How would you feel if you had a chance to ride on a morning like this, and passed it up, only to see this photo later on? Well, how do you feel about it?
Whether motivated by the fear of missing out, or the fun of laughing at our “winter” this year, we had quite a large group for our regular Tuesday/Thursday-morning no-matter-what ride. Too large to try and name them all, but not quite so large that my slowness up Kings Mtn could be hidden from the rest. That’s OK, this is “winter” after all! And I have to face facts; as I’ve gotten older, I’m doing increasingly better on longer rides (100k+) and simply can’t quite come up to speed on short “sprints” like our regular 30 miler. And watching Kevin (my son, not the pilot) do so well on this ride brings back memories of my own rides at his age. I owned rides like this back then. Just as he is beginning to do now.
What this means for us more-experienced folk is that we’ve got to consider that not everything about getting older is bad; that we still have some advantages over the younger cyclists, and if we want to exploit those advantages, we can put them into a world of hurt just like they do to us on the shorter rides. Except that we wouldn’t do that, because it wouldn’t be nice. OK, that’s fine for dealing with 18-25 year-old cyclists. Past 25, they begin to do better at those longer rides, without slowing down much on the shorter ones. You’re only hope, if you’re a 55-year-old has-been/never-was (some day I’ll figure out which) like me, is that somewhere between 25 & 40 they become moms or dads and spend a lot of time & energy raising their own future nemesis.
Which brings things full-circle, as did an email I got today from a distribution list for “old timer” cyclists. In this edition, a 20 page pdf of the 1966 Tour del Mar (now called the “Pescadero Road Race”) was attached, and on page 14 was a piece written by my father, then Sports Editor of the Redwood City Tribune. I’m sure my father had no idea at that time that I would become so strongly attached to cycling, or even consider taking up racing, but it shows his openness to sports other than Basketball, Baseball, Football and Track & Field. Hard to believe he’s been gone for 24 years now (I could be off by a year on that, and if so, I’m sure my mom will be correcting me shortly). He was around for the first 8 years or so of Chain Reaction Bicycles, and died just a few months after the birth of his first grandchild. While the beginning of “desktop publishing” enabled him to have a second career after the demise of the local newspaper, the internet was not yet even someone’s wildest dream. It is interesting to think of what he would be doing now. –Mike–