So, my father is a bit of an anamoly, as far as most/many dads go - he was never the "sitting-on-the-couch-drinking-a-beer-and-watching-football" kind of guy. He didn't get together with the boys to play poker on Friday nights. I don't recall him spending the weekend in the garage, puttering underneath the hood of a car. (Not that there's anything wrong with these activities or the people that do them).
No, my dad has always been very active - he was part of that first wave of running popularity in the late '70s and early '80s, and would regularly run at lunch with a regular group of guys in downtown Seattle. He completed three marathons - two in Seattle and one in NYC - each in less than three hours. When his running buddies started coming down with various (and dibilitating) overuse injuries, my dad saw the writing on the wall and switched over to cycling. In the years since, he's completed a variety of long-distance riding events, including RAMROD (which goes around Mt. Rainier National Park), Seattle-to-Portland, and at least a couple of two-day MS rides. He and I were also part of a cycling tour that twice went to follow stages of the Tour de France, and were lucky enough to ride some of the most noted (and difficult) climbs in professional cycling. Dad will be 62 this year, but he gets out most weekends to ride with his friends and hasn't slowed down a lick.
Needless to say, it's been a great and special gift to have a father who enjoys the outdoors and physical activity as much - or perhaps moreso - than I do. It has brought us closer and provided a great number of special memories that we often chat about, even years later. I recognize and appreciate these experiences because they belong just to us, our own shared memories of sweat, hard work and good times.
There's also another benefit of having a tough-guy dad - the killer hand be downs. Yes, my dad - like most men - likes his toys, and his cycling obsession has brought with it a garage-ful of really nice toys. Toys that I couldn't afford on my meager government salary. Luckily for me, dad and I share similar physiques, and I have been the happy recipient of more and one "pass-through" road bike. In fact, my very first "real" bike was a LandShark, an awesome steel-framed bike handmade in Oregon that dad passed down to me when his garage was getting a little too crowded. And I am currently riding a Look road bike that he sent my way just last year.
Well, apparently I am being rewarded for those annual Fathers Day cards once again, because my pops is giving me his 2006 Scott CR1 Team road bike, which I was lucky enough to ride when we went out there last Fall for the Western Washington MS ride. It's a great bike, top-of-the-line from the ground up, and I'm fortunate and grateful to be on the receiving end of it. I'll post a pic when it arrives and I get it set up. It should provide many, many hours of cycling enjoyment.
Anyway, thanks pop - not just for the new ride, but for always being an amazing and dependable teammate.
Ironman Wisconsin 2016: My Ticket to Kona
11 months ago