ahead to get this pic!
I have no idea how much time it took, as we did not push it at all. It was a nice summer day, and it was a chance for just the two of us to hangout together. He was “dogbutt” tired at the end, and I was worried that he hadn’t had fun until I was able to take this.
I owned up to the making the mistake that cost us the chance for the great food stop, but he was happy with a stop at McDonald’s and my allowing (for the first and only time) him ordering a double quarter pounder. He had earned it!
He and I have done other things together just the two of us, the Coastsavers beach clean up day, The Columbia Tower climb, a zip line course and going to Silverwood Amusement park. Of all of these, this is my favorite memory. He is a skateboarder now, and may not ride a ride with me again, but we conquered this one together and had a blast.